The Most Decorated Olympian of All Time….
What does Michael Phelps’ handwriting reveal about his success story?
In 2012 I wrote a long article about Phelps and his handwriting. Back then I didn’t know that he has/had A.D.D. and the things he had to overcome in his childhood!
What I saw in his handwriting way back then, revealed it. Now I know why I saw what I saw.
I’m loving it and now will share it with you!
However I am gravely disappointed that I missed seeing him in the Olympics this year. (The YouTube videos are already scarfed up by the Olympics so if you think you have a clip where I can see him swim and win, feel free to post it in the peanut gallery, I mean the comment section below)
I don’t have the luxury of time to read all the media about him so let’s DIVE into his handwriting straight-away. (Splash)
1. The obvious first: LARGE first capital letters to each name = STRONG SENSE OF SELF and strong, big or healthy ego. Typically required to be successful in the world at large, especially in a competitive field.
2. Threaded Writing: Notice how the small letters are written in a rush; they are illegible and strung out like a piece of thread. Whenever this happens it means the writer’s mind works SO fast that he is sacrificing form in his handwriting. But not in his form with swimming!
“FAST MINDS is an acronym for common symptoms that are often seen in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Millions of adults have ADHD or some of its traits, but they are under-recognized, under-treated, and often under-supported.”
From the book:Fast Minds: How to Thrive If You Have ADHD (Or Think You Might)
Written by Craig Surman M.D and Ted Bilkey M.D.
It was only this past week that I learned Phelps has A.D.D. and had quite a time overcoming the challenges it presented in childhood! I read a very touching story about his being diagnosed with A.D.D. at age 9 and how he hated even getting his face wet! Due to the ingenuity of his mother, she would flip him over teach him the backstroke, instead. (ADDitudemag.com)
In classrooms in his school, teachers would say “Michael can’t do this” and his mother would chime in with “Well, what are you doing to help him?” She taught middle school for more than 2 decades and began working closely with Michael’s school to get him the extra attention he needed. I think his mother’s handwriting deserves a post in this blog!
Back to handwriting and to plagiarize myself from 2012…
“…the writer’s mind works so fast that he sacrifices form. The danger is this translates literally into life. This particular trait indicates that Phelps can easily see the end result of a situation. He is innately impatient and instinctually driven to race to the finish line because he can figure out how to get there so well, so easily! The problem with “threaded writing” is that one inevitably glosses over those finite details (due to impatience) and when those details are ignored, they will always come back to bite one in the behind!
Which leads us to…
3. The capital M in his signature is obtusely round. It is not angular. Rounded M’s and N’s reveal the writer who thinks methodically, and reviews and reviews all aspects and possibilities multiple times before making a final decision.”
In the book quoted up above, the person with A.D.D. “must build personalized strategies for managing their time, tasks, and relationships. And needs to learn organizational habits that work for him personally.”
That is what he has done and that is what his handwriting reveals!
He has no idea he is writing this way– WHAT we write comes from the conscious mind. HOW we write comes from the subconscious mind.
You, as a lay person, can tell he wrote his name off the cuff and with a lot of speed, can’t you!
His mind works so quickly YET he has checks and balances in place to off-set the rocket speed of his thinking.
Everyone has checks and balances in their handwriting… I see it in every handwriting sample. Every single one. I love that about the complexity of Human Spirit and how it gets revealed in handwriting.
To drive the point home…
As stated, you can see the speed of his signature. And you can tell he didn’t take a lot of painstaking time to dash off his name. Phelps can be impatient and that is death to a winner. ONE mistake can cost him the GOLD. So one of the checks and balances that show in his signature is the very rounded capital letter M. People who write with rounded m’s and n’s process things SLOWLY and deliberately! *They love routine*.
This is one of the strategies he had to learn in order to manage his A.D.D.
The article in ADDitudemag.com went on to state, ” Debbie (his mother) used various strategies to keep Michael in line. Over time, as his love of swimming grew, she was delighted to see that he was developing self-discipline.
*“For the past 10 years, at least, he’s never missed a practice,” she says. “Even on Christmas, the pool is the first place we go, and he’s happy to be there.
Debbie also made sure to listen to her son. In the sixth grade, he told her he wanted to stop taking his stimulant medication. Despite serious misgivings, she agreed to let him stop — and he did fine. Michael’s busy schedule of practices and meets imposed so much structure on his life that he was able to stay focused without medication.”
These writers (with rounded M’s and N’s) will weigh their options very thoroughly and very carefully. It might have taken him awhile to come to the final conclusion of how to win this Meet in such a way that he walks away with the Gold! However once he makes up his mind, he stands firm by his decision and this time, he knows beyond all logic and reason he is RIGHT!
How do I know this? Look at the extreme height of the upper zone. It mores than 3x the height of the middle zone.
This extreme height reveals dogmatic, even arrogant points of view on what he knows and believes to be right.
The extreme height of these letters reveals the textbook definition that high achievement is one of the most important things in this writer’s life. He will take it over emotional satisfaction. Think of the sacrifice involved to be an Olympian Champion.
In my next post 2 days from now, I will reveal Part II to this signature analysis.
And…I will share the first known picture of Michael Phelps!!
Until then we can all heed the advice of the most Decorated Olympian Champion of all Time….
Your “Write” Coach