PHOENIX, Arizona, August 18. JOSH Neuloh joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to talk about the impressive coaching resume he's built up at just 23 years old.
Neuloh talks about his journey from young coach in his native Germany to working with talents in Great Britain and the United States. He also details his work with coaches in Africa and how it led to a gig coaching Rwandans at the world championships. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Jeff Commings: This is the Morning Swim Show for Thursday, August 18th, 2011. I'm your host Jeff Commings and in the FINIS Monitor today we will talk to Josh Neuloh who spent the week at the World Championships in Shanghai as the Head Coach of Rwanda National team getting some valuable international coaching experience there. Josh joins us in the FINIS Monitor from Cologne, Germany. Josh, welcome to the Morning Swim Show how are the things going for you today?
Josh Neuloh: I'm fine. Thank you, great to be here Jeff.
Jeff: So you are 23-years-old, correct?
Josh: I think so yeah.
Jeff: You think so. Well you are a pretty young guy and already the Head Coach of a national team. I mean, that is something that people in their late 30's are still dreaming of doing. How did you get the opportunity to coach for the Rwandan National Team?
Josh: Yeah. I started working for the National Swimming Federation in Rwanda as a consultant last year and it obviously all started off when I delivered a FINA coaching course back in Kigali in December and during the planning process for the world championships in Shanghai, the committee and in agreement with their National Olympic Committee in Rwanda decided to appoint me as the head coach.
Jeff: That is pretty cool now a lot of the swimming in Rwanda is not obviously as big as it is and Britain where you coach now or in your native Germany so what was it like to take the Rwandan swimmers to the meet?
Josh: I worked with a couple of swimmers just before the world's short course championships in Dubai last year on their national camp but obviously now the team was slightly bigger and I was in charge of 3 swimmers. I had a great time. We had a very, very good preparation week in Shanghai and then obviously the competition started straight away.
Jeff: So as I said you are 23 and you know you built a really great coaching resume over the years so as I said you are from Germany and you moved to England not just to be a better coach but also to get a degree so tell us what brought you, how you got to England?
Josh: Yes, you are correct. I am actually born in Germany and actually lived here for around 19 years and started coaching for about 4 years. Then in the late 2007-2008, I went— I moved over to England and started studying there at the University of Bedfordshire doing the sports science degree and after the Beijing Games I got involved with coaching with Loughborough Swimming.
Jeff: Now Loughborough has a lot of great talent at the ITC there. We had actually just talked with Ben Titley yesterday about his swimmers there. Who are some of the swimmers we might know of that you personally coach?
Josh: I'm actually assisting Kevin Renshaw in Loughborough. He is in charge of the middle distance, long distance group and obviously his group is well known as well with swimmers like Daniel Fogg, Roberto Pavoni and other talented swimmers but I'm also obviously involved with the University of Sports at that ITC as well as helping out Ben Titley with his great swimmers.
Jeff: You said before you had gone to Africa as part of FINA. It was interesting I was looking at your resume and it said you are a FINA Expert. What exactly is that about?
Josh: They actually asked me, I think it was last year they approached me if I would be able to deliver some coaching courses on their development program and I said, "Yes, it is a great opportunity for me to go to other countries and how building up the swimming there and educate other coaches around the world.
Jeff: What has going to all these countries to teach other coaches about coaching taught you about your own kind of coaching philosophy?
Josh: Obviously it is always a big challenge and I think a good experience for a young coach to obviously then stand in front of a group with probably more experienced coaches and try to teach them something.
Jeff: So what are the things that you learned when you are back in England assisting with Kevin Renshaw with people like Ben Titley?
Josh: I learned a lot from them, but I need to say— I should that it is important for me that I don't copy any coaches, yes. I learned a lot from Ben, I learned a lot from Kevin. I learned a lot from the director of swimming at Loughborough Ian Arminger and it is more like in practical terms how they design their training programs how they deal with the swimmers.
Jeff: And in 2009 you got the opportunity to work with one of my former swimming coaches Eddie Reese. Tell us about that experience.
Josh: Actually, Eddie Reese was my second choice to be honest. In the first place I tried to approach Mark Schubert the former head coach of the USA, but I think I have sent in the email one day and the next morning he replied and politely said, "No, it probably won't work" that I would come to Colorado Springs and spend some time with him, but probably a couple of weeks later I tried to contact Eddie Reese and I got him on the phone and he said, "Yeah, why not" and in the end I spent 4 weeks at the University of Texas and had some great experience working alongside him.
Jeff: Well I think a lot of coaches will agree that Eddie Reese is not a bad second choice.
Josh: Yeah, he always laughs about my British accent but he is a nice guy.
Jeff: Yeah he has always got a joke ready for you any time. When did you decide that you wanted to be a swimming coach?
Josh: It actually was quite difficult. I got asked when I was 16 if I want to like teach kids some swimming. My answer was no, because I wasn't interested and probably at 6 months later I thought about it again and from then on it all started.
Jeff: It is not bad you know, sometimes some of the best coaches don't think they are going to be great coaches until they actually start doing it. Was that true for you?
Josh: I should say so. I think personally, that I had my excellent development over the last year but I'm still in the learning process and that will probably take another 5 to 10 years.
Jeff: And when you get your degree will you return to Germany, will you stay in Great Britain or will you move elsewhere?
Josh: I actually already graduated, but I missed graduation because I was in Shanghai, but on paper I already graduated and my plan is at the moment to stay in Great Britain until the Olympics and coach at the ITC in Loughborough.
Jeff: Well congratulations on the degree and I guess it is pretty much, yeah it would be a no brainier to want to stay in Great Britain now and help the swimmers get ready for London.
Josh: Definitely and then after 2012 obviously the perspective is pretty much open. I might say in the UK or might look into other opportunities.
Jeff: Well Josh we wish you the best of luck with wherever you end up in coaching. It sounds like you got some great mentors. You got a great start and like I said anybody at 23 years old would envy your position right now.
Josh: Well thanks a lot Jeff.
Jeff: Alright that is Josh Neuloh joining us from Cologne Germany and that is it for today's show. Thanks for watching.
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