Allison Schmitt: How Training with Michael Phelps Elevated Her Career

Nathan GieseSenior Analyst IIAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Allison Schmitt of the United States celebrates after winning gold in the Women's 200m Freestyle final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Allison Schmitt has taken the world by storm. In the London Olympics, she has already earned a bronze, silver and gold medal in her swimming competitions. While her feats are impressive, her success can be highly attributed to the training she did with Michael Phelps prior to the 2012 Games.

A member of the University of Georgia swimming team, Schmitt took one year off from school to train for the Olympic Games. During her time in training, she trained with two of the best the world of swimming has to offer: Olympic legend Michael Phelps and trainer Bob Bowman.

Phelps, now the record holder for the most Olympic medals in history (19), had plenty to offer the young Schmitt in terms of teaching. Schmitt is quoted in saying she feels more confident this time around in an article from the Detroit Free Press:

"I feel more experienced and more mature," said Schmitt, whose parents will drive to Omaha today from Michigan. "When I came here four years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't done a meet this big besides nationals, so I was very shocked at everything. I didn't know what was going on. Now I know what to expect and I feel like I can concentrate more on my races, instead of, 'Wow! This is a pool inside a basketball stadium!' "

With another set of games under her belt, along with the tools she learned from Phelps and Bowman, Schmitt was poised to take over the games before she even hit the water.

In the same article from the Detroit Free Press, Schmitt elaborates on how working with Phelps helped elevate her career:

"(Phelps) has definitely helped me out a lot," said Schmitt, who won an Olympic bronze medal as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Games (she was also ninth in the 200 free). "He has shown me the ropes in many ways in international swimming and Olympic trials -- keeping me calm before my swim, saving my energy. At the same time, he'll always be there at practice, if he sees me doing something wrong, if I just want to be like, 'Michael, watch this finish.' He's always willing to watch it and help me out if he sees something wrong."

Schmitt knows how lucky she was to be able to learn from the best in the world in Phelps and Bowman. She has established herself as one of the best in the world in her own right.

A bronze medal in the 4x100-meter free relay, a silver in 400 freestyle and gold in the 200 freestyle may just be the beginning for the 22-year-old Schmitt. She even thinks she could break the record for the fastest 200-meter freestyle set in 2009. At this point, few would bet against her.

It's hard to argue with the results Allison Schmitt has contributed so far in the London Olympics. Her time with Phelps certainly helped to establish her confidence and refine her skills in the water. It's no question that Schmitt is ready to take over the swimming world.

Now that Phelps will be retiring and Bowman will be taking a year off, Schmitt will need to utilize what she has learned so far and expand upon it throughout the rest of her career.

She's well on her way to becoming the next big thing in competitive swimming.