Bud McAllister to Leave Western Australia Institute of Sport After Six Years

Photo Courtesy: Mark Muchenfuss / Swimming World Archive

Legendary coach Bud McAllister will be leaving the Western Australia Institute of Sport to return to North America after six year in Australia. McAllister was best known for coaching Janet Evans who is regarded as one of the best female swimmers in history, having held the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyle world records simultaneously for nearly 20 years.

McAllister started as an assistant coach at the Mission Viejo Nadadores in the 1980’s and went on to coach at various centers in the US, Canada, UK and finally Australia, managing to put numerous swimmers on international and Olympic teams.

McAllister was best known for his race pace and “predictor” sets. He found that giving his swimmers the same sets and having them repeat the sets over a season, instilled confidence in them that they were improving.

Talking about Janet Evans, who won three gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympic games, he commented on how repeating predictor sets with Janet, and her ability to consistently improve workout times, was a great way to motivate her and get her confident before racing.

Evans was well known for her “unorthodox” freestyle technique, where she swam a high tempo windmill freestyle that has hardly been emulated since. Evans had swam for many coaches that tried to change her freestyle before Bud McAllister told her not to fix what wasn’t broken. Bud still believes that a freestyle stroke needs to be modeled and corrected, but a stroke is also unique to the swimmer. Bud explained that Janet’s body type and physiology meant that she used a fairly high stroke rate, which resulted in a straight arm recovery, not typical of a distance freestyler.

McAllister would emphasize body position and would believe distance swimmers needed to have a strong core for maintaining efficiency.

Bud McAllister helped coach Blair Evans to a spot on the Australian Olympic Team in 2016, where she was 16th in Rio in the 400 IM with a 4:38.91. It was her second trip to the Games.

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