Swimming has gained a lot of popularity as a professional sport, especially because of elite athletes such as Michael Phelps. While it’s popular, it isn’t commonly seen as a tough sport. Most people think of contact sports as “tough sports,” such as football, basketball, or boxing. Since swimming is an individual sport, with no physical contact amongst competitors, it’s usually seen as an easier sport. You may be surprised to learn about how tough swimming actually is!
Intense Training Schedule
Competitive swimmers have gruelling schedules. Unlike some other sports, swimming doesn’t have off seasons, making training a year-round process. This is because of how easily swimmers can lose strength and speed. In a sport where every millisecond counts, it’s important to continuously push your body— some swimmers even training up to thrice a day.
Personal Sacrifice and Discipline
Given the intense training regimen required for swimmers, it’s easy to understand why the sport involves a lot of personal sacrifice and discipline. With a large portion of their day devoted to training, muscle building, and getting enough rest to recover for the next day, swimmers usually end up sacrificing time to socialize with people outside of the sport. Discipline is undeniably required for swimmers to continuously push themselves further than the day before, even when they don’t feel like it.
The sport’s growth in popularity has also brought about a lot more competition. Just the sheer number of talent you need to compete against can be a serious cause of pressure. However, swimmers aren’t only competing against each other, they are also competing against themselves. As they focus on improving their stroke and speed, they are also racing against their own record and performance. Swimmers are mentally pushed to rise above the pressure— both internally and externally.
While people can enjoy swimming at a pool party or over a weekend trip to the beach, swimming is also a very serious, competitive and tough sport. It has its share of advantages, but definitely is not for the faint of heart, as it will push you to discipline your body, challenge your mind, and cause you to grow.