Lani Pallister & Mom Coach Janelle Make Move To Griffith

Swimming Australia’s Lani Pallister is one of the nation’s most exciting rising stars, with the World Junior Champion and national record holder breaking through to the senior ranks over the past 18 months.

Guiding her along is mom Janelle Pallister (nee Elford), who has been her coach for most of her career. Elder Pallister was an elite athlete herself, racing in the 1988 Olympic Games and claiming gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

The pair have been stationed at Cotton Tree but have now moved on to join storied coach Michael Bohl at Griffith University.

We had reached out to Bohl earlier in the week based on a source informing us of this change, but The Gold Coast Bulletin reported on the relocation.

“I’ve been offered a job to work with Michael,” Pallister told them.

“I’ve developed myself to a certain level, but I need to expose myself to the next level and that’s a leap of faith. I’ve always said to my athletes ‘what do you lose by having a go?’. I need to take my own advice.

“If I can develop myself and my athletes that we can both make Olympic teams, that’d be awesome.

“I do believe Lani will be an Olympian one day, whether that’s next year or in three years [in Paris 2024]. But she’s got to continue to love it and get the best out of herself. It would be an amazing story.”

Describing the mother/daughter versus coach/athlete dynamic, Pallister said, “Throughout the years it’s had its challenges for Lani and I, two very strong-headed women. So we developed a strategy that as soon as we walk through the pool gate, Lani was the athlete and I was the coach. Then when we walked through the gate to go home, Lani was the daughter and I was the mum. To this day we still only speak about swimming at home if Lani brings it up.

“As a coach I’ve slowly developed her along, there’s no point being a champion at 10. You get to the top of the mountain with little steps along the way, you risk running out of puff if you’re taking big steps early on. Every year we’ve added another tool to the tool-belt and I believe there’s still more development in her to be better.

“As a mum, I’m just extremely proud. I always tell her ‘swimming is what you do, not who you are’.” (The Gold Coast Bulletin)

Already training at Griffith under Bohl includes Emma McKeon.

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1 year ago

Maddie Groves is at Moreton Bay with Atherton and Coach Lush not Griffith and Coach Bohl

1 year ago

Smart coach even smarter mom. Best of luck Janelle.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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