Friday, May 13, 2011

Michael Phelps fails to win, place or show in the 200-free in Charlotte - Could his mind-set be a factor or is all about conditioning?

We have a 6th place finish in the 200-free for Michael Phelps at the Charlotte Ultra Swim Grand Prix. Phelps best 200-free time so far in 2011 was a 1:46.27. Today's effort was a 1:49.25 which is about three-seconds off his best for this year and seven-seconds more than the WR in the event.

Phelps has fallen so fall. If Phelps would have swam in or around his best time from several weeks ago he would have had a solid 1st place finish thereby beating the field by 2-seconds-plus.

His splits were good his times were slow. Noted in an MSNBC report is an odd quote by Bob Bowman:

The intensity of his training prompted coach Bob Bowman to take a three-week hiatus to Australia ("I wasn't helping myself, Michael, or anyone else, at that point," Bowman said), returning refreshed, and in time to regroup with Phelps in North Carolina.

"Michael has experience now, and he knows this," Bowman said. "Sometimes, he knows this too much. But we have 72 days to prepare for Shanghai, and that's where the focus is."

[Link]

If Bob Bowman was in Australia for three weeks and then regroups with Phelps in Charlotte, what has Michael Phelps been doing these past three weeks?

We are no longer hearing phrases like, "this was eye opening..., a wake-up call..., we have some work to do..." etc. etc. His rhetoric has now changed to "...I want to see if I still have it in the tank." [...] "Before, it came easy for me. I don't have two speeds anymore. I need to focus on the small things that I once took for granted."

This new rhetoric is troubling. Of course Phelps still has two speeds but his tank is empty and only professional dedication that matches the workload he maintained up to Beijing will "fill his tank" back up. Instead he appears to believe that this is merely an age related problem rather than a lack of an industrious workout schedule.

Apparently even Bowman is taking time off.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

How come Phelps' 6th place is troubling and a bad news and Lochte's 4th isn't? I don't get it.

Tony Austin said...

Because Lochte has been consistent, it is widely know that that he is training hard.

Phelps opened up a pool in Vegas, Bowman is gone for 3-weeks, and Phelps' very own rhetoric is displaying a lack in confidence and conditioning.

surfer said...

Phelps is coming in with a minimum amount of time to prepare for trials, i would not expect to see him in any kind of peak condition prior to trials. I dont even imagine he concerns himself with results at this time. He has done it before and he can certainly do it again. Lochte still has to prove what he can do (building a mind set) and is in a way different boat than Phelps. It is a much different mind between a swimmer who has been the undeniable best and the one who is still out to prove his place.

surfer said...

Phelps is like Schwarzenegger toying with his opponents heads. this is all part of his new game.

Tony Austin said...

well said

Tony Austin said...

no way, he is not doing well . His rhetoric has gone from being in "shock" about his conditioning to "blame" about his age.

Anonymous said...

Its hard to feel sorry for someone who is so blessed, but I think I can understand what he's feeling.

He will never be like he was in 2008. Winning 8 golds was the peak of his career (maybe even his life, though I hope not). I think that this is why many greats choose to leave at the top. He may be happier had he retired in 2009.

Tony Austin said...

That is a complete summation of the last two years. If one is not motivated enough to go big, then one moves on and goes home.

Tony Austin said...

After reading this, how could he be training too hard:

From the Daily Times:

Phelps apparently isn’t the only one feeling the strain, as his longtime coach Bob Bowman said he’d taken himself off to Australia for three weeks last month – putting some space between himself and his superstar swimmer who is also now a business partner. “I felt my attitude was bad about everything and I wasn’t helping him (Phelps) or myself or anybody else,” Bowman said. “I’m just trying to start fresh.” Now, Bowman and Phelps say, they are focused on Shanghai, with the 2012 Olympics looming after that. “We have 72 days to prepare for Shanghai, and that’s where the focus is,” Bowman said.

TedBaker said...

He's had a bad stretch before... Worlds in 2005 were pretty horrible by his standards...

The best thing about this sport is that there's no hiding. He will or will not in Shanghai and/or London and we'll get to watch.

Tony Austin said...

If Phelps can't medal in Shanghai but shows up, I down $100 right?

The Tame Lion said...

It's hard to maintain peak performance all the time, but Phelps is still one of the top swimmers.

Tony Austin said...

There is no question he has the potential to be the best swimmer let alone a top swimmer but her certainly; to loosely quote his coach, doing less than the bare minimum to stay marginally above the surface in relation to the global swim talent at large.

Subsequently, I see him as a guy who hates is job and is simply showing up to fulfill a contract obligation.

Hence, I find it uninspiring and I wish he would even dive in head first or leave the pool.

TedBaker said...

If Phelps goes to Shanghai, medal or no, you make a donation in my name to LA General. Side bet is if he beats Geoff Huegill, you add another $50.00 to the donation.

Tony Austin said...

Huegill's participation in Shanghai is doubtful - he did not make the Australian qualification times despite winning at Australian championships.