Michael Andrew Turns Pro, Youngest Male in U.S. Swimming History

  263 Braden Keith | June 11th, 2013 | Featured, Industry, International, National, News

Late Sunday evening, fourteen year old swimming phenom, Michael Andrew, signed his first endorsement deal, officially making him the youngest swimmer in United States history to turn professional.

Andrew hasn’t been fourteen long. His birthday was April 18th, and just last weekend in Iowa City he became the fastest 13-14 year old in the 50 long course meter freestyle in American history with a 23.47. That’s the 11th National Age Group (NAG) Record he holds, and he’s broken 32 NAG Records since he started making waves in the pool.

Andrew’s 50 free time ranks him 59th in the nation among all elite males. A few female swimmers, similar in age, rank higher, but women have historically developed faster than men in the sport of swimming. It’s highly unusual for boys to crack the top 60 in the country at 14 years old. The next-closest ranked 14-year-old boy is #167.

The young swimmer might be one of the best 14-year old athletes in the history of the sport, but he’s also been one of the most discussed. His product endorsement, the youngest ever signed by an American swimmer, will only serve to further increase the buzz, mystique, and hype surrounding the talented young swimmer.  With only one exception among the male ranks, Michael Phelps, the path to elite swimming in the United States has traditionally taken swimmers through the collegiate ranks. With this decision, Andrew will now be ineligible to swim either in high school or NCAA collegiate competition.

Andrew has signed with P2 Life, a high-performance nutrition supplement manufacturer. Terms of the agreement are confidential.

The Deal

Pic_of_Michael_Signing_1st_Contract

Michael Andrew while signing his first ever endorsement deal, which officially makes him a professional athlete.

P2 Life, a high-performance nutrition supplement manufacturer, has signed 14-year old swimmer Michael Andrew to a historic endorsement deal. P2 Life adds this endorsement to one already existing with United States Masters’ Swimming (USMS) at the opposite end of the age spectrum.

“We looked around at the NCAA, and we decided that this is a road that we want to go down together,” his coach and father Peter Andrew said on Sunday when we spoke via phone (as the pair were on their way to go fishing). “And as far as high school, we’re home schooled so there’s really nothing to miss out on there.”

“We don’t really think it puts pressure on Michael, it’s still just swimming,” Peter said, as Michael chimed in the background with a “I like pressure.”

“I mean he wants to swim in the Olympics and he has goals, but it really doesn’t change anything for us except you get some free stuff,” Peter continued.

Andrew has been the source of much intrigue over the last four years, where he’s had 32 national record breaking swims.

Tina Andrew, Michael’s mother who for now is acting as his agent, says that they only will work with companies that they believe in, and after they joined the Grand Prix Series they started receiving warnings about the risks of supplements, and P2Life was certified to be safe. In other words, they used P2Life before the endorsement was even a possibility.

With this decision, Andrew will now be ineligible to swim either in high school or NCAA collegiate competition.

The Precedent

Swimmers and other Olympic athletes turning pro in high school isn’t totally unheard of. Michael Phelps signed his first endorsement deal on October 4th, 2001 with Speedo, which was a few months after his 16th birthday. Gymnastics all-around individual Olympic champion Gabby Douglas, is believed to have endorsement deals well into the millions at 16-years old as well.

The difference is that when Phelps went pro, he was already an Olympian and a World Record holder, and Douglas was the best gymnast in the world. Andrew is maybe the best age group swimmer we’ve seen since Mary T. Meagher, but when compared to the rest of the professional ranks, he’s still got a long climb to go.

“My wife and I, before I settled, we spent 8 years travelling, and I think there’s a lot of great travelling opportunities around the world, and I’d love to see Michael have that chance,” Peter said. “There’s a lot of great meets in Europe, and we’d love to go race in Japan, and I think my wife and I learned more from travelling than from anything else we did.”

In this country, however, most professional athletes have to wait until they’re at least 18 to cash in on their talents, especially with age restrictions in place in leagues like the NBA and the NFL. Swimming has no such restrictions, and as an individual sport the market for going pro relies almost strictly on whether or not a sponsor is willing to pay.

This is even further true given where his parents come from; in most of the world outside of the United States, there is no reason to preserve amateur status for the sake of college scholarships. As soon as you make the Junior National Team and your training gets subsidized, or someone offers you something in exchange for your swimming, you’re a professional.

Here’s a list of young athletes who have gone pro at similar ages, and most (with the exception of Meilutyte) without much in the way of Olympic glory.

  • Ruta Meilutyte, 2012 Olympic Champion in the women’s 100 breaststroke, signed an endorsement with Arena earlier this year at 15.
  • Freddy Adu, an American soccer player, signed his first professional contract with MLS at 14 years old in 2003.
  • Andrea Jaeger, an American tennis player, turned pro in 1980 at 14 years old.
  • Michelle Wie, an American golfer who turned pro at 15 years old in 2005.
  • 12-year old Mauricio Baldivieso played his first professional soccer match in Bolivia at 12 years old in 2009.
  • 13-year old Peruvian Fernando Garcia played his first professional soccer match in 2001 at 13 years old.
  • Ricky Rubio, a Spanish basketball player, competed in Spain’s ACB professional basketball league at 14 years old in 2005.
  • Ryan Sheckler became a professional skateboarder in 2013 after winning gold at the 2003 X Games
  • Joe Nuchall is the youngest player to ever play in a Major League Baseball game, pitching two-thirds of an inning for the Reds in 1944 when he was only 15.

The Training

The potential is there for Andrew. According to his mother, Tina Andrew, he currently stands 6’4″ and weighs 178 pounds. His father is a former high-level swimmer and Navy diver from South Africa, and stands 6’6″ or so himself; his mother, Tina, is a gifted athlete, and actually used to be a gladiator on British Gladiators once upon a time (the equivalent of American Gladiators in the U.S.) Michael is taller than your average 14-year old, but it wouldn’t seem that he’s done growing either.

Michael Andrew, 14 year old swimming phenom

Michael Andrew, 14 year old swimming phenom

Andrew trains with his younger sister, Michaela, in a two-lane indoor pool their father built-in the back yard. The focus is on the outside-the-box training principles of Dr. Brent Rushall, which preaches basically exclusive race-pace training (to oversimplify it). Michaela (who lately has cooled on the swimming and focused more on other sports) and Michael are joined frequently by visiting swimmers who want to learn more about their unique training methodologies, as well as a pair of local high school swimmers (one, who is a high school quarterback going to Stanford who is thinking about walking on to the swim team.)

“Michael has massive, massive abilities, but he’s gotta be enjoying it, or else we’re not going to do it anymore,” Peter said. “Sometimes with Michael, I find myself getting frustrated because he’s not making a time that I want him to be making, like any coach would, and I have to catch myself, because my relationship with him as a son is what’s most important.”

The concept is based on Dr. Rushall’s concepts of training how you’ll race, with a lot of high intensity training. As Michael himself explained it, “when you do too much yardage, it trains that 2a muscle, but we’re really working on that 2b fast twitch muscle. When you race a lot in practice, you make those neurological connections, and your body just knows what to do.”

A typical day will see about two hours of training, broken into three 40 minute sessions.

The initial reaction to this training is “Todd Marinovich,” the infamous child-prodigy experiment from the ranks of the NFL. As a young athlete, Marinovich underwent intense focus on his training to become a pro athlete under the guidance of his father Marv Marinovich, who once asked “How well could a kid develop if you provided him with the perfect environment?”

The Andrew family has certainly gone out of their way to give Michael great training opportunities, but his training feels simultaneously similar and different than that of the young Marinovich. It’s the same sort of very scientific, very technical training, and from a very young age having more attention and more very specific detail than most kids are used to. Michael spends no more time training than your average top-tier USA Swimming club swimmer. This past fall, he actually played on a local football team (he was the kicker, and was perfect on extra points for the season.)

Another similar example is baseball phenom Bryce Harper, who earned his GED two years early so that he could play pro baseball two years earlier. He’s had one of the brighter beginnings to a pro baseball career as we’ve seen in the last decade.

