Bob Bowman brings process-oriented coaching style to ASU swimming

Bowman preaches a focus on attitude and preparation.

New ASU swim coach Bob Bowman is more focused on the process than the result. 

He said if the team takes care of everything else, the positive outcome will eventually come along. 

"I like to coach the swimmers to focus on what goes into great performances," Bowman said. "Doing all the little things to prepare for those performances will lead to a standard that we'll set together."

Two of the coaching points Bowman preaches are good technique in the pool and good habits outside of the pool—he specifically emphasized academics.

"In addition to being swimmers, they have to be students as well," he said. "They have to put as much or more energy into their studies as they do swimming. Rarely do you find someone who is good in the pool and not good in the classroom. The better we are academically, the better we will be in the pool."

Bowman will hire a full-time staff to work with the team throughout the summer, but he will join the team full-time in August. 

However, he places just as much, if not more, importance on a swimmer's attitude, noting that a positive attitude is the first step to success. He said attitude will be his day-one focus with the team. 

"If we have the right attitude, we will be able to control everything else, including adversity," Bowman said. "We want to have a growth mindset where he grow and improve to set the framework for the rest of the season." 

During Bowman's first meeting with the team after his introductory press conference, he told the team it is truly the base for the program's future. 

"I just spoke about who I am and told them that they're going to set the tone for where we want to go with this program," he said. "Recruiting is big because it really depends on how well this team does and how well individuals perform and the attitude they display. If recruits and other swimmers see that we are succeeding here, they will want to come more." 

Much like his team's first impression of him, his first impression of his new team was positive. He said he noticed a mutual mindset. 

"I noticed that these guys really want to do well and want to win, just like I do," Bowman said. "We are pretty much the same in that regard, which will be good for us going forward."

Making winning a true habit at ASU will also do its fair share in boosting recruiting, Bowman said.

"We want to create an environment where winning is inevitable," he said. "If they do what we tell them to do and work hard, they will succeed here."

In swimming, the mental game is just as important as the physical aspect of the sport, he said.He wants to make sure his team is mentally tough as well, which will take it to further. 

"The mental game is very important because the higher the level of swimming, the more important it is to be good mentally," Bowman said. "I can counsel them individually on some things, but the mental game separates the good swimmers from the great ones at this level, so we need to make sure we're good in that respect."

Reach the reporter at Justin.Toscano@asu.edu or follow @justintoscano3 on Twitter.

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