How Ryan Murphy Manages Pressure By Adding Pressure


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The king of the backstroke has no intention of relinquishing his crown at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ryan Murphy is one of the biggest names in swimming. He's been breaking pool records since he was 5 years old.

He made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. He swept the backstroke events and won a third gold medal in the 4 x 100m medley relay. His leg set a world record.

The former UC Berkeley swimmer went pro in 2017 and has had his eye on defending his Olympic wins ever since.

The pandemic delayed the games, but not the dream.

Fellow swimmer Nathan Adrian opened lanes in his newly purchased swim school to swimmers like Ryan when the lockdown started.

"To kind of take things day by day, that was something I struggled with at the beginning. But as I, as this kind of kept on going on and kept on going on, I really got used to being flexible day to day, and I think that's a really valuable skill," Murphy said.

Murphy continued his training in Berkeley in his college pool and has fine-tuned his mental game an unusual way. He creates pressure to deal with pressure.

On this Dying to Ask:

  • How Ryan Murphy finds a competitive edge by living with constant pressure
  • Why he feels a need for speed at all times
  • And why it's better to embrace than fight flexibility

123 episodes