The next evolution of the training is working on Andrew’s pacing. Specifically, in their first few USA Swimming Grand Prix Series experiences, was that Michael got caught up trying to go out with the big name swimmers. “He’d go out too fast, try and follow Ryan Lochte and those guys, and there’s no way he’ll be able to hang on coming home with them,” Peter said. “I think he’s really getting the pacing, and that’s going to be big for his 100’s.

“My goal is to be no more than two seconds apart on the two halves of my 100,” Michael explained of his race strategy, noting that in his last meet he overshot that a bit, going 27-27 en route to a 54.

“That shows that he’s at least getting the idea, though the outcome wasn’t what we wanted,” Peter chimed in.

As Michael stepped out of the car to start the day’s fishing, Dad and coach Peter, playing a dual role, suddenly got a bit less technical. “Ya know, to be able to spend so much time with my son, and have success, and hopefully get to travel the world with him…that’s the greatest thing I could ever ask for.”

The Records

Below is a complete list of all of Michael Andrew’s National Age Group Record breaking swims.

Those times listed with an asterisk (*) now belong to someone else.
Those times listed in bold are Andrew’s records as they stand now.

(Note that this only includes swims recognized by USA Swimming. He broke the record in the 50 free for 11-12’s at least one other time, but the meet failed to file the proper sanction paperwork)

10 & under

  • 50 yard free, 24.60, January 16th, 2010 – Lawrence, Kansas
  • 50 yard breast, 31.78, February 6th, 2010 – Brown Deer, Wisconsin*
  • 100 yard IM, 1:01.31, February 6th, 2010 – Brown Deer, Wisconsin
  • 50 yard back, 28.58, February 7th, 2010 – Brown Deer, Wisconsin*
  • 50 yard free, 24.47, February 7th, 2010 – Brown Deer, Wisconsin
  • 50 yard fly, 26.59, February 13th, 2010 – Rochester, Minnesota*
  • 100 yard back, 1:00.86, February 20th, 2010 – Pierre, South Dakota*
  • 100 yard free, 54.10, February 21st, 2010 – Pierre, South Dakota
  • 100 yard breast, 1:08.53, March 5th, 2010 – Aberdeen, South Dakota*
  • 50 yard free, 24.46, March 27th, 2010 – St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 50 long course meter backstroke, 32.85, April 2nd, 2010 – Cedar Valley, Utah*
  • 50 long course meter backstroke, 32.72, April 10th, 2010 – Cerritos, California*

11-12

  • 50 yard free, 22.08, November 18th, 2011 – Columbia, Missouri
  • 50 yard free, 21.85, December 3rd, 2011 – Fishers, Indiana
  • 50 yard breaststroke, 28.09, December 3rd, 2011 – Fishers, Indiana
  • 50 yard butterfly, 24.05, December 3rd, 2011 – Fishers, Indiana
  • 100 yard IM, 54.66, December 11th, 2011 – College Park, Maryland
  • 200 yard breaststroke, 2:13.33, January 7th, 2012 – Independence, Missouri*
  • 50 long course meter freestyle, 25.50, February 12th, 2012 – Raleigh, NC
  • 50 long course meter butterfly, 27.26, February 12th, 2012 – Raleigh, NC
  • 50 long course meter freestyle, 25.15, March 3rd, 2012 – Jenks, Oklahoma
  • 50 long course meter freestyle, 25.09, March 25th, 2012 – Ft. Collins, Colorado
  • 50 long course meter butterfly, 26.22, March 25th, 2012, Ft. Collins, Colorado
  • 100 yard breaststroke, 1:00.19, February 26th, 2012 – St. John, Indiana*
  • 100 yard free, 47.95, March 9th, 2012 – Topeka, Kansas
  • 50 yard breaststroke, 27.46, March 10th, 2012 – Topeka, Kansas
  • 50 yard butterfly, 23.70 March 11th, 2012 – Topeka, Kansas
  • 50 yard butterfly, 23.65 March 11th, 2012 – Topeka, Kansas
  • 100 yard breaststroke, 1:00.07, April 13th, 2012 – Clearwater, Florida*
  • 100 yard IM, 54.14, April 13th, 2012 – Clearwater, Florida
  • 100 yard IM, 53.86, April 13th, 2012 – Clearwater, Florida

13-14

  • 50 long course meter freestyle, 23.47, June 1st, 2013 – Iowa City, Iowa (pending recognition)

Video of Michael Andrew’s 23.47 50 meter freestyle NAG record:

In This Story

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263 Comments on "Michael Andrew Turns Pro, Youngest Male in U.S. Swimming History"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

I’m the first to comment this article but I believe I’m not the last.
Good luck to him!

Jack Rund
2 years 10 months ago

The dude is a savage, but first and foremost he is a gentleman.

Paella747
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah…. I bet there’s going to be a lot here soon.
This one will be an interesting one to follow…..

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

A probable record of comments on swimswam is expected!

Bourdais
2 years 10 months ago

Doubt it. Some of the Olympics pages had hundreds and hundreds of comments. I think this one had the most, over 400.

http://swimswam.com/american-vollmer-van-der-burgh-break-world-records-on-day-2-recap-french/

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

Yes, but I talked more about standard articles and not about a meet live coverage.

WHOKNOWS
2 years 10 months ago

How can a 14 year old sign a contract? There must be some legal safeguards here.

iLikePsych
2 years 10 months ago

I believe said safeguards are known as ‘legal guardians’.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

I’ve just realized that Michael Andrew only specializes in the sprints.

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

3:58 in the 400yd IM aged 13.

pvk
2 years 10 months ago

And a 1:50. 200 im at 13!

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

In SCY! Long course is very different.

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

So, according to folks, 400yd IM is a sprint because it’s raced in a 25yd pool? Does that mean a 1650yd free is also a sprint since it’s also raced in a 25yd pool? Come on!

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

My comment about him specializing in sprints was based on the fact that he broke or hods records in 50/100 only.

Until he breaks records in 200 and over, I am still convinced he is a sprinter.

Michael "theshark" Katz
1 year 3 months ago

Stop this Malarkey

Christian Anton
2 years 10 months ago

Exactly, only sprints

2 years 10 months ago

What’s wrong with that? Most teams continue with their “garbage yardage” programs. Most aspiring young swimmers act as “economic fodder” for top swimmers and coaches on their programs. I doubt that most coaches have opened a book on physics or physiology for 10 or 15 years OR ever. Michaels training is solidly based on both. Michael is a natural talent, that is reaching the top through thoughtful coaching, intelligent parenting, and efficient training. I wonder how many teams and their parents can say that.

PsychoDad
2 years 10 months ago

Congratulation to Michael and family. They deserve the help. The bond you develop with your kids practicing and traveling together is indeed priceless.

Swimmer
1 year 9 months ago

He’s just a big guy,he’s gonna slow down once he stops growing in 1-2 years

JUST A SWIMCOACH
2 years 10 months ago

Please provide a list of athletes that have been developed using the “Dr. Rushall technique”.

High intensity training is certainly not a new concept but are there elements exclusive to this Brent Rushall method?

Didn’t he write for Swimming World at one time?

Have any of these Rushall method athletes made it to the world stage?

Did they swim until the age of 26 (the average US Olympian age)?

What new and innovative things is his coach/father doing other than producing a 6ft 4in 13 yr old?

Are there other swimmers who are not behemoth sized early teens who have gone the distance directly or indirectly under the guidance of this “coach”?

I do wish them the best though abnormally large “age group phenoms” are certainly not a new concept and history is not on their side.

DR EVIL
2 years 10 months ago

Their method of “high intensity training” is much different than anything you know about.

It’s a “Moneyball” concept….so your traditional line of questions were quite predictable!

DR. EVIL HAS SPOKEN!

SWEswimmer
2 years 10 months ago

The funny thing is we have equally good 14 year olds in sweden! The only difference is we swim only in LCM and SCM whitch benefits us. No mather the age he is still as far away from Rio as a 20 year old doing the same times.

Jg
2 years 10 months ago

All Kieren’s public comments are on not overlooking yougsters because they have little speed. He himself was regularly beaten by girls until he was 15.

He has also spoken out against the over scientification of the sport.

