Steered By A Rudd-er Of Responsibility England Identify With Winning Ways

Fran Halsall had her claws out in the sprint events in Glasgow [Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse]

When Melanie Marshall, who knows a thing or two about podium chasing in Commonwealth waters, tweeted “Great to be part of the staff thanks Team England 🙂 we pulled it off”, she summed up the alchemy at the heart of England’s success

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When Melanie Marshall, who knows a thing or two about podium chasing in Commonwealth waters, tweeted “Great to be part of the staff thanks Team England 🙂 we pulled it off”, she summed up the alchemy at the heart of England’s success



Are you only counting each event once for British record purposes? there were definitely more than 17 British Record swims (albeit some events saw more than one record over the week) – I made it 21

Craig Lord

Hi Steve… I’m not counting at all in that article… 🙂 I ‘cited’ Jon, who was speaking before the last session of finals when he ran down his tally… I think you’re right, it is more … will get to count at some stage… but not know, just finished another mega day of filing at the Games… on other sports (almost done 🙂

mister clive

Very nice summation. Lessons to be learned by everyone challenged with a pinnacle event team:

“Collective responsibility”; “Calm and productive environment”; Not too many “three-line whips” – the professionalism was, indeed, apparent; “trimmed back on meetings” – thank goodness for that!

In many teams daily, or even twice-daily, team meetings in the heat of a multi-day championship have been a key factor in the suppression of exuberant and exhilarating competitive peaks. The swimmers with great performances know they’ve done well, and so does everyone else on the team; the ones who have fallen short also know it and their turn-around is best done one-on-one rather than in a manufactured, group, rah-rah session.

The whole approach indicated a common purpose and trust in the ability (and the focused determination) to get the job done (Scotland, Wales and England) – GBR is in good hands.

W-A-R footing for Rio? Willing, Able, Ready.

Jon is correct in his identification of the next important steps – converting the GB Euro Junior results into senior performances – a clear program weakness identified by Tim Jones.

There has visibly been a profound culture change within the British swimming environment and it is a good thing.


Ahh yes missed that! 🙂

There’s a list here:

(I make it 15 different events, 21 in total)


And of course Jon is only talking about England, whereupon he’s spot on with 17 – 2 British records each for Wales and Scotland

Craig Lord

Yes to the conversion jun to sen Clive, and much good work underway on that in Britain already, with Tim and others … though I also read that Tim had referred to Smart Track as ‘PR’ … if he did say it, and apologies to him if he didn’t … I think that would be a little disingenuous …. Fran, Jazz, Jemma, Ellen, Lizzie – all world top 10 a decade on…. and Fran the best there has ever been 50 free textile, Jazz among the biggest 800 contenders at last. The exercise should have been repeated. There are other programs and other fine talent coming through, of course, but sometimes it seems that folk like to throw babies out with bath water to ‘make a point’. I don’t think that’s smart.


It was a great swim, but taking into consideration the Aussie breaststroker had a torn shoulder muscle, and the freestyler had a back strain, and almost caught the boys. Wasn’t quite a level playing field!

Craig Lord

Mardi: unfair to say it was not a level playing field. That was purely a matter of choice. If an injury is that bad, you shouldn’t be getting in the water and making it worse. The fact that they did get in the water made it a level playing field … their choice, same condition for all … it is the race environment that makes it a level playing field, not the clean swimmer. You could just as easily note that Adam Brown became a dad while he was away and might have been an emotional wreck who blew it at the last… he didn’t …he kept his focus and did the best job he could. So did James and Christian on the day…. and I didn’t hear any of them moaning one way or the other. The result was fair, the playing field level on the day… and that’s what races come down to: the day.

Craig Lord

Thanks Steve.


Great article, so good to see us doing well after the disappointment of 2012. Really important what Tim Jones and Jon say about converting European Junior results into senior results.

Craig it would be a great article to read on what they are doing about that……


“We had no medal targets,” Rudd tells SwimVortex

Well said Jon Rudd! The first boss to speak common sense in ages!

Craig Lord

John, quite so … but important to note too that other ‘bosses’ said similar on medals … and Jon acknowledged in a previous piece that medal targets are part of the mix, not by choice of coach and athlete, but because they are a key criteria of funding (not something the athlete or coach should be dragging with them to the blocks, of course).


In terms of medal targets, it all depends on what your level of responsibility is. As Craig said, they are important for funding. They’re a measuring stick for national federations – or at least elite programmes. Those who work full time on the big picture have to take responsibility for the big picture result. Jon Rudd’s job for the Commonwealth games is much more like the head coach for a USA championship team, than what the British are used in terms of performance director and head coach. Rudd can try to get swimmers peaking at the right time and improving through the rounds, but if they arrive at him completely uncompetitive there’s not much he can do. England could set a medal target and miss it woefully despite all athletes setting best times if they just weren’t good enough when they arrived with him – in such a case the championship coaches could be fairly said to have performed their role well.

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