Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Interview with Randy Bennett

For those of you unaware of Randy Bennett's importance in Canadian swimming, his bio can be found HERE. He is likely best known for coaching Ryan Cochrane to a bronze medal in the 1500FR in the 2008 Olympics.

Back in November/December of 2010, I had listened to Randy Bennet address coaches regarding his periodization of his season, integrating his support staff and other coaching topics. It was at that point I had decided that I wanted to get an exclusive for this blog with his thoughts on the state of Age Group swimming in Ontario (specifically, that we're really good at getting athletes to a certain point in this province). I emailed Randy after he returned to BC from Ontario and he agreed that it would be something that he would do. However, being both very busy, Randy and I were never able to hook up and I figured the idea was lost in space. Not so! Thanks to the tip off from Matt Kwatyra, while HHBF was in London this past weekend, I found out that Randy and the VAS were going to be training in the London Thames Pool this week. As soon as I got home, I contacted Randy again and we arranged to meet today.

I was very nervous because I know that he is an extremely busy guy and felt like I was bugging him. After all, this interview will not end up on the nightly news or anywhere important; its for a not for profit Blog... who cares, right?

Once we hammered out our logistics, I packed up my young children, arranged for a friend to watch them and hiked out to London to meet around noon (on my afternoon off). I arrived at Randy's hotel just as he returned from a workout and he welcomed me like I was the most important person in the world... not what I was expecting. We sat and chatted about my program, swimmers, facility, township, challenges and successes for a long time before he was ready to get down to business. I was actually feeling very comfortable when this all began.

The interview that followed can be listened to HERE. Our conversation went much beyond the interview and I feel that I got validation of where I am leading my program, as a coach, but also I felt that I learned a bunch from this guy. Randy is a real visionary and a brilliant man! Thanks again, Randy, for your time today. I hope that you all enjoy the interview.

NB: if you can only listen to a little bit of it, check out the section from 27min 45seconds. His answer to this question and the follow up are UNBELIEVABLE!! Such insight!