It's very clear to me that Michael Phelps' coaches were practicing their craft to perfection and that they were 100% responsible for his achievements.
The fact that his mother had the insight to firmly guide Phelps to the sport of swimming, made tremendous sacrifices herself and didn't ruin him emotionally, had little effect on his outcome. Phelps' success had nothing to do with his intense competitive drive and sense of discipline, nor his unique set of physical gifts. His sustained, daily access to high-end swimming facilities didn't play a part in developing his speed, either.
It's obvious that the other swim coaches in the world are just clinging to the status quo and don't truly believe that any of their trainees can succeed. Most of them are lazy and ineffective, and all they want is to collect pay and benefits from rec centers and swim clubs.
Our nation's swim coaches are also responsible for the swim gap (a study in 5/08 showed that 58% of African American children can't swim, for whites it's 31%). The intolerable truth is that most pools where young people swim are simply "failure factories."
We are way overdue for reforming them.
Michael Phelps Owes Everything To Coach (Not Mom, Not Genetics, Just Coaches!)
This is a comment by reader "Pondoora" from eduwonkette about this post. The post posits that policy should not be made based on the achievements of statistical outliers. I agree, and the comment below shows the stupidity of the blame-the-teacher corps, led by Michelle Rhee: