Courtesy of Josh Brown. Follow: @joshbrownisaman
Michael Phelps isn’t called the greatest swimmer in the world for nothing. He didn’t take swimming to an entirely new level by doing something everyone thought was possible. The question, Oh, are you the next Michael Phelps? might be just about the greatest compliment you could ever hope to get.
To err is human…
Michael Phelps can teach us so much about swimming, sports in general, and reaching your fullest potential. He shows us that you don’t have to be perfect to be the best. Sure, he has made mistakes, some that have negatively affected his swimming career. But from these mistakes he has shown us that it doesn’t take a superhero from another planet to come along and win countless Olympic Medals, and set countless world records. It takes an individual just like you and me, with an unwavering drive to be the best they can be. He teaches us that even though you mess up and the road seems rough, it’s never too late to bounce back. If you are struggling with life outside of the pool, Phelps shows us you can always regain your focus and achieve those great times, even when many thought you couldn’t.
You’re never too old…
Phelps also shows us that it’s never too late to go for the gold. Just this past U.S. National Championships, many people thought Phelps was past his prime, that he had fallen from the top list of the world’s swimming-elite. Instead, Phelps proved it’s never too late in your career, and it’s never a bad time to swim fast! He posted top times in the world as well as some of the fastest textile suit times ever! He did it in the United States, in Texas, not at an international meet, showing us it’s never the wrong place or the wrong time to lay it on the line and do your best.
Finally, Phelps shows us how to rise to the occasion and not give in to pressure, either from ourselves, coaches, competitors, or anyone else (like the media in Michael Phelps’ case). Phelps demonstrates what we can accomplish when we set our minds to a goal. Throughout his career — from his 2000 Olympics, to his gold medal run in Beijing, to the 2015 U.S. National Championships — Phelps has always shouldered the pressure. He has endured it from other athletes around the world talking smack, from the public who sometimes doubted him…perhaps even from himself. Phelps always manages to use that to his advantage and rise to the occasion, allowing it to fuel his fire for an awesome swim. We should all be like that.
We can all learn a lot from the greatest swimmer to have ever graced the planet. He can inspire us all to do things we never thought we could before. Michael Phelps really can teach us a lot about the sport or swimming and how to rise to the challenge, and even more about the game of life!
Michael Phelps Parting Shot