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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why Michael Phelps Could Be A Great Open Water Swimmer

Without a doubt, Michael Phelps would be a great open water swimmer, if not one of the best of all time.

The open water swimming world may never see Phelps body surf into shore, be fed from an escort boat or lead a pack around a turn buoy, but his aquatic talents would grace the oceans of the world just as easily as they do in pools.

There are at least 10 reasons why Phelps would be a great open water swimmer:

1. He trains more than enough.
2. He has years of tough training behind him.
3. His pain threshold is well-established. He has the mental toughness to ignore the pain and discomfort that comes with swimming long distances in extreme water temperatures among marine life.
4. He swims freestyle extraordinarily well and his breathing pattern is well-suited to turbulent conditions.
5. He has the ultimate in speed and endurance to beat the fastest men on the planet at 1 km or 1 mile, 5 km or 10 km.
6. He loves winning.
7. He admits to wanting to see more of the world than airports, hotels and swimming pools. Traveling around the world and competing at some of the best beaches and lakes is a great alternative.
8. Other Olympic pool swimming champions - Shane Gould, Sandy Neilson-Bell, Jim Montgomery, John Kinsella - have all learned to enjoy and appreciate the open water as they hung up their swimsuits and transformed to open water aficionados.
9. He is already supporting open water swims like the Swim Across America events.
10. He enjoys sports and athletic competitions, and swimming will remain deeply embedded in his DNA. He may not wish to compete against young guns in 2016 or 2020, but winning in front of 18,000 other competitors at the Midmar Mile or other such mass participation events would undoubtedly bring out his winning smile.

We expect to see Mr. Phelps at the seashore sooner than people expect.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

2 comments:

  1. Let's get him for our Alcatraz Invitational next year...see if he can handle balmy 60f

    El Sharko

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think to encourage swimmers to immediately transform themselves from a 80°F pool swimmer to a 60°F open water only works in limited situations and with a small number of athletes. We believe it is more prudent to encourage and invite swimmers/triathletes to enjoy their first attempts at open water swimming in temperatures and conditions that they are comfortable with. Then, after they enjoy their initial swims, they can be introduced to more extreme conditions and temperatures. This way, the motivation comes from within rather than being forced upon externally by those already comfortable with extreme temperatures and conditions. It seems a gradual introduction to extreme conditions, distances and temperatures works better for most people and leads to a life-long appreciation and love of the sport. Of course, there are others who simply love rough water, tough currents and cold water temperatures right off the bat. But an introduction to the sport in a tropical setting under gorgeously tranquil conditions is probably the best long-term strategy for Mr. Phelps and many others. On the flip side, pool coaches would not ask a novice open water swimmer to enter a 200 butterfly or 400 individual medley during their first swim meet (although we have no doubt that many San Francisco Bay swimmers could reel off a number of 200 flys and 400 IMs...)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

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The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

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The trends are very clear.
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