Teen sensation Ariarne Titmus is set to make a splash at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.There are hard markers and then there’s animated coach Dean Boxall’s approach to n swimming sensation Ariarne Titmus.
Forget tough love. Simply starting a conversation pool-side at training is enough to earn Boxall’s ire.
“She goes into what I call the Shawshank zone,” Boxall said.
“It’s when you do housework then next minute on the TV the ad goes into the (movie) Shawshank Redemption then you stop work and sit on the couch and watch.
“She has a few of those moments.
“I have to make sure she doesn’t get into the Shawshank zone.
“You have to be on her the whole time but she wants it.”
The livewire mentor may raise eyebrows with his style but it sure gets results.
At just 17, Titmus is poised for a breakthrough Commonwealth Games this week after she became the first woman in 14 years to snare the national 200m-400m-800m freestyle treble, breaking an n record along the way.
The Brisbane-based Tasmanian upset world titles silver medallist Emma McKeon to claim her first 200m n crown before breaking the 400m national record and going close to repeating the feat in the 800m final at last month’s selection trials.
Titmus admits Boxall is hardest on her in their squad which also features n teammates Mitch Larkin, Jack Cartwright and Clyde Lewis.
But she generally has no complaints.
“I have to put up with that because he wants the best from me,” Titmus said.
“Sometimes he has said a few things disciplining me and I would be like ‘are you serious, you are not my dad’.
“Some of it is pretty crazy. If I am talking to someone (at training) I am scattered apparently.
“But I trust him.”
Boxall denied that he prodded Titmus at training.
“I wouldn’t call it prodding. I would call it hacking, pushing, stomping – it’s constant,” he laughed.
“But she is a tough cookie.
“And you have to be tough with Arnie because she will get a bit giggly (talking at training) and next thing I have to tell her she has to get on her game.”
But why so tough on Titmus?
“She wants to be the best,” Boxall said.
“You can see she is aggressive with her work, she wants to push it.
“If you try to pull her back an easier way she wouldn’t come back as fast, but if you go at her she comes back quickly.
“Others might disappear after that, she doesn’t. It’s brilliant.”
Titmus begins her Games campaign in Thursday 200m freestyle.