SwimSwam

VIDEO: Michael Andrew Breaks National Age Group Record in 400 IM

From an earlier report:

Swimming a time trial on Saturday at the College Station, Texas sectional meet, Andrew broke the old record of 3:54.23 set by Curtis Ogren in 2010.

This follows the National Age Group Record that he swam in the 200 fly on Saturday.

He’s also swum a 1:40.38 in the 200 free and 47.79 in the 100 fly.

His splits:

  • Fly – 51.94
  • Back – 58.40
  • Breast – 1:06.32
  • Free – 55.42

Comments

  1. jon says:
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    anyone else notice something funny about that fly to back turn?!

    • Hulk Swim says:
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      UGh. Please post some video of your athletes for us to see how perfect their turns are.

      I coach 55 kids- about 18 are 13-14… I’m not ashamed to admit that none of the 55 swim perfect races. They all make a handful of mistakes. You know… cut they are kids.

      It would be easy for any coach (great or poor) to look at video and poke holes… heck, we could do it to about 3/4 of the National Team members, too…

      How about instead of making weak arguments about all the ‘bad’ we just enjoy the access we have to video, training methods etc, and stop trying to look like we know more than they do.

      Because I don’t think we do.

      We said it would only work for sprints and they said they’d focus on the longer races… and it clearly was.

      We are now complaining about underwater and tturns and they said they will address it. I’m assuming they will and he’ll be darn good at them too…

      Kudos to them for continuing to post video to an ungrateful and petty audience. I know a lot of coaches wouldn’t dare risk the nitpicking of all the online ‘expert’ coaches analysis…

      Please know that a lot of us do appreciate it. Keep up the great work. Thank you also to SwimSwam.

      • Steve Nolan says:
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        I pointed it out on an earlier video of his 2IM, I think, that it does look like he kind of rounds his open turns.

        Doesn’t mean I’m trying to tear the kid down and attack him, if anything I could maybe hear a new explanation on why doing it that way is better for him, or a lot less likely, maybe it’s just something they didn’t notice.

        Bashing the kid for nothing is obviously bad, but to me that just seems like a guy going “hey, that doesn’t look like what I’m used to?”

  2. jon says:
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    that first breaststroke turn too?!

  3. matthew says:
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    uhhhh – this kid!? this has to be more NAG’s then Phelps at 13-14, right? And he went to the olympics at 15!

    is there going to be more analysis on this kid or what? I don’t know if ANYONE EVER held a 100 breast and 200 fly NAG. i would love more information on training and expert POV’s. I feel like people (not SwimSwam, of course) are gunshy about him b/c he’s already gone pro and has an unorthodox training method.

    • David Guthrie says:
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      The answer is, no, there’s never been anyone like him. No one has ever dominated across such a wide spectrum, certainly not in his age group and above. Take into account how hyper competitive kids have gotten in the past few years (Nolan, Murphy, Conger, Seliskar, Dressel etc. and a growing list) and this kind of versatility is unprecedented.

      Lunquist was in a league of his own in SCY breaststrokes. Not too fond of the LCM 200 breaststroke, but he held the American Record. Sub-20 in the 50 free when that was rare.

      Tracy Caulkins could do everything.

      Michael is able to break NAGs in every single event between 50-500. No one has ever done that before.

  4. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
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    Matthew – M Andrew and his coach/father are very open about what they do, and what they do/how they train is well-documented.
    http://swimswam.com/?s=USRPT

    • matthew says:
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      yes, i’ve read all that. and i think it’s fascinating and really good for the sport. i’m more talking about in a short period of time Michael A has broken an astonishing amount of NAG’s in diverse events i can’t remember ever seeing (100 BR & 200 FLY!?!?). Even from The Phelps. I’m just surprised i haven’t heard more from USA Swimming and from other experts in the sport talking about it.

      When Missy went on her first tear into the spotlight in 2009 she was instantly branded. Outside of SwimSwam…i don’t see a lot on Michael.

