There’s a fair bit happening at the moment. My mum and sister are unwell. City have had a major boardroom upheaval. I’m starting to manage ten of Britains best swimmers. Trials for the world championships start next week in Sheffield and I’m swimming in them! I’m going to need to focus on what is important. Answers on a postcard.
I’ve just read John McEnroe’s autobiography and one of the things it has helped re-in force for me is that everybody has their problems to deal with. The grass may look greener but it isn’t any different really, just in a different field. The trick is balancing them well enough.
So back to the job of swimming, the job I’m best at and have trained hard at for 20 years. This year trials are back to Sheffield, and a welcome return after a two-year absence. The last time we swam there was the Sydney Olympic trials in 2000. I think it’s the best pool in the country, well the fastest anyway.
I’m torn between Manchester and Sheffield for the best. The extra lanes in the Sheffield pool mean that turbulence from wash has more water to dissipate into and make for calmer water to race in.
Qualification for the World Championships, which are in Barcelona in July, is tough. The hard-hitting Australian, Bill Sweetenham is our national performance director has set fast, difficult time to achieve selection for the team. I’m all in favour of lifting the standard to as high a level as possible, although this did mean that Steven Parry and I missed out on the 2001 world championship team that went to Japan. You will be able to see the action in television on the final day, a week on Sunday. Steve and I will be going head to head for the ten zillionth time in the 200m butterfly final. Unfortunately you will not be able to see the team selected. The original date for the trials was changed for television, pretty important but due to a class with the American national college competition that some of our best swimmers will be in, there will now be another selection point at an non-televised event in Glasgow in June. It’s a shame, as I like the one chance selection and announcement of the team atone competition, as it’s more exciting for the swimmers and the public too.
Swimming is moving swiftly with the times with results and information is up at the British swimming website (www.britishswimming.org) very quickly but even better than that, for those that prefer, for the first time you can now even get up the second text messages! It’s a bit quicker than answers on a postcard anyway.