Tusup Talks About Regrets, Burying The Hatchet In Eurosport Interview

Polarizing swim coach Shane Tusup spoke about career regrets and a desire to “bury the hatchet” on several conflicts in an interview with Eurosport.

The interview, published in Hungarian, spans a number of topics, including Tusup’s experience training Hungarian flyer Liliana Szilagyi and his previous conflicts with Hungarian swimming clubs and officials.

“There are some things I regretted,” Tusup said, in a rough translation from Hungarian. “I could have sat down with some people to clarify this.”

Tusup admits that at times he had “not handled certain situations well.” But he also notes that he was a young coach, involved in “the biggest project of my life” and learning much about coaching on the fly.

“The stress was huge,” Tusup said. “After all, it wasn’t just about my own career, but my career was also influenced by another person’s career.”

Tusup says he reached out to Sandor Wladarthe president of the Hungarian swimming federation, to bury the proverbial hatchet in what was at times a contentious relationship.

Tusup rose to prominence in the world of swimming as the coach of his then-wife, Katinka Hosszu. While training under Tusup, Hosszu won three Olympic gold medals in 2016, while piling up World Championships medals and effectively monetizing the sport of swimming like few other swimmers have. Hosszu was dominant for years on the World Cup tour, amassing huge prize money windfalls while building a brand as the “Iron Lady” of swimming.

But Tusup’s polarizing style also drew harsh criticism. One notable incident took place at a youth swim meet, where Tusup was coaching age groupers with the Iron Aquatics program. During a relay event for 10- and 11-year-old girls, Tusup exploded into a profanity-laced tirade, yelling “f*** you” and raising his middle fingers at an official. Tusup later took to social media to defend his conduct, saying he took issue with what he considered an unfair start and felt he needed to protect his athletes, comparing himself to a renowned professional basketball coach ejected for yelling profanities at an official.

In the Eurosport interview, Tusup says he’s often felt like he’s an unwanted person within the sport, and that within Hungary, he felt he was asked to be an “open book” about his unique training methods without reciprocation of information from other coaches.

“Of course, we didn’t want to reveal our secrets,” Tusup said. “I had, say, intellectual property as a coach.”

Tusup says he departed from the traditional Hungarian system of training, but that both his system and the traditional Hungarian system were effective, and could have been further improved by the mutual sharing of information.

“True, the Hungarian system is really great, everyone imitated it, everyone followed and analyzed it,” he said. “But I approach things differently, my program is built differently, it works differently. Why not even combine the two, why not sit down and listen to each other, analyze what the other has to say?”

According to Tusup, he was willing to exchange information, but felt he was being asked to “act like an open book,” when other coaches wouldn’t be as forthcoming with him.

Tusup and Hosszu split both personally and professionally in 2018, and Tusup does not mention Hosszu by name in the interview. Since then, Tusup spent some time away from swimming pursuing a career as a professional golfer with the World Long Drive Association. He eventually returned to the sport to coach Italian IMer Ilaria Cusinato and launched a YouTube series to document their training, but then he and Cusinato parted ways about nine months later. Tusup is still coaching Hungarian butterflyer Liliana Szilagyiand he talked some about her training in his interview, along with a few other subjects:

  • “Lilu is very intelligent,” Tusup said. “She can’t do monotonous workouts.” He said racing is a cornerstone of his program, and the lack of competitions during the coronavirus pandemic was a struggle. But Szilagyi’s swims at the 4 Nations meet last month were a promising sign. “Her eating disorders are a thing of the past, and it’s amazing how professional she has become,” he said of Szilagyi.
  • Tusup said he believed early on that the 2020 Olympics should not be held as scheduled during the coronavirus pandemic. He said his training group was “relieved” that the Olympics had been postponed, and the extra year of preparation gave he and Szilagyi more time to dial in their training program.
  • There were wrinkles to his training of Szilagyi in the early goings. Szilagyi belongs to the Fradi club, otherwise known as Ferencvárosi TC. Most athletes within Fradi have their own coaches, Tusup says, but the club’s process of allowing Tusup to work with one of its athletes was slow. “It took a month before we heard anything from them,” he said. “They then applied and said they didn’t want to work with me.” Eventually, the parties came to a rough compromise, but Tusup says he was still unable to use Fradi facilities for awhile, and meet accreditation remains “chaotic.”
    • Tusup notes that he is now working with the goalkeeper of the Fradi football (soccer) team, and is hoping that helps him become more officially affiliated with the club.

