The Challenges of Swimming
Most everyone has been swimming at least once in their life, but competitive swimming is more than just floating in water. Competitive swimming, from the inception in 1896, has greatly evolved to the sport it is today. It includes four strokes which are; Front stroke, Back stroke, Breast stroke, and Butterfly. Swimming is one of the hardest sports in the world because of the mental and physical attributions.
On the mental side of swimming, there are many factors that can make or break a swimmer. One factor is how focused you have to be to swim not only well, but outstanding. A swimmer has to clear their mind completely before entering the water. ...view middle of the document...
At practice, all swimmers have to realize what they’ve learned because they will need it later on. If they do something wrong, like flip turning too early, or breathing too many times, swimmers have to keep that in mind to correct it immediately and keep it corrected.
Competition and post competition are the last of the four dimensional frame works of “mental toughness”. During competition, swimmers have to stay focused and remember their training. Without their training in the back of a swimmer’s mind they can forget seeing the gold medal. Likewise, past competition is just as important. After competing, swimmers record their time and take that into consideration for their next practice. Getting a better or worse time means a lot to swimmers. By getting a better time, it makes them more motivated to get an even finer time, while getting a slower time can deteriorate a swimmer’s confidence. To get a better time, a swimmer must forget everything besides their training.
In contrast to the mental side of competitive swimming, the physical attribution is just as important, if not more. Swim training, trains every muscle as opposed to dry land sports, which don’t. Shinichi Demura from Kanazawa University writes, “Muscle gains of swimmers differ from those of general competitors on dry land (1250). In the same manner, Trine Karlsen from sports magazine says, “swimmers have a high respiratory capacity mainly related to elevated living volumes and enhanced pulmonary diffusion capacity compared with non-athletic peers from any other sport” (538). This basically means swimming over any other sport, trains your lungs harder, stronger, and more often. When I first started swimming, I could barely hold my breath for three strokes. Now I can go the whole length of the pool without taking a breath.
Learning how to do all four strokes is just the beginning. “Butterfly” is a stroke in competitive swimming that is considered the hardest stroke to master. It is done by having both arms raised out of the water at the same time, lifted forward together and in sync with the legs, which are in a “dolphin kick” motion. In order to complete this stroke successfully, a swimmer needs to get their arms and legs perfectly in sync with one another. Compared to butterfly, all the other strokes are easier, but still difficult to master. “Breast stroke” is another stroke, which is done with a “frog”...