Take a Deep Dive into the Mike Bottom Philosophy (PODCAST)

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.

Mike Bottom sat down for the SwimSwam podcast early on in his 15th season at the University of Michigan. The team was just off a busy racing weekend where some of them were down in Dallas at the SMU Classic and some were at Oakland University for a meet. Both meets were viewed as a success because the athletes took them as learning opportunities and found ways to improve. Bottom is a teacher and much of the conversation is based around helping the person more than fixing the swimmer. When it comes to helping the swimmer, he has decades of wisdom and he’s been sharing his thoughts openly on his Instagram (@mikebottom). His goal with sharing is to help coaches help athletes better. Athletes have changed over the last few years. The pandemic changed coaches too. Bottom discusses how things have changed and how he hopes to contribute to the rebuilding of his athletes, coaches, and even the greater swimming community by celebrating success and accepting, but learning from not harping on, failure. This is a deep dive into the Bottom philosophy and you don’t want to miss it.

Music: Otis McDonald
www.otismacmusic.com

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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Yikes.swim
1 month ago

Those who stay… will probably transfer

mikeh
1 month ago

I hate to say it, but I gave up on the interview. Coach Bottom didn’t seem to have much of substance to say. A lot of “we’re free here to express ourselves”, and “experience all the emotions” or some such. I am certain that there is more to coaching a top ten program than that.

He did discuss the three freestyles, some of which I have heard before, but did not understand any better this time. I mean, even 50 freestylers need hip rotation right?

To Coleman’s credit, it seemed he was trying to draw Coach Bottom out, but Bottom only seemed to want to talk about soft skills. Please note that I do not deny that these skills… Read more »

Charlie Brown
1 month ago

Anyone else think Mike looks like Elton John? Just saying it’s pretty uncanny.

Dee Septer
1 month ago

Snake oil salesman…

Dan
1 month ago

The discussion on rotation was interesting. Russell Mark provides evidence for his ideas by showing you what the best athletes are doing technique wise. Mike Bottom using a straw man tactic to dismiss Russell’s ideas by saying “you can’t just tell an athlete they are rotating 5 degrees too much” (not exact quote, but I feel accurate of what Bottom says”. Russell provides the data and it’s up to a coach to decide how to get them to the proper rotation amount, at no point does Russell advocate for simply telling them to rotate 5 degrees less.
Bottom also claims that Russell information is too much for athletes to think about while swimming. Has Mike heard himself talk about… Read more »

John Paul
1 month ago

Philosophy?….Really?

he should have been fired after the 2020 season for what happened. The overall mental health of all his athletes were in question and have been for years.

Total joke that you would consider him an expert.

Michigan Swammer
1 month ago

I mean, isn’t it an undeniable part of his “philosophy” that he openly doesn’t care about the women’s team? Seems like we shouldn’t be celebrating that.

Jackman
Reply to  Michigan Swammer
1 month ago

Firmly disagree that Mike has this attitude. It may have been the case when he was transitioning from Men’s-team only coach to the combined group, but my experience is that Mike shows a good level of support and passion for both teams.

Michigan Swammer
Reply to  Jackman
1 month ago

I’m sorry, but this doesn’t line up with anything I’ve heard from women who actually swam for him, nor does it jive with the fact that this has been almost universally acknowledged amongst club coaches in Michigan for years. In my seven years of coaching in Michigan, I witnessed club coaches who are themselves die-hard Michigan fans practically beg their top high school girls not to swim there. The ones who go there anyway tend to transfer (there were at least two after last season, the first without Bishop at the helm), quit, or spend their college careers swimming far off their personal bests. So if this is somehow a giant fabrication, then let me be the one to tell… Read more »

Jackman
Reply to  Michigan Swammer
1 month ago

I’m a woman who swam under him at Michigan so feel like I have a fairly good idea.

Michigan Swammer
Reply to  Jackman
1 month ago

See my second paragraph.

d3hist0rian
Reply to  Michigan Swammer
1 month ago

Dr. Joshua White = The GOAT

Azeck
Reply to  Jackman
1 month ago

As a former swimmer under Mike bottom, I can firmly agree that Mike bottom completely neglects the feelings of both men’s and women’s team. Why do you think that some of the female swimmers stepped out of the team right before conference? Why do you think the women perform so underwhelming every conference meet? Why do you think so many men and women are leaving for their 5th years or even before they can finish their undergrad? I don’t really know when you swam for Mike but I can definitely say i swam with him during the darkest times for Michigan and he couldn’t have handled it any worse. He’s not an expert if any philosophy and should let Josh… Read more »

SKOOOOOO
1 month ago

Mike Bottom, keeping it real. This was some good stuff. Love it when a coach encourages a little free thinking.

About Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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