Mike's Mailbag: Dealing with Disappointment
I’m a sophomore in high school and I love swimming but I haven’t improved in years. Should I continue swimming despite regular disappointment in my results?
Mike's Mailbag: When Will I Drop Time?
I'm a sophomore in college and the one thing that's been bugging me is how to swim fast in-season. It feels like I'm putting in all of this work and you'd think you'd see results but no. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Breaking Up with Swimming
I'm at the stage in my life where I have to decide between quitting swimming and carrying on. How do I know if I'm ready to quit?
Mike's Mailbag: A 24-Hour Experiment
Every two weeks or so I'm really slow in practice and feel as if I’m not moving at all. I've been on the team for four years. How can I make this stop?
Mike's Mailbag: Shoulder Struggles
I've always been a good at butterfly, and have never hurt myself swimming but recently my shoulders always hurt. How can I tell if this is regular pain or injury?
Mike's Mailbag: Lead by Example
My team has gone through a lot of change with coaches. I'm a senior so I want to motivate my team to adapt to the changes. How can I do that effectively?
Mike's Mailbag: Self-Training
I chose to transfer to another college. Now I have three months where I have to train myself. Do you have any advice for training alone?
Mike's Mailbag: Different Journeys & Different Paths
I'm a freshman in high school. I'm pretty good for my practice group but I get discouraged seeing my teammates, years younger, catching up. I'm wondering if I can compete in high school and eventually college.
Mike's Mailbag: Focus on What You Can Control
I'm a college swimmer. When I was a high school junior, I tore my hip labrum. I had it repaired and tore it again. I want to come back from this but it's been a mental struggle. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Seven-Hundredths of a Second
This Monday, I came across an email from a swimmer who wrote a short nonfiction essay about a recent experience she had with swimming.
Mike's Mailbag: Learning How to Lose
My daughter is 16 and has been swimming since she was 8. She trains hard but she's stopped dropping time. She's thinking of quitting. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Problems Kicking
I've been swimming 7 years. In the past year, my legs lock up when ever I'm doing kick sets in practice and swimming the backstroke. I'm doing PT with limited results. Is there anything else I can try?
Mike's Mailbag: Continuing in College
I'm trying to decide if I should swim in college. I'm fast enough to earn a scholarship but I'm not sure I want swimming to be my entire life. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Acknowledging Fear
I am 12 years old and I really love the sport. I'm a good practice swimmer but I have trouble dropping time in meets. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Choosing What You Want
I'm a senior hoping to swim in college. I'm trying to decide if I should swim high school, club or both. It's a complicated decision. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Negative Little Voices
Recently I've been hearing these little voices in my head that we all sometimes here under stress. They're starting to make me doubt my ability as a swimmer. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Considering a Comeback
My sister and I swam division 1 our freshman year of college, then transferred to a club team. We're now 27 and wondering if we can still go best times. Is it selfish to try?
Mike's Mailbag: When Time Drops Stop
I give 100% in practice. I listen and do whatever the coaches tell me. Somehow I never get the times I know I am capable of at meets. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Keep Swimming in College, or Move On?
I recently graduated from high school, and I made the decision to swim next year at a smaller NCAA Division III school. I have begun to question whether this is something I really want to do for four more years, or is it time to move on?
Mike's Mailbag: Preventing Breakdown
I'm having a difficult time understanding my body. I'm not sure how long to warm down, or how hard to push myself when coming back from injury. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Preparing for the Back-to-Back Race
My main events are the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. I usually only have 5 minutes between events. What can I do to recover quickly?
Mike's Mailbag: Backstroke Bullied
I'm 12 and I love every part of swimming except backstroke. I'm way behind younger swimmers and I don't know what to do. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Multiple Sports
I want to swim in college but I have other high school sports I enjoy. Will attempting two sports harm my chances of swimming in college?
Mike's Mailbag: Ready for Action
I am a very cautious person. When it comes to swimming, this is affecting me in a very bad way. Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Taper and Physical Jobs
I'm working a physical job this summer. How can I do my job and still have a great taper?
Mike's Mailbag: Backstroke Flipping
I am always scared when I do backstroke that I will turn too early and miss the wall. Can you help me?
Mike's Mailbag: Strange Injuries
Recently my daughter dislocated her right shoulder while doing a flip turn during taper. How common is this?
