American Missy Franklin, 17, won her first Olympic gold medal Monday in the women’s 100-meter backstroke, less than 15 minutes after finishing the 200-meter freestyle semi-final – an athletic feat surely any Olympian can appreciate. It was Franklin’s second medal; she took the bronze in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. The Colorado teenager hopes to win an unprecedented seven medals at the 2012 London Olympics, one of the reasons she’s often referred to as the female Michael Phelps.
Franklin has thus far ignored advice to join famous coaches in Florida and California and gone with her own coach, Todd Schmitz, since the age of seven. Some might underestimate the impact a dedicated coach can have on an athlete. But Olympic swimmer John Naber knows differently. After winning five Olympic medals, he is now teaching others about the importance of mentoring in achieving Olympic success.
Watch our interview with Naber to learn more about his winning philosophy:
Great coaches can help talented athletes discover, pursue and achieve their passion.
“Finding your passion is easy. The trick is to find the coaching and the guidance to do it at a world-class level,” Naber told genConnect. “Not everybody can be a great swim coach but every great athlete needs a great coach. It’s so important to have a role model.”
Related: Roadmap to Reaching Your Dreams
That advice isn’t limited to the swimming pool either. Having a mentor outside athletics goes a long way in making sure athletes succeed in the real world, too.
“Even in business, you need a mentor in the corporate office who cares you and your success,” Naber said.
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