A few weeks ago Brian King‘s name appeared in the press, he is the man now training Sun Yang in Australia.
King, a former assistant Miami Swimming, is now being investigated for how he has treated swimmers throughout his career. In a recent article in the the Daily Telegraph it details some of these events.
He was said to have one swimmer out of the pool on all fours and barking, because in practice he was training like a dog.
“I did not witness it but a parent came straight to me; Brian King had pulled a kid out of the pool and said he was ‘training like a dog,” said Shannon McDonald, the past president of the swim team.
“He made him go and stand at the end of the pool on all fours and said; ‘bark like a dog you are training like a dog’,” she said.
“It is disgusting. That (complaint) went in writing to Denis. He just rubbished it and in some cases he said, ‘I have spoken to Brian about that and he won’t do it again’.”
“The committee did give Brian a letter of warning and attached the ASCTA code of conduct, saying it was unacceptable.”
He also had children do a 1000 fly for punishment.
Denis Cotterell who is the Head Coach of Miami Swimming feels that Australian Children need to toughen up.
“The toughness is so depleted it is not funny,” Cotterell told the Telegraph.
“We have a diminishing pool of people who are naturally tough.
“Done the right way, and I believe we do it the right way, in terms of shaping a character, we can develop a swimmer into a champion.
“The good coaches and clubs provide challenges for these kids and promote challenges in training so that the kids in going after these challenges gain confidence. Our job is to set the challenges and acknowledge the effort it takes to achieve them.
“This is the toughening process.”
“They become tough by training tough and they need to be tough to race tough.”
Many people feel that King’s actions crossed a line and began to make these attacks personal and is now being investigated by both Swimming Australia and the Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association. Cotterell still maintains that King has done nothing wrong-
“I used to do that all the time,” Cotterell said. “The thing is the kid didn’t do the 1000, you pull them up after, 200, 300, 400m. You gave them 1000m — you have them think about them and then stop it.
“It’s used as an example for consequences — for being rude. It takes character to be a champion and they are not getting that from their parents and in schools it’s neutered, a lot of teachers are neutered by bureaucrats. It’s a development we take very seriously.”
Many of these actions were brought up to Cotterell who in an article published today explained that he felt that the allegations were over exaggerated. Cotterell labelled the majority of complaints levelled by “precious” parents at King when he was at Miami as “absolute rubbish”
Cotterell has coached a long list of champions including Grant Hackett, Daniel Kowalski and Giaan Rooney.
He also mentored Chinese prodigy Sun Yang, who won gold in the 400m and 1500m freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics.
Cotterell currently coaches 10 Chinese swimmers in his squad at Miami, and noted they never miss a session.