JUST A SWIMCOACH
2 years 10 months ago

Hmm. Was that an answer to my questions? Are you suggesting that these methods are too unpredictable to be understood? “Moneyball concepts” were based on actual evidence in the form of stats and outcomes that could predict trends. So again I ask, can you give some examples and results based on something else other than a one off abnormally large age grouper trained with exceptional private resources?
DR. EVIL HAS EXPELLED ONLY Co2 AND MEANINGLESS DRIVEL

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

I believe Kieran Perkins did something remarkably similar to train for the 1500m in the early 90s (ie. loads of short-distance, 1500m race speed repeats (for example 30 x 100 free @ 1500m race pace on 1.30 etc…)).

DR EVIL
2 years 10 months ago

Nope..not even close….SprintDude9000

Like I said earlier: “Their method of “high intensity training” is much different than anything you know about.”

DR. EVIL HAS SPOKEN!!

Scott spranklin
2 years 10 months ago

Dr Evil.. With regards to SD9000 example re Perkins training he is actually spot on! But im not across their high intensity training you speak of to comment.. Sad this kid will miss out once college experience

Swimmerwholovesswimming
1 year 1 month ago

I do that 30x100m free @1500m pace set all the time!!!
Just felt like saying that

2 years 10 months ago

Questions pertaining to USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training) may be directed at [email protected] with the subject line “Cam USRP Group”. The discussion panel continues to grow every week.

Many coaches incorporate some form of “high intensity”/”race simulation” sets in their training structure. However, high intensity sets are not sufficient to qualify a swimmer as training in a USRPT structure.

USRPT is a set of principles for MAXimizing the volume of race pace training that can be performed. Many coaches are not willing to maximize this volume because they believe that other things can be more important than maximizing speed in particular events.

Extremely competition specific training is not new to the sporting world, as it has been adopted by athletes in other cyclic and total body sports like rowing and cross country skiing at the Olympic level. Athletes in other countries (not USA) are adopting it to greater and greater extents, and it is only a matter of time before the US Swim community realizes that catching up matters.

If the concept of USRPT training is wholly new to you, I recommend checking out the 2 and 8 page bulletins 40a and 40b at the following url http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/bullets/table.htm

If you make it through, and are hungry for more, review bulletin 39 as well.

The principle of specificity governs all sporting adaptation. You are what you repeat.

NDB
2 years 10 months ago

I enjoy this debate. I have begun to use more race pace training with my swimmers over the last 2 years but I still don’t see it as a replacement for traditional aerobic base type training.

I have a challenge for you…Could you name 10 world class elite that were trained using this Rushall philosophy. Better yet can you name any who specialize in something over a 100?

The training of Phelps and Lochte is very far from this training that you are championing. How do you explain this?

2 years 10 months ago

NDB- Thank you for your comments.

Race-pace training *is* aerobic systems training. I encourage you to review the aforementioned papers for a detailed explanation, but quite frankly supposed measures of “general” aerobic/endurance capacity (VO2 Max, “Lactate Threshold”, etc) just don’t match up with competition performance.

Phelps and Lochte are at the top of an arena field where every single one of their competitors trained with the idea that non-competition specific activity IS relevant to performance. There isn’t anything odd about some people doing exceptionally well despite running under the same basic training principle: it’s a normal distribution curve.

In time, someone with the right genetic potential will meet a coach/team that is willing to run a USRPT program fully.

Nobody is making any promises that USRPT is a “magic bullet” that will transform sinkers into Olympians. Different people will have different ceilings, just as in any other sport or activity (school, music, etc). But exercise science literature indicates that USRPT is the most effective way to enable individuals to fulfill their *individual* FULL POTENTIAL…

I invite people interested in continuing discussion further to reach out to the aforementioned email address.

[email protected]
Subject Line: “Cam USRP Group”

...
2 years 10 months ago

A direct quote from this guy:
“Similarly, heavy training and dryland training are unrelated to swimming improvements”.

I would first like to state that this may or may not be the stupidest thing I’ve heard in my entire life.

Also I am pretty appalled at the way this guys just completely trashes training techniques used by the best coaches in the world to train the fastest swimmers in the world…. You cant just get on the internet and say that lactate sets and broken swims are irrelevant….Just my 0.02 cents.

MickeyT
2 years 10 months ago

Sorry, but that quote was taken out of context. The full “comment” in a sense was that “High-yardage training and dryland training demands are unrelated to or negatively impact male elite swimming performances” , quite a different meaning to “heavy training and dryland are unrelated to swimming mprovements”

Bourdais
2 years 10 months ago

Current NAG record holder in three different strokes? Wonder how long he can keep that up, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a swimmer be internationally competitive in three different strokes. on that basis I doubt much longer, though he could be a mean 200m IM swimmer if he builds up his endurance.

Another question is whether he can make the Olympic team in Rio – he will be 17 and four months. His story so far is reminiscent of rare talents along the lines of Thorpe and Phelps. Thorpe did it at a similar age and Phelps was over two years younger when he got 5th at his first Olympics. On the other hand, his current event specialties work against him in this regard. It seems to be “easier” for younger swimmers to compete in middle/long distance events and non-freestyle events, while world class 17 year old freestyle sprinters are almost unheard of. That said, a first Olympics at 21 is still quite young, but it would be an invaluable experience to make the 2016 even if he doesn’t medal, like Phelps in 2000.

I’ll stop now, I think I’m getting ahead of myself. Regardless, certainly one to watch, and I hope things work out well for him.

2 years 10 months ago

His 50 free time is really impressive.If i am not mistaken, Cesar Cielo was 25.2 at 14.And all the guys who are breaking his age group records in Brazil, the best at 14 is 23.9.
I dont know the best Australian at 14, but at 15(Te Haumi Maxwell) is 23.03, not far off.

LC rules
2 years 10 months ago

Kyle chalmers is clearly faster, 23.1 for 50 and 50.8 for 100. His 100 fly is a lot stronger than Andrews too. Who cares about yards outside of America anyway?

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

The Australian age group record for 14 year olds was set this year: 23.18.

2 years 10 months ago

He did only turn 14 a couple of months ago though, I expect him to take it lower.

Patsy
2 years 10 months ago

Personally, if he will make an Olympics, I think that his best bet will be 2016. Based on his set up, I can’t see how he will be competitive enough in 2020 in that he is maximising his potential right now – size, looks like free weights too, if the upper lip shadow in the 2nd pic is evidence of shaving, then a very early onset of puberty, 1:1 attention and focus, I would guess lots of hours in training, and clearly, talent and good genes. The post also talks about him taking food supplements (at 13/14?) already.

Looking at all of this though, where is the room for growth/development? That is why I think that once he stops growing, it is unlikely his times will drop any further if he stays clean. I nevertheless wish him all the very best. Go Michael!

H2Opinion
2 years 10 months ago

Bourdais,

We have seen a swimmer internationally competitive in three different strokes. His name is Michael Phelps, and his strokes were butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke (and to a lesser degree, let us not forget about Neil Walker).

Many of us forget that Phelps was in the upper echelon of the backstroke events (namely the 200), but because of the order of events on the international level, rarely was able to compete in the those events.

Also, if you want to count the I.M. as an additional “stroke,” Lochte and one Scott “Tyler” Clary may be of significance.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

At the same age, Thorpe was selected as part of the Australian team to 1997 Pan Pacs in 400 m.
Also at similar age (a bit older by few months), Phelps won selection to 2000 Olympics.

So, to follow Thorpe/Phelps projection, Andrew will have to win a selection to Barcelona Worlds.

Bourdais
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah, it kind of falls apart there. I did say “reminiscent” rather than “repeat”, and what I meant was that they all took down a massive haul of NAG records at a similar age, not that this guy would replicate Thorpe and Phelps’ achievements to a tee. I also specifically mentioned that the events Andrew specialises at are extremely difficult for younger swimmers to do well at. In both men’s and women’s swimming at the top level, you tend to see a lot more younger swimmers in the distance freestyle events and the non freestyle events.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

Yes, I agree that sprints are difficult for younger male swimmers to break through the upper rank.

So he specializes in sprints, but when I said that in my previous comment, people were jumping on me saying he swims longer distances too.

