The Australian swim team had rebounded well from the fallout of its London Olympic Games campaign, but would soon be made aware that the job was only partly done, new team boss Michael Scott said on Friday.
Scott's message to the swimmers who will gather for a world championships training camp in Canberra on Saturday will be that he was impressed they had met the selection criteria for the team - "the toughest in the world" - but expectations were only going to get higher.
"We're 86 days away from [the world titles in] Barcelona and my message and my theme to the team is, this is a positive step forward but really now it's about improving the percentage of personal bests in Barcelona," Scott said.
"It's step one of a two-step process in year one [of a campaign leading to Rio in 2016]. So that message will come out strong that the game has just commenced. We are at half-time. International swimming is more competitive and we need to make sure we are prepared.
"I would be confident in saying the individual time standards to make this team were probably the toughest in the world - using the top eight [standard] from [the 2011 world championships] in Shanghai. I think the US still uses the FINA A-qualifying time and most countries still use that.
"The swimmers and coaches, to their credit during a challenging time for the sport, have raised the bar but now we have to raise the bar in an international context. Year one has to be measured by what we do in Barcelona, not how we performed in Adelaide."
Australia will take one of its smallest teams in years to Barcelona in July, with up to 37 swimmers selected from the national titles that finished in Adelaide on Friday night.
Leading into Friday night's final session, 18 swimmers - 13 of them men - had recorded personal bests, and there were four who would have ranked in the top three in the world last year.
There were nine other times, including two by James Magnussen, that ranked as the world's fastest so far this year, but Scott was cautious in his assessments.
"It's a good stat but the US haven't swum yet so, to be honest, it's meaningless until you've got all the top nations," he said. "The US and Britain will be the last two key nations, so once we've got that information and if we've still got that same number I'll be very happy."
He also revealed that Blair Evans, who was in contention for the 4 x 200 metres freestyle relay, had withdrawn because of injury.
Scott said that misbehaviour, such as that which blighted the London campaign, would not be tolerated. "One of my messages to the swimmers is when we are in camp or competition, [be] professional, with everything you do in and out of the pool," he said.
"But it has to be enjoyable as well. They are compatible. You don't have to have a dictatorial, authoritarian style. But you do need to establish the boundaries."
Meanwhile, Adam Pine, Swimming Australia's high performance director of Paralympic swimming, was happy with the team he will take to the world titles in Montreal.
The multi-class swimmers also faced tougher selection criteria and many of the stars of last year's Paralympic Games, such as Matt Cowdrey and Ellie Cole, were not at peak fitness at the national titles while Jacqui Freney did not compete. Pine said a team of up to 22 swimmers will go to Montreal.
"There's been some good performances, some making the team for the first time such as Rowan Crothers, and some breakthrough performances from others," he said.