A Swimmer's Thoughts During the Last 5 Yards
The final 5 yards of a race are often the most intense. It’s a final desperate claw-and-stretch adventure towards that wonderful, wonderful timing pad.
MIke's Mailbag: Understanding a Coaching Decision
I'm an age group swimmer who works hard and pushes myself to go faster at every practice. My team recently got a new coach and he doesn't see my potential. What should I do?
Ten Thoughts Before Diving In
Standing on the blocks is an exercise in Zen: You try, desperately, to shut the non-stop waterfall of thoughts off, and turn off your racing, whirling mind.
Mike's Mailbag: Stop Worrying About Competitors
I’m a High School swimmer who works very hard and is very dedicated to swimming. I always keep an eye on my competitors' times. I'm wondering if I should focus more on my own performance?
The Ten Rules of Taper
Ah, taper season. The time after a long, grueling winter training season when yardage hopefully decreases, intensity ramps up, and the focus is all about speed.
MIke's Mailbag: Chasing New Personal Records
I just wrapped up my district meet and I managed to not break any of my PRs. I'm frustrated that I can't swim a personal best in February going into March. How can I drop time when it matters?
Mike's Mailbag: Be Patient With Progress
I struggle with every stroke except butterfly. Is it okay to only be good at one thing? If not, what do I do?
Mike's Mailbag: If You Want to Quit, Talk to Coach First
This fall I started swimming at a big D1 school. I've always enjoyed tough workouts but with classes and everything I'm getting really burnt out. I'm not sure college swimming is for me. Any advice?
Mike's Mailbag: The Value of the Distance Experience
My team attends a distance meet this time of year. The meet is always disappointing for me because I'm a sprinter. Should I attend even though distance is not my strength?
Mike's Mailbag: Train With The Best You Can
I’ve been getting in the habit of comparing myself to my teammates. How can I stop doing that and work on maintaining a positive attitude in practice?
Water Marks: No Matter How You Live in the Moment, Recognize It
The cliché, “Live in the moment,” is a complicated one. Because a moment can be split into infinite paths — there is never one way to live.
Mike's Mailbag: High Competition
In a few months, I will be going to my first high altitude meet. I'm worried I won't go best times at 4,700 feet elevation. Should I be worried
Finding the Right Fit Goggles
I am a 14-year old swimmer who has been having trouble finding a pair of goggles that don't cause a reaction on my face. Are there any goggles made specifically for people with this problem?
Mike's Mailbag: Starting Over
I'm a sophomore in college and I'm trying to get back in shape after 7 months off of swimming so I can join my college team. How best can I get back in shape?
Mike's Mailbag: Swimming Without Regret
For essentially my whole swimming career, I never have been able to reach the vast improvement I look for. Can you help me understand why this happens?
Mike's Mailbag: New Training Groups, New Friendships
I'm thinking about quitting my swim team. I mean, I still love it, but now I'm getting lapped and my friends have moved up. What should I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Be the Best Version of Yourself
I am a college swimmer. After a successful freshman season I fell flat as a sophomore. How else can I get back to my old self as a junior?
Mike's Mailbag: Focusing on Practice Times
Over the past season I have gone from a BB swimmer to an AAAA swimmer. I'm 13 now and I've stopped dropping time. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Win or Lose
My son is 14 and is swimming in the top group and in one of the faster lanes. I want to push him to do his best. How can I do this and avoid resentment from my son?
Mike's Mailbag: A Racing Mind
Before a meet I find myself thinking about it for a week or two in advance. I have confidence in my abilities but how can I shut off my brain before a meet?
Mike's Mailbag: Worrying About Others
I’m 14 years old and I’ve been swimming for about 2-1/2 years. I'm making progress but struggling to keep up with more experienced swimmers. How can I get faster swimmers out of my mind?
Mike's Mailbag: Transportation to Practices
I've been swimming competitively for an elite team and I've been enjoying it a ton. My parents say they support me but won't drive me to some practices. How can I get them on board with practice transportation?
Mike's Mailbag: Learning from Big Decisions
I've been on my swim team for 8 years and I finally decided that I wanted to switch teams. My mom is supportive of my decision, but my dad isn't. How can I get my dad to see things from my view?
How to Deal with Slacking Off Teammates
It’s the most painful practice of your life. And, there they are. Your slacking off teammates. How can you best deal with teammates who have barely achieved a heart rate above 60 in practice?
Mike's Mailbag: Swimming for College
I'm 13 years old and already thinking about swimming in college. I also really like basketball but I know I can't do both. How do I choose?
