|ESPN.com: Summer 2008||[Print without images]|
|After the Olympics are over, Michael Phelps plans to follow coach Bob Bowman back to the North Baltimore Aquatic Center in Baltimore.|
"I do like to keep the pressure up," Bowman said, "because that's how he gets better. It's not like every day I'm in his face, but when somebody's that good, you have to coach hard to keep him going."
|Bob Bowman has been working with Michael Phelps since the swimmer was 11 years old.|
"We had breakfast at 8. We usually have breakfast at 7, but this morning, it was at 8. Before that, he usually takes a shower, so at 7:30, he was up and showered. We went at 8 for breakfast. At 8:30, we were on a bus to [the Water Cube], then we did some stretching and warm-ups for 30 to 40 minutes. Then he puts on his [competition] suit and does more warm-ups. Then he swims, and after that, he has lactose testing to make sure everything's in order. Today, he had a massage -- normally he has doping, [but] he didn't today. He always has a massage. Then he'll eat, take a nap and then come back on the bus and do it all again, usually twice a day. I always plan those warm-ups so they are exactly timed. He starts stretching two hours before [a race] and is in the water an hour and a half before. He's always done those things, really." That sound hands-on enough? He also is in charge of the competition schedule. Bowman selects the meets and decides which events Phelps will swim when he gets there. It was Bowman's prescient decision to subject his star pupil to a seemingly suicidal mission at a meet in Columbus, Ohio, last April: swim three finals within 45 minutes against some of the best competition in the nation. He finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke, second in the 200 freestyle and first in the 100 butterfly while maintaining a heavy training schedule.
|Bob Bowman says he has gradually loosened his grip on Phelps -- outside of the pool -- as the swimmer has gotten older.|
At the trials, Bowman sat alongside the 23-year-old Phelps in almost every news conference. As often as not, Phelps would shrug a response to a question and defer to Bowman for the answer. "I just swim," Phelps has said, over and over. And it's true. Bowman handles everything else. Bowman first put together the quest for eight gold medals in 2004, when Phelps was 19. He's tinkered with it a bit in the four years since Phelps won six gold medals and two bronze in Athens, and the most notable change was a relocation to Michigan as the coach of the Wolverines. When Bowman moved, Phelps went with him. And now that Bowman has announced a return to North Baltimore Aquatic Center after the Olympics, Phelps will go back there with him, too. "We've been through a lot together and will be together the next four years," Phelps said.
After serving as Michigan's head swimming coach and serving as head of Club Wolverine in Ann Arbor, Mich., Bob Bowman will be moving back to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club after the Olympics. Phelps will follow him there.
Bowman will serve as head of NBAC and will receive a salary from the club (Bowman's exact salary is unknown, but some coaches at elite-level clubs make six-figure salaries). Any swimmers who independently work with Bowman, such as Phelps, pay for the coach's services. Bowman reportedly also receives money from Speedo and other endorsements. Various media outlets reported Phelps makes $5 million a year in endorsements. Bowman made $80,000 when he went to Michigan in 2004, plus a car, according to reports.-- Amy Rosewater, staff