Bob Bowman Chats With Brett Hawke About Variety of Topics in Superb Interview

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Legendary coach Bob Bowman, who notably led Michael Phelps to a record number of Olympic gold medals over five trips to the Games, appeared on Brett Hawke’s podcast to discuss his recent decision to redshirt the entire Arizona State team ahead of this season to ensure there is no time lost during the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bowman talked about the long journey of coaching Phelps (9:40) throughout his entire career from when he was 11 in 1996 until he was 31 in 2016. He went over his views on swimmer development (12:30) in the early years of their career and how looking at immediate goals and having a plan is key to developing champions. Bowman discussed his path to how Phelps ended up in his lap at Baltimore and how he didn’t end up on the path he thought (16:40).

Bob Bowman went over how he handles being at an Olympic Games and the mental pressures that come with it (25:30) and what his scheduled daily routine looks like. Another thing he thought was important was treating every meet as it was important and not saving yourself for bigger meets (30:00).

Bowman mentioned how his next “dream” is to win an NCAA title (36:45). He is currently in his sixth season at Arizona State University and the men’s team was seeded to finish seventh at the 2020 NCAAs before the meet was cancelled.

Bowman and Hawke reminisced on the 2008 Olympic Games (42:00) when Phelps was at his peak, winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, and how the fatigue wore on him after each race, most notably after the 200 IM final on day six.

The pair went over the famous 100 butterfly final from Beijing (44:00) and what he told Phelps on the day of the final to turn his mindset from being tired to being ready to race. Bowman went over a memorable story ahead of the 2008 Olympics at Michigan (46:39) where Phelps went over a recurring dream where he sees a 3:07 on the scoreboard, and how that mental preparation helped him swim a 4:03 in the 400 IM, which still stands as the world record today.

Bowman also brought up a story from the 2001 Worlds (50:00) where Phelps nearly lost his world record in the 200 butterfly semi-finals, and how he was able to get Phelps’ mind off the swim and on the finals swim where he eventually broke his own world record of 1:54.58 in the final.