Visualizing the Last Race
This summer, thousands of swimmers across the country will hit the wall, feeling the thrill and exhaustion of their final race.
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?
Mike's Mailbag: Taper Hater
My swim team is on taper in preparation for a championship meet at which I won't swim. Is taper still a good idea for me?
Mike's Mailbag: Healthy Competition
I often find it hard for me to focus only on myself at practice and at meets. How can I begin to focus on myself and lesson what my teammates are doing?
Mike's Mailbag: Getting Your Racing Mojo Back
Recently I've found that when I'm racing I've been less focused and not able to race my hardest. How can I regain focus and get my racing mojo back?
Mike's Mailbag: Small Voices in Big Ponds
The town I currently live in has two teams who are thinking of becoming one. This would be a bad decision for my team's identity. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: The Plight of the Fractured Finger
How can I stay in shape if I'm not able to swim due to injuries. Are there certain exercises I can do while out of the water?
Mike's Mailbag: Food and Fuel
Every day, I go to swimming from 5-8ish. By the time I get home, I have no time to eat dinner. If I do eat before swimming, I get cramps. What do you recommend?
Mike's Mailbag: The Prelims Marathon
My daughter is 13 and I'm wondering what's best for her to do during all the waiting around of prelims.
Mike's Mailbag: Making a Schedule
I’m 14 and I’ve been swimming for about 5 years. I'm having trouble balancing school and swimming and I'm thinking of quitting the swim team. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Determining Determination
My new high school team doesn't swim mornings and I'm losing my endurance. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: When Coaches Don't Take Injuries Seriously
I've been dealing with an injury for over a year. My former amazing coach helped me with it and I did extraordinarily well. I moved teams and my new coach is not very helpful. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Creating a Positive Culture
My team is having unity issues with a few bad attitudes setting the tone for the team. What can I do to help.
Mike's Mailbag: Practice You vs. Meet You
I consistently swim faster in practice than in meets. I have no idea why. Any ideas?
Mike's Mailbag: Trying Out a New Team
I'm a freshman in high school and I have to decide between club and high school swimming. Please help.
10 Reasons Swimmers Need a Day Off
There are plenty of reasons to allow yourself (or your poor, hungry, tired swimmers) a day off. Here are ten.
Mike's Mailbag: Comeback Courage
I quit swimming because I first hurt my shoulder, but then I quit because I didn't like it anymore. Now, I think that it was a mistake quitting. I miss it, and I hope my friends aren't going to ignore me and treat me differently when I get back.
Mike's Mailbag: What Really Matters
I'm one of the hardest workers in practice but in meets I get beaten by swimmers who don't put in as much work. What can I do to fix this?
Mike's Mailbag: Moving Beyond a Plateau
Two years ago I swam a personal record in the 100 BR. I haven't been able to beat that time. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Dealing with Disappointment
I’m a sophomore in high school and I love swimming but I haven’t improved in years. Should I continue swimming despite regular disappointment in my results?
Mike's Mailbag: When Will I Drop Time?
I'm a sophomore in college and the one thing that's been bugging me is how to swim fast in-season. It feels like I'm putting in all of this work and you'd think you'd see results but no. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Breaking Up with Swimming
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: A 24-Hour Experiment
Every two weeks or so I'm really slow in practice and feel as if I’m not moving at all. I've been on the team for four years. How can I make this stop?
Mike's Mailbag: Shoulder Struggles
I've always been a good at butterfly, and have never hurt myself swimming but recently my shoulders always hurt. How can I tell if this is regular pain or injury?
Mike's Mailbag: Lead by Example
My team has gone through a lot of change with coaches. I'm a senior so I want to motivate my team to adapt to the changes. How can I do that effectively?
Mike's Mailbag: Self-Training
I chose to transfer to another college. Now I have three months where I have to train myself. Do you have any advice for training alone?
Mike's Mailbag: Different Journeys & Different Paths
I'm a freshman in high school. I'm pretty good for my practice group but I get discouraged seeing my teammates, years younger, catching up. I'm wondering if I can compete in high school and eventually college.
Mike's Mailbag: Focus on What You Can Control
I'm a college swimmer. When I was a high school junior, I tore my hip labrum. I had it repaired and tore it again. I want to come back from this but it's been a mental struggle. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Seven-Hundredths of a Second
This Monday, I came across an email from a swimmer who wrote a short nonfiction essay about a recent experience she had with swimming.
Mike's Mailbag: Learning How to Lose
My daughter is 16 and has been swimming since she was 8. She trains hard but she's stopped dropping time. She's thinking of quitting. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Problems Kicking
I've been swimming 7 years. In the past year, my legs lock up when ever I'm doing kick sets in practice and swimming the backstroke. I'm doing PT with limited results. Is there anything else I can try?
Mike's Mailbag: Continuing in College
I'm trying to decide if I should swim in college. I'm fast enough to earn a scholarship but I'm not sure I want swimming to be my entire life. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Acknowledging Fear
I am 12 years old and I really love the sport. I'm a good practice swimmer but I have trouble dropping time in meets. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Choosing What You Want
I'm a senior hoping to swim in college. I'm trying to decide if I should swim high school, club or both. It's a complicated decision. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Negative Little Voices
Recently I've been hearing these little voices in my head that we all sometimes here under stress. They're starting to make me doubt my ability as a swimmer. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Considering a Comeback
My sister and I swam division 1 our freshman year of college, then transferred to a club team. We're now 27 and wondering if we can still go best times. Is it selfish to try?
Mike's Mailbag: When Time Drops Stop
I give 100% in practice. I listen and do whatever the coaches tell me. Somehow I never get the times I know I am capable of at meets. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Keep Swimming in College, or Move On?
I recently graduated from high school, and I made the decision to swim next year at a smaller NCAA Division III school. I have begun to question whether this is something I really want to do for four more years, or is it time to move on?
Mike's Mailbag: Preventing Breakdown
I'm having a difficult time understanding my body. I'm not sure how long to warm down, or how hard to push myself when coming back from injury. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Preparing for the Back-to-Back Race
My main events are the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. I usually only have 5 minutes between events. What can I do to recover quickly?
Mike's Mailbag: Backstroke Bullied
I'm 12 and I love every part of swimming except backstroke. I'm way behind younger swimmers and I don't know what to do. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Multiple Sports
I want to swim in college but I have other high school sports I enjoy. Will attempting two sports harm my chances of swimming in college?
Mike's Mailbag: Ready for Action
I am a very cautious person. When it comes to swimming, this is affecting me in a very bad way. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Taper and Physical Jobs
I'm working a physical job this summer. How can I do my job and still have a great taper?
Mike's Mailbag: Plight of the Zombie Swimmer
Dear Mike: Just recently I’ve started swimming on a USA Swimming club. In the past, I’ve always been able to stay on top of my schoolwork and keep up with it, but lately it’s been a bit challenging. I haven’t exactly been keeping up with work, and I struggle to finish it every night.