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sv20lacrosse
January 23rd, 2005, 05:32 PM
Hey guys and girls, im 14 and want to start swimming with my school swim team. I dont know how my families going to react to this they kind of think its a girly sport. How should i hanndle this and i need some tips on what type of swim suit and cap? What dry land training should i do? Should i shave?

Scott

Alicat
January 23rd, 2005, 07:45 PM
First don't shave. It will compound the girlie sport mentality for your family. Anyways, shaving only happens at the end of the season for 1 maybe 2 big meets...

Just be honest with your family. Granted swimming is not as rugged as lets say football, but the athletic abilities of swimmers are probably much more! Swimmers don't stop! There is weight training and running along with the laps and nutrition.

Try out for the school team and follow the recommendations of the coach for dry land training.

In terms of suits, most guys like the jammers suits down to the knees --those classic tiny Speedos are not the in thing anymore I suppose, and a standard classic swim cap is the laytex "US flag" by Speedo/TYR etc --I prefer black myself. I would recommend goggles also, Speedo makes some good ones, it's a trial and error thing to find the ones that work for you the best!

Good Luck!

partyhat
January 23rd, 2005, 08:39 PM
Ok, so you're 14.

But if your family gives you a hard time about swimming being a "girlie sport", just remember this.

Girls dig swimmers.

As for tips about actually swimming and stuff, 'fraid I can't help you, because I am a new swimmer as well.

Rob Copeland
January 23rd, 2005, 10:06 PM
Well, Iím sure most of the people who respond to you on this forum are swimmers and strongly disagree with the idea that swimming is a girly sport. If done well, it is one of the most technically involved and physically demanding sports around.

But back to your questions. First I would think that your family would be thrilled that you want to be on one of your schoolís teams. Personally, both of my kids started swimming at you age and Iím very glad that they are involved in HS varsity sports.

Second, as far as swimsuit and cap; talk to the swim team coach. Iím sure the team has team suits and caps. The coach should also be able to get you in the correct dry land training. As for shaving, again Iíd talk to the coach about this, but typically guys donít shave until they get to the real big meets.

scyfreestyler
January 23rd, 2005, 10:24 PM
My high school did not have a swim team (small catholic school), but I think most high school swimmers can count on being teased at one time or another. I know a few people who were swimmers in high school and they were the subject of a few jokes but who cares? As you get older you will learn to care less about what others think and more about what is best for you. Hard to imagine for you right now I know, I wish I could have understood my own advice 12-13 years ago. :( Anyhow, I strongly suggest that you join your HS swim team. You will become physically fit, improve upon whatever swimming skills you currently have, meet new people (girls?:)), and maybe even make yourself happy at the same time! Best of luck to you.

SWinkleblech
January 23rd, 2005, 10:47 PM
My philosphy in life is if you want to do it, just do it and don't care about what other people think or say. When I got to high school I was the only freshman and girl trumpet player in the marching band. I tell you I got pick on and teased a lot by the older male trumpet players. I can tell you some true horror stories. If I had let them make me quit I would have never been a music teacher. So just go for it. You will never know where it may lead you in life. Also if you don't try you may regret it later in life.

Sparky
January 24th, 2005, 02:27 AM
I agree with what everyone says here. Follow what you think is best.

The only thing I would have done differently in high school is that I would have joined the swim team when someone suggested it.


Adam

aquageek
January 24th, 2005, 09:02 AM
OK, so what if it is a girlie sport (which it isn't btw)? You pals might be making fun of you but, trust me, spending 2-4 hours a day with in shape girls you own age beats all other HS sports and they are jealous. Plus, come summer, when you are at the beach or pool and not in a speedo, the young ladies will laugh at your doogie paddle pals and revel in your smoothness in the H20.

dorothyrde
January 24th, 2005, 10:45 AM
In a woman's opinion, male swimmers have the best bods.....so you can be a chick magnate. Nothin girlie about that!!

knelson
January 24th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
spending 2-4 hours a day with in shape girls you own age beats all other HS sports and they are jealous.

True, but in many (most?) states boys and girls swimming seasons are not concurrent.

aquageek
January 24th, 2005, 03:20 PM
How in the world do you have separate sex swim seasons? I have never heard of this. So, the boys do SCY in the fall and the girls in the spring or some other oddity. How do year round teams do this if prepping for different meets? I've been in and around swim teams my whole life and never seen this but I'm sure it's done if you say so.

Alicat
January 24th, 2005, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
How in the world do you have separate sex swim seasons? I have never heard of this. So, the boys do SCY in the fall and the girls in the spring or some other oddity. How do year round teams do this if prepping for different meets? I've been in and around swim teams my whole life and never seen this but I'm sure it's done if you say so.

Yes, it's done. Infact in NH, a town called Nashua swims in the MA league while the NH league swims coed.

The Nahsua High School team swims girls in fall and boys in winter. It may have something to do with pool space being a preimum in town. The Nashua swimmers don't participate in the state championships, but rather the Mass confrences.

Guvnah
January 24th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
How in the world do you have separate sex swim seasons? I have never heard of this. So, the boys do SCY in the fall and the girls in the spring or some other oddity. How do year round teams do this if prepping for different meets? I've been in and around swim teams my whole life and never seen this but I'm sure it's done if you say so.

In Colorado, high school girls swimming is a winter sport, and boys swimming is a spring sport.

Just