Eagleswim
2 years 10 months ago

Phelps was internationally competitive in fly free and back

gosharks
2 years 10 months ago

Also, Natalie Coughlin was internationally competitive in back, free, and fly.

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

Roland Schoeman is the WR holder in 50m free, the second fastest ever in 50m fly and also the second fastest ever in 50m breaststroke. His backstroke isn’t as strong but still ridiculous fast and potentially competitive at World Cup level too I believe.

PAORN
2 years 10 months ago

Let us not forget Tracy Caulkins…a woman, but way ahead of her time and swam EVERY stroke at the national level.

Philip Johnson
2 years 10 months ago

i just recently heard of this swimmer and I know there are very very high expectations on him. best of luck to him and his family!

pvk
2 years 10 months ago

I don’t think he made the right choice on this one. 14 years old, really?!?! Do you really think he’s considering much else besides making some money?? I think he will regret his decision once NCAA recruiting for the class of 2017 rolls around.

Patsy
2 years 10 months ago

I thought that at first, but then changed my mind. He is home schooled. Dad is his coach etc. I read into this that every thing is done (it seems lovingly) to maximise his swim potential – down to the building of a 2 lane pool in their backyard.

Bearing this in mind, I am not sure he would have done well swimming in College where you have schedules outside of swimming and minimum GPAs to meet, not to talk of being one of many and not a coach’s sole focus. Once I figured that, I thought he is probably doing the right thing for him.

Eagleswim
2 years 10 months ago

The whole home schooling thing makes it worse! His parents have brainwashed him… This should be illegal… His dad is using him as some sort of super athlete experiment… Not fair to the kid he needs to have a real life

liquidassets
2 years 10 months ago

I agree that it’s an experiment, but I don’t think it’s a sinister one. I’ve read that he has plenty of friends and enjoys other hobbies besides swimming like any other kid. And I don’t know the father, so I can’t comment on whether Michael was brainwashed. While I do wonder whether 14 is too young to make such a decision to forego both high school and college swimming, on the other hand, if the kid gets bored and needs a change of pace, or misses training with a team, he can always shift his training to the competitive club setting in lieu of high school or college swimming. The family has already moved once, they could always move again if his needs changed and they had to to find adequate competition for him in practice.

There do seem to be some unique factors about Michael and his family that might make this work, where it likely wouldn’t with your average non home-schooled, non home-coached athlete who doesn’t have a training pool at home. The father’s training methods seem to be working well for now, obviously. Overall I’d say it’s an interesting experiment with some very obvious advantages and disadvantages which I’m sure that he and the parents have considered. I’m very interested to see how it plays out, and wish him the best.

liquidassets
2 years 10 months ago

I also forgot to say, he and his family have made their decision so it’s best to just observe and see what happens rather than argue about it. If it works, power to him and folks can learn from that. If it doesn’t work, others can learn from that too. While I don’t think I’d ever let my child do this, I honestly don’t know for sure because I’ve never been anywhere close to being in that position.

liquidassets
2 years 10 months ago

I just saw the video interview of him in the other article on here and now I think this could end badly. Rather than more mature, like I had heard about him, he actually seems more naive and impressionable than the average 14 year old. He should have waited.

SwimMom
2 years 10 months ago

I take offense to your comment about it being so much worse that he’s homeschooled. It seems to me that he does a LOT of traveling to swim meets. Do you have any idea how much public school he would miss to attend meets? Homeschooling allows for a lot of flexibility.

I homeschool my kids and they’re also both swimmers. As with Michael’s family, homeschooling allows us the flexibility to do a lot of traveling that we could not do if the kids were locked into a public school schedule. Intellectually, my kids are beyond their grade levels in all subjects and they are very well liked by other kids so the “no socialization” argument against homeschooling is always laughable to me. My son is 12, 6’2″ and 150 lbs. He doesn’t yet have the bulk that Michael has, but he is going to be HUGE – he is expected to be 6’8″ to 7′ tall. His dad is 6’5″ and I’m 6’1″. I am excited to see his swimming progress in the next few years. I am also excited to see what the future has in store for Michael Andrew.

BangorBoy
1 year 8 months ago

“locked into a public school schedule” – by this I guess you mean mixing with other children in a working-style environment, enjoying various extra curricular activities and maybe even scheduling some time for FUN. I’m sorry but home-schooling always feels a little suspicious to me, like parents don’t want their children to know what else is out there in case they deviate from their control

2 years 10 months ago

Someone should talk some sense into his parents.

Kate
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you Paul. Finally a straightforward comment I can get in with. When I saw that his parents are acting as his agents my blood ran cold. And that list with Andrea Jaeger and Michelle Wie on it…..look what happened to them. Andrea flamed out and also had to deal with a psycho father and Michelle Wie has never done what was expected of her. To expect kids to deal with emotional pressures as adults is never wise. That kid may be 6’4″ but he is still a kid.

Lane Four
2 years 10 months ago

Does anyone remember the name Todd Marinovich? Dad tried to turn him into a football genius and although he climbed the ladder with good success, he crashed and burned so fast it was horrible to watch. I become extremely nervous when I hear about parents taking over the reigns of their child’s complete life. All we can do is sit back and just see what happens. I am hoping and praying that Michael will be the exception and flourish. Maybe a certain Mr. Phelps should step in and give Michael some very sound words of wisdom.

Kevin
2 years 10 months ago

I agree with Paul after watching video of NAG spash and dash 50m record, It looks premature to reject a possible NCAA team experience and degree in case his swim career does not always get him a front and center lane. I wish him well but wouldn’t be surprised if his endorsement contract with P2Life/sponser is tied to future records and inflated expectations. Inflated like the claims of certain Creatine formulations.

Swimmer
2 years 10 months ago

He is going to burn out.

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

Why are you so pessimistic? It’s good to be optimistic.

kp
2 years 10 months ago

Burnout?? What makes people burn out are the insane high yardage programs that most kids train in, along with the overuse injuries that come with them. And to swim tired most of the year, and put all your eggs in one basket (peak for one or two meets) and get sick or something before or during those 1 or 2 meets?

As far as many of the other comments– From all I can tell, Michael’s parents are loving and truly want him to have fun. One can get a great education without attending traditional school or college. Some of the most well educated people I know are self-educated. Especially with computers now– the sky is the limit.

We have a tendency sometimes to think of money as a “dirty” thing. The desire to make money in the absence of other values is what can make it that way. This is FAR from the case in Michael’s family. Just listen to the interviews.

I agree with Peter Andrew that traveling provides the best education. I was lucky enough to go around the world on Semester At Sea, and the experience blew away my four years at a very good liberal arts school.

As far as the NCAA being the be-all-end all as a preparation for Olympics, we’ve seen some NCAA stars never make that leap. No guarantees. The one thing that I’m sorry about is that he will miss the day to day camaraderie of being on a team, as well as the unmatched excitement of duel meet competition (My own BEST memories of both swimming and coaching– going home having lost our voices from cheering, with meets coming down to who wins the last relay!!)
But you can’t have everything. Most of us will never be elite swimmers competing on the international stage. Perhaps Michael will have that.

If this works out, people will be lining up to train with or learn from Peter and Michael.

And lets be grateful– Michael may someday be representing the USA!!! I am thrilled that his folks found a way to stay here. Go Team Indie, and where can I get one of those shirts?!!!

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

From a physiological perspective he clearly won’t burn out (in fact it’s virtually impossible using Rushall’s method) but psychologically? We’ll have to wait and see. His lack of team mates and school mates (he is homschooled) leaves me slightly worried. Hopefully I’m proved wrong though as he is a massive talent and interesting to follow!

lem
2 years 10 months ago

I think ALL of us can agree that swimming is an expensive sport for a family to provide to their kids who train with USA Swimming clubs, especially when you consider monthly fees, meet fees, swim suits, travel, etc. etc. etc, so you can’t blame the family for taking a deal – especially when you consider the expenses they’ve incurred over the years traveling to meets all over the US to showcase Michael’s talent – but interestingly enough – staying away from meets where they could REALLY see where their son stacks up against the Ryan Hoffer’s and the Maxime Rooney’s of the world……opting instead to visit “Championship” meets where he can swim against the 20 year olds and perhaps get more EXPOSURE.

