WILMINGTON, DELAWARE // Michael Phelps says he still has goals to achieve in the pool, specifically at the 2011 world championships and the 2012 Olympics.
The 14-time Olympic gold medallist, who says he has pondered retirement, is looking toward the world championships in Shanghai next summer.
"After this summer, not really having a great year, kind of an average year for me, being able to have the world championships next year and make the world championship team, that's sort of where the focus is," Phelps said. "To have as good a world championships as I can, then hopefully being able to have a good Olympic trials would set me up for the Games in 2012."
Beyond that, Phelps would not divulge his future goals.
"I know I still have goals I want to accomplish; goals I want to achieve," he said. "You could have 1,000 reporters in here [not just three] trying to ask me a thousand ways what those goals were and still won't get the real answer."
Bob Bowman, Phelps' long-time coach recently acknowledged that the 25-year-old is not the finest swimmer in the world at present. Bowman said Ryan Lochte deserves that distinction.
Lochte beat Phelps in the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke finals at the US national championships this summer, then won six gold medals to Phelps's five at the Pan Pacific championships.
Phelps expects Bowman to help him once again become best in the world. "There's one other person who's going to help me accomplish my goal and that's my coach," Phelps said. "He knows what I need to do in the pool. I know what I need to do. Once 2012 comes around and I'm able to accomplish those goals, then you'll know it."
Phelps said he plans to take a month off, before getting back to serious training.
"I'm just going to get ready for the world championships," he said.