      • Rafael says:
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        Well.. to astonish all the world he will probably have to repeat all that sucess on LCM agains the big boys.. Sure.. he has great LCM times.. but will he be able to be as Ledecky Missy Thorpe Phelps who at 15 years old were World or Olympic medalists?

        • Hulk Swim says:
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          Does he have to be?

          Is Ryan Lochte any less awesome because he wasn’t an Olympian at 15?

          That’s a ludicrous standard to have for him.

          • Rafael says:
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            For him to have the recognition outside here?

            He will have at some point to become a World Champion of Olympic Medalists.. Before that.. he will not be knows all over the world just because he got dozens of NAG records..

            And.. Locthe is amazing.. But on swimming history, I don´t put him on Par with Phelps and Thorpe..

      • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
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        I know. 100 br & 200 fly is impressive. I’m old, so Steve Lundquist comes to mind for the fly / breast combo. USAs had someone write about USRPT, but they were clearly on the fence, a bit old guard.

        FYI: M Andrew has been featured in Sports Illustrated and AP did a feature that went global. M Andrew will be featured in again and again by mainstream media. We know there’s more to come, just can’t say where and when.

        Slow improvement over the age of 15 is still positive. If M Andrew didn’t improve for two years and then started dropping time again (something that happens to a lot of swimmers), it’s not a big deal. M Andrew’s growth must come 2017-20 and beyond. 2016 would be a bonus, great experience, like Phelps 200 fly in 2000.

        • bobo gigi says:
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          I’m sure that Michael Phelps in his best years (2007, 2008) and fully tapered would have been able to swim 1.01 low in the 100 breast.

        • David Berkoff says:
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          Lundquist was a star.

          52.4 100 breast
          1:55 200 breast (first guy under 2:00)
          1:45 200 IM
          47 100 fly
          43 100 free.

          He was also pretty good at LCM.

          54 100 fly
          50. 100 free
          2:02 200 IM
          101.6 100 breast

          And this was thirty years ago!

          I remember him running over me at 1984 trials. I was 130 pounds. He was like 220–or at least it seemed that way.

          D

        • Eagleswim says:
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          In summer of 2016 he would be 17, correct? Given the way himself and swimswam are marketing him as the future of swimming and the poster child of this “new way” of training that will completely change the way people train for generations to come, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect an Olympic berth at that age. I mean after reading all these articles and comments anointing him as the next big thing, I think it would be fair to say I will be unimpressed by anything less than an Olympic spot. 17 year olds and younger have made it in the past, I think if we all want him to become the swimming god we seem to have already made him into, he pretty much has to make the team

        • David Guthrie says:
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          Victor Davis went 1:58 in the SCM 200 fly. As tough as they come, he was.

  5. Ben says:
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    These videos are nice… but can someone pass it along to the camera operator to not zoom in so much… and learn about video updloading. The entire thing is interlaced wrong. I’m assuming because there was slow motion that an iphone was being used? I know iphones have significantly higher quality than this… please invest in a tripod as well… I’m sure someone on swimswam would be willing to foot the bill for this

    • NDB says:
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      You are being given unprecedented access to one of swimming’s rising stars and you are still complaining? Do you want a refund for the money you spent on visiting swimswam? How about a thank to the amateur camera person for taking the time to send the video in. Don’t Hate. Appreciate.

      • Ben says:
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        The videos are certainly nice and I do appreciate seeing them. That being said the videos could be much better and it would be very VERY easy to make the videos better. Take a look at the recent videos posted of Jacob Molacek as a good example. I have a strong feeling there will be many more NAG records and there will be more videos of those records. I will be happy to watch any video they put up, but I will be much more happy to watch a video that is not zoomed in to the nth degree and shaking all over the place. It is not a complaint it is a suggestion. Also you may have noticed the entire video is interlaced…this means that something about their upload process is flawed. This requires no additional work to fix other than checking different boxes when they are saving/uploading.

  6. Durham says:
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    Amazing to see his rapid improvement, record-setting efforts and STILL so many little technical things he can improve on.