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Time For Barta To Go
1 year ago

“In the Eurosport interview, Tusup says he’s often felt like he’s an unwanted person within the sport”

Accurate observation, Shane.

Erik
2 years ago

As long as we can all agree if there was a movie made about Shane, that Shia LaBeouf would play him..

Edward L Rowe
Reply to  Erik
2 years ago

Been listening to Knox and Jamie? 🙂

Hungarian speaker
2 years ago

It’s sort of diplomatic of Tusup not to mention that the biggest scandals he had as a 26-27 years old kid in his first real job, ended the decade-long careers of legends like Laszlo Kiss, coach of the national team and former coach of Krisztina Egerszegi, and Tamas Gyarfas, head of the Hungarian Federation and FINA VP. And why?? Because these conflicts brought to light that Kiss had been convicted of gang rape (!!!!!) in the 60s and yet was allowed to work with children and young women for decades thereafter. And Gyarfas was arrested for murder (!!!!!!) which he had allegedly orchestrated in the 90s. Like. Come on now. If you’re going to take the time to link to… Read more »

Sam
Reply to  Hungarian speaker
2 years ago

I cant’ find the logic connection you are trying to make. Are you saying we should put everything on a scale and one good will make up for one bad? Are you really that juvenile? The fact that he was a bully doesn’t change, and no one will say “oh, he is an a*hole to me but he brought down Gyarfas and Kiss, all good”. Or that’s how you think it works? Like the Hungarian approach of beating up your wife on Sunday and bringing her flowers on Monday? (I withdraw my last statement your honor)

The big deal about Gyarfas and Kiss is not that Tusup brought them down. It’s that the system let them get away with it… Read more »

Hungarian speaker
Reply to  Sam
2 years ago

Lol, no. The image of Tusup as the bad guy was solidified in Hungarian media in late 2015 and early 2016 around the
infamous press conference he called where Hosszu tore up her federation contract he got from Gyarfas and refused to speak to Kiss. Kiss and Gyarfas were then saints, Katinka (acting only on evil Tusup’s instruction and not using her own well-educated brain, according to the Hungarian media narrative) was the bad guy. This was then followed by some of these old secrets being brought to light later in 2016. Turns out saint Kiss was a gang rapist (of a teenager at the pool) for which he had served a prison sentence at the time. Turns out… Read more »

Sam
Reply to  Hungarian speaker
2 years ago

Again, who defended the Hungarian Swimming association, or murderers and rapist here? No one. Why are you mixing it up? It’s about Tusup’s image by Hungarian coaches. btw this is NOT true: “acting only on evil Tusup’s instruction and not using her own well-educated brain, according to the Hungarian media narrative” – I read all the news sites, this was not the case. Most of the media was supportive of both of them, as a couple.

ErikaM
2 years ago

As an American girl living in Hungary, I can attest to the fact that this country is a giant bureaucratic patriarchal trap to where anything you do which goes against the traditional system can be twisted however they want. A lot of the comments on here show me that context is needed to fully understand decisions or reactions that were made by Tusup. From my perspective all I know is he helped Katinka suddenly win several world championships, at least two world records, and 3 golds and a silver at the Olympics when she had never medaled at the previous 3 Olympics she had been to. So i think he deserves at least some level of credibility and respect…am I… Read more »

Sam
Reply to  ErikaM
2 years ago

nobody doubts his accomplishments. It’s his past communication style and arrogance that makes his comments “funny” about how he feels unwelcome.

ErikaM
Reply to  Sam
2 years ago

Yeah but that’s my point…if you knew the way things are run around here you might feel differently. Also I know many coaches who have done a lot worse than acting “arrogant”. By worse I am talking crimes which have been covered up by the federation. It is run like a mafia. Again, context. Hungarian media = propaganda

Sam
Reply to  ErikaM
2 years ago

my comment disappeared. Yeah, I lived nearly 4 decades in Hungary, spent 2 decades in swimming, nothing justified his behavior, including death threats he made.

