As a kid, I swam with Peter Daland of the LA Athletic Club; Peter was the USC coach. As a 14 year old, I had the honor of swimming with Murray Rose and Jon Konrad, two Aussies who were dominant in the freestyle world, holding every record from 200-1500m. Peter was importing the sauce. Other coaches have done that for a long time, including Marsh at Auburn (where I've been on faculty since 1985 and have officiated varsity and age group meets since for 20+ years).
The secret of Marsh's success was getting all swimmers - male and female, sprinters, distance, mid-distance, all strokes - ready to perform PRs at championship meets. Routinely had 90% or more PRs. That why the banners in my home pool. Not some special training protocol or drill. He had good assistant coaches working with him and good facilities. He brought in top swim talent from around the world and they all made each other better. If there is one place that globalization can be said to have a positive impact, it is in the pool. We bring in the best talent from around the world to train at our universities and it raises the bar for everyone. Not that different from Silicon Valley.
Shutting the borders, cooking our secret sauces in isolation ... that is what the East Germans did, what the Russians did.
I have no problem being proud for our swimmers at international competitions.
As for Sergio, he is now coaching at Auburn. I have not yet gotten to know him well, but he seems like a genuinely nice guy and will have a positive impact on all of our swimmers, US citizens and international athletes. I'm hoping he can fix my breastroke.
Here's a quote from David Marsh in an ASCA World Clinic presentation in September 2016 (the ASCA 'Quote of the Day' for Thursday, February 16):
“This was a patriotic team. Everyone on the team was sincerely proud to be an American, and right away they acknowledged that. ‘I’m not just a person by myself, I got through the gauntlet of the Olympic Trials’. Imagine David Plummer getting through that race and not acknowledging Matt Grevers for making him better?
That happened in every event. If you got through that, you felt a little for the person right behind you who didn’t, but also for the other folks right behind them. You were representing much more than just yourself, you were representing all those great swimmers at Trials. You were representing the finest of the finest, over time. The team chemistry from that made for Magic."
In other words, THERE IS NO SECRET SAUCE. The path to USA swimming greatness is is PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. And we dare the rest of the world to do it better than we do!
"To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson