PHOENIX, Arizona, August 24. ON today's edition of The Morning Swim Show Tyler McGill relives the mental and physical experience of racing in the 100 butterfly final at the Olympic Games.
McGill is now the fastest 100 butterfly swimmer in the United States, now that Michael Phelps has retired. McGill talks about the responsibility of carrying that burden and how he will approach competition in the coming quadrennium. That means staying at Auburn, where he has worked well with Coach Brett Hawke, and where he lives with his wife, who has been a constant support for him. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Jeff Commings: Welcome to the Morning Swim Show on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012. I am your host Jeff Commings. Today in the FINIS Monitor, we will be talking to Tyler McGill, one of the best butterfly swimmers in the world. He swam in the finals of the 100 fly at the Olympics and won a gold medal as a prelim swimmer in the 400 medley relay. Tyler joins us right now from Auburn, Alabama. Hi Tyler.
Tyler McGill: Good to be here.
Jeff: Good to see you. How has the post-Olympic experience have been for you?
Tyler: It is pretty nonstop. I mean it is a blast and I am having a lot of fun with it, but there is something every single day, every single weekend that you are out there doing and having fun being a part of.
Jeff: So this your first Olympics. What was the, how did the experience of being in London match up with your expectations of it?
Tyler: I think it exceeded my expectations. I have told a lot of people that I think I'm pretty fortunate that my first Olympics was in a country where I can communicate with people, and so going around and I guess being able to do that and being able to see things and get a full understanding of what things in London were just you know not necessarily at the facilities but even some sightseeing. You know I think it made me experience you know better than I could have imagined.
Jeff: Well you got 4 years, you could brush up on your Portuguese, so it will make it easy to get around in Rio.
Tyler: Yeah, I will talk to about some of the guys here. They are from Brazil. I will see if they can help me out.
Jeff: Absolutely. So you were 7th in the 100 fly in London and I would imagine that it is safe to say that is not the result that you wanted.
Tyler: No, not at all and it is just, it is the result that happened. You know it is a disappointment and that is kind of to say the least. You go through the whole process, you try to do everything right and you know something that Brett and I talked about was you have to reach this mental edge to get the performance that you want. So you can be ready to go and focused on what you have to do and walk behind the blocks and feel completely ready to go, but if you haven't crossed that edge, and it is a fine line sometimes you don't get the performance that you want and for me that is only that I think probably happened. It is something to learn from and grow from, but you know it doesn't make the disappointment of you know what happened any easier knowing what could have been done differently.
Jeff: Yeah that is a very interesting way to look at it, so I would imagine everything before that race you were ready for, even behind the blocks, you were all set to go?
Tyler: Yeah, behind the blocks you know, you go through I mean personally I go through like a little checklist and you know I have done this. I have done this. I am ready to go. I am focused. Just little reminders along the way and you go through all of those and you know you enter the race ready and I felt like I did all of that, so going back there is not much I would have changed, but you just you know the only way to do it better is to do it again, and so it is something to learn from and to move forward with.
Jeff: Well knowing that Michael Phelps is now retired and which essentially makes you now the fastest 100 butterfly in United States, how was your motivation going into this next quadrennial?
Tyler: The motivation for this next quadrennial is big but I have always said that swimming is a year-by-year sport and you know I will approach this coming year with you know a different focus and intensity than I did this past year. Now I am training for this year and I will have a grand scheme of what I want to happen over the next 4 years and how I am going to progress over the next 4 years, but to sit here today and say I am thinking about Rio 2016, you know that will just be a lie. I am thinking about what is next in my life and how to be great at what I do next.
Jeff: Well we will talk about some of those things that are coming up in your life in a little bit but when you talk about a year in a year I would imagine at least for the foreseeable future you are going to be staying in Auburn?
Tyler: Yeah I will be here. We are going to stay here and be training. My wife is doing her PhD, so we will be here in Auburn
.Jeff: So what is it like there training as a post grad at Auburn? You know you have got some of these other places around the country that have a lot of post grads and I imagine at Auburn, it is not the same kind of thing. The numbers are a little bit low so tell us what the training experience is like for you there?
Tyler: It is amazing and I have all the resources in the world that I would ever need. I work wonderfully with Brett and he finds different ways every season to develop me and to push me mentally and physically so I fit in well here, and although I may not have this large group of post grads, you know I still have people that can train and push me every day so my situation here as good as it would be anywhere else, you know if not better so I am happy here and we are not moving.
Jeff: And you have done really well under Coach Brett Hawke this past 3 to 4 years. You kind of touched on it, but what is it about the dynamics between the two of you that has enabled you to be so successful?
Tyler: One, I think he, like I said before he finds ways to challenge his athletes more than any other coach that I had ever been with and for me finding little challenges and ways to get me outside of my comfort zone you know work really well. At the same time like I am totally willing and open to doing whatever he asks of me, and so you know if he says do this and that is like I am going to go for it all the way and give my best attempt. And I think that relationship of me committing to what he is saying and bringing my own influence, my own thoughts into my training and then allowing him to take it and run with it is making this relationship work real well.
Jeff: So, tell us what married life is like? You have been married for I believe about 10 months now so tell us what it has been like for you?
Tyler: We just had our 9 month anniversary and it has been everything I could ever ask for. Julianne and I started dating my freshman year here at Auburn just right before the year ended so I have been really, really lucky to have someone that has been with me from the 2008 Olympic Trials all the way through the 2012 Olympics, and just having that person who is always willing to support you and be there every day for you is something special, so I love Julianne so much I am happy that she was and will be a part of all of this.
Jeff: Was she able to go to watch you swim in London?
Tyler: She was in London, yeah, we kind of made that commitment to have her be there and you know we travelled after London, too. We went to Paris and Rome for about 10 days so we definitely enjoyed each other's company and was so happy that she was able to be there with me in watching and share my excitement and the disappointment as well.
Jeff: Well I am sure I can tell married life agreed with you Tyler and I am sure like you said, it has been a great support system which can help especially when you are dealing with the disappointment of not swimming as fast as you wanted to.
Jeff: Well Tyler, thank you so much for joining us sharing your thoughts about your performance at Olympics and we are looking forward to seeing how this next year goes for you.
Tyler: Thank you, any time I would be glad to be on the show again.
Jeff: All right, well we will see you in the future.
Tyler: All right.
Jeff: All right so that's Tyler McGill joining us from Auburn, Alabama. That is going to do it for today's Morning Swim Show. As always, we remind you to join us on Facebook and Twitter and contribute to any of your thoughts to topics discussed on today's show. I am Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching.
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