Marmot
Reply to  Sam
2 years ago

I assume you’re equally disgusted by Ryan Lochte’s behavior at the Rio Olympics? You’ll speak out just as flagrantly about Phelps’ DUI (which could have actually killed someone, not just words like Tusup’s) and the bong smoking incident? Dwyer cheating with testosterone pellets? The Stanford swim team’s homophobic treatment of Abrahm Devine?

Nothing justifies any of those incidents, so I’m sure you downvote all things Phelps, Lochte, Dwyer, Stanford and any other negative swimming incident. Surely it’s strictly his blustery attitude, and has nothing to do with a vapid dislike of Shane Tusup.

Sam
Reply to  Marmot
2 years ago

I don’t dislike Tusup at all. As I said many times, I hope he will lead many more swimmers to Olympic success. This article is about him. If there is an article about Lochte, I will express my opinion there. All I was saying is that I disagree with his wining about the Hungarian swim community not embracing him for the zillion things I already wrote. Everything he says reeks of: yeah, I wish people hadn’t gotten upset over the things I did, why can’t we just move on? Instead of: “I treated a lot of people really poorly in this country for a long time, now they don’t want to work with me, I can leave and move on… Read more »

Edward L Rowe
Reply to  Marmot
2 years ago

Nice Red Herring. You seem to claim sole responsibility to enforce some rule about a necessary amount of previous indignation required to have a negative opinion where YOU believe it isn’t warranted – who made you the hypocrisy police? You have no idea how much anyone was or wasn’t upset about others’ previous abuses. You believe in some sort of jingoism that isn’t there. For the record, I was VERY vocal against Phelps, Lochte, et al. USAS is too lenient on successful swimmers. There is nothing vapid about disliking the @$$hole that is Shane Tusup. Adolph Rupp was a great basketball coach, he was also a racist. You can be successful AND have major character flaws. And some character flaws… Read more »

Taa
Reply to  ErikaM
2 years ago

He should have been coach of the year in 2016 but nobody liked him. Interesting to hear mentioning of his proprietary coaching methods. I wonder if he is really doing anything that different? His weight room stuff with Cusinato was cringe worthy.

Sam
2 years ago

I guess the Tusup downvoter team has arrived 🙂

Lpman
Reply to  Sam
2 years ago

Not me! I love the guy.

John
Reply to  Sam
2 years ago

Found Shane!!!!

Sam
2 years ago

btw it’s funny how he is now complaining that he has trouble working with FTC and other coaches and that he is treated as an outsider – still. He treated them for years like crap. He called Hargitay, the previous head of swimming in Hungary a NOBODY, publicly. Hargitay is also a World Champion in 200 and 400 IM, and a well respected national figure, He had done more for national and international swimming than Tusup ever will. Tusup screamed at coaches during meets obscenities numerous times when he was not pleased with how the meet the organized. Hungarian coaches regularly had to swallow their pride and dignity when he was still coaching Katinka – to be able to work… Read more »

612
2 years ago

I guess golf wasn’t one of them

Ryan
2 years ago

Important to realize he’s still a human! A bit of empathy can go a long way

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Ryan
2 years ago

Nah.

Edward L Rowe
Reply to  Ryan
2 years ago

Dude was rage-monster with no capacity for decorum. Empathy? For a guy that swears f-bombs at officials in front of 10 year olds? He needs to go.

swimfast
Reply to  Edward L Rowe
2 years ago

ya he was helpful to katinka’s swimming in the sense that he was probably knowledgeable about pacing, etc…but to her mental health, stability and longevity it’s almost certain he was corrosive. and then besides her he was absolutely a terror and a very bad influence on how to behave, and embarrassing. he wasn’t a good egg. nope.

Cate
Reply to  Ryan
1 year ago

It’s unusual to have empathy for a man who abuses his wife, which is why she’s his ex-wife

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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