Swimming World Presents – Q&A With Indian River State’s Head Coach Sion Brinn

SW September 2020 - Q and A with Indian River State's Head Coach Sion Brinn

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Q&A With Indian River State’s Head Coach Sion Brinn

By Michael J. Stott

A five-time NCAA All-American and two-time Olympian, Jamaican Sion Brinn has returned to his transplanted roots at Indian River State College and has continued the Pioneer’s record run of consecutive national junior college team titles: men (46), women (38).

Sion Brinn was a two-time Olympian, representing Jamaica in 1996 and Great Britain in 2000. Swimming for Great Britain, he earned a silver (200 free relay) and bronze medal (200 medley relay) at the 1998 European Short Course Championships in Sheffield, England. A year later, he won a bronze medal in the 400 medley relay at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hong Kong.

CREDENTIALS
• LSU, B.S., kinesiology, 1996
• Head coach, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, Indian River State College, 2013-present
• Head coach, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, Wright State University, 2005-13
• Assistant swimming and diving coach, Wright State University, 2000-05
• 8x NJCAA Coach of the Year: men (5x), women (3x)
• 3x Horizon League Coach of the Year
• 1996 U.S. Open champion, 50 and 100 meter freestyle
• 5x NCAA All-American (LSU)
• 14x NJCAA All-American (Indian River), former NJCAA national record holder (50 and 100 yard freestyle)
• NJCAA Swimmer of the Year (1993), inducted into NJCAA Hall of Fame (2004)

SWIMMING WORLD: You matriculated and swam at both Indian River and LSU. Who were some of your swimming and coaching influences?
COACH SION BRINN: All of the coaches during my college years had a big influence on me. Chris Ip and Jeff Cavana were the ones who coached me most of those years. Honestly, any coach who oversaw my training at any time also played a major part.

SW: As a native of Jamaica, what brought you to the United States?
SB: My sister, Rachel, was recruited and swam at Indian River in 1990. At the time, I was not interested in swimming, but only did it to help my water polo. Turns out, the water polo helped my swimming speed, so I started focusing on swimming more and got the opportunity to walk on at The River the following year. My dad wouldn’t let me miss that opportunity, so I went with hopes of making the team, and hopefully earning a scholarship eventually.

SW: You were a well-decorated college swimmer (19x All-American) as well as a two-time Olympian. Why the switch from representing Jamaica in 1996 to Great Britain in 2000?
SB: Difficult question to answer, but when all factors are put together, it needed to be done.

SW: How did your extensive international swimming experience prepare you for a college coaching career?
SB: As I progressed through college, I started to travel more to international competitions. Other than at the major internationals (World Champs, Commonwealth, Olympic Games), I often traveled on my own and relied on coaches who I had met through fellow competitors to help me with warm-ups, splits, advice, etc. I started taking an interest in the various ways they coached and how the swimmers reacted. You learn a lot when it’s just you and a backpack. I used all these experiences to help formulate my own ideas on training and coaching.

To read our complete Q&A with Coach Brinn,
Check out the full article in September’s issue, available now!

SW September 2020 Cover - Matt Grevers - Age is Just a Number[PHOTO CREDIT: TAYLOR NATIONS]

 

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Swimming World Magazine September 2020 Issue

FEATURES

010 IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN
by Dan D’Addona
Indiana’s Carmel High School has won the girls’ state swimming and diving championships for 34 straight years, a feat unequaled by any other high school—not only in swimming, but in any other sport.

012 BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
In Swimming World’s first mythical national high school championships to determine the best teams of the last decade, Carmel High School of Indiana won both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.

013 GIRLS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

015 BOYS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

017 PREP POWER
by Andy Ross
Since Swimming World first began recognizing the top high school teams in the country in 1971, The Bolles School of Jacksonville, Fla., has won 18 national prep school titles—10 boys’, eight girls’. The Bulldogs have also captured 12 combined championships (public and independent schools), with both teams finishing No. 1 six times.

020 THE GOLDEN YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING
by David Rieder
Public schools Santa Clara and Mission Viejo built high school swimming dynasties from the 1960s through the early 1980s. Not only did they dominate high school swimming, but unlike today, they also produced many of the swimmers from that era who competed in the Olympics.

026 STILL CHASING EXCELLENCE
by John Lohn
Matt Grevers does not need to achieve anything more to stamp himself as an all-time great. But even at 35, there is a desire to accomplish more, and there is no reason to doubt Grevers can come through.

029 SUMMER OF SPEED
by John Lohn
Politics interfered at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, preventing South Africa’s Jonty Skinner from competing head-to-head against the USA’s Jim Montgomery in the men’s 100 freestyle. But that summer, they became the first two swimmers to break the 50-second barrier in the event, with Montgomery clocking 49.99 at Montreal, followed by Skinner with a 49.44 at the AAU National Championships three weeks later.

032 THE TROUBLE WITH SPRINTERS (Part 3): GARY HALL JR.
by Bruce Wigo
The theme of this series of articles has been that sprinters are different from other swimmers—athletes who have historically been considered troublemakers by the establishment, but who have been great for the sport. This month’s featured sprinter is Gary Hall Jr.—one of the greatest in Olympic history…but, perhaps, one of the most maligned and misunderstood.

COACHING

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: TRUST IN SCIENCE
by Rod Havriluk
Based on the many counterproductive technique elements that are conventional wisdom, it seems logical to ask why there is not a greater acceptance of science in swimming. The purpose of this article is to give swimmers and coaches some very real reasons to trust in science and scientists.

040 SPECIAL SETS: BACK TO BASICS
by Michael J. Stott
While college swimming as we know it faces a roadmap unlike any in recent memory, Coach Eric Skelly of the University of the Cumberlands, Ky. is treating the return to campus and formal practice as business as usual.

043 Q&A WITH COACH SION BRINN
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN TAYLA LOVEMORE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

036 DRYSIDE TRAINING: MORE CORE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: GABI BRITO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

023 DID YOU KNOW? JIM CROW

037 THE OFFICIAL WORD

042 MOMS AT MEETS

047 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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