“Means have been used so that France can shine again,” coach Michel Chretien said

Since the World Championships in Budapest in June, the French swimmer has returned to the spotlight after a complicated few years. With eight medals in the race, including gold, and a new generation finally coming to maturity, the Blues re-launched the machine just in time, two years before the Paris Olympics. As the European Championship kicks off on Thursday, August 11th, Insep (National Institute for Sport, Experience and Performance) coach Michel Chretien, who looks after Maxime Grousset in particular, talks about this renewal. In Franceinfo: sport.

Franceinfo: Sports: How did the French national team prepare, despite the short period between Budapest and Rome?

Michel Chretien: The whole delegation spent a week in Vichy (Allier). The model is coming back little by little, but we surely walked out of both worlds very tired. The hardest thing was recovery. But also to set a new goal for the European Championships. The distance between the two is small, the problem was taking into account this mental and physical exhaustion.

It changed our usual way of working with swimmers. We had to be more pragmatic and think short term. When they reached the level of the international chronometer, I used it as a basis and rooted for them to reproduce this performance again And that they use this confidence as a key driver of their success, if not optimally prepared.

The blues are successfully breaking out of the realms after several years of rarity. How do we explain this renaissance?

Results are absolutely cyclical unless you’re in the US, Russia, or China. This new generation is the result of work done a few years ago. Means were implemented to allow these young to hatch,The first is at the level of coaches. They accompanied this generation from start to finish without stopping. The athletes are not many, and we do not have a reserve of coaches and training sites to allow this replenishment. This may explain the ups and downs.

One of the highlights of the World Cup finals was Maxime Grost, a swimmer trained by…

I’m close to him for all the swimmers. I took good care of him when he arrived from New Caledonia. What drives it is competition. He is not afraid in the final. He loves to play. For the little anecdote, before the 100m freestyle final in Budapest (where Grost won the silver), he came to see me and told me he was going to be on the podium, and that he even thought he could win. He felt powerful. He is Maxim, he has no barriers.

You took charge of Insep’s Center of Excellence in Swimming in 2018. How do you judge its development?

Results infit It was very fast because the means are much higher than those of the clubs. Here, an injured athlete is cured within fifteen minutes. In the club, the process is much longer. It is a huge time saver. We could do much better in the future, but we’ve already unlocked the tools to allow us to monitor the swimmer from every angle. I now have a powerful video analysis system. I just have to press a button to see such a line or such a swimmer at any time. it is necessary.

“I used my previous Insep experiences to set up a perfect performance regimen. It wasn’t easy because swimming is not a sport of king. But success leads to the means. My training experience with Jérémy Stravius, and now with Maxime Grousset, has also opened doors for me.”

Michel Chretien, swimming coach

in franceinfo: sport

Relationships with clubs were not always good. Was this a brake on the evolution of French swimming?

Previously, the structure was based on clubs andfit Not recognized. Swimmers preferred clubs. We had to find a training structure and a team. You had to create a sense of belonging and act like them. It was the first step. The means were also employed by the National Technical Administration to Sharq Again.

How do you translate these new relationships with other clubs?

I suggested that my colleagues come for training here at Insep. I specially suggested it to Florent manudu, So he can share his knowledge and enjoy the facilities here. But for a short time. I hope thatfit It becomes a center of information and everyone uses it to take another look at the training and the methods applied. I just want the France team to develop, pSwimmers also change labels. I want them to stay in their club, but also come to us.

Did Florent Manaudou come?

Last winter came quickly. The door is always open.

A radical change is also the arrival of a man at the helm of the French swimmer: Dutchman Jacco Verharen …

Because of his results, he’s someone we respect a lot. In our sport, we tend to listen to people from our circle. He has a beautiful business card. But more than that, it brings the Anglo-Saxon administration. There is a lot of pragmatism. He has a great ambition for the France national team without prejudice. He has a high level vision and that’s just it. He wants a great French team. It is the link between everyone, the staff and the swimmers. He communicates with everyone and does not forget anyone.

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