Germans Looking to Change Up Training

GOTTINGEN, Germany, September 22. OVER the weekend, German Swimming held its coaching conference where the top minds in the nation came together to discuss the country's performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

There will be several changes to the German model by the beginning of next year. First and foremost, Germany will be creating six or seven Olympic training centers where more swimmers will be placed under one coach. These coaches would then be placed under the control of a to-be-named head coach. The selection of these new excellence centers should take place by the middle of October. Additionally, the federation hopes to have the entire coaching structure in place by the beginning of next year.

"Different training levels led to a difference in the performance of certain athletes," German sport director Lutz Buschkow said.

Another point of emphasis was the international involvement of swimmers. German coaches felt that their swimmers did not compete enough internationally to get the feel for what an Olympic-level meet would involve. The world should expect to see more Germans in future international events.

Special thanks to Stephen Marcus for contributing to this report.