There is no doubting this family is a good family – very close – and supportive – but I do agree with the “Marinovich” syndrome – in a way – but not to an extreme level.

There’s no question – based upon the places where Michael swims and the number of postings on this website that the family is seeking EXPOSURE – which I can’t blame them for. They may be in a position where they need to go “pro” in order to continue to fund operations – which with what they’ve already invested – it’s either spend more – or cut your losses – and when you don’t have the necessary funds – then it’s continue to attract new investors.

What I’m intrigued with – and what I think the parents are missing – is IF Michael was a valuable and worthy endorsements – sports agents (representing various swimming manufacturers and other entitites) would be meeting up with the Andrew family at every meet they attend – offering the possibility of an endorsement deal – but instead – the Andrew’s family are representing themselves for now.

A nutritional supplement company, which I believe is like an Advocare or the multilevel marketing business, may bring in a temporary cash tranche to help with some of the expenses, but I believe they have a better opportunity to solidify their financial condition by simply finding the space to coach a USA Swim Club and bring a MASS of new kids into their facility that could satisfy 2 concerns – Money – and Michael wanting to swim with other kids.

Going pro serves only 2 purposes – I want to be recognized as being one of the best and being PAID for my efforts. Until Michael steps up at COMPETES against the BEST in his age group – I think the jury is still out and this is just a means to gain more EXPOSURE – because the endorsement he signed – just isn’t enough to warrant him as the best.

No Diva
2 years 10 months ago

I agree with your first paragraph–lots of garbage yardage and over use injuries by the age of 13. I applaud these parents that are looking for another way. We have several in our state doing the same thing. There is no guarantee that he would be any faster longer with another training method. Our mantra is this: take success when it is offered to you! There are no guarantees and everyone prematurely predicting long term failure for him couldn’t guarantee long term success with any other training method. At elite levels it’s really about genetic freaks–and lets face it: he’s won the genetic freak lottery!

2 years 10 months ago

Thank you for your astute comment. It is obvious that you gave it a lot of thought (-:

duckduckgoose
2 years 10 months ago

Best of luck to him, but I wonder about socialization issues. He’s 14, home schooled, coached by his dad, and won’t swim in college. Foregoing opportunities to be around peers your own age in adolescence raises some alarms about personal development outside the pool.

Sean S
2 years 10 months ago

They say they made this decision together but as a 14 year old there is no way he understands the full implications of this so it is really only his parents choice. I understand that the commitment they have put into his swimming isn’t cheap but I think this is a huge mistake. If he was a superstar going into the 2016 Olympics and he turned pro I would get it but to do it now is just crazy. Swimming with his dad as his coach, with no teammates and now these gigantic expectations that come with turning pro at this age it is hard to imagine he won’t burn out. I hope that he doesn’t, but it would be very understandable if he does. I also can’t imagine this sponsorship is for all that much money, I doubt the cost of 4 years at a high level university will be covered by the time he is ready to go to college unless he adds several more sponsors.

Philip Johnson
2 years 10 months ago

I agree that no 14 year old boy really knows the full consequences of this decision. but the best we can do is wish them luck.

Ben
2 years 10 months ago

Congrats to Michael! With the amount of travel he and his family does to compete at elite level meets it makes sense for them to lighten the load any way they can. We probably will see him struggle, emotionally more than performance-wise, as he gets closer to the college recruiting time. But maybe not. I’ve said it before on this site, I’ve met Michael’s parents and observed them on deck. It’s without a doubt that Michael is his toughest critic, his parents really are parents first not coaches.

ArtVanDeLegh10
2 years 10 months ago

First, not too many NAG record holders go on to be great college aged swimmers, let alone international players or Olympians.

Secondly, he obviously is a stud, but remember back when you were an age group swimmer. Usually the fastest swimmers were the ones that matured sooner than everyone else–aka, the biggest/tallest. He’s 6’4, 178.

I liked the Todd Marinovich comparison, although we really don’t know what his life is like at home. The Marinovich story was eye opening. If you haven’t heard about it, find the 30 for 30 on ESPN and watch it.

Does anyone actually think that Michael will be seeing any of his endorsements/money? If not (and I doubt he’ll see any of it), it certainly leads me to believe that his parents are just trying to make money for themselves/get more publicity.

Patsy
2 years 10 months ago

It does sound like his parents really care for him though, even though they might seem a bit unconventional in their choices for him…

2 years 10 months ago

Patsy, his parents are from South Africa (though now US citizens). For them swimming is about the Olympic experience. The NCAA experince is a big part of the US swimming culture. It’s unconventional for US swimmers because we believe the path to elite swimming runs through the college ranks. Outside of the US, if you’re fast, you’re focused on the Olympic stage.

rory connell
2 years 10 months ago

mel i think you need to reexamine the ncaa landscape
look @ auburn, arizona, usc, floridae etc etc & how many internationals are not only coming swimming collegiately, but staying or coming back post grad or pro to train. they are littered through every program in a good way. i love it! its what makes NCAA swimming the fastest meet around.
Salo has how many swimmers under his guidance from how many different countries?
USA is the melting pot, where all good things come together to be better.
Sergio has foreigners down @ Bolles because their training environments are that much more competitive back in their home countries, NO WAY!
Fast international level swimmers want an education PLUS the swimming side & they come to the states in droves.

2 years 10 months ago

I agree, Rory… The NCAA has become the biggest international pro-producing platform (and you get an education as you develop…I did). Still, it’s not for everyone. Many international elites stay home and focus on the Olympics. In the US, however, 99.9% of us look through the NCAA lens only. The US path is not the only path to the Games. That’s all I’m saying.

duckduckgoose
2 years 10 months ago

Good point about non-American perspectives on NCAA swimming. Katie Hoff’s mom played basketball at Stanford, so that family clearly understood what benefits, opportunities, coaching, and training infrastructure are available at a college swimming power.

swimm
2 years 10 months ago

not everyone makes the Olympics, and he has not secured a spot. Even if he is amazing, 3rd, 4th, 5th place at trials is amazing, and who knows if he will be top 2 or the unlucky 3rd, or even final. Which leaves him with no endorsements, no NCAA, and a maybe even given up a little bit of enjoyment in life and swimming along the way

?????
2 years 10 months ago

WHY? Unless the family is really, really hard up for money in which case the college scholarship is the safer bet, and it doesn’t seem they are with their own pool and all the traveling they do, this is strictly a PUBLICITY stunt, and it is working since I’m bothering to write on some web site comment page.

?????
2 years 10 months ago

an ego driven publicity stunt. “See how good MY KID is !”

?????
2 years 10 months ago

Shame on P2Life.

Dr. Evil
2 years 10 months ago

In the music world, teen age talents like Justin Bieber and Austin Mahone along with many others have had very successful professional careers and no one tells them to hold back or it was a bad decision.

NASCAR’s Kyle Busch actually had to graduate early from high school before he was allowed to race in the regular series, and has had a great professional career. His parents along with many other parents in that series have played an instrumental role in their development and management.

This weekend, two teenagers went 1-2 in the ARCA/ReMax series. It is the developmental series right below the regular NASCAR level. They are professional athletes and I don’t think anyone is telling them with the talent they have to wait or hold back because it’s a bad decision.

DR EVIL HAS SPOKEN!!

ArtVanDeLegh10
2 years 10 months ago

There have been a lot of young music talents, but most of them fade out hard as they get older. I know it’s a lot different, but look at child actors/actresses that are stars at a young age. 90% of them end up having drug problems later on in life. Zach Morris is one of the only ones still going strong-haha.

Look at all the swimmers that have gone pro early from the USA. Other than Phelps (and I suppose Hoff–depends on how you want to look at it), how many have actual had more success after they went pro? Not too many.

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

Plese, don’t call Justin Bieber a music talent!

Lane Four
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you, Bobo.

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah, but it’s the part where it goes horribly wrong and the kid’s life is ruined that we’re looking out for here.

ole 99
2 years 10 months ago

Anyone know which flag he plans to swim under, USA or South Africa?

