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Olympian Phelps a Wet Blanket Outside the Pool

Personality coach Becky Border uses physical positioning exercises to strengthen Michael Phelps’ personality.

Olympian Michael Phelps might have 14 career Olympic gold medals to his credit, including the eight he earned at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics in August. But it seems his personality lacks the luster of his Olympic booty.

Drier Than a Desert

Described by people close to him as “dry as toast,” and “a non-conversationalist,” Phelps seems to have some work ahead of him. Becky Border, a self-taught personality coach, is known for helping celebrities be magnetic and charming 24/7. Recently, she was hired by Phelps’ mother, Debbie, and his girlfriend, Playboy playmate Pamela Sue Anderson Lee Ritchie Salomon, to help throw his personality into hyper drive.

“Phelps is a great individual but doesn’t come across in the public eye,” says Border, who started working with Phelps before the Olympics six months ago. “We’re going to get his personality to shine through.”

Border says in a relay race, his competitors can sense him coming from behind like a looming force — and spectators can sense his excitement and exuberance from the stands. “We’re going to work to bring that out of him on a daily basis,” says Border.

Her training will cover how to interact with family and friends, as well as the paparazzi. “He has to let go and be able to joke with reporters and tell them what he likes to do for fun besides the obvious,” says Border, who most recently worked with pubescent actress Dakota Fanning, because Fanning “didn’t know how to relate to other kids, and her mom didn’t want her having play dates with Tom Cruise any longer.”

Border says Phelps needs to learn how to use his size to his personal benefit.

Intense Training Begins

Border describes some of her exercises that are geared toward bringing out a person’s true persona and allowing them to be comfortable in their own skin as “intense, but necessary.” In one exercise, she has Phelps sit in front of a mirror to try different smiles to portray a positive attitude. She also gives him scenarios in which he has to determine if he’ll be “happy-go-lucky Phelps” or “serious, well-read, cerebral Phelps.”

“Sometimes I have him imagine that the person he is talking to is a puppy,” she explains. “Who can have a negative attitude in a roomful of puppies? It’s sort of like the practice of picturing a roomful of naked people before giving an important speech. I also tell him to stop dragging his big feet because he always gives the impression of being a tired giant. I make him stand tall!”

She’ll also use physical exercises that mimic swimming poses to teach him body awareness and how to use his “Stretch Armstrong-like” appendages to rope people in and keep them hostage with his personality.

Border says she was a shy child with her own” personality troubles.” “I heard a motivational speaker who turned my life around,” she says, and she wants to help Phelps do the same.

Border says she prefers working with sports figures, like Rex Grossman, Michael Jordan, and B.B. Becky. “It’s amazing how these famous people lack charisma!”

About Phelps, she says if he dedicates himself like he did to swimming, their work together should only last nine or 10 years. “We’re going to change how he is coming across, but not who he is.”

By | 2020-04-15T15:41:12-04:00 September 23rd, 2008|Categories: National|0 Comments

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