The Complicated Sport of Synchro
Many people who are new to synchro are completely astounded at the amount of hours these athletes practice. They may know people who have their children in other sports who practice only a fraction of the hours of synchronized swimmers. To be truthful, synchronized swimmers do practice more than most other athletes in other sports. The reason being, synchronized swimming is a very complicated sport. Above the glitter of competition-day makeup, the hours it takes to make something very difficult look easy is the reason why these athletes need to put in so many hours.
In some ways, synchronized swimming is a sport that is a combination of several sports – all rolled into one. Athletes need to be able to swim proficiently and efficiently – like speed swimmers, be as flexible as gymnasts, have the endurance of marathon runners, and the speed of sprinters. They have to have strength to lift their teammates in “highlights” – and the “fliers” need to learn the skills of divers to execute jumps, dives, and flips off their team-mates. Athletes have to think and train and have the posture and grace of dancers – by swimming to counts of eight on music, remembering changes to routines, and being in “synch” with their team mates. All the while they learn to hold their breath and do this upside down!!!
Its no wonder then why they practice so much. It takes a significant amount of time to incorporate all this work into a fabulous routine! Most provincial-level teams in synchro clubs practice anywhere from 6 hours a week for the youngest swimmers up to about 15 hours a week for the older swimmers. National level teams bring the level of difficulty of the routines to a much higher level – and hence must practice even more- starting at a younger age. Most National-level teams in synchro clubs start with at least 12 hours for the youngest swimmers and move upwards to 15 to 25 hours a week by the time they are are sixteen years old.
On the whole, synchronized swimmers tend to be very organized and hard working individuals. They develop lifelong friendships and time-management skills that they take with them into school and their future careers. They learn how to function as team members, and work well under pressure and stress. Most parents would agree that the lessons their child has learned from synchro are invaluable!
Thank you to Olympium Synchro for above article