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

First, and many people forget that, nobody knows if he will swim on the world stage one day.
Second, if it’s the case, the qualifications would be of course much easier in South Africa. But if he’s a big talent and wants to win many medals, especially on relays, he will swim for USA. His life with his family is in USA. And his first name is Michael like Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan or Michael Johnson.

beqchmouse
2 years 10 months ago

South Africa may be an easier international team to make, but they’ve also been asking their second tier athletes to pay their own way to the big international meets lately.

SWIMGUY123
2 years 10 months ago

Interesting decision. Agreed, he is a huge talent, but he’s physically huge himself so young. NAG records don’t always tell the tale for who will be the best when it’s all said and done. Who is this quarterback going to Stanford who might walk on to the swim team?

PAC12BACKER
2 years 10 months ago

Very well written article with a lot of background information on other young pro athletes across all sports. Kudos to Braden. I keep thnking maybe this kid should have tried other sport discplines before going whole hog into swimming as a sub 10 year-old. Maybe he would have had uber talent in other sports (i.e. higher paying sports).

The smartest thing is the race-pace sprint training philosophy. Some of the other decisions…well good luck with that.

cynthia curran
2 years 10 months ago

Too young, he may not end up being that good and if he doesn’t make a world team he will lose his conrtact. People here complained about Katy Hoff turing pro but she had at least place in several events at worlds this kid has not done this and males usually are not stars in swimming before age 18 with the exceptions of Michael Phelps and Rick Demont and so forth.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

You forgot Ian Thorpe, the youngest ever world championship male medalist, and second youngest ever male WR holder after Phelps.

WHOKNOWS
2 years 10 months ago

Great publicity for Michael Andrew… keep up the good work… I have never seen such attention to a young male swimmer as what you have produced here. When is his blog and web page going to appear which list all his endorsements?

CoachK
2 years 10 months ago

Hard not to question this decision, especially when one considers Missy Franklin turning down lucrative swimwear endorsement deals to see him pick up an endorsement with a relatively small player in a relatively small industry. That said, not every one should follow the same path as Missy. But is Michael really all that much better then other, college-bound swimmers like Ryan Murphy or Jack Conger (ie, the people he will be competing against in 2016 and beyond)? Not saying yes or no, but its an interesting question to ask. Also interesting to me that he, for lack of a better phrase, trains in a vacuum. While he is exceptionally fast for his age in meets, I’d venture to say there are 14/15 year olds at clubs like NBAC, NCAP, or MAC that could train at or above his level on a daily basis. If he trained in that environment, all else being equal, would he still have chosen to go pro?

This post solely raises the question regarding his decision to go pro…I’ll leave debating the longterm growth potential of Rushall’s method to another post. Would love to see an interview/video feature a la FloSwimming on his training.

All told, it is not my place to judge this decision…if this is what the family decided was in Michael’s best interest, then I wish them the best of luck.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

Well, Michael Andrew’s family is (my guess) nowhere nearly as wealthy as Missy’s parents.

What fit for Missy (and her family) may not be possible for Andrew (and his family).

Liliana
2 years 10 months ago

I doubt that a deal with this company will make them any wealthier or even cover for their expenses. What do you think, how much money a 14-year-old kid, an age-group record holder is paid to endorse a product? In my eyes this is just a cheap publicity stunt. If he signed a long-term deal with some swimsuit company, like Phelps did with Speedo when he was 16, I’d understand. But this is simply a joke. Somebody needs to stop his parents from leading this talented kid to nowhereland.

DR EVIL
2 years 10 months ago

“I’ll leave debating the longterm growth potential of Rushall’s method to another post. Would love to see an interview/video feature a la FloSwimming on his training.”

No need for that “CoachK”!

All you have to is a simple literature search (try Google Scholar) on Dr. Brent Rushal and you can read all about it l!!

DR. EVIL HAS SPOKEN!!

CoachK
2 years 10 months ago

Dr. Evil…

Read it long ago, along with virtually every other piece of scientific swimming literature I have gotten my hands on. That’s why I’d love to see an interview with their interpretation of the literature, direct from the horse’s mouth.

CoachK has spoken.

DR EVIL
2 years 10 months ago

CoachK

Well if you have read as much “research literature” as claimed, I doubt a video “interpretation” would help you out!

Time to go to class…!!!

DR. EVIL HAS SPOKEN!!

coacherik
2 years 10 months ago

I agree with CoachK. I would be interested in seeing how they are applying this in 3 x 40 minutes blocks. How often is this schedule kept? What kind of warm-up is done for these individual training sessions (combined land and water, because I see three workouts and three warm-ups).

It would also shed more light on their given situation if we got to see a microcycle of these 3 x 40 minute days or other parts of the season. Being able to see a weeks worth of training would be interesting and more informative then reading 4-7 sentences or a single phrase summarizing a 42 page paper with 10 pages of single-spaced references.

Don’t be afraid to show your hand, Peter and Michael Andrew. Its only a window into the Xs and Os and the application of the training is the biggest component. If you are doing it better, letting people in on it won’t effect your results and goals.

..coacherik has spoken…

tomr
2 years 10 months ago

Hope the best for him but fear the worst. A long way to go for him but hope it all works out

whT
2 years 10 months ago

why didn’t he listen to any Missy Franklin interviews

zebrafeet
2 years 10 months ago

better yet, why didn’t he read some of the comments from Dagny.

Justin Thompson
2 years 10 months ago

Why should he listen to the Missy Franklin interviews? Is that the only way to become great? I guess Phelps made a mistake and should have tooled around in SCY for 4 years?

MickeyT
2 years 10 months ago

When Phelps turned pro he was a world record holder and world championships gold medallist…. quite different circumstances I’d say…

Kirk Nelson
2 years 10 months ago

I think this is a terrible precedent and incredibly short sighted. Michael Andrew certainly seems to have the talent to make it to the top, but nothing is guaranteed. But good luck to him. I’d love to see him succeed!

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

People who compared Michael Andrew to Thorpe and Phelps are crazy.

At 14, Thorpe won selection to Pan Pacs and won silver in 400 free at Pan Pacs in a time that would have won silver in 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
At barely 15, Thorpe already won individual world championships gold.
Just turning 15, Phelps qualified to 2000 Sydney Olympics and finished 4th in 200 fly. And still at 15, he broke 200 fly WR in worlds trials.

Now, we can start comparing Michael Andrew to Thorpe and Phelps if he wins selection to Barcelona.

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

Exactly. He’s obviously talented, but he still needs to make another leap (or two) to get anywhere near where he’s expecting to go.

bobo gigi
2 years 10 months ago

MP has finished 5th in Sydney. And I remember very well when the TV journalist here in France had said before the race he would be a big champion in the future. He was right about that!
Of course, absolutely no reason to compare NOW Michael Andrew to Michael Phelps. It’s really stupid.

Swimmer
2 years 10 months ago

It is very different swimming sprint freestyle (especially the 50) and winning nationally at such a young age, as opposed to those events of Phelps and Thorpe. If you look at any National-level meet, the field for 50 and 100 free is on average about age 24 or 25.

beachmouse
2 years 10 months ago

In track & field right now, there’s great debate about whether 17 year old Mary Cain- great teen prodigy being coached by Alberto Salazar- should go professional this summer. But again, she’s at least racked up IAAF A qualifying standards in the 800 M and 1500 M in recent weeks and looks poised to pick up her World Championships A time in the 5000 M as well leading up to US Trials this year.

Andrew doesn’t even have a corresponding FINA World Championships B standard yet. I wish him the best, but it just seems like a very risky move at this time.

Philip Johnson
2 years 10 months ago

she already ran an A standard in the 5000 m as she ran a 15:45.46 a couple of days ago.

beachmouse
2 years 10 months ago

Ah. I’ve literally been in and out of the wilderness and not checking Let’s Run like usual so hadn’t heard she got her time there. I tend to see an IAAF/
FINA World Championships A qualifying standard time as a sign that an athlete has reached the point where they’re reasonably competitive on sthe World stage. Cain is there now, and has even raced respectably at Diamond League level as well as having, IIRC, what’s probably the global standard for a clean 17& under. (The two girls ahead of her at 800M were Chinese Of A Certain Era)

Andrew right now could get World Cup invites to the Middle Eastern stops that seem to have problems drawing a lot of quailty swimmers, but I’m not sure where else he could get an invite at the big senior level international meets.

