I don't have a dog in this fight but it is more than a little unfair to suggest that the ONLY criteria for judging how successful a coach or trainer is by how many elite athletes they coach and how successfull those elite athletes are. That criteria is only relevant if you are an elite athlete shopping for a coach.
I've spent alot of time around swimming and swim coaches and have even done some coaching myself. I will say that the elite coaches I know are rightly quite proud of what their elite swimmers have done, championships they've won, etc. But, to a man and woman, they also our quite proud of the lesser mortals they have somehow gotten to shine under their tutalage.
Plus, any decent coach would probably admit it is harder to get someone to drop from a 2:00 to 1:15 100 yd free than it is to get a highly talented but not fullly developed guy to drop from :47 to :45. The guy who goes :45 started out at 1:15 the first time he swam a 100 yd race at 9 years old, he shows up to train 11 times a week 45-50 weeks a year, goes years between missed practices and generally does exactly what you tell him to do pretty close to perfectly the first or second time you tell him. Coaching at that level is pretty easy in many respects. Its much more about being a counsolor, guide and phsycologist than a physio trainer.
Now, take the overweight lady who signs up for a 3 days a week program, misses practice occassionaly and generally has no clue how to swim or even what it really means to train, and eeking any improvement out of that is an accomplishment.
Are you really contending that it is easier to get from a 47 to a 45 in the 100yd free than it is to go from a 2:00 to a 1:15?
Not to be insulting, (but I will be anyway), but that is effing retarded.
Sorry to tell you this, but in most cases, when you first get started in a sport and "take it seriously" you see your biggest gains in the first few years. It is exponentially harder to get from fast (:47) to really fast (:45) to world class (:40-:43). Those are really big jumps and many people who had no problem dropping from a 2:00 to a :50 100yd free will NEVER even sniff at a :45. 2s doesn't sound like much, but when you're already swimming a 100yd free in 47, 2 seconds is a BIG freakind difference.
Do you also think it is easier to go from a 54 to a 53min 40k TT vs going from a 1:30 to a 1:20? How about a 17min to a 16min 5k vs a 30min to a 25min.
Jeesh...I started swimming in HS and granted I was a distance guy...but in my very first season I dropped from a 2:00 to at least a 1:15 in my 100yd free...7 years later of hard competitive swimming I wouldn't have even sniffed at a 45. But I wasn't a sprinter...sprinters are pansies. They prance around the pool deck all practice afraid to get wet. Then maybe they swim a couple 50's and go shower. Total wimps.