A Sports Series Article
By: Sophie Riggle and Eleanor Mackenzie
The life of an athlete is drastically different from an average student’s life. Although all sports are very unique, they are all similar in one way: the hectic lifestyle student athletes are forced to become accustomed to. In new this series, a different sport will be focused on in each article. We will not only interview athletes about the pros and cons of the sport, we’ll also try to dig deeper into many different aspects of the certain activity. So, stay tuned for more sports articles coming out soon.
The first sport we are focusing on is swimming. Swimming is ranked number 11 out of 50 on a list of most popular sports in America, following volleyball. Although it has a fairly high ranking, this very intense sport is often brushed off by students and even coaches, therefore not a lot is known about it. So, let’s dive into the life of a swimmer.
When others think of a swimmer going to practice, they most likely think of just an hour or two of swimming. However, there is more than one component that makes up a full swim workout. Some things included in the swimming sport are weightlifting and dryland (exercises, cardio, and stretches done outside of the water.) In addition to this, most swimmers help out the team by coaching younger swimmers too. In a survey conducted here at GMS, 71% of the responders said that managing their time during swim season is one of the hardest things about being on the team. On regular days, swimmers will spend 2-3 hours at the high school working out, but if they coach, the athletes will be there for about 4 hours after school. As you can see, balancing your time during swim season may be the biggest downfall of being on the team.
About half of the swimmers surveyed said that as a swimmer, they were stereotyped to be certain things and called names. Those may include being called a nerd, lame, and told that swimming is not a real sport. This is an annoyance to swimmers because, like all sports, they put a lot of effort and time into their workouts and what they do, so being called “useless” and other things of that matter are very offensive. Another struggle swimmers face is the very large commitment that swimming is. As a swimmer, it is your responsibility to go to many meets and get to all practices. As I mentioned before, this takes a lot of time, making it hard to attend other activities and have a normal social life in general. So, next time you are talking to a swimmer, think twice about what you’re going to say.
You may have heard someone say that a sports team is like their family. This is especially true with swimming. Since the swim team is fairly small, the dynamic tends to be closer. In fact, 85.8% of the surveyors said that the majority of the group gets along well. However, some students aren’t particularly close with the other members of the team. Like with any activity, there will always be drama, but despite that, the team is very friendly. 28.6% of people who took the survey even said that they spend time together outside of practices.
Swimming is not an easy sport, as you might have been able to tell. From the hectic schedule these athletes face to the name calling and stereotyping they get, swimmers go through a lot. We hope with this article that you have learned the ups and downs of swimming, and understand the sport better.