National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko Speaks on Athlete, Coaches Selection Process (Video)

If you didn’t hear, USA Swimming recently released its selection criteria for 2018 Pan Pacs and 2019 Worlds, as well as the criteria for the 2020 Olympic team head coaches. SwimSwam recently spoke with National Team director Lindsey Mintenko and asked her about her thoughts on these selection procedures, both old and new.

Mintenko has a unique perspective, with the experience of being on the national team before taking over as the director. She says that while it is typically a mixed bag of opinions on the selection process for the 2019 World Championships (no trials, use top times from Pan Pacs/2018 Nationals), many coaches and athletes enjoy selecting the team a year in advance as it gives them a full summer to train. Not having a trials meet in late June or early July means no resting before the big summer meet in late July-early August.


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Of course the people making the team like it. It’s the high school kids that may not be ready to qualify for a senior national team this summer. They will be 17-20 years old in 2020 and would not have been given a shot to be a contender in a trials experience or make a team the year before olympics. The good ones usually find a way, but it does seem to cater to the veterans who may not still be contenders in 2 years.

tammy touchpad error

It was hard for me to watch the 2015 worlds no doubt, but with the 2016 perspective, I don’t think this is really all that bad. It gives the veterans more time in the limelight, more money, and more confidence going into the Olympics. It also gives the kids who are close but come short a big fire in the belly to make sure they are not left off again when it counts. The kids usually don’t need the money or the confidence (experience yes, but as we’ve seen that isn’t always that big of a deal if you’re on the USA team). That is all without mention of the benefit to everyone in the training cycle of avoiding an… Read more »

Hickory Nut

Keep the perspective that USA Swimming is selecting a number of international teams, not just the Worlds team. If you look at the 2016 Rio team, every woman (except Vollmer) made an international team in 2015. They may not have been in Kazan, but they all had an international trip. Most of them went to Kazan, but many of them went to Gwangju for WUGs and a few went to Toronto for Pan Ams.

On the mens’ side, you were only missing Haas, Held, Phelps, and Pieroni. Seems like success in 2018 is a good indicator that those who make an international trip will also swim well in 2020.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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