Great Britain’s (GBR) procedure for establishing its Olympic Team Coaching staff for both marathon (open water) and pool swimming will be changing for the 2016 Rio Games. The revised process was unveiled on the British Swimming Coaches Association website earlier this week.
In the past, as with the United States, the GBR coaches were selected after the country’s Olympic Trials and were primarily based on the athletes who swam their way to spots on the roster- with some discretion allowed. However, for 2016, coaches interested in joining Olympic staff will be required to submit an application, with all submissions due by September 28, 2015, after which interviews will proceed. The British Swimming appointments will ultimately be ratified by the British Olympic Association (BOA).
The document describing the procedures states that “the process has been designed with early selection in mind to enable selected coaches to participate in a bespoke team coach development program during 2015 and 2016 and to ensure key relationships are built with home coaches and athletes alike.”
Eight Olympic team coaches will be selected, with four pool coaches and one marathon coach to become fully BOA accredited. The remaining personnel will support the team in preparations prior to, as well as during the Games.
Great Britain’s coaching changes is most likely sparked by the overall poor results in the pool from the host of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Despite high hopes prior to the competition, with a target of five to seven swimming medals, the nation pulled down just a silver from Michael Jamieson and two bronze medals from Rebecca Adlington.
Britain’s 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials will be held April 12th-16th in Glasgow, Scotland.
Of the performances at the time, British Swimming Chief David Sparkes had said, “The performances have been very disappointing. Our swimmers have failed to achieve the times and we’ve got to find out why. We will be making changes.”
The document outlining the GBR coaching selection process can be read here: 2016 Olympic Team Coach Selection Process Final.