Carson Foster on Building His Mental Fortitude When Racing From Behind

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with double silver medalist in both IM’s in Budapest, Carson Foster. Foster takes us through his first LCM world championships and describes the work that he’s been putting in towards his mental stamina, specifically in the 400 IM. This work paid off, for even when he was passed by Leon Marchand at the 250 mark of the race, Foster kept a level head and ultimately touched for 2nd in a huge PB of 4:06.5, just .3 off of his goal time for the summer.

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Music: Otis McDonald
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Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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R&R
1 month ago

It has been awesome to see Carson silence all the doubters and nay-sayers, and rise up from what must have been quite a disappointing 2021. How many people on here were saying that he’d never execute when it mattered and never win anything important?!? You know who you are.

I don’t think we could have asked for a better showing from him, and he has stamped himself as the USAs future in IM. Leon had a jaw dropping year, and you can only control yourself.

Plus, he did it all with humbleness and a smile. Even when he could have lashed out against the haters last year, he took it in, acknowledged his faults (even more than I thought he… Read more »

Armstrong 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  R&R
1 month ago

You can’t not like him if you ever watched his interviews. He’s a good kid.

Apathetic
1 month ago

Might be the only swimmer I’ve ever heard share an actual goal time. And openness about wanting that 800 free relay world record. He and his brother are awesomely open and it’s great to see!

Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

Unrelated but it’s been 2 weeks and we still haven’t heard a reason for why the biggest swimmer in the sport just left the World Championships, I’m starting to think it could be a doping related issue, Dean Boxall mentioned in a podcast that they gave Shayna Jack notice before she tested positive, I’m wondering if this is the same thing

Joel
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

I thought the same but didn’t know whether to say it. He does have 8 TUEs apparently but I suppose if it’s a TUE it covers him

Mr Piano
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

He has 8 TUEs? Source? If true that’s… pretty sus… god I hope he’s clean, it would crush my enthusiasm for the sport if otherwise.

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Holy crap if Dressel dopes. I don’t think team USA could take a hit like that….:( I don’t think I could take a hit like that.

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

I think it’s unverified info from that FancyBears attack on WADA back in 2016. Plus the dude has asthma, so I’m sure that explains some if not most of those TUE’s.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

Every swimmer has asthma and has TUE.

Cobalt
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Yeah…tons of people were crushed to find out the truth about Lance Armstrong.

Really hoping it’s not doping related, or anything else that’s serious!

anonymous
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

Some of the TUE’s were related to the accident he had. For example he went to the ER got IV fluid, got pain medication for injuries. Those require documentation and TUE’s.

Random123
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

if it’s not doping then why the hell has nothing been said yet?

Armstrong 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

I hope he can make a little more disclosures about the situation to end speculations. It’s indeed a little fishy now. How severely ill was he that he needed to fly back home so early? Ledecky was ill in 2019, but returned to relays and 800 free when she felt better. It would be more logical to me that he stayed in Budapest to see if he can recover in time at least for the medley relay on the last day. He could make a difference to the team even not at his peak, at least giving his teammates more rests instead of having to do doubles or swim both prelims and finals.

Chlorinetherapy
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

I’m leaning more towards mental health difficulties.

Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
1 month ago

He’s got no reason to have those issues, it’s the year after the Olympics in a watered down world championships in which he’d already won 2 gold medals, makes no sense

Outside Smoke
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

Dude said post-race interview he was “freaking out” in his hotel before the 50 fly final of all events. Seems to me he’s in his own head this season.

It would explain the lack of communication. It’s much harder to be transparent about mental health than an injury on social media. It would also explain why he originally only scratched the 100 free.

anonymous
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

Maybe this article will give you perspective on his mental health issues. In April 2022 he said he was struggling with his mental health

https://www.si.com/olympics/2022/04/27/caeleb-dressel-faced-mental-health-struggles-before-tokyo-games#:~:text=Dressel%20pinpointed%20one%20meet%20as,to%20record%20another%20best%20time.

BrianD
Reply to  Jacob Whittle 46.90 in Paris
1 month ago

The longer the silence continues, the more confusing this seems. If it were a purely physical issue, the details would have been communicated almost immediately. This would be generating some journalistic scrutiny in any other (more popular) sport, but not a peep from SwimSwam even though it is the biggest story of these championships. I’m still hoping for some prosaic explanation.

bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

What do people think he’s gonna go in the 200 fly & back and the 400 free? Any predictions?

Pvdh
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

1:54.9 200 fly
1:54.6 2 back

3:47 4 free.

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  Pvdh
1 month ago

I agree

Random123
Reply to  Pvdh
1 month ago

2 back seems way too fast

R&R
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

1:56.5 200 fly
1:57.2 200 back
3:49 400 Free

Mr Piano
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

1:55 200 fly
Scratch 200 back
3:53 400 free

swimfan27
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

3:46 400 Free
1:55 low 200 fly
1:56 low 200 back

Swammer
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
1 month ago

1:56.5 200 fly
1:55.0 200 back
3:45.8 400 free

wildblue
1 month ago

Carson has the best attitude! Excited to see what’s to come with his rivalry with Leon

anonymous
Reply to  wildblue
1 month ago

He will never beat Leon because Carson’s breaststroke is a disaster.

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

What do you mean a disaster?? It was still very fast

anonymous
Reply to  Peaty55Paris
1 month ago

It is the same weak part of his IM’s that he has had for years.

R&R
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

He may never beat Leon (again), but to be fair, only one other man ever has beaten his 400IM time, and that was the fastest swimmer ever, so…

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  R&R
1 month ago

Also, Carson is the 4th fastest US male and the 8th all-time in the world. Carson isn’t a slacker.

anonymous
Reply to  Peaty55Paris
1 month ago

No one said he was a slacker.

anonymous
Reply to  R&R
1 month ago

Chase has been 4:05.9. Michael Andrew has been 1:55.2

SwammaJammaDingDong
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Carson out split Michael Phelps’ world record swim on the BR leg (1:10.32 vs 1:10.56). He is consistently taking time out of each part of the race, and actually took almost a second out of the BR leg over the past year… Meanwhile, Marchand is going to have to work on his actual swimming over the next couple of years. He is reliant on under-waters for FL, BK, and FR which often become less effective with age.

Crawler
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

He can beat him in the 200IM with a little better breaststroke leg and a much better breast to free transition (underwater dolphin kicks!).

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  wildblue
1 month ago

“Rivalry”?

Cute.

Swammer
Reply to  wildblue
1 month ago

I love what it means for the future of the IMs, but personally I’m concerned for Foster. I have a hunch that he’ll be the next Ryan Lochte, in the sense that he’ll have a slate of awesome PBs along with a few major golds, but will be blocked from being “the guy” because there’s a generational talent ahead of him. Hell, they’re even good at all the same events

R&R
Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

… Ok, but Lochte did alright. Probably made 10M, and tied for 10th most Olympic medals of all time. If I’m going to feel bad for anyone behind Phelps, it’s Lazlo Cseh.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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