For a Better Build, Play in Water
A new trend for high schools is to have a meme web page Simply put, a meme web page contains quirky content – usually pictures – that sweetly or sarcastically make statements about (school) life. An item that was recently put on the WHS meme page was a sarcastic comment about the WHS Swim Team, along the lines of, “Oh, you’re on the WHS Swim Team…you must be in ‘great’ shape.” All I have to say to that is, “Why thanks for noticing!”
For some reason, swimming isn’t brought to mind when one thinks of a high school sport. Baseball or football usually comes first. Swimming is different from most because 1) there aren’t any objects or goals that must be protected and 2) it is performed in water. And one reason why many doubt that swimming is an actual sport is because it doesn’t have an easy to understand scoring or use balls, pucks, sticks, bats, rackets or other accessories.
But I must point out that to be a sport it doesn’t have to be similar to every other sport played. A sport is a game, or activity, that requires skill or physical prowess, and you definitely need both to compete in swimming.
Swimming requires as much attention to one’s position as it does in football or baseball. An awareness of breathing, the speed of legs kicking, and the form of the stroke – all which are happening at the same time – is a lot more challenging than one might think. You can’t just jump into a pool and swim 100 yards without having the skill to perform each of the aforementioned tasks. Try that and you will climb out thinking you have blown a lung.
The skills needed to simultaneously control your breathing and speed can definitely be achieved, but it takes a lot more than just being able to tread water. Practice makes perfect applies to swimming as it does to any sport. Even if you have never competed before, after one season of swimming, you will surprise even yourself with the skills you acquire.
For any sport, if you don’t try and improve yourself, you won’t be a good player and you won’t be in good shape. It’s the truth. If you just tread water for the whole season you are not going to be the next Michael Phelps or even look like him. Effort is essential.
And there is no lack of team spirit either. In a head-to-head race the entire pool deck is screaming and chanting, “Go! Go! GOOO!” Team members are jumping, the coach is whistling, and if it so happens that our swimmer is the winner, the entire team erupts and a round of hugs and slaps on the back are awarded to that swimmer. It can get pretty intense, just like in football.
It may seem boring and repetitive to swim back and forth, but it really is the best feeling in the world when you try doing that 100 yards under one minute and enjoying yourself while swimming. And believe me, you are definitely in good shape after a season on the swim team. Just go to any pool deck and take a peek at the Varsity boys.
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