Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yannick Agnel and Why It's Hard to Keep the Same Coach

A couple of weeks ago, while I was on a delightful but rainy training trip to Spain, I woke up to the news that sent shockwaves through international swimming. Yannick Agnel was leaving France as well as not competing individually in this summer's world championship. Then, swiftly afterward came reasons why: tales of a frayed relationship with coach Fabrice Pellerin and a desire for some time to reflect after his Olympic triumph. The news is a bummer for swimming fans everywhere- after all they were anticipating a good Sun Yang/Agnel rematch in Barcelona this July. For swim coaches, the story has another angle. In many ways, the story of Agnel and Pellerin was what coaches dream about: taking a swimmer from age group to Olympic champion. The ultimate example for this was of course, Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps. So why did the dream come to an end for Pellerin? The following is complete speculation on why.