Saturday, January 15, 2011

AAARGH! More Excuses from Phelps as he qualifies his win at the Austin Grand Prix!

Michael, you won- sincere congratulations! You even beat Ryan Lochte; (Who I think just called me a "hater" on Twitter? "Jeah!")

Michael, talent oozes off you like hot fudge off a Sunday but please stop qualifying your wins with more rhetoric about how unprepared you are. We have heard it before. Accept your win, smile, and be gracious. People paid to see you. Stating that you go to meets unprepared is like throwing a wet towel on the result.

Once again, you beat Ryan Lochte the best swimmer circa 2010. No more of this: "I am not really in shape..." rhetoric. Show up, dominate, accept the win and stay in the pool 500-more-days and strike both fear and awe into everyone who swims against you.

From AP:

"... AUSTIN, Texas — Michael Phelps won the 100m backstroke at the Austin Grand Prix, but the 14-time Olympic gold medallist said his winning time showed he has plenty of work to do. ..."

"I would really like to work on being able to finish a race better. My legs were in a lot of pain. That's just lack of being in shape. I would like to feel a lot less (fatigue) than what I am, just because it's close to the world championships and we're heading into an Olympic trial year."


Bill Ireland said...

I don't agree. For Phelps to swim well, he has to be highly critical of his own performance. He can't be satisfied with poor swims or accepting of them. He has to push himself and be tough on himself. That's what he's doing. Frankly he's being candid in a much less annoying way than posting photos of driving 160 miles an hour.

Lindsey said...


Phelps can be as highly critical as he wants/needs to be, but Tony's point still stands that he shouldn't air those criticisms in public. It does nothing detract from the efforts of his competitors and make him look like a bad winner.

Tony Austin said...

YEAH! That shows you, Bill! - "Jeah," even ;-)

TedBaker said...

Personally, I don't think he's showing bad form at all. Someone asks him a question, he answers.

Swimming is an intensely individual sport, where your "markers" - your indicators of performance - are your own sensations. I don't think he's making excuses; he's providing an indication of where he's at in his cycle.

It's common parlance for athletes to ask each other - and for their coaches to ask - after a race: "How did it feel?" He's answering that question.

I'm, frankly, more curious about his freestyle stroke. I wonder if he's still experimenting with a high-catch, shoulder-driven stroke for the 100.

His normal stroke, the one we see in the 200, is hip-driven. The suits, because they changed the rate of fatigue, made a shoulder-driven stroke a necesisty(sic) for the 100 and guys where stretching and using it in the 200 as well.

Now that the suits are gone, I'm curious as to whether or not Phelps is still fooling around with the shoulder-driven variation.

Tony Austin said...

...And I wished you worked for AP. Brilliant questions never asked I bet.

Bill Ireland said...

Another comment--did you ever see Bull Durham where the kid catcher is trained to give useless responses to all questions. Phelps isn't doing that when asked about his swims. He could just say something like "I'm just trying to do my best and hoping that I can be prepared to race in London" which would be really really dull. If he doesn't criticize himself and he stays out of the press for not doing anything stupid then he's completely robotic and anonymous.

But I can understand the insinct to be very cautious and careful in public comments. And dull.

Tony Austin said...

You're right, I fault him for being honest but I do feel it degrades the "losers."

Saying: "I really sucked and I really should start going to workout at least 1 day a week..." really throws salt on the wound of somebody, namely Ryan Lochte, who placed second as well as those those that finaled along behind.

TedBaker said...

Trust me when I tell that Ryan Lochte does not care what Michael Phelps says to the press about his - Phelps' - races.

At this point in their respective training cycles, both are thinking way more about "feel" and times than they are about place. If you can get all three - the right feel, a decent time and a place - it's a bonus. Feel and time, though, are way, way more important.

TedBaker said...

FYI, Brent Hayden won the 100 and commented that, while he was happy with his place and the time, he was not happy with they way it felt and he though he had a terrible turn.

My point is that Phelps is hardly unique when he critiques his performances. Everyone does it, especially at this point in the training cycle.

Early season races are misery. You're broken down, both physically and mentally, from the training load and you feel like crap. Most athletes are coming off monster mileage sessions over Christmas and meets this time of year are just an extension of those work-outs.

FYI, you might see some athletes actually do a full on work-out for their warm-up and then get on the blocks for their race.

Anonymous said...

Of course, talking about his sucky swim and poor training could just be a way to psych out his opponents, not necessarily airing the honest truth. He is a competitor, not just physically.