Philip Johnson
2 years 10 months ago

an A standard to compete for a spot, I’m not sure if it’s good for the international stage.

Rafael
2 years 10 months ago

I´m checking out a little of IAAF.. but the real “next big one” is the Japanese Yoshihide Kiryu.. 17 year old 100m dash 10.01 fastest ever by an under 18 guy.. and probably the first asian (maybe first non-black also) guy who can run under 10 seconds..

Wirotomo
2 years 10 months ago

The first black guy under 10 seconds in 100m dash is Christophe Lemaitre (France) in 9.92 seconds.

Wirotomo
2 years 10 months ago

Sorry i mean the The first non-black guy under 10 seconds in 100m dash is Christophe Lemaitre (France) in 9.92 seconds.

Gong
2 years 10 months ago

He hasn’t done anything yet folks! No international medals or top finishes anywhere. Typically you turn pro based on results. His results are great for his age, and modest for an upper level swimmer (of any age).
If he’s planning on being a top sprinter-good luck. I don’t care what he’s going now at 14. Vlad, Manadou, Cesar etc aren’t going anywhere and are the best ever-they will get faster too. Huge roll of the dice for Michael.
P2life is a multi level marketing (pyramid scheme) company like Advocare. This whole thing reeks of impending disaster.

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

P2Life’s website is terrifying and hilarious at the same time. (This Brendan Hansen quote is fantastic: “P2Life was very important to me during my comeback to make the Olympic team. I was able to recover much quicker between grueling workouts. Simply put I was able to work harder. It certainly came as no surprise that many of my Olympic teammates were also taking P2Life.” Just replace “P2Life” with “STEROIDS” and it’s a bucket of laughs.)

And this is beside the point, but Vlad, Manadou and Cesar aren’t the “best ever.” Got some real fast times, but not all-time greats or anything.

Peter
2 years 10 months ago

How can you say that?? Their Performance Range is tested safe from a 3rd Party company. Ands are all the athletes. You can’t be so naive to think that all the Olympic athletes who take P2Life are not tested on a monthly basis and they all come out clean??

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

Hahahhha oh no no no I’m not saying P2Life = ‘ROIDS!, just that ya hear those types of things about illegal PEDs all the time. On a ridiculous website full of literal pyramids, it stood out as funny.

Peter
2 years 10 months ago

I’ve done some reading through their site and it actually is rather admirable. It seems that their goals are actually aimed and bringing (much needed) funds back into swimming, while almost everything else is taking it away. Swim teams a closing down left right an center due to poor funding and here it seems they are allowing coaches, clubs and athletes to make income or to fundraise. They are cutting out huge retail stores like GNC and giving the money back to the coaches and clubs. Respect.

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

Or they’re a giant pyramid scheme. *You say tomato, I say potato*

John
2 years 10 months ago

Last time I checked Cesar IS the best ever as is Vlad. They both hold the world/ncaa records. Cesar is the fastest human ever. Period. Good luck living up to those standards Michael, and starting the pressure at 14.

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

Well, that’s not really how I define “best ever” (I’m more interested in how they relate to their peers) but sure, whatever works.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

Agreed.

Even Magnussen, the holder of textile WR (aka fastest ever in 100 free) didn’t produce mindboggling results until he turned 19/20.

2 years 10 months ago

Hope this works out for him, but it really hasn’t for a number of other athletes who made such a big commitment at a young age. I’m thinking about Dagny for one…
I feel like he could’ve benefited from at least making a US National team before making this choice. I hope he consulted people who went through a similar situation before deciding.

Canaan Campbell
2 years 10 months ago

As a good friend of Michael, I believe he will succeed. He has the right mind set and is very mature for his age, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’ve never seen him not smile during a swim, even after an event he may have not performed as well. I had a great opportunity to spend time with Michael and his family at the Minnesota Grand Prix and they are the most humble and kind people I’ve ever met. Before every race they wished me luck and after every race they congratulated me. He is going to continue to improve, he has the right mind set to succeed at the highest level, and he has a great support system with his family. I can’t wait to watch him continue to improve and turn his dream into a reality! Good luck Michael, I believe in you! Oh and he is very social and VERY funny and easy to talk to.

Sincerely,
Canaan Campbell

True Fact
2 years 10 months ago

This is so true. He goes to so many of the same meets as me and is so nice and humble. Good luck, Michael!

Swimmer
2 years 10 months ago

What did the guy in second place get?? He was hardly behind him.

SprintDude9000
2 years 10 months ago

He got a DQ for a false start. lol

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

That guy has better stroke technique methinks.

FarmerDave
2 years 10 months ago

The dude in 2nd place was DQ’s for a false start.

2 years 10 months ago

Mark McLaughlin from Iowa City went 23.7 with a flinch on the start

Sean Justice
2 years 10 months ago

Well I hope that this works out for him, but sadly history is not on his side. There are plenty of NAG record holders that did not make the Olympic team or had great college careers. Given that, maybe cashing in now is not a bad thing.

All the best to him.

Swimmer
2 years 10 months ago

I’ve been following this kid ever since I saw him break records at age 12 in Fishers. His success is very impressive, although it is sad he will never get to experience being on a swim team and training around teammates who push you to do your best. I feel like that is one of the greatest aspects of swimming, the team! I mean, he trains in a two lane pool in his backyard, very sheltered environment compared to typical practices. High school and college swimming are the best times ever, but I suppose he isn’t missing much because of the whole home schooling thing. Anyway, I wish him the best of luck and hope to see him at Rio!

Rocky IV
2 years 10 months ago

Speaking of similar examples, this reminds me of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. He is trained perfectly and seems to be unbeatable. But, Rocky has the heart and drive of a champion and defeats him in 15 rounds. Does Michael Andrew have the heart of a champion and love for the sport? Even more important, can he maintain love for the sport without enjoying being on a college team? Even if Andrew is the most physically gifted/ well-coached specimen, he has to always like what he’s doing or else the Rocky’s of the world will be much more successful.

Steve Nolan
2 years 10 months ago

Yo, are you guys anchoring these posts to the top of the blog here? Impressive.

easyspeed
2 years 10 months ago

For the good but not great swimmer, college is the way to go. How else is he or she going to make money? Might as well get a free education if you can. But for the swimmers who are winning events at the big meets (Olympics, Worlds), setting records BEFORE college.. one shouldn’t even THINK of wasting time with NCAA. If anything, it would probably hurt your career (the crazy meet schedule, breaks from classes and short course yard format). Of course if the NCAA took my suggestion of allowing pro athletes to compete, this would all be a moot point. Come on NCAA- wake up and see the light!

Philip Johnson
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah, this can apply to the young Phelps, Franklin, Ledecky. But Andrews, besides some of these age group records, is a question mark. I’m happy for him, but at the same time I’m worried.

easyspeed
2 years 10 months ago

Agree that Andrews did this prematurely. He may or may not be world class when he is 18. The three you mentioned tho, pro all the way- forget the NCAA.

2 years 10 months ago

Considering how tall he is (He is almost as tall as Cielo already and taller than Ervin!!!) I think he made a really risky move.. We know he is 14.. but I don´t think he will grow much more now.. maybe at most he will be Agnel height..

Philip Johnson
2 years 10 months ago

He just recently turned 14. you don’t stop growing at 14, i think he may be around 6-6 or 6-7 by the time he’s 18.

Rafael
2 years 10 months ago

I think he will grow.. but not so much anymore..

bilbro baggins
2 years 10 months ago

Agreed, better to die rich with a high school education than die comfortably with a college education and the lingering question of “What if I took that contract from that nutrition company when I was 14?”

easyspeed
2 years 10 months ago

Newsflash: you can turn pro and still go to college; the two are not mutually exclusive.

So Very Opinionated
2 years 10 months ago

No, you can’t. As soon as you take money for an endorsement, you lose your amateur status and cannot compete in college.