  7. ole 99 says:
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    Peeps woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

  8. bobo gigi says:
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    GREAT! Thanks swimswam!
    Being a huge 400 IM fan, I wanted to watch that race! :)

    He was in 3.58 last April. 3.52 this year.
    It will be interesting to see if Mr Andrew will be able to translate that progression in long course in the next months. Because unlike the 100 fly, 100 breast or 200 IM, he hasn’t still swum a good 400 IM in long course so far. I believe his PR is around 4.35/4.40. At 14, Michael Phelps was in 3.56 in yards and in 4.24 in long course. At 14, Sean Grieshop was last year in 3.57 in yards and in 4.26 in long course.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      If he swims in Mesa in April, perhaps he will attack the 13/14 NAG record in LCM seriously.
      While I don’t believe he can break it, I want to watch if he can translate his 3.52 into something good in long course. A 400 IM in long course is very different.

  9. Johnnyquesst says:
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    His fly looks money in this race, coasted a 51. Projecting is pointless, no one really knows what’s going to become of this dude, just enjoy the fast swimming and provide the kid some encouragement. We might be looking at the next MP in the making.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      No, please. :cry:
      Don’t say he’s perhaps the next MP. There will not be another MP.
      He’s the first Michael Andrew. And that’s still not too bad at all.

    • MarkB says:
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      JohnnyQuesst,

      If it’s pointless to project, don’t say he could be the next MP in the next sentence!

  10. Tim Manley says:
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    I think his turns are smart! They’re fairly fast for a 400 IM, they’re very simple which also makes them very efficient. I agree he has to be careful about having a simultaneous touch, but he’s pushing the edge. Why shouldn’t he? If everyone did a flat two hand touch on the wall where would swimming be today? Congrats to Michael!

  11. bobo gigi says:
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    I have made a little research and his birthday is on April 18th.
    The Mesa Grand Prix is the week after so I can forget my 400 IM NAG record attempt in long course.

  12. bobo gigi says:
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    The craziest thing about all his NAG records in SCY is that, in my opinion, many of them will be broken in the next 3 years.
    I know. These are just crazy predictions. I’m used to making crazy predictions. :)
    100 free. 44.16. Broken by Winn Aung in 2017
    100 back. 48.10. Broken by Destin Lasco or Vinny Marciano in 2016
    100 breast. 54.80. Broken by Reece Whitley next week or next December
    100 fly. 47.47. Broken by Winn Aung in 2017
    200 fly. 1.46.29. Should last a long time
    200 IM. 1.47.44. Broken by Ethan Dang in 2017
    400 IM. 3.52.08. Not easy to break but Destin Lasco will have a shot in 2016. Yes, perhaps I’m biased on that one because Mr Lasco is my favorite US age group swimmer of the moment. :)

    • Rafael says:
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      I wonder if US stopped SCY and started only SCM.. he would have a real situation of HOW good these records really are.. and maybe we could see more talented kids trying them.. Imagine a Gyurta at 15 years swimming 200 BR in SCM ?

  13. jiggs says:
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    It would be an honor to be lapped by young Michael Andrew.

  14. DDias says:
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    Master Yoda says:I feel an intense hatred in this thread.
    Let the kid rest a bit!His times are amazing for his age, and he is closing the gap between great kid times to good adult ones.
    I remember 2003 in my country in Chico Piscina Trophy 2003:
    A tall(and a bit scrawny at the time) sixteen year-old kid blasts the field with 23.29 in 50free, almost a second ahead of the field.He was a promise of The Next Big thing in LCM, but curiosly, he improves only 0.3 in the next two years(from 23.29 to 22.92 at 18).The kid makes a very good progress in 100free doing a very good World Short Course Champs in 2004 and helps his team to get a silver in 4x100free, but this time dont translate well to LCM and he had only 50.31 in LCM at eighteen.The kid goes to Auburn and explodes in the end of 2006 blasting Fernando Scherer South-American record(48.69) with 48.61(twice) and a great 22.32 in 50free(his 100 was 3th best of the year and his 50free 8th).Name of the kid:Cesar Augusto Cielo Filho.
    Andrew probably will hit a wall in near future(everyone hits), but walls are there to be destroyed.I will not be surprised if he dont drop too much in near future, but the important is too drop a bit, and when time is right, he will drop the hammer necessary to do great times.Keep working!

