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Frank Busch

Inside with Brett Hawke: Frank Busch

For nearly a decade, Frank Busch has been USA swimming’s National Team Director. He was the head of the organization towards the end of Michel Phelps’ Olympic career and led the charge that brought home 64 medals for the United States.

Today, he’s giving back in new ways — spending the days of his retirement with family and working with non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity

Listen in as he looks back on his 50 year career. He talks about his time spent as a collegiate swim coach at the University of Arizona and offers advice for young coaches. Hear what he’s learned from some of the best athletes in the world and the impression they’ve made on him as a coach and as a person.



“His determination...I consider him the greatest athlete I've ever seen.” 

-Frank Busch on Michael Phelps [43:01] 



Key Takeaways:

  • What Frank Busch took away from his 50 year career.
  • How he divided his time among his athletes.
  • Advice for synergy between coaches and athletes.
  • How he fostered passion and pride in athletes throughout his career.


Episode Timeline:


  • [00:03] Intro
  • [00:16] Frank Busch’s life post USA swimming retirement
  • [02:18] Is it hard being away from the pool?
  • [03:32] Advice young coaches need to hear
  • [05:38] Managing and fostering creativity in assistant coaches 
  • [08:46] Keeping everyone on the same page
  • [14:01] Making contact with all the athletes
  • [16:47] Finding the right formula to win a championship
  • [18:50] Differences in coaching men and women teams
  • [20:27] Standout athletes and thoughts on Lacey Nymeyer
  • [24:33] Instilling passion and school pride while at the University of Arizona
  • [29:07] Speaking to all levels of experience on Olympic teams
  • [32:19] Choosing to lead at USA Swimming
  • [35:51] Advocating for the best athletes in the world 
  • [39:34] What every swimmer can learn from Micheal Phelps
  • [42:01] How Micheal performed under pressure
  • [46:37] Dealing with jealousy and competition
  • [51:47] Processing disappointment and failure with athletes
  • [55:51] Frank Busch's thoughts on the ISL
  • [59:23] Will he write a book?
  • [1:01:38] Outro



Key Quotes:


  • “I gave over 50 years to the sport of swimming and it was an amazing 50 years but now it's time for me to do something different.” -Frank Busch [02:56] 
  • “I've always believed if you allow someone to talk long enough that they'll tell you what they're really thinking. So understand your athletes. Be a good listener.” -Frank Busch [04:19] 
  • “As a coach, that 25th person has to be just as important and follow everything the same way and is treated the same way as the best athlete on your team... they've committed to you, you've got to commit to them.” -Frank Busch [48:33] 



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Special Thanks:

Inside with Brett Hawke is presented by Fitter & Faster. Host a swim camp. More than 1,000 swim clinic sessions in 46 States plus Canada & the Bahamas in 2019.


Inside with Brett Hawke is produced and promoted by Swimnerd. Connect your phone to your pace clock with the Swimnerd Pace Clock. Digital, affordable, and Bluetooth programmable from your smartphone.