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The Big Interview: A Conversation on #GreatCoaching with Mel Marshall – Part 1

As the world-class swimmer turned world-renowned coach of Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty, Mel Marshall has seen it all, heard it all, done it all. And in this refreshingly candid two-part Q&A with Blake Richardson, she discloses it all: from the most important lessons she has learned on her coaching journey, to the people that have had the greatest impact on her development

Following another record-breaking year in 2019, the seemingly invincible Adam Peaty added more gold to his already swollen trophy cabinet.

Then came awards season, and long-time coach Mel Marshall nosed ahead of her protégé once again in the silverware stakes.

The absorbing tale of the two halves of swimming’s most dynamic and devastating double act is about so much more than winning medals – as this two-part series will demonstrate – however their individual accolades need to be given prominence, as evidence of what can be achieved when you combine great coaching with great effort and great teamwork.

One of Great Britain’s most decorated athletes of any sport, double Olympian and five-time Olympic finalist Mel has been busy racking up further honours since becoming a coach.

After being named British Swimming Coach of the Year for the fifth time in six years in 2019, Mel scooped the UK Coaching High Performance Coach of the Year award in December and then made it a hat-trick of prestigious wins by picking up the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 BT Sport Action Woman Awards.

But in Mel’s eyes, the pursuit of performance excellence and the immense pride she gets in seeing her athletes bask in the golden glow of victory is only half the story. 

It is the extensive knowledge that she has racked up during her incredible journey within the sport that is also worth its weight in gold.

That knowledge includes the information and skills she has acquired through her experiences, but also the knowledge that she has made a massive contribution to people’s lives inside and outside of sport. The desire to make everyone she coaches become a better person as well as a better performer is, as she will explain, the coaching principle she values most.

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