    • fatsmcgee says:
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      Thank you for pointing this out! If Michael Andrew hits a wall, people will inevitably use it to criticize his training methods and say that his potential was overstated. This would be a severe overreaction.

  15. CoachD says:
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    I had the opportunity to watch M Andrews at the Texas Sectionals last weekend. I was able to watch this 400 IM. In fact, I had a swimmer in the same time trial heat as him. SwimSwam has been posting a lot of information about this kid. I just felt giving my 2 cents based on my observations from this past weekend.

    First, let me preface by saying that it is incredibly impressive for a 14 year old boy to be posting these type of times, across such a large number of events.

    On that point, he looks nothing like a 14 year old boy. I’m 6’3″, 190 lbs, and though I never stood next to him I bet he’s taller than I am, and he definitely out-weighs me by a good amount. This 14 year old looks like a 21 year old. I think this early development plays a big role in the success he’s having right now.

    I am skeptical about his future. Like others have said, it’s impossible to tell, but in my humble opinion, unless he makes some major stroke changes, he’s going to see a lot of frustration later on. Watching him in person it’s very obvious he has talent and great feel for the water, but all of his swims were very raw. I witnessed inefficient strokes with dropped elbows, weak legs and poor body position, wide streamlines and slow, open turns, and non-existent underwaters. Yes, I know he’s still only 14, but it’s at this age and younger where those stroke techniques are usually developed, as it sets the foundation for faster swimming when they’re older. I just didn’t see a strong technical foundation for M Andrews. He muscled his way through every race.

    Like I said, the times he’s posting in the events that he’s posting them in are nothing short of amazing. Everyone is saying he’ll be the next Phelps, but I’m just very skeptical. If he can make changes then I’ll say it’s possible, but he continues to swim the way he does I just don’t see him reaching that top level. I will say though, I’ll be watching him with interest as I’m definitely curious how things pan out for him.

    My last note… this is so much media attention for such a young kid. I worry if he’ll be able to handle it all.

    • bobo gigi says:
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      “Everyone is saying he’ll be the next Phelps.”
      :shock: :shock: :shock:
      I don’t believe you have read well most of the comments.
      Fortunately, most of swimswam readers don’t say that. Me the first.
      And don’t worry. Every time I read that kind of stupidity, I write the same comment.
      Nobody will be the next Michael Phelps. He will be the first Michael Andrew. And that’s still not too bad at all.

    • Phil McDade says:
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      “On that point, he looks nothing like a 14 year old boy. I’m 6’3″, 190 lbs, and though I never stood next to him I bet he’s taller than I am, and he definitely out-weighs me by a good amount. This 14 year old looks like a 21 year old. I think this early development plays a big role in the success he’s having right now.”

      Of all the observations and critiques I see pop up about Michael Andrew, this is the only I don’t understand. I, too, had a chance to watch Michael closely at a recent meet, swimming the 400 IM as well as his 44.16 100 free (and 1:39.18 200 free) at the A+ meet at Schroeder in suburban Milwaukee. Michael is certainly big for his age, but so are a good share of his peers that compete against him among the upper tier of 14 year olds nationally. At A+, he competed against same-aged swimmers such as Daniel Krueger, JohnThomas Larson, and John Shelstad — swimmers who regularly pop up on this list: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/e7246a85-40ae-4815-a396-c03f20f98abf/boys_scy.pdf and are all really big (or tall, or both) 14 year olds.

      I’d be willing to bet that most 14 year olds posting top-20 times nationally are big for their age — it’s the age when kids can put up really fast times through sheer body development and size. Michael may be outsized for his age — but not out of line for his peer group swimming in the upper echelons of the sport right now. And notably, to me, is that Michael is putting up times, for the most part, that are far faster than anyone else right now for his age group, and over a breadth of races that’s really impressive.

