Olympic athletes: Dara Torres

In the water, Michael Phelps is a force to be reckoned with. But his dominance in the pool isn't just a physical attribute. Phelps's exacting mental standards and preparation propel him beyond other swimmers. Read the article or see more in this series on speed.

Article: Mastering Psychology

Phelps

Michael Phelps is undoubtedly a gifted athlete, but he's not the first. What sets Phelps apart is a mental toughness his coach calls the greatest he has seen in any discipline.

Photos: Thinking fast

Age game

Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps shows an unmatched mental toughness in the pool.

Series: Profiles in Speed

Profiles in Speed

Speed will be a defining theme of the 2012 Olympic Games. How do athletes continue to get faster? What are the keys to speed, and increasing it?