National Team Head Coach, Rohan Taylor, is leaving no stone unturned as he continues to ready the Australian Dolphins swim team for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Since taking the reins last September, the former Melbourne-based coach has safely travelled around Australia to each high-performance program, working closely with the Dolphins and their coaches in preparation for the highly anticipated Games.
“I've been fortunate to be able to get around and visit the programs over the last six months,” Taylor told ABC Grandstand.
“I got out of Melbourne in August and came up to Queensland and got around to a lot of the programs and pretty much saw everyone – even out to WA when it was open at the time.
“They (athletes) look great and everybody has been tracking along well, and obviously navigating the different lockdowns and shutdowns that have happened.”
After tracking each squad’s progress, Taylor was pleased the entire team was able to come together for the National Event Camps in February. It was the first time in two years since the whole team had united – due to the ongoing global pandemic – and Taylor said it was a “fantastic” occasion for the athletes to catch up with their teammates ahead of what will no doubt be an intensive year leading into the Games.
“That's the beauty of coming together, seeing old friends and being able to just to hang out,” he added.
“It's coming back together to just rekindle those relationships and reengaging ourselves, and then refocusing on 'what are we here for? What's the task at hand?' And just getting everybody back on the same page, which I think they are.
“We really only ever come together as a team for five weeks leading into a campaign, and the rest of the time they're in their own training program, so an opportunity like this is fantastic.”
Despite vigorous training from our nation’s top athletes, nothing beats diving in for competitions and gaining valuable race practice. With this in mind, Taylor is looking forward to watching the Dolphins battle it out at upcoming state and national events.
“At this moment we've got competitions in front of us. Nationals will be the next time that they are all on the pool deck and they'll be competing, they'll be racing each other, vying for medals and final positions.
“Off the back of that, it's eight weeks until the trials. So that will be the real test.
“But those athletes that know how to race international, they'll show up and they'll show up prepared just like any other time.”
The 2021 Australian Swimming Championships take place from 14-18 April on the Gold Coast before the 2021 Australian Swimming Trials commence from 12-17 June in Adelaide.