“Go flat out, lay down and die” are the words which swirl around the Port Macquarie Olympic Pool as coach Lachy Falvey barks orders to James Magnussen.
With those seven words, it becomes quite clear what it takes to become an Olympic silver-medallist and two-time world champion.
You simply don’t do things by halves.
Falvey paces up and down the short-course pool, stop watch in one hand, ensuring The Missile continues to hit his marks.
It’s the first week of a two-week long training camp at the 26-year-old’s home and there is no time to do things half-hearted.
Welcome to the life of an Olympic swimmer.
Magnussen finishes his next 25-metre burst with nothing but a snorkel in his mouth and a kick board with the focus on aerobic fitness.
Swimming can be a lonely sport and it’s why Magnussen appreciates having Hayden Hinds and Ryan Roche alongside him.
The promising Sydney swimmers have been invited along for the two-week training camp.
Hinds mainly competes in the 400-metre individual medley, while Roche is more at home in the 200-metre breaststroke.
“Swimming is a tough sport at any stage for anyone,” Falvey said.
“James largely has done it by himself in the last year since he’s been back in the water after Rio.
“So it’s nice for him to have a few guys he can train with and enjoy and help motivate and push him along.”
Magnussen again puts his head down and does another 25-metre sprint where the stopwatch shows a tick over 11 seconds.
It’s nice for him to have a few guys he can train with and enjoy and help motivate and push him along.
Falvey said the short-course section of the camp allowed them to focus on speed, which was an important part of a 100-metre swimmer’s repertoire.
“The only reason for the short course stage was pool space and availability and it’s really good to get into a short course pool and do some speedwork,” he said.
“It’s all necessary for someone who is a sprinter, but the more long course space we can get for someone practicing like James, the better.
“Being the arena he’s going to race in, a long-course pool is the more benefit for him.”
The London Olympic silver medallist backed up for week two of the training camp on Monday.
“He’s going really well,” Falvey said.
“We’re still in the early stages of the camp, but we’re hoping he can swim really fast and then back up for week two.
Since he has come back from Europe and all the racing he’s done over there he’s still hitting training goals we’ve been setting.
“The rest of the camp fortunately for us is long course and we’ll take full advantage of that.”
The preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games continues.
“Since he has come back from Europe and all the racing he’s done over there he’s still hitting training goals we’ve been setting,” Falvey said.
“The training will change slightly going from an aerobic base to more speed so he’s hitting all the marks in training and we’re pleased with how he’s going.”
Never write off a champion.