What We Can Learn From Michael Phelps

What Swimmers Can Learn From Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is regarded not only as the best swimmer in history, but some believe he might just be the greatest athlete ever. He holds the record for the most number of overall medals with 28 and leads the way in gold medals with 23. He was able to sustain success over the course of 4 different olympics as he won gold in 2004 for the very first time. The 2008 olympics would be his shining moment as he broke through and won 8 gold medals, a record breaking amount of gold medals within a single olympic. In any sport, taking inspiration from the greats is one of the best ways to improve yourself. Here is what swimmers can learn from Michael Phelps.


Starting at a Young Age

The earlier you start swimming, the better you will become in the long run. Michael Phelps was just 7 years old when he started swimming and it was simply to learn how to swim. He started off like many kids do by taking swimming lessons. By the time Michael was 15, he was already representing the U.S in the olympics in 2000. Although he didn’t win a medal that year, it paved the way for the future and allowed him to grow into the swimmer he would eventually become. If you are able to grow a lot as an athlete at a young age, you will be better off as you get older.



Michael didn’t win anything in the 2000 games, and won just one medal in 2004. Through those experiences, he developed resilience which allowed him to have the success that he did in 2008. Even after the 2008 Olympics, Michael dealt with drinking and drug related problems. He has struggled with depression and drug use and has fought back from it. In 2004, Phelps went into a deep depression and was arrested for his first DUI. He would eventually recover and do great in 2008 but would fall again as he was arrested for yet another DUI in 2014. Phelps eventually recovered from this episode and went on to have great success in the 2016 Olympics, winning 5 Gold Medals. Phelps was not only able to be resilient through obstacles in life to find success in his sport, but he is now a big mental health advocate. He now regularly dedicates his time and resources to mental health research and awareness. 


Importance of a Pre-Race Routine

A swim race can be anxiety inducing and there is a lot of pressure on participants to perform their best. Michael Phelps is no different, and likely experiences the same nervousness that any of us would. However, Michael Phelps combats pre-game anxiety by having a pre-game routine. This also allows him to stay mentally focused for a race. Phelps typically starts every game day with the same meal of eggs, oatmeal and energy drinks. He also does the exact same stretches to every single muscle in his body prior to a race. Right before he starts a swim, Phelps does his patented double arm swing right behind his back. Having a great pre-race routine can make more of a difference in your swimming performance then you would think.


Register for TAC Aquatics’ Programs

If you want to learn how to swim at a young age like Michael Phelps did, we have the best learn-to-swim programs in the GTA. We provide lessons for children of all ages and swimming levels that provide focused attention towards every child with a low kid to instructor ratio. We also have swimming camps for those who want to extend their swimming education or want to be able to swim competitively like Phelps! To register for our swimming lessons and camps, click on the button below!


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