SwimDadATL
2 years 10 months ago

I think he made it clear that he was not motivated by an education. He could surely still go to college but would not be able to compete. Given Missy’s plans to compete for 2 years then turn pro – I doubt she is going to drop out of Cal at that point – she just will not be able to compete for them any longer in NCAA meets

easyspeed
2 years 10 months ago

Newsflash: Yes, you can. You can’t COMPETE for the college, but you can still go to college to get an education. If sign a big endorsement deal, paying for a college education is a drop in the bucket. I was responding to Bilbro’s comment, who seems to believe that if you go pro you can’t get anything past a high school education.

2 years 10 months ago

They’re willing to do all of this for what’s three years out, the 2016 games. Have they thought beyond that? Obviously with proper management, the money he makes in three years of endorsements (assuming a poor showing in 2016) or say seven or eight years of endorsements assuming a good showing in 2016 is enough to live comfortably for the rest of his life. Have they thought about higher education, career goals, etc? Actually DOING something once he “retires” from swimming? Or is going to live a life a privilege forever?

WHOKNOWS
2 years 10 months ago

How can a 14 year old sign a contract? There must be some legal safeguards here.

jman
2 years 10 months ago

Interesting. Only going by the picture of his face i’d say he is close to full physical development. If you look at Phelps even at 16 he was still baby faced.

Maria
2 years 10 months ago

I hope it works out for him, we tell every little kid to go after their dreams, and then give them a hundred reasons why they can’t or shouldn’t. Here is a kid going after his dream, good for him! And, lucky kid, to have such supportive parents.

Overall a fair article, but I’d love to hear P2Life’s comment. Didn’t the writer ask? It seems getting a comment aside from the family’s is left mostly to people making random judgment calls, some clearly without any basis other than an uniformed personal opinion.

Steve Nolan, I am certain that the 3rd party would test for illegal PEDs otherwise what is the point of giving out a label. Having athletes test positive for illegal PEDs would mean the end of the athlete and the end of the company. Check your facts before you call ‘steroids’, not cool.

NMCOACH
2 years 10 months ago

Braden,

What are the possibilities of doing a comparison of the age group accomplishments of the following swimmers?

Jesse Vassallo
Tracy Caulkins
Chas Morton
Michael Phelps
Michael Andrews

Would be very interesting to see…Chas Morton was one of the most phenomenal age group swimmers to event come along in the US. I believe Jesse was a finalist at the 76 trials in the 1500 at age 14. Did I leave out anyone else?

NMCOACH
2 years 10 months ago

Meant to say “ever” come along in the US. I know Missy was also unbelievable at that age as well.

What do you say Braden? Can you do it?

bilbro baggins
2 years 10 months ago

Giving up NCAA eligibility before high school? Must be pretty confident in the forecast and longevity of his career (not him of course, I mean his parents who made the decision for him). This kid could have gotten into some great colleges even if he didn’t improve much… must have been one hell of an offer from this nutrition company.

L.G.
2 years 10 months ago

Doesn’t he have dual citizenship? Maybe his choice will be to go for the other country if he doesn’t have a chance here.

2 years 10 months ago

please, tell me this is a joke!!

2 years 10 months ago

Way to young to do this. Enjoy life. You will regret these decisions when you are old enough to understand what you have given up. Shame on the parents for taking away his opportunity to swim at the college level.

2 years 10 months ago

I’ll echo the observations of Gong and others on this thread. My first impression is that there are many “red flags” on this one regarding Michael’s going pro at such a young age, particularly “cashing out” now with a mediocre nutritional supplement endorsement when potentially significantly more lucrative financial and educational opportunities would be available once he (1) completed high school (2) completed college (3) actually made it to the superstar level in USA Swimming. Missy Franklin in at the top of her game right now but has the haul of Olympic Gold medals to show for it. She – at 18 – could turn pro now, but has chosen to continue her college career at Cal and to have a college swimming experience as a part of her life. Michael is an age group phenom who has yet to prove himself at the elite USA much less international levels of competition. Does anyone really expect the general public to flock to P2 Life because a 14-year old kid endorsed it?
I’m sure this will open up a lively discussion about what a healthy level of “involvement” from spots parents . I’ll start it off with a few — Are Michael’s parents genuinely looking out for Michael’s long-term interests in swimming and beyond? Or do they see Michael as a sports “franchise” for fame and fortune? Is dad Marv Marinovich 2.0, with regimented micromanaging of his son’s training and development in the family’s own training pool using some arcane Rushall training method? Marinovich had visions of producing a super athlete using all the techniques and programs, but the result was that son Todd turned out to be Headcase Extraordinaire at USC and a flameout in pro football. I’d sure hate to have that pattern repeated with Micahel Andrews.

SWEswimmer
2 years 10 months ago

The funny thing is we have equally good 14 year olds in sweden! The only difference is we swim only in LCM and SCM whitch benefits us. No mather the age he is still as far away from Rio as a 20 year old doing the same times.

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

Please tell us more about that young swedish swimmer.
What events does s/he specialize in?
and what are her/his times?

2 years 10 months ago

Aswimfan.. I could name some guys in BRA that except the 50 free have some better results already.. and are not already over 1.90m like Andrew..

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

Yes, I am a bit wary about Michael Andrew who only broke records in sprint events, which could very well due mostly to his tall height already.

But we’ll see.

SWEswimmer
2 years 10 months ago

We have also a 14year old whom make 1.05 in the 100breast SCM!

SWEswimmer
2 years 10 months ago

He breaks similar rekords in Sweden.he specialize in the sprint events as well. If I remember correct, he does around 25,3 on the 50fly

Rafael
2 years 10 months ago

What´s the guy name?

2 years 10 months ago

Felipe Ribeiro at 14 (he just turned 15) went 24.11 50, 52.23 100 and 1:54:97 200.. basing on a pic I saw of him with Matheus Santana (who is about 1.88 by now) Felipe is about most 1.80m.. now he is at 23.92, 51.23 and 1:52:87

aswimfan
2 years 10 months ago

an Australian, Kyle Chalmers (at 14 yo) swam:

23.14 (50 free), 50.86 (100 free), 1:53.48 (200 free)
25.24 (50 fly), 54.79 (100 fly)
27.26 (50 back), 58.19 (100 back)
2:14.41 (200 IM)

all in LCM.

Not sure Michael Andrew’s LCM times in other events bar 50 free, but i assume Chalmers are faster in all those.

2 years 10 months ago

Aswimfan

Braden answered me the times on the article of Michals Andrews interview explaining his decision.. some good times.. but nothing near his 50 free.. to be true.. his 100 and 200 are very subpar compared to the 50..

CoachGB
2 years 10 months ago

Peters parents probably trust the p2life company as the owner an American lived in South Africa for a number of years and may have previously known him, He is an outstanding person himself. Being from another country they haven’t been ingrained in our scholastic athletic mentality. They are taking their shot doing it their way just like the training system. It will give everyone a lot to follow and we can enjoy seeing if it will have any effect on showing it a different way.
Personally disagree with it but this is still a Free Country. Something for all to watch.

SwimmerParent
2 years 10 months ago

I wish Michael luck as his efforts are certainly impressive so far.

However, this decision gives up a lot more than I think is realized. Missy Franklin, Ryan Murphy and Jack Conger (among many others!) will likely all receive (more) significant national and international rewards for their efforts. They will also receive a “free” college education because of their abilities. They will very likely get NCAA individual and NCAA team championships in the next few years. They will develop a sense of TEAM and pride and a sense of community that will now allude this young man. I have really enjoyed following Natalie C., Ryan L. and Nathan A. (among many others!) and seeing their beaming pride about their colleges.

One of the best things about this sport is that the draw and ability to become a professional is so small that swimmers don’t follow the path of college basketball players who leave school early and are done with their profession at 24 and have nothing to fall back upon…like that diploma, sense of community and pride.

anonymous
2 years 10 months ago

One person’s “diploma to fall back on” is another person’s time wasted in a pagan factory. Many Christians do not value the same thing that the world values.

Have you lost your mind?!
2 years 10 months ago

What is this kid thinking? You are NOT Michael Phelps who MADE the Olympic team at age 15 and made the A final in the 200fly. You are a kid who is huge for his age and has set only 3 records. Now i think its great you are able to do that. But i don’t see him making the 2016 team either he should swim in high school and college and get the experience. I think this is a bad move.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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