Mike's Mailbag: The Age-Up Conundrum
Since I turned 13, it's time for me to move into a different group. I was previously at the highest level for my age. However, I didn't make it into the faster group for 13-14 year old swimmers. My coach said not to worry about it, but should I?
Mike's Mailbag: There is no Pressure
Every time that I have a big meet or race that I've prepped for, I get really nervous and antsy. Then I gain time. How can I remove the pressure and stop the cycle?
Mike's Mailbag: When to Stop
I've always been a good butterflier, and have never hurt myself swimming but recently my shoulders always hurt when I pull. How can I tell if this is serious?
Finding Morning Motivation
The alarm clock goes off. Other than the ear-cringing beeping, all else is still. You think there’s no possible reason any human being should ever wake up this early.
Mike's Mailbag: Let Go of Pressure
I want to take my mental game to a higher level because that seems to hold me back but I don't know what to do. Please help
Mike's Mailbag: Facing a Tough Decision
I'm at the stage in my life where I have to decide between quitting swimming and carrying on. How do I know if I'm ready to quit?
Mike's Mailbag: Appreciating What You Already Have
I've recently moved into the top group on my team but I have yet to achieve a state qualifying time. How do I know I belong in the top group?
Mike's Mailbag: Making Daily Goals
I love to swim. It makes me feel good and healthy, but I have one major problem — a sweet tooth. How can I cut down on my sugar?
Mike's Mailbag: Embracing Meet Travel
I am 11 years old, and have swam since 1st grade but I can't attend many swim meets because my mom says it isn't worth going out of county for a meet. How can I get her to change her mind?
Mike's Mailbag: Controlling What You Can Control
There are certain times I have been working hard to achieve, but they are becoming increasingly out of reach. Younger swimmers are rapidly dropping time and are catching up to me. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Improving Taper Mentalities
I am relatively new to swimming. I started when I was 14, and am now 18. I swim great in practice but I consistently miss my goal times in taper meets. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Finding Swimming's Rhythm
I've been having a lot of motivational and mental roadblocks at practices lately. I find myself swimming slower than I did 2-3 years ago. What can I do to try to get through this mental roadblock?
Mike's Mailbag: Envisioning Your Own Success
What kind of advice do you have for someone who is not happy where they are in the swimming world, but is not ready to leave it?
Mike's Mailbag: Distracted Coaches
Recently my coach has seemed distracted at practices. Coach gives us a set, and then doesn't pay attention to how we do. How would you keep your motivation and handle this situation?
Mike's Mailbag: When You're Missing Intervals
I've started to miss intervals in practice and my coach has adjusted the workout for me. How do I get better in practice so I can keep up?
Mike's Mailbag: The Gap Year and Swimming
I'm a 17-year-old high school junior wondering if I can take a gap year after graduation and still plan on swimming in college. Will college coaches still consider me if I take a year off?
Mike's Mailbag: Becoming Un-Lost
I've been swimming since age 11 and started competing at the age of 13. I work hard and I love swimming but at age 16 I feel like I can't catch up to my more experienced teammates.
Mike's Mailbag: Underwater Kicking
I LOVE backstroke. It's my best and favorite stroke. I'm fourteen and I'm in the developmental group. I'm wondering what I can do to improve my backstroke.
Mike's Mailbag: Falling and Flying
I've been involved in swimming as long as I can remember. Anxiety and depression have kept me out of the pool recently and now I'm wondering if I should give swimming one final shot my senior year. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Spending Time Wisely
I’m in seventh grade. I’ve been feeling like quitting swimming, and this is not the first time. I've lost passion and motivation and now I'm wondering if quitting is the best decision for me.
Mike's Mailbag: Two Sports, Too Much
I compete in track and swimming but with both seasons converging I'm tired and injured. I'm thinking of giving up swimming. How do I go about making the best decision?
Mike's Mailbag: Be Your Change
I've been thinking about switching teams for like two years now. My coach favors certain swimmers other than me and I have social anxiety around the team. Should I keep looking for another team?
Mike's Mailbag: Just Dive into Life
I'm a senior in high school approaching the end of my competitive swimming career. I had a burning desire to swim in college, but ended up choosing academics first and am not fast enough to swim on my college's varsity team. While I will do club, I know it's not going to be the same.
Mike's Mailbag: Becoming an Olympian
I'm a 17 year old female with not much swimming under my belt but I love swimming. If I work really hard, is it possible to be an Olympian even at my age and slow times?