Australia’s Coach Of The Year Dean Boxall Hoping His Silence Will Be Golden

GOLDEN GROUP: ASCTA Coach of the Year Dean Boxall with his SPW super-squad (L-R) Mitch Larkin, Ariarne Titmus, Clyde Lewis and Jack Cartwright. Photo Courtesy SPW.

Australia’s leading swim coach Dean Boxall is confident his decision to take a back seat with his star-studded St Peters Western squad during the two month COVID-19 shutdown could well prove to be a golden master stroke.

Boxall, who was named the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) Coach of the Year, admitted he had to give his group a break from his intensity.

SPW Champion club

GROUP THERAPY: SPW National Age Group Team celebrate their succdesPhoto Courtesy:

A group that includes world champions Ariarne Titmus, Mitch Larkin and Clyde Lewis, recovering Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist Jack Cartwright, emerging medley swimmer Abbey Harkin, hopefully, the return of banned freestyle star Shayna Jack and a host of rising stars like Jenna Forrester, Meg Harris, Michaela Ryan and Mollie O’Callaghan.

At the end of the first week back for Australia’s No 1 Club, Boxall sat in his office on pool deck at the outer-Brisbane Lutheran School pool to accept his ASCTA Award via a Zoom Presentation of Awards from Association president Tony Shaw.

“I’m pretty intense if I’m in their faces a bit so I just made sure through (the lockdown) period that they were having a break and that included a break from me,” said Boxall.

“You’ve got to go around for another 14 months…I had to make sure they were looking forward to being in the program, being with me, and that couldn’t be done if I was going to be really on their back over this past eight weeks,

“That would have caused grief and problems and I don’t know whether I would have had the solutions over the next 14 months if I was not giving them their freedom and their autonomy.

“I know what I’m good at; I know what I’m not good at and my positives and my negatives and my pros and cons, and I’m not going to play to my cons, I know what the kids struggle with under me.

“But they were doing exercise, they did set things up that were very different to what other people had set up but I was never on zoom.they needed a break from me.”

SPW with Laurie

INSPIRATION: Legendary coach Laurie Lawrence front and centre with SPW and Dean Boxall (Far Left). Photo Courtesy: SPW.

Boxall said the March, April, May lock down had been a good period for his squad and his coaching team of Maxine Seear, Stewart Melton and John Gatfield.

“Most of my athletes are young..they are still on a trajectory moving forward – in the ascendancy and they’ve never (really) had the opportunity to have that much of a break and have a bit of a reprieve so that’s the exciting part, “said Boxall.

“We are looking at the recovery compared to the intensity of training so that’s the foundation we’re going to be using moving forward for this year.

“They are just in good spirits at the moment – I know they are going to fall back into a hole but you’ve got heaps of time… it’s good…we are back (training) in split shifts…slowly incorporating different elements of the program and weekly training.

“We are building up their conditioning, keeping their gym going with dry land, running, biking, they are in the water now in the 50m pool and just ticking along slowly.

“Clyde (Lewis) was excited…he’s a different cat..he needed to be back with the group…Ariarne has finally had a break, the longest break she’s ever had.

“I think the longest break she’d ever had was two weeks, Jack (Cartwright) is in a pretty good place, we have to be slow with Jack again (recovering from a shoulder injury) to get through.

“The group is excited…gradually..letting them build up…have fun with it…..more fitness no demand on time cycles….they are just swimming.”

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