- Two time Olympic Coach – in Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1996.
- Australian National Team Coach for World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacific Games and World University Games.
- Platinum Licence Coach.
- Diploma Teaching – Physical Education.
- Two Time NSW Coach of the Year.
- Australian Age Group Coach of the Year.
- Recipient Australian Sports Medal.
- High performance Coaching
- Technique instruction at all levels of squad swimming
- Aquatic centre set up and management
- Swim Club Direction
- Athlete development pathways
- Leadership and mommunication
- Stakeholder management
Paul Hardman enjoys nothing more than bringing his experience and knowledge to the next wave of developing athletes, whether that be through the refinement and development of great technique in our youngsters or encouraging athletes to explore the next level in their sport.
Paul has been involved within the Aquatics industry for many years with an extensive competitive swimmers background that spanned 10 years of formal training and competition at the national level, and more than 30 years of coaching at all levels of swimming.
Whilst studying to become a Physical Education teacher his interest in coaching swimming was a natural progression from his years spent as a competitive still water and surf swimmer. His career path as a coach commenced under the guidance of renowned swim coach and scientist Forbes Carlile, a mentorship that spanned 18 years and continues to underpin his philosophy as a coach to this day. This relationship gave him exposure to some of the great coaches that have pioneered our sport.
In 1985 Paul was awarded an ASCTA ( Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association ) scholarship to work under the direction of leading American Scientist and Swimming Coach, James ‘Doc’ Counsilman. Doc refined his understanding of technique and reinforced the importance of good technique being aligned with sound biomechanical principles. From 1988 to 1998 he was also greatly influenced by Professor Brent Rushall of San Diego University who often challenged and confronted my thinking on accepted training methodology.
As Head Coach of the Carlile Organisation / Swim Club from 1982 to 1998, increasing team success brought Paul national team exposure, where coaches including Bill Sweetenham, Laurie Lawrence and Don Talbot presided over a strengthening Australian Swimming Team. His coaching style and beliefs were greatly enriched and continued to evolve under such experience, and this was reflected in the ongoing success of the Carlile swimming club who won multiple Austrlian Open and Australian Age team titles throughout this period of time.
The Olympic Years
In 1988 Paul was one of the youngest coaches ever selected to the Australian Olympic Swimming Team. His selection came as a result of his work with 3 swimmers selected to the 1988 Olympic Team. Robert Bruce a 200 and 400 Individual Medley Swimmer, Simon Upton a 100 and 200 Backstroker and Sheridan Burge-Lopez a 200, 400, 800 freestyler. The 1988 Olympic was great experience for both coach and these young up and coming swimmers, and laid a platform from which all of them would go on to win international medals at either the Commonwealth Games in 1990 or the Pan Pacific Games on 1991. In 1990 another great swimmer, Johanna Griggs, quickly rose to prominence and who would later go on to be a huge TV personality. Johanna was a specialist 50/100 metre backstroker. At 185cm tall and 66kg, Johanna was a great athlete who shot to national prominence with a bronze medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games with a smile and personality that would soon earn her a contract in the television industry.
In 1996 another young swimmer whom Paul had been guiding since nine years of age had been making a mark in Butterfly events in Australia and the world. In 1995 Scott Miller had just won the 100 Butterfly at the World Short Course Championships and was destined to meet the famed underwater swimmer called Denis Pankratov in Atlanta at the 1996 Olympic Games. Scott swam a personal best at both the Olympic qualifying trials and the Olympic final but it wasn’t enough to catch Pankratov who had just swum a total of 50 metres underwater (30 down, 20 back) to set a new world record. It was a Silver medal for Scott and what should have been a moment of great celebration for Scott was mixed with emotion and some disappointment at not achieving the gold medal that he had aspired to for so long.
With a desire to refine and broaden his skills, in 1999 he undertook the position of Head Swimming Coach at the newly completed Abbotsleigh Aquatic Centre. He worked collaboratively with school management and all Aquatic Centre staff to ensure the success of this new Aquatic Centre set up, in the process developing experience in budgetary planning, report writing and management. His responsibilities extended to recruitment, training and extensive on-going mentoring of all centre teachers and coaches, as well as the design and implementation of all swimming programs, from learn to swim to the elite level. Paul was the inaugural Head Coach of the Abbotsleigh Swimming Club and within a relatively short period of time, Abbotsleigh’s swimming development pathway was achieving medals at the State and National age level on a regular basis.
Success at Abbotsleigh was measured in the results of the performance of the school swimming team. In 1999 Abbotsleigh finished 8th in the IGSSA Championships and between 2000 and 2012 Abbotsleigh managed to win the title on no less than 6 occasions, finishing second on all other occasions.
Today Paul is Director and Head Coach of Willoughby Swim Squads based at Willoughby Leisure Centre. He remains a passionate advocate for the sport of swimming with comprehensive knowledge of the Australian Sporting system with strong links with affiliated industry professionals.