Midway through her 2013 season, Sarah Groff is preparing for her next shot at the Olympics with a new coach.
Groff, the former Cooperstown resident and CCS student affectionately known as Groffy, who finished fourth in the Women’s Triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, switched trainers in April leaving Darren Smith for Joel Filliol.
Groff would train with Smith in Australia and Switzerland for eight months of the year. She told triathlon.com, that she felt that having a more stable home life would enhance her ability to prepare for the 2016 Olympics.
“I think I knew that after the Olympics I was going to make a change, be based in the U.S. a little bit more,” Groff said. “I was living out of my suitcase for eight months out of the year for the previous couple of years. It just takes its toll on you.”
Filliol does training in the United States. “(He) has a group that does (International Triathlon Union), and I get along really well with him. It’s very low-key. We do our thing, we work hard, but it’s not a high-pressure group. The attitude is a bit more relaxed, which is definitely what I need right now,” Groff said.
Groff said that she feels she has gotten to the point as an athlete where she knows more about what is right for her and now needs a coach that is willing to have a dialogue about how to achieve her goals. Although she said she and Smith parted on good terms, he was more used to athletes who didn’t question him. “I’m just a smart aleck. He’s used to athletes who do whatever he says. I just question—I like a healthy debate,” she said.
Groff, who lives in New Hampshire with her boyfriend, running coach Ben True, said it is definitely helping her to be at home more.