Mike's Mailbag: Frenemies
I am a freshman in high school and I swim on an extremely competitive club team. I would define my teammates as “frenemies”. I'm not sure this dynamic is worth my time. Please help.
Mike Gustafson: Starting Out
The other day, I was interviewed by an elementary school student. He wanted to know if I had any advice for people starting out. I had to think hard.
Mike's Mailbag: Relighting the Flame
I'm a 15 year old from Canada and I've been swimming for the past six years. I've been in love with the sport for years but now my motivation is gone. What do I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Breaststroke Kicking
I am a middle school swimmer and I love all the strokes, especially breaststroke. How can I get better at breaststroke?
Mike's Mailbag: Negativity on the Deck
I am an age group swimmer who has been having issues with a difficult coach recently.
Mike's Mailbag: Returning to One's Old Self
Please let me know what I can do to get back in shape. I really do want to return to swimming now that my back injury is so much better.
Mike's Mailbag: Psyched Out by Psych Sheets
Looking at psych sheets gives me butterflies in my stomach. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Returning to the Team
I quit my college team a year ago and now I want to return. How can I convince my coach I'm serious about swimming?
Mike's Mailbag: To Swim or to Swam?
I’m a freshman in college and I didn't make the team as a walk-on. Now I'm wondering if I should hang up my suit for good? Please help.
Mike's Mailbag: Do I Even Matter?
I'll never be on that record board and I'll never be the one holding that shiny gold medal over my head. Do I even matter to my team?
Mike's Mailbag: The Swimmer Plateau
I just finished my freshman season and I haven't dropped time since I was a junior in high school. I'm frustrated. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Swimming Through Snow Days
What should I do when practice is cancelled due to snow or my parents don't feel safe driving to practice?
Mike's Mailbag: What Is Mental Toughness
I have been swimming for many years, but I never truly understood what it meant to be "mentally tough."
Mike's Mailbag: Compete Against Yourself
I have been swimming since I was four and nationally ranked when I was 10. I'm 17 now and my competitors are much faster then me. What can I do?
Mike Gustafson: The Weight of it All
The other day, a swim mom came into my bookstore and asked, “Should my 14-year-old son do weights?”
Mike's Mailbag: Dealing with Unkind Teammates
I am a senior swimmer and have been struggling to continue wanting to swim because of unkind teammates. Can you give me any advice?
Mike's Mailbag: Forward Thinking
I have my two last high school championship meets coming up within the next month. I have worked hard in a lot of the practices, but, admittedly, not all of them. How can I stop second guessing my training?
Mike's Mailbag: Coming Back
At the beginning of the swim season, I had to stop because of my health. I have been out of the water for almost five months. I'm really excited to get back to training, but how can I not feel so discouraged when training?
Mike's Mailbag: Only You
I've been swimming for eight years now and I'm thinking about quitting. I'm not enjoying practices anymore and I only like swimming races. What should I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Take Control Over What You Control
I am a freshman swimmer at a D1 program and find myself struggling to keep up with the rest of the group. I feel like my presence on the team is inconsequential. What can I do?
Mike's Mailbag: Thinking Through Overthinking
Lately I have been having so much trouble during meets due to my ability to completely overthink a race. How can I change my mindset?
Mike's Mailbag: Just Keep Kicking
I've been swimming for a while now and I'm near the front of the age group except when we do kick sets. Can you give me some tips to improve my kicking?
Mike Gustafson: Conquering Morning Practice Cold
There’s no cold quite like Morning Practice Cold. It’s a cold that permeates your clothes, your skin, and your bones.
Mike's Mailbag: Advice for Swim Parents
All swim parents love their kids and hate to see them struggle and be disappointed. Any words of wisdom-besides hug them/love them? Which we do daily!
Mike's Mailbag: Give Your New Coach a Chance
A few weeks ago my coach told me that this was his last season. I need some advice on how to move past and accept this huge change in my swimming career.
Mike's Mailbag: Plight of the Zombie Swimmer
Dear Mike: Just recently I’ve started swimming on a USA Swimming club. In the past, I’ve always been able to stay on top of my schoolwork and keep up with it, but lately it’s been a bit challenging. I haven’t exactly been keeping up with work, and I struggle to finish it every night.