Glen is a former Olympic swimmer part of the Swedish National Team. He competed in the Summer 1980 Olympics and won 11th place in the 200 m breaststroke. At the age of 25 he retired from swimming professionally and became an Olympic coach. Today he coaches swimmers both online and through camps around the world.
Why and how did you start swimming?
A friend of the family introduced me to swimming. At first I wasn’t too interested but then I realized how much fun it was with the friendships; the travels and the taste of success.
How hard did you train to reach Olympic level?
Well since I didn’t start until I was 14, I started out slowly with 4-5 times a week and not too many meters/km but more focused on technique and getting a good feel for the water and the fun of course. Then later as I got stronger I started to train more and more (but gradually) and then I was offered a scholarship in the US and there I peaked my training by training 10-12 times a week. However, it wasn’t until later that I peaked in performance when I went back to Europe and started to work more on speed and technique again.
How long does it take a swimmer to attain an Olympic level?
It can take 8 to 12 years depending how the training is built up; the talent and the desire of the swimmer.
What is the key ingredient to competing on an International level?
To be professional in your behavior and attitude. To focus on details and not to think about other competitors so much but instead to focus on your own performance. And to enjoy the moment and remember that: this is fun!
We know you are coaching many people online. What are the main differences between online and real-time coaching and do you think it is as effective?
I have developed the online coaching since I noticed that many swimmers around the world need support with the planning of their training. And since I have a very broad experience from coaching olympic medal winners to teaching at my swimschools I can tailor-make programs that fit each individual in order for them to reach their full potential.
Real time coaching (which I also do when these swimmers comes to my camps; seminars or come for individual personal coaching) is of course even better but online coaching is a great alternative. I also support coaches and teams with my online coaching.
Do you believe technology will help swimmers achieve better performances?
Yes of course!!! Over the years technology has help the development in swimming greatly. And the latest device I have seen that I believe in is the Instabeat: very exciting.
What is the most important advice you give to swimmers?
Have courage and dare to dream!
If you had to go back in time, back to when you were an Olympic swimmer, what would you differently?
Be even more professional with nutrition, stretching, weight training; sleep and enjoy the races even more. I tell my swimmers sometimes: “smile at the challenge”.