      • sven says:
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        Agreed. Michael is far from the first 14 year old to be 6’4″.

        We’ve all seen swimmers who are fast because of their size and power: they’re good at the 50 and 100 free, and sometimes the 100 fly (but they almost always die after the 75 and only manage a good time because of their monster first half). Some of them even can fake a halfway decent 200, if they aren’t feeling bad.

        Michael is good (i.e. if he doesn’t have the NAG already, he’s damn close) at the 50, 100, 200 freestyles (and I think we’ll see a decent time in the 500 this weekend out of him), as well as the 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 breast, 200 breast, 100 back, and 200 back.

        That kind of absurd range doesn’t come from size and power, or he wouldn’t be noteable because there would be dozens of other 14 year olds putting up similar times across a comparable range.

    • David Guthrie says:
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      The thing is, it doesn’t make a hoot of difference whether YOU say it’s possible or not. In fact, I’d bet that last year you were saying (or thinking) that the times he’s achieved this year weren’t possible. Understandably so, because it really is beyond comprehension. You’re not alone.

      You’re right about Michael’s power, although I’m sure you underestimate it, but I think you’ve misjudged his stage of physical development. He’s still a smooth cheeked boy. He’s very tall and strong and very coordinated, but he hasn’t even begun to really develop. He is 14. If you think what you see now is impressive, just wait.

      I think of LeBron. At 15, he was a man among boys, yet still a kid. Now look at him! Did he plateau? Was there a lot of worry and handwringing when he turned pro? Not that I recall.

  16. Dude says:
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    CoachD, right? Sorry, if you’re posting videos, people will poke holes Hulk. Not to say I think USRPT is off, because I don’t. However, quit glorifying this kid. Yes, he’s fast. But he’s not a technically good swimmer by any stretch. You don’t have to be a genius to see it. Just watch.

    • Peterdavis says:
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      There’s more than one way to skin a cat, or win a medal. Don’t get too hung up on technique. Phelps’ technique at a young age was mind-bogglingly bad. I have video of him at 10 swimming LC 100 fly. He still crushed everyone, but Bowman had to ‘fix’ him in order to set him up for future success. Btw, all the credit in the world to Bowman on that one, amiright?

      • Eagleswim says:
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        Just gonna say that bad technique for a 10 year old is wayyyy different than bad technique for a 14 (almost 15) year old. As long as you’re comparing the two, phelps was making the Olympic team at right about the age andrew is. I’m not saying his technique is bad, who am I to judge that, but don’t bring up michael’s technique at age 10 as a counterpoint, when at the same age michael Andrew is now, phelps was way way more successful, and didn’t have a whole lot of technique issues

        • Peterdavis says:
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          You are flat wrong, and being forceful in a silly argument doesn’t help.

          First, let me say that I am not down on M Andrews technique at all. He’ll be fine in that regard, he is but 14. Technique can be taught and changed at any age. I’ve witnessed an 18 year old with worse technique than M Andrew(who was also a NAG record holder, in 17-18 no less) have their entire stroke reworked, and turned into an American record holder two years later.

          The two Michaels are not as different as you think. Phelps pioneered pro-swimming for us, and paved the way for our athletes to stick around the sport longer. He, by making the team at 15, and by dominating at 19, 23, and 27, has made it virtually impossible for another to follow in his footsteps.

          Phelps technique at 10 was miles, oceans even, worse than Andrews at 14. I vividly remember asking my coach, at age 10, “why do we work on technique if that kid is so fast and he swims uglier than every single swimmer in our group?”

          And to your statement that Phelps was more successful at 14 than Andrew. U wot m8? Are you on drugs? Andrew is the fastest 14 year old American male swimmer ever, perhaps just lakes, rivers, or streams better than Phelps on this count. Unless you were saying more successful in terms of how much they make in their summer jobs, in which case, sure, maybe you were right about one thing. Maybe.

