Swimming World Presents “Before the Beep with Ryan Murphy”

Swimming World January 2020 - Before the Beep with Ryan Murphy - Photo by Fabio Ferrari of LaPresse

Before the Beep with Ryan Murphy

By Shoshanna Rutemiller

Ryan Murphy was the world’s top backstroker at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, winning three gold medals: 100-200 meter backstroke and the 400 medley relay with Cody Miller, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian.

As lead-off, he broke legendary backstroker Aaron Peirsol’s 2004 Olympic world record (53.45) by a second-and-a-half with a crazy-fast 51.85, which still stands today. In true “passing of the baton” fashion, Peirsol’s 12-year global standard was also set as an Olympic relay lead-off.

In college at Cal, Murphy swept the 100 and 200 yard back at NCAAs all four years—2014-17. He became only the fourth man in NCAA history to accomplish the four-year, double-event sweep, joining John Naber (back), Pablo Morales (fly) and Brendan Hansen (breast).

With the 2020 Olympics approaching, Murphy’s talent will likely be showcased again on the world stage. Throughout his career, Murphy has regularly competed against the best backstrokers in the world, so it’s no surprise that Murphy has his race-day mental preparation polished and perfected like a piece of fine art.

Murphy took the time to chat to Swimming World Magazine after a Wednesday-afternoon practice in sunny California. He described everything from warm-up routines, his “perfected” before-race meal and Papa Roach to his mom wishing he smiled more before a race behind the blocks!

To find out how backstroke king Ryan Murphy prepares for a big meet,
Check out the January issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!
Swimming World January 2020 Cover with Ryan Murphy

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FEATURES

016 THE TOP 5 STORIES OF 2019
by Dan D’Addona
From the debut of the International Swimming League to a worldwide youth movement, 2019 marked the start of a new era in swimming.

018 2019 ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
by Shoshanna Rutemiller, Dan D’Addona and Michael Randazzo
Diving: Shi Tingmao & Xie Siyi
Artistic: Svetlana Romashina &  Svetlana Kolesnichenko
Water Polo: Ashleigh Johnson & Francesco Di Fulvio
Disabled: Sophie Pascoe & Reece Dunn

020 EVENT SPECIALIZATION…WHEN?
by Michael J. Stott
Many coaches are postponing specialization in favor of creating well-rounded swimmers for what lies ahead, leaving preordination behind so that other coaches, human nature and physical development can take its course.

022 READY AND REFOCUSED
by David Rieder
At last year’s World Championships in Gwangju, Ryan Murphy came home with three silver medals, but his first individual long course World title still eluded him. With his focus now set on the 2020 Olympic summer, the 100 back world record holder and 2016 triple Olympic gold medalist is looking ahead to Tokyo with confidence.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: THE BOYCOTT
by John Lohn
Years of hard work went unfulfilled. Dreams turned into nightmares. Sadness and anger abounded. The repercussions of the United States’ decision to boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow were severe. This summer marks the 40th anniversary of a toxic mix of sports and politics.

030 2019 WORLD & AMERICAN RECORD PROGRESSION
by Taylor Brien

032 ISHOF: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
by Bruce Wigo
Dr. Kevin Dawson, who recently received the Harriet Tubman Prize for his book, Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora, corrects and revises the history of swimming to include and recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Africans to aquatics.

036 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH RYAN MURPHY
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: RAY DAUGHTERS
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: STRATEGIES TO ACCELERATE SKILL LEARNING
by Rod Havriluk
There are many different skill-learning approaches that can help a competitive swimmer improve his/her technique. For example, competitive swimming strokes “can be taught in their entirety or broken down into parts.” While both the “whole” and “part” approaches can help swimmers progress in all four strokes, selecting the most appropriate method can accelerate skill learning.

042 SPECIAL SETS: GETTING READY TO RACE
by Michael J. Stott
As college swimming rolls into its championship season in February and March, meet warm-ups take on even greater importance.

044 Q&A WITH COACH WENBO CHEN
by Michael J. Stott

045 HOW THEY TRAIN SARAH BACON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: TIME TO RESET—READY, SET GO!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 UP & COMERS: RYAN HOGAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

025 THE OFFICIAL WORD

035 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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