Michael Phelps Signature Analyzed: Part 2 of 3 Part Lesson

Welcome Back to Part 2:  Insights and Lessons into Michael Phelps Signature

Michael Phelps


Before I dive into the seriousness of his handwriting I promised to show you the rare photograph, supposedly one of the earliest known pictures taken of Michael Phelps!
Are you ready?

Scroll down.







First known pix of Michael Phelps

  Listen, in my courses, we have a lot of fun learning some very serious information.

And if you need to check your sense of humor, check your handwriting.

You’ll find those with a long curvy stroke that starts or leads-in to some of the first letters of a word, have a wicked and delightful sense of humor!

How to spot a sense of humor in handwriting:  Look at the long lead in stroke to the letter M in the name Mary.

HW Sample_Short paragraph Contrast

OK.  Back to your lesson and looking at just a few highlights of Phelps’ signature.  


To review, you can see the extreme heights of the upper zone (as he reaches to new heights in his career!!) And you’ll remember that “this extreme height reveals that high achievement is one of the most important things in this writer’s life.

And in Part I you learned a little bit about threaded writing (as you can see all the other letters that are in what we call, the middle zone, are illegible, hurried and strung out like a loose piece of thread)

What I love and find very telling is his i dot!   In both of the signatures from the last post and this one, you cannot discern the actual letter i, but you can see that i dot vividly.  And just by eye-balling it you can see that it is place directly and precisely above where the i should/would be!

A precisely placed i dot that is directly above and close to the i stem, reveals a writer who is fastidious with his memory and details.  His i dots are precisely above the letter i, but not close to the letter i.  If it were both close and directly above, it would look like this:

Precise Sample Word In Precise Sample Word Is Precise Sample Word Tidy

What is so fascinating to me about Phelps’s handwriting is the evidence of  ADD.  The rushed threaded writing, the illegible i, yet i dot that is directly above the i, not flung off to the right or left, yet there are multiple checks and balances he has put in place in his life that made him a champion!

The small letter i is illegible but the i dot is vivid and unmistakable.  Showing the contrast between A.D.D. and putting strategies in place.

Quite a tribute to Phelps’ character, special gifts and challenges.

As my favorite minister, Dr. Roger Teel once said, “If you can’t fix it, feature it!”

In part 3 of this series of lessons and a few key pointers in Michael Phelps’ signature, I’ve saved the best for last.  I will show you the stroke that reveals the writer who possesses and undefeatable spirit! 

One of Michael Phelps’ quotes says, “I think anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it. I think your mind really controls everything.”

Handwriting is brain-writing. It has very little to do with the hand. When you change your writing strategically and consistently you can affect new neuro-pathways in the brain.  When you change your handwriting you can change your life.  And when you change your life, your handwriting can change.

Check back in 2 days on August 23 for the final post in this series.

Until then, friends,

Your “Write” Coach

Michael Phelps Signature Analyzed: Part 1 of 3 Part Lesson

Michael Phelps:  

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)


Picture of Michael


Michael Phelps


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





Michael Phelps: An Olympian Champion’s Writing is On The Wall



Michael Phelps’ signature will be analyzed below.

But first things first.


Watching the Olympics is something I hope never goes out of style.

There seems to be an unspoken creed among the millions of television viewers  that implies it is okay to suspend time,  place a pause in the to-do list,
kick back guilt-lessly,  guilelessly and  nestle into that ole favorite overstuffed chair.

The permission granted, actually encouraged, to become a couch potato
at intermittent intervals for the duration of the Olympics, is widespread.

This taking-a-break is  for such a worthy cause, the cheering on of one’s Country, that the very act of doing so creates instant  relaxation.

This is a time when skeptics set aside their skepticism and somewhere inside, everyone’s Inner Idealist is allowed to come out and share a bowl
of popcorn as we drift into another reality…..

One where we witness dreams coming true and Heroes being born.

A deep sense of inspiration wells up in my chest, as I’m sure it does
yours, as I witness the indomitable spirit of these athletes who
risk it all for the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.

They give the best they have to the world.

There is something as pure and old fashioned as flags waving and apple pie being served on checkered tablecloths when rooting for the U.S. of A and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.


And now….Michael Phelps.

Did you know when he ran his first race?

The answer is below.


But seriously folks….can you spot where the indomitable spirit show itself in Phelps’ signature?

(Once you learn where it is, check to see if you have it in your own writing!)

If you had to pick one thing in Michael Phelps signature that stood out as a singular contributing factor to what makes him a winner, what would you guess it to be?

This is the question I posed to my fans and friends on Facebook-

Here were just a few of the guesses.

(These were from curious on-lookers; they are not my graphology students.  The names haven’t been changed.  Why should I protect the innocent?)

