Swimming World November 2021 Presents – Q&A with Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd

Swimming World November 2021 - Q&A with Swim Ireland's National Performance Director Jon Rudd 2
[Photo Courtesy: Sportsfile And The Olympic Federation of Ireland]

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Q&A with Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd

By Michael J. Stott

National Performance Director Jon Rudd has injected new life into the Swim Ireland organization and its athletes. With the addition of a third National Centre, he has lofty goals heading into the 2024 Olympic cycle.

Rudd has served as vice president of the World Swimming Coaches Association since 2019 and has been a member of WSCA’s board of directors since 2016. He also is a member of the Swim Ireland International Selection panel (2018-present) and was chairman of the British Swimming Coaches Association (2014-17).

CREDENTIALS
• University of Exeter, B.Ed., physical education, 1992; National University of Ireland, master’s in corporate governance, 2020; University of Hertfordshire, doctorate, psychology, 2017
• National Performance Director, Swim Ireland, 2017-present
• Director of swimming at Plymouth College, 2006-16
• Head coach of Plymouth Leander Swimming Club, 1989-2016
• Coach of 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and world record holder Ruta Meilutyte and 2016 Olympic finalist Ben Proud
• Senior international head coach for Great Britain, England, Ireland, Lithuania and Turkey; senior international coach for the Netherlands and Kenya
• 2x British Swimming Coach of the Year
• First and only coach worldwide to have athletes win gold medals at all 14 major international meets (junior and senior levels)

Q. SWIMMING WORLD: Aside from your parents, who were some of your swimming influences?
A. COACH JON RUDD: My primary influence was my early, long-standing coach, Ken Douglas, at the City of Hull Swimming Club in England. As swimmers, I think we considered him moody, stand-offish and a bit haphazard—and certainly lacking soft skills! Upon reflection, despite some limitations in personability and communication, he was ahead of his time in many respects. He was well-read, had intuition and a natural coach’s eye.

SW: As a swimmer, you were a bit of a plugger. Were you a better coach than a swimmer?
JR: Yes! I found that my tendency as the guy who never won but often worked the hardest transferred readily to my initial direction as a coach. I have a lot of natural coaching instincts, so when I became educated both formally and informally, I progressed in the profession quite quickly.

SW: You instruct your swimmers to be “one with the water.” Were you so as a swimmer?
JR: No! British coaching in the 1980s was more about training, volume, intensity and physiology and a lot less about coaching and making athletes as technically proficient and skillful as their talents would allow. Because I had been coached that way, it took me awhile to learn that the most successful athletes were those with the greatest relationship with the water.

SW: How does a coach inculcate patience and perseverance in his athletes?
JR: One of the trickiest challenges is how coaching/training can allow an athlete to see his/her full potential while still maintaining an enthusiasm for the sport. The key is to resist the temptation to deliver a more senior program to junior athletes for short-term gain, but long-term compromise. Unless you can put your hand on your heart as a coach and believe that the athlete’s true moment is “now” or at least imminent—and with female athletes who swim breaststroke or more distance-oriented events, this can occur much sooner—the coach with integrity knows that he has a duty to protect and honor an athlete’s future in the sport.

Constantly talking with athletes about a light at the end of the tunnel that may be a decade or more away doesn’t necessarily keep talented athletes in the sport. That’s because like most humans, they want something now. Deferred gratification without some form of current satisfaction is challenging for most of us in any part of our lives. So it requires a constant sales pitch to athletes and parents about what you’re doing and why—for now and the days ahead. One’s coaching has to be smart enough to identify future challenges and to convince athletes that the required effort will lead to future success in the seasons ahead.

To read more about Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd,
Click here to download the full November issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!


Michael J. Stott is an ASCA Level 5 coach, golf and swimming writer. His critically acclaimed coming-of-age golf novel, “Too Much Loft,” was published in June 2021, and is available from store.Bookbaby. com, Amazon, B&N and book distributors worldwide.

Swimming World November 2021 - Ana Marcela Cunha - Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year - COVER [PHOTO BY KAREEM ELGAZZAR / USA TODAY SPORTS]

 

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FEATURES

012 2021 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona and David Rieder
Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock both captured Olympic gold in Tokyo and repeated as the world’s elite open water swimmers in both 2019 and 2021.

014 2021 OPEN WATER HIGHLIGHTS
by Dan D’Addona
Although the Tokyo Olympic Games commanded the spotlight in 2021, there were many other open water highlights throughout the year.

018 ISHOF FEATURE: AQUATOTS MURDER CASE—THE KATHY TONGAY STORY (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
This is the second of a three-part story about “The Aquatots Murder Case” that first appeared in the October issue of Swimming World. It is about Kathy Tongay, a little girl whose father, Russell, had been training her almost from birth to be an expert diver and swimmer. When she died at the age of 5, her father was arrested for murdering his daughter.

022 PERHAPS OVERLOOKED…BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
by John Lohn
As we creep closer to signing off on this Olympic year, Swimming World offers a look at six athletes—all members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame—who hold a special place in history, even if they are not always at the forefront of the mind.

025 CONTINUING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
by David Rieder
Anthony Nesty’s accomplishments as a swimmer in the late 1980s and ’90s made him a national icon. But decades after that, he is still making a huge impact on the sport from a different vantage point—as a coach.

028 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH DAVID CURTISS
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

030 NUTRITION: THE IMPORTANCE OF IRON—LOW MEANS SLOW!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Iron is a mineral that directly impacts performance.

COACHING

016 COACHING IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
In the first of two articles, Swimming World explores how coaches and administrators coped with the recent unpleasantness of COVID-19.

036 SPECIAL SETS: AUDREY DERIVAUX—KILLER QUEEN
by Michael J. Stott
Young Audrey Derivaux of Jersey Wahoos has turned in comparable times to the 11-12 age group superstars who have excelled before her.

040 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DISTRUST IN SWIMMING SCIENCE IS NOT A MYSTERY
by Rod Havriluk
The fact that general scientific information is routinely ignored provides some perspective about the difficulty in applying science to the sport of swimming. While a single technique element cannot guarantee success, American Lydia Jacoby’s Olympic victory suggests that using science can provide a competitive advantage.

042 SPECIAL SETS: DANIEL DIEHL—DEFINITELY DRIVEN
by Michael J. Stott
Daniel Diehl, 15, of the Cumberland YMCA Sea Otters is Maryland’s—and the nation’s—top-ranked male swimmer in the Class of 2024. In recent months, he has either broken or knocked on the door of several national age group records. In October, as the youngest male on the U.S. National Junior Team, he notched seven top 10 individual finishes at the FINA World Cup meets in Germany and Hungary.

044 Q&A WITH SWIM IRELAND’S NATIONAL PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR JON RUDD
by Michael J. Stott

045 HOW THEY TRAIN IRISH OLYMPIAN DARRAGH GREENE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

039 DRYSIDE TRAINING: BACK TO BASICS (Part 2)
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 | UP & COMERS: AVA BUHRMAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

007 THE OFFICIAL WORD

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT “DO YOU KNOW THAT….”?

032 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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