Meet our SwimCamps coach Hannah Miley

Hannah Miley is a former swimmer who represented Scotland and Great Britain in various international competitions, including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and European Short Course Championships. Miley’s career highlights include winning a gold medal in the 400m individual medley at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, becoming the world and European 400 m individual medley short course champion in 2012, and retaining her 400m individual medley title at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Hannah’s dedication and hard work as a professional athlete taught her valuable
lessons, such as the fact that success does not have to be defined by medals and
PB’s. According to Miley, every athlete is unique, and finding out what they enjoy
about swimming beyond medals and PB’s is crucial. As a coach, she wants to help swimmers become passionate about their sport, find their own inner fire, and become students of their sport. In addition to being an accomplished athlete and coach, Hannah is also a passionate
dog lover and enjoys teaching her dogs different tricks, such as helping her pack her swimming bag. Miley is currently supporting and is the face of the Kellogg’s Free Kids Swim campaign and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire
(MBE) in the 2022 Birthday Honours for services to swimming and women in sport.

Hannah and her good friend Lauren Quigley will be head coaches on a swim camp
in Barcelona, which takes place from May 29th until June 2nd. The camp is designed to cater to each swimmer individually, spend quality time with international swimming
peers, and explore the highlights of Barcelona. With a limited number of swimmers, the camp ensures a high quality of coaching and training.

We sat down with Hannah for Q&A and she shared some insights into her career and coaching style. She discovered her passion for swimming when she qualified for her first Commonwealth Games team at the age of 16. As a coach, she wants swimmers to be happy and proud of who they are as athletes and hopes they take away the knowledge that making mistakes is a learning opportunity.

1. The moment you have realized that swimming is your life's path?

I was 16 and qualified for my first Commonwealth Games team representing
Scotland. I loved the atmosphere of the competition, the athlete Village, the crowd. I wanted to experience it again and realised that this is what i wanted to do. I wanted
to see how hard I could take my swimming.

2. What is the greatest lesson that life as a professional athlete has thought you?

That success doesn’t have to be defined by medals and PB’s. Your definition of success does not have to be on a podium! It’s all personal and unique to you. I feel it’s important to realise that as an athlete you are worth more than the medals you win. Being committed to a sport, determined to turn up to training, do the training
sets even to the best of your ability, inspiring others to be the best they can be and
being a good role model. To me that is the best success, enjoy being you!

3. How would you describe your coaching style?

I’m not sure I’ve found my style quite yet as I’m pretty new to the role as a coach!
I’ve been a swimmer for 20+ years so it’s been an interesting change. As an athlete I was very focused on detail and willing to do things a little different and prepared to work hard. I had quite a strong mindset and inner fire as an athlete. I want to help swimmers find their own inner fire and be passionate in what they do. Help them become a student of their sport. From what I learnt as an athlete passing on that knowledge and experience will help me build my coaching style. I guess I will have to see how my coaching style develops on these camps!

4. How have the swimmers you have worked with impacted your view on the sport?

I have learnt a lot from the athletes I have recently worked with. They have shown me that there is not one simple way in being a good swimmer. It’s not just about working hard! Technique, mindset and physiology all play a role and every athlete is different. Finding out what they enjoy about swimming beyond medals and pb’s is
important. What is their favourite type of training session, what skills do they enjoy working on etc. Sport gives us lots of opportunities and for me I feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity meet some truly inspiring swimmers. Every swimmer
has their own story and journey, and I love watching them embrace it!

5. What is the most important thing young athletes should bear in mind at all times?

That making mistakes are learning opportunities, it’s ok to make mistakes as long as
you learn from them!

6. What do you wish your swimmers take away after working with you?

For them to be happy and proud of who they are as athletes. Hopefully they can
come away with a big smile on their face too! My nickname was Smiley Miley so I’d like to think that whether it was a tough session or an easy session that they can finish the camp with a big smile and feel proud of themselves.

7. Fun fact about you?

I have 2 dogs called Poppy and Mylo, I teach them different tricks and my favourite one I taught Poppy was to help me pack my swimming bag. I love my dogs and take them pretty much everywhere with me (sadly they won’t be able to join me on camp!)