  17. Swimfan101 says:
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    Thanks heaps for the post CoachD. I think your comments are extremely constructive. I’m going to leap to your defence and echo your comments before your critics come calling. I’ve eaten humble pie on this in other threads and I’m now by no means a “hater”. MA is a very unique and impressive swimmer, in a very unique circumstance, with parents doing the very best for him.

    But the common thread running through all the videos posted of him (which are great) is his huge physical size and current limitations in his stroke technique (which of course can be addressed over time) and which you’ve pointed out very succinctly. Too much emphasis seems to have been placed on winning, breaking records and times, at the expense of developing good stroke technique at an early age. I can tell you that here in Australia its the other way around. More emphasis is put on developing good stroke technique at an early age, than winning, breaking records or times. Those things follow naturally from the development of good fundamentals and skills.

    I’ll back you up and reference this by some youtube video links and comparisons to age swimmers out here. I’ll stick to freestyle and use three swimmers Mack Horton, Ian Thorpe and Cameron McEvoy (I could point too many more but you won’t know them). Their freestyle at 14/15 yrs looks nothing like his. They’re not relying on muscle or power (as you say), what’s common to their freestyle is excellent technique which they developed at a very early age. They’re all “long and easy” with highly efficient strokes (they’ve also improved and developed their skills more over time too). The common thread for all these guys is the coaching. They were and are all coached by coaches who do it professionally for a living with at least 30yrs+ experience: Doug Frost, Dennis Cottrell and Craig Jackson.

    Of course everyone is going to say Horton and Thorpe are and were middle to long distance freestylers. But some facts that people might not know is that Horton at 14 yrs was good in every freestyle distance from 100m to 1500m, and also not too shabby at 400IM. What people might not also know about Thorpe was that he was a very good age backstroker and gun 200IM’er. McEvoy was brilliant in everything from 50m to 400m in the free, and again a very good backstroker and flyer. Yes MA might have them in the breastbroke though.

    Here’s the youtube links below (if they don’t work just search them on youtube). Thorpie in his speedos at 15 yrs in 1998 winning the 400free world championships (against a 17yrs Grant Hackett) , Horton talking about his 15.37 1500m at 14yrs (I’m sorry that’s its mostly talking but you will get good HD glimpses of his freestyle) and McEvoy at 15 yrs going 47.33 for 100m free at 2011 short course World Cup in Singapore.

    Mack Horton
    http://youtu.be/cLhSpPnztUo

    Ian Thorpe
    http://youtu.be/ZZ9w3fsBWwY

    Cameron McEvoy
    http://youtu.be/X4BU3wUkVQU

    Thanks Swimswam for all the videos on MA and all the info on USRPT – I’m learning heaps.

    • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:
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      You’re welcome Swimfan101! Glad you’re enjoying it. Afterall – webspace is cheap, and no reason not to put out as much content as possible, right?

      Here’s a thought (and I haven’t talked about this idea specifically to the Andrew family or Rushall) – while there’s some obvious things that I don’t think anyone would argue might be fixable, is there a chance that traditional technique doesn’t work with USRPT? I know they put a lot of emphasis in their technique work on reducing drag, as compared to most of us who focus strokes on increasing power (which is actually the opposite of what you suspect is happening in terms of focusing on power). I wonder if that’s why the stroke looks so foreign to us, because it’s so much about reducing drag rather than increasing power, because I’ll admit too, if I saw his freestyle (though I like his fly) in one of my swimmers, I’d be trying to change it.

      Perhaps the USRPT, with no weights, with such short distances, works best with a different kind of stroke, because the fatigue in a reduced-drag stroke doesn’t set in, allowing the training to work?

      Am I making any sense?

      On this particular matter, I don’t actually know the answer, though I’ve talked to his dad a lot about their theories. I’m just trying to contribute to the conversation what flashes into my mind.

