Ariarne Titmus and Dean Boxall talk trust, training, a love of swimming and Christmas

Dean Boxall and Ariarne Titmus

Australia has had some amazing swimmer-coach partnerships in its rich history and with Ariarne Titmus and Dean Boxall you seem to get the impression that there’s another one on the horizon…kinda!


Legendary coach Harry Gallagher with star pupils and 1956 Olympic 100m freestyle gold medallists Dawn Fraser and Jon Henricks. Photo Courtesy: Australian National Archives.

Winning Olympic combinations like Dawn Fraser/Jon Henricks and Harry Gallagher; Murray Rose and Sam Herford; Konrads kids John and Ilsa and Don Talbot; and Jon Sieben/Duncan Armstrong and Laurie Lawrence; Kieren Perkins and John Carew and Grant Hackett and Denis Cotterell, to name but a few.


Australia’s most successful Head Coach Don Talbot with the world record-breaking ‘Konrads Kids’ Ilsa and John. Photo Courtesy: Daily Telegraph.

Overnight in Sydney, Titmus and Boxall walked away from the Australian Swimmer of the Year Awards with five major gongs between them after a momentous 2019.

On the back of this year’s FINA World Championships the pair came away with the big ones, the Olympic Program Swimmer and Coach of the Year Awards.

Adding the Short Course Swimmer and Patron’s Award for Titmus and the Youth Coach for the third time for Boxall.

At the end of the night the pair did a quick Q and A for Swimming Australia with the focus on Tokyo 2020, which Swimming World were privy to.

Asked to described the coach-swimmer relationship, between her and Boxall, Titmus replied: “ I don’t know….we just kinda click…there are things we do bicker about but we do try to be on the same page and with the same goals and that’s why it works…I have to put trust in Dean….and I hope he trusts me.”

Dean Boxall and Ariarne Titmus

Trust, training and love of swimming, Australian Olympic Program Coach and Swimmer of the Year Dean Boxall and Ariarne Titmus. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

And Boxall chimes in with “That’s why I think it works…I love the sport and I know ‘Arnie’ loves the sport….she loves the training, she loves racing and every aspect of swimming as I do.

“But I think what she’s talking about is that she trusts that I will create and provide her with the best environment and training program and trust that she will execute it to the….(pause) last enth of her fibre!”

And pulling no punches Boxall says: “ And she’s going to need that!”

And what will the next six months entail?

Titmus says: “It is all towards one big goal, things will definitely ramp up. We’re going to have more energy and we’re going to need to give more energy.

“Everything is going to be on a whole new level and time’s going to go quick but I think we’re going to have to enjoy it as well and know that we are heading towards something great and not many people get to do that.”

Asked if Dean would be giving her a break over Christmas, Titmus looked miffed, saying “Huh…huh….no way!”

Then again “Arnie” did say things would be ramping up!

Next stop for Titmus and Boxall will be the International Swimming League Grand Finale in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, December 21 and 22.

Chasing some Christmas presents no doubt!


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