Michael Phelps is the GOAT. Don’t try to argue with me.
He won 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold. Second most is 9 golds and 18 total medals.
I listened to Becoming Michael Phelps on The Tony Robbin’s podcast, featuring Michael Phelps. Tony talks to Michael about what it took to be the best ever and the struggles that came with. Many of the lessons below come from the podcast. If you want to listen, it is on Spotify and other streaming services.
Lessons from Michael Phelps:
- There is no overnight success. Michael Phelps started training for the Olympics at age 11. He didn’t miss a single day from 1999 to 2006 and completed on average 10 pool workouts every week. Michael traveled for a special training camp every year where he worked out 4 times every day for three weeks. It takes years of consistency to be the best at your craft. You can’t expect to be great overnight.
- Expect extreme battles on the road to the top. Michael fought numerous battles with depression, which hits Olympic athletes at an abnormally high rate. He faced scrutiny for his family struggles and was caught smoking marijuana. He went through numerous periods of low motivation that led him to leave the sport for short periods of time. To be the best, you will face unexpected challenges and adversity.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Find coaches, mentors, and friends who will push you to the next level. Michael found a coach who believed he could set WRs and win gold medals. His coach pushed him to achieve goals that Michael didn’t think were possible.
- Don’t try to be like someone else, make others want to be like you. If you always to try to follow the example of others, you will end up like others. Set your own path that sets you apart from others. Create a new work ethic, example, and character that others want to imitate.
- Little things make a massive difference. Michael visualized every race since he was 12. He visualized the perfect scenario and countless other possibilities. Since he imagined everything that could happen, he already knew how to overcome every little challenge. Visualization, diet, training, and other “little things” make a big impact no matter your career.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our egos often say we can do everything ourselves and handle every challenge on our own. Michael battled depression and didn’t see his father hardly at all for 15-20 years. He eventually reached out for help and went to therapy to improve his mental health. Because he was willing to ask for help, he was able to improve his athletic performance as well as his entire life. You’re never too good to ask for help.
- Remove “Can’t” from your vocabulary. Michael’s coach told him, “If you say you can’t do something, then why are you here?” He didn’t allow Michael to use the word. If you are reaching towards a goal, don’t tell yourself you can’t do something. The best make possible what others think is impossible.
I appreciate you.