      • Swimfan101 says:
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        I think this a very good point and goes to what Dave Salo says in Chris Ritter’s podcast, in that you might well have to question and innovate in every way possible (not just training approaches etc) and include new approaches to technique. I think Gennardi Toureski used to do this type of thing and I am pretty sure Stephan Widmer did the same with Libby Tricket when she made her comeback. I remember she did an interview out here where she talked about Widmer wanting her to swim her freestyle “more over the barrel”. It will be very interesting what his dad and Brent Rushall say on the topic. Many thanks.

      • ANONYMOUS says:
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        I have read Dr. Rushall’s very long e-books on technique. Michael’s technique is not “raw” (as some people are saying) as he is doing exactly what Rushall says. “Raw” would be technique that deviates from what he is either intending to do or what he is told to do. The only exception I know of is the breathing every stroke in Fly, which Rushall frowns upon. I think Michael might be rebellious on this one matter.

    • fatsmcgee says:
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      Speculating–

      One reason Andrew’s freestyle might not look as “smooth” as Thorpe or Mack Horton is that Brent Rushall, his technique advisor, is opposed to front quadrant heavy freestyle with glide periods. For instance, see his comments about “intertial lag” for Ous Mellouli:

      http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/champion/OM1415.htm

      Seems to me like Michael Andrew more or less goes right into the catch for all distances of freestyle. That, combined with his unorthodox recovery, may make his stroke look less graceful.

    • sven says:
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      Agreed, Braden. Where many (but not all) coaches think of how to generate the most power, and then think of how to reduce drag from there, the USRPT model advocates finding the positions/movements with the lowest drag, and figuring out how to increase power from there. So yeah, the technique will have to be slightly different than the norm.

      As I’ve said before, the dots are there, the Andrews are just connecting them differently and so far there is no evidence to say that they are connecting them incorrectly.

  18. marie suez says:
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    He does seem to break a lot of records in “time trials”.

  19. HKSWIMMER says:
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    I have to agree with coachd – though I am seriously impressed with MA’s range, he most definitely does not have some of the technical skills that would be expected of someone who is already a professional and who looks to make an impact on the international youth stage as early as this summer (Youth Olympics).

    Looking at MA’s stroke from some of the videos, I would definitely say that his freestyle is not efficient, especially for longer distances. With an extremely low elbow, on his recovery he actually pushes a fair amount of water back. If USRPT is focusing on reducing drag, something clearly isn’t right in this case as it’s visibly bad from the videos, even compared to some of the swimmers in other lanes.

    This could probably be corrected, and coming from a freestyle/fly background, primarily as a sprinter myself I appreciate the quick rotation technique that he is primarily employing (something in HK we colloquially call ‘digging’) in order to try to pull more water. However, this technique requires huge amounts of leg power and tremendous body position in order to compensate for the instability that is caused by such fast rotation. I don’t think he necessarily has this, and this is what I believe is most problematic for him. He seems to ‘monster’ through the water due to strength and very obvious conditioning, and though he will get faster with more strength I am skeptical about his technique.

    I also simply don’t buy Rushall’s analysis on Ous from the link fatsmcgee posted – he might be right that drag exists with Ous’s technique, but any analysis on technique needs to be fundamentally comparative. ‘Inertial lag’ and overextension of the feet along an axis that comes from hip rotation is a crucial way of allowing Ous to glide and slice through the water with a high body position without requiring an over-exertion of effort. If you want to see someone do it even better than Ous, look at Sun Yang. I would love to see someone keep up the kind of rotation that Rushall wants for the 1500 and come out with a sub-14:30, but I there are very clear reasons why distance swimmers don’t do it.

    I don’t believe that you necessarily need to have such fast rotation for shorter events too – for example, Magnussen takes his time on the stroke to properly catch the water.

    I’ve mainly focused on his freestyle, and as many have highlighted, his underwaters are far from ideal etc. Hopefully, MA will be able to overcome these issues – I remain a fan of his achievements – but I have to also remain skeptical about his stroke and at least some elements that are guiding his training.