I am not very good with this, but I notice that his m looks like boobs, maybe he has a mommy hang up?”    Steve Warpenburg, my cousin

“BIG, BIG Upper Case…fading to unintelligible lower case…with flair at end. Perhaps he should have been a gymnast.”   Janet Aitken….my other cousin

Here were other guesses from non-relatives.

“Hmmm, how about top of consonants all much higher than those lowly little vowels 🙂 “  Carey Ungvary

“I’d say in the M, h, l. The P in his first name as well. It seems like they are jumping over the moon! “ Vickie Leigh Krudwig

 “Big swooping M & P??? What did I win?” Charles Reynolds

See folks, you don’t have to a  graphologist to see that there is more than meets the eye in handwriting.  Not bad, not bad at all.  Allow me to give some further insight.

My Analysis of Michael Phelps Signature:

1. The M and P are quite large.

Lesson:  When the first initials are very large compared to the rest of the signature, the writer is known to have a “healthy ego.”  They have a strong Sense of Self. This is usually required to be successful in the world at large.


2. The height of the upper loops are disproportionately tall compared to the middle zone letters in his name.  ( i, a, e, s)

Lesson:  These are indicators that Phelps knows, doesn’t think, doesn’t believe, and doesn’t have blind faith… this man KNOWS that what he is doing is r.i.g.h.t.  He takes much pride in himself and what he does.   He is dogmatic about being right.  He will prefer high achievement to free expression and emotional satisfaction.Any kind of rejection can be very tough on these Souls.  The downside is, when this trait is present in one’s writing, it will typically trip them up in their personal relationships.  That is another subject for another day.

3. He has threaded writing.

Lesson:  In graphology when the writing is strung out like a piece of thread, the writer’s mind works so fast that he sacrifices form.   The danger is this translates literally in life.  This particular trait indicates that Phelps can easily see the end result of a situation.   He is innately impatient and is 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 and when those details are ignored, they will always come back to bite us in the behind!

Which leads us to ………

4. The capital M in his signature is very round.  It is not angular.

Lesson:  Phelps has interesting checks and balances in place.  (So do you by the way!  Everyone has checks in balances in their writing and I love that about the complexity of the Human Spirit and how it gets revealed in your handwriting.)

Notice the speed of his signature?  You can tell he didn’t take a lot of painstaking time to jot off his name.   Phelps can be impatient and that is death to a winner.  ONE mistake can cost him the Gold.  Sooooo one of the checks and balances that show up in his writing is the overtly rounded M.  This is not an angular M.  No sireeee.  People who write with rounded m’s and n’s process things  s l o w l y  and deliberately!  They love routine.  Practice practice practice!

They will weigh their options very thoroughly and very carefully.  It may take them awhile to come to the final conclusion (of how to win this race in such a way that he walks away with the Gold!)  However once they do, they will stand firm by their decisions.  And by this time, he knows he is beyond right.  (As we determined earlier.)

5. The i dot is placed directly above the i stem.

Lesson:  Precise and deliberately positioned i dots represent a good memory and attention to detail.

In the haste to scribble his autograph, Phelps unconsciously yet deliberately positions the i dot precisely above the i stem.   It is not flung off to the right or to the left, despite the fact that most of the other letters are illegible.

It’s not just Phelps’ body that moves at the speed of light, his mind is also a steel trap that moves at Olympian speed.  I love that he has checks and balances in place to keep himself in check so that he will not make mistakes.

As I always say, we all have Good and “Un-good” in our handwriting.  It’s a fascinating honor to take a look inside the mind of an Olympian Gold Medalist.

5. Ending stroke.  Classic of a Winner.

Truth be told, the first thing I spotted when I looked at this signature was the ending stroke to the last letter in his last name.  That v-shaped angular ending stroke at the end of his last name is at a 45 degree angle. This is a CLASSIC text book example of a person who meets all challenges bravely and courageously.  This writer will look at a problem as a challenge to conquer.  Their philosophy in life is “There are no problems there are only solutions.”

Don’t believe me?   Here is a quote by Phelps that drives the point home.

The point is, we may not all have been born Olympic Swimmers, but perhaps we were all born a natural graphologist.  So much more is vibrating off the page than the words.  The WAY we write reveals more than words could ever say.
Disclaimer:  No person can ever be fully analyzed by their signature alone.  However what does show up in a signature carries 3-5 times the weight of importance compared to the rest of the writing.
What does your signature say about you? Contact Kathi@KathiMcKnight.com to find out!

For more information and to sign up for your free series of Little Known Handwriting Analysis Secret Tips  visit www.TheHandwritingExpert.com    Watch  Kathi McKnight’s interview on the Dr. Oz show.

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