And they even get Phelps himself to open up a tiny bit in talking about his past. Phelps is never going to be a chatterbox in front of the camera. On the course, however, he does seem relatively at ease with the reality-TV cameras surrounding him — relatively.
To be as successful as Phelps, an athlete has to be able to go to a private mental place where there are no distractions — and no thoughts of failure. It’s not a place most athletes talk about or share with anyone but coaches — certainly not the media.
“Well, I mean, one thing with me and every goal I’ve had — in the sport of swimming, my mother didn’t know my goals,” he began.
“The only person that knew my goals were my coaches,” he continued. “That’s something — no offense to you guys, but I don’t think you guys are going to help me to my goals of X, if I do tell you my goals. So, I see my goals as personal, and I always have. That’s just been how I’ve worked.”
That’s not the way it usually works on reality TV, though, Michael. Sharing is a good thing on reality TV. Just ask Dr. Drew.
Based on what I saw in the first hour, I wouldn’t expect to see Phelps in a “confessional” room, like the one on MTV’s “The Real World,” baring his soul during this season of “The Haney Project.”
With Phelps, though, a few thrown clubs, sullen looks and bleeped words of frustration after bad swings might be enough for young male viewers watching him “live the dream” — or, at least, a pretty big part of it, divots notwithstanding.
“The Haney Project” starring Michael Phelps debuts at 9 p.m. Monday on the Golf Channel