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Rick DeMont

Inside with Brett Hawke: Rick DeMont

If you know swimming, you know Rick DeMont. For about the last quarter of a century he coached at the University of Arizona. He was an elite swimmer himself in the 1970's breaking countless world records at the start of his career and qualifying for the Olympics at the age of 16. On the biggest world stage, in front of millions, his gold medal was wrongfully taken away. 

In this episode of Inside with Brett Hawke, Rick shares stories from his upbringing, how he developed a passion for coaching and all the ways he has been able to give back to the sport. We talk about his philosophies as a coach, the impact he’s had, and his plans for the future.


“Hard times are a catalyst for growth.” 

- Rick DeMont [27:00]


Key Takeaways:

  • What Rick DeMont is up to today & his plans for the future.
  • What shaped him and led him to coaching 
  • The effect his 1972 Olympic disqualification had on him.
  • His innovations in sprinting.

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:20] What Rick DeMont has been up to lately
  • [01:50] His experience being a highly active kid 
  • [02:59] How being active manifested negatively
  • [05:44] Vulnerability and competition as coaches
  • [07:13] His swimming beginnings and leaning into his talent
  • [11:44] Why did he become a distance swimmer
  • [14:63] Being disqualified from the 1972 Olympic Games
  • [21:51] The start of his coaching career
  • [23:40] Explanations from the Olympic committee 
  • [25:16] Resolutions, apologies and finding peace
  • [25:61] Lessons he's been able to pass down to his athletes
  • [27:19] What he was trying to achieve with sprinters at UA
  • [31:09] Differences between coaching men and women
  • [33:18] Innovations he is most proud of
  • [39:32] Training your aerobic system with drills
  • [40:31] Rick DeMont's coaching philosophy
  • [42:51] Training multiple elements 
  • [47:36] Thoughts on Frank Busch and David Marsh
  • [47:18] How are we going to get faster?
  • [50:41] Will Rick DeMont stay in the sport?
  • [52:03] What Brett is doing in the sport
  • [53:41] Outro

Key Quotes:

  • “At that point, I really lost a lot of my heart. I'd been changed, I'd become angry and I thought, maybe by being the first to break four minutes, It might take some of that stuff away. But I was still known as the 'Gold Medal Loser’ and it was just hard on me. It was just really hard." - Rick DeMont [10:44] 
  • “Growth comes in hard times... hard times are a catalyst for growth.” - Rick DeMont [27:00]
  • “I was more into the dance of it all rather than the numbers. I need to see the dance, just the beauty of the task” - Rick DeMont [38:59]


Connect:


Find | Brett Hawke

At fitterandfaster.com

On Instagram @hawkebr



Find | Rick DeMont

On Twitter: @demont_rick



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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.