When a team does poorly is customary to sack the coach or manager (or both)!
You will no doubt recall from my writings here, that the Australian swimming team has turned in its worst result in terms of medals won in 16 years. As a result the swimmers have been slammed by Australian commentators, by their fellow countrymen through the use of Twitter, and by their Swimming Australia bosses. Head coach Leigh Nugent offered this comment, “Most of our girls, the Aussie girls, are carrying too much weight”, when asked for an explanation.
So let’s sack the Swimming Australia heirarchy, and let’s put an administration in place who can put resources in place to assist, motivate and support the swim team to achieve the goals that they seek! Good idea?
Wrong! A Swimming Australia powerplay has rewarded its senior officials with contract renewals, which will ensure that they avoid blame and fallout as a result of poor performances in the pool at London 2012. CEO Kevin Neal was awarded a new five year contract on June 21, while there is a move afoot to change the Swimming Australia constitution to allow the president of SA, Mr David Urquhart, to serve in third term in office. Presidents up till now have been limited to two terms of office. Head coach Leigh Nugent had his contract renewed in March, which means of course that he will lead the team to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The actions of Swimming Australia need to be examined, and the following points explained:
- Why the constitution of Swimming Australia needs changing? There is a reason why presidential terms are limited to two – to ensure impetus, performance, fresh ideas and so on!
- The failure of Swimming Australia to appoint a sports pychologist to accompany the Olympic team.
- The blaming of athletes performance by suggesting they have an “easy lifestyle” and of being overweight.
- The financial support of former champions to attempt comebacks.
- Why Australian coaching talent has been allowed to work with successful overseas teams – in times gone by that would have been seen as being treasonous – but these days, it’s all about the money!
It would have appeared to me that these contract renewals should have been considered AFTER the Olympics when the results were on table, when the contract renewals could be considered on their individual merits. Not so! It appears to the top stakeholders of Swimming Australia are trying to resist change and manipulate procedures, so they can stay ensconced in their positions of power with the financial rewards that go with the position.
So it’s more of the same from Swimming Australia. Expect them to continue to place blame on the athletes and the coaches, rather than examining their own performance. The athletes will continue to do their level best for themselves and for their country, but will be hindered by tired ideas from an administration working to their own agenda, rather than for excellence in the sport!
I continue to support the individual swimmers who have given their very best at the highest level of competition. It is unfortunate that they have been let down by their own administration, their media and their own counrtymen!