He is the Paul A. Violich Director of Women’s Swimming at Stanford University in California.
Meehan will serve as the Women’s Swimming Head Coach for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. “I am very excited. It’s a lot of work, but I am excited,” he said.
For the past two years, Meehan was named “Coach of the Year” at the Golden Goggle Awards. “It’s always an honor. It’s an honor to be nominated in a category with people that you really respect,” he said.
Each day, he is motivated by being surrounded by people that are excited to get better. “Everything is relative,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are just trying to commit to helping people get better. Doing that with people at this stage of their lives is really fun.”
Digital transformation of aquatics
Regarding the impact of technology on aquatics, he said, “Like everything else, we are trying to learn from that. The challenge in our sport is the day-to-day use. The challenge is how do we gather that information when you are working in a group. Technology is super cool and there are some variables that are great. That’s the part that we are figuring out.”
“I still make sure that the art of coaching is still there,” he added. “Reading metrics and numbers can be limiting on the art of coaching. Finding a good balance is important.”
For young and aspiring swimmers, he said, “Swimming is an incredible sport but there are challenging moments. When you are working really hard and pursuing your goals, have a sense of patience so that you can manage your swimming career. It’s a physically and mentally challenging sport. Keep your emotions in check, and be patient. Wait for those moments to really shine. Those that can do that really well are the ones that are consistently performing at the highest level.”
He listed the backstroke as his personal favorite stroke. “The backstroke made me appreciate the stroke that I was the worst at, and that was the breaststroke. You need to learn about it to be a better coach, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out,” he said.
International Swimming League
Coach Meehan praised the International Swimming League (ISL) for being “great” for the sport. “The ISL is energizing folks about swimming,” he said. “It is a made-for-TV event, and I think they are doing a very nice job with that. I enjoy the production: the music, the lights, and the energy. Any time that we can bring awareness and attention to our sport is a good thing.”
He defined the word success as “a combination of work and personal harmony.” “Being in a good place in both (work and at home) is how I would define success,” he said.
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