Dean Boxall and Ariarne Titmus are teaming up again for the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships. Are they the best sporting duo?

Australia’s swimming golden girl thinks she has the best coach in the sport.

In fact, Ariarne Titmus thinks Dean Boxall is the best coach in all of sports.

You may recall Boxall completely blew his stack at the Tokyo Olympics when Titmus stormed off the legendary Katie Ledecky to win gold in the 400m freestyle.

Besides being great meme fodder, Boxall is something of a swimming swami.

Ask Titmus.

“I can’t really speak for anyone else, but I believe my relationship with Dean is probably the best athlete-coach bond you can have,” Titmus told the ABC.

“I feel like we’re best friends apart from him being my coach as well, which is really good.

“As you know, when we’re in the pool it’s coach/athlete, and outside of that we’re best friends, which I think works really well for us.”

Dean Boxall with disheveled hair.
Dean Boxall coaches his St Peters Western team. (ABC News: Jessica Stewart)

Titmus and Boxall are now targeting the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships, which start tomorrow in Adelaide, and it’s clear the 21-year-old superstar only wants one man in his corner.

“He’s such a unique individual, there’s no one else like him, so I think when we work really well together.

“I won’t have another relationship like this with anyone else, so I’m really grateful to have met Dean and to work with him and to have him by my side.”

Bond forged over time

A crying Ariarne TItmus is consoled by Dean Boxall.  A gold medal is around his neck
Ariarne Titmus and his trainer Dean Boxall react to his gold medal performance.(Getty Images: Clive Rose)

The laconic Boxall is slightly less expansive than his swimmer, but clearly puts his athletes – their dreams, their success, their well-being – above all else.

When told that Titmus thinks they are the best athlete-coach duo in the sport, the 45-year-old smirks.

“Arnie might need to check out other sports. I think Rafael and Toni were pretty good. I mean, we have a really good relationship,” he says, giving some insight into his tennis knowledge.

But he stresses that the bond forged between him and Titmus didn’t happen overnight.

“That [closeness] That’s why I can push her and she doesn’t mind.

“But, you know, it’s something that was developed, it wasn’t just snapping your fingers.

“You have to have a lot of confidence. It also comes with a lot of responsibility.

“I mean, she’s a great girl, but I have a great relationship with most of the guys on the team, and you have to train that.

“There are a lot of dreams at stake. So you have to dream with them.”

“I don’t read manuals, I read my athletes”

A blond man in a yellow shirt claps his hands
Australian Coach Dean Boxall applauds Ariarne Titmus after his gold medal run.(Getty Images: Davis Ramos)

Any swimmer or coach who watched Titmus’ brilliantly executed swim to knock down Ledecky in Tokyo would appreciate the thought and planning – not to mention the hard work – that would have gone into reaching that moment.

But Boxall’s undoubted tactical genius doesn’t come from a book or a lecture.

“I’m not going to read manuals, I read my athletes,” he says.

“I read the event. I read the competitors. And I will try to create something.

“I don’t do lessons. I just read my guys and the sport that’s out there. I don’t think it’s a secret.”

Ariarne Titmus in the pool smiling.
Ariarne Titmus chatting with his trainer Dean Boxall. (ABC News: Jessica Stewart)

Boxall relishes his work coaching St Peter’s Western Swim Club for major meets like these national championships.

Some of his other Chargers include Elijah Winnington, Shayna Jack and Molly O’Callaghan, and Boxall says he has a unique relationship with each of them.

“Some people think it’s a job. It’s not a job.

“A job is to stand up and say ‘oh, I have Mondayitis.’

“I think they’re a great group. I believe in them. They believe in me.

“They believe in St Peters Western. They can’t wait to represent Australia. I love representing Australia, I think it’s the best thing you can do.”

“That” Moment at the Olympics

Dean Boxall is seen holding the stadium barriers and raising his head in the air at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.
The stadium barriers bore the brunt of Dean Boxall’s transcendent celebration. (Provided: Channel Seven)

Boxall says the Olympics were “strange”.

He describes the strange feeling of climbing the mountain that is the Olympics, then coming home through COVID isolation and moving on to the next part of the season.

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