    • aswimfan says:
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      To HKSwimmer,

      “I don’t believe that you necessarily need to have such fast rotation for shorter events too – for example, Magnussen takes his time on the stroke to properly catch the water.’

      I agree. Not only Magnussen, but even more pronounced on the fastest female sprinter, Cate Campbell.

      If you saw Campbell and Missy swam side by side in the Barcelona 4×100 free final, Campbell was seemingly at standstill (Im exaggerating of course) as she took her time compared to the frantic rotation of Missy.

  20. Patrick Keenan says:
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    To Matthew at the beginning: If we are allowed to include women in the 100 breast and 200 fly NAG’s by the same person, it HAS happened. 1978 worlds in Berlin, Tracy Caulkins ties the world record for the 200 fly, and at the same meet finished with a silver and best time and American record in the 100 breast as a 15 yr old- if they somehow weren’t also NAG’s in what AAU back then had her in the larger 15-18 age group, then I am missing something. She also went the 2nd fastest time in the world in the womens 50 free in 81, in 79 broke the 500 free american record by something like 3 seconds that I think held until Janet Evans broke it. She held a world best in the 100 back in the January right after the Moscow Olympics. 200 yd back short course american record holder…..Also in mid season, unshaved and untapered, in either 80 or 81, (think it was winter of 80-81 short course season) she went a 16:01 mile, and then later that summer at a sectionals meet, again unshaved and untapered, went the 2nd fastest time in the world that year (my memory has her at 26.22), behind Sterkel. I am still waiting for someone to match that versatility, and can’t even imagine what her mix of fast twitch and slow twitch muscles fibers must have been like to do that 50 free time in 81, the summer after that unshaved and untapered mile that just missed breaking the 16 minute mark. wow.

  21. bobo gigi says:
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    Very interesting discussion.
    Finally we talk about technique.
    It’s refreshing.
    Too bad I don’t have the knowledges to enter the discussion. :lol:
    I’m just a simple swimming fan. :oops:
    Talking about technique, I’m eager to know what the best swimswam readers or contributors think about the technique from my favorite US age group swimmer of the moment on the men’s side, 12-year-old Destin Lasco. I’m not a specialist but I was totally amazed by his technique when I watched him at the last Tom Dolan Invitational, especially on backstroke and on freestyle. It looked so effortless which is very rare for so young swimmers.
    Hopefully he will break some NAG records next week at the Middle Atlantic junior olympics and his coach will post the races on youtube so you can analyze his technique with your experts’ eyes.

  22. fatsmcgee says:
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    Love your analysis hkswimmer. I am also skeptical about Rushall’s outright dismissal of Mellouli’s technique (some might call this “hip-driven” freestyle?). That being said, people like Lotte Friis,Brooke Bennett,Ryan Cochrane and Kieren Perkins seem to show that a more rotary, less front-quadrant oriented freestyle can also work well for distance swimming. Ryan Cochrane is no Sun Yang, but with considerably more strokes per length (36 vs Yang’s 28) and a much higher stroke rate (82 strokes per minute vs 60) he can still go 14:39.

  23. aswimfan says:
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    Bobo,

    Aside from Phelps, Thorpe also swam 4:24 in 400 IM at 14 yo. Andrew’s LCM 400 IM PB is still far behind. HOWEVER, his 200 IM record is stunning. A WR for 14 yo I believe. So, he seems to be equally great in LCM and SCY in 200 or shorter, but his 400 time is still lagging behind.

  24. Swimjim says:
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    I am just amazed at Michael Andrew’s success and raw talent. So many have commented above about his flawed technique – but I’m old enough to remember Janet Evans and her “windmill” stroke which nearly everyone criticized, but it sure worked for her! You win races and medals by how quickly you move through the water, not how ‘pretty’ you look doing it. Go Michael!

  25. Husker says:
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    The main reason USRPT is a good method on swim training is that it develops the swimmer’s potential more efficiently than traditional method.

    The main reason of Michael Andrew’s success as a young swimmer is the mix of his talent, USRPT training and the deep understanding of his coach/father Peter on swimming technique.

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