Simon Redmond, Fremantle Swimming Club
Simon Redmond, Fremantle Swimming Club -15 years as coach
WABN: What techniques do you use to motivate players?
SR: “Themselves – the value of self achievement is significant and is a very strong motivator. Being able to demonstrate to an athlete that they are achieving their goals I find works well.”
WABN: What has been the biggest mistake that you have made in your role as a coach and what did you learn from it?
SR: “Never rush the development of an athlete – early ripe, early rotten. Never underestimate the athlete in front of you. I have seen young athletes with moderate ability grow into outstanding athletes because they simply didn’t quit.”
WABN: What other profession do you most often seek advice from with respect to you team’s performance and why?
SR: “I seek input from physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists. We work as a team of professionals as well as a professional team.”
WABN: How do you manage player/athlete egos?
SR: “I let their team mates do that, and they do it very well I must say.”
WABN: How do you manage off-field player conflicts?
SR: “I am responsible for what goes on within the team, so I only get involved if the conflict impacts on the team environment. How I handle it varies depending on the situation.”
WABN: What currently frustrates you about your sport and what would you do to change it?
SR: “We are losing far too many swimmers in the primary school age group, and I wonder if this is a result of commercial pursuit. It could be argued that some Learn to Swim Schools are holding athletes back in an effort to maximise income. We need to allow younger swimmers the opportunity to achieve their potential and be able to experience participation in the sport of swimming. Despite comment to the contrary, we all compete as swim teams.”
WABN: How important is it for players/athletes to develop skills outside of their sport? What do you do to encourage it?
SR: “It is important for our team members and their families to embrace a holistic approach to their lives, one that finds a balance between sporting pursuit and other activities. Certainly success at an elite level requires choices most of us would never make, but for the athlete who takes the time to enjoy all aspects of their lives, I believe they gain a significant advantage, particularly when it comes to dealing with the highs and lows of sport.”
WABN: What do you do to relax?
SR: “I would love to say play golf, but by the third hole I am rarely relaxed. I enjoy activities with my family, and watching (quietly from the side lines) my sons in their sporting activities.”
WABN: What music do you listen to for motivation?
SR: I love 12-bar blues.
WABN: What sporting identity do you most admire and why?
SR:”I really don’t have any one athlete, coach or other. I thoroughly enjoy watching world class athletes and learning from them and those involved in their lives. The experiences of others are so valuable. I simply wish I had more time to meet with others on a social basis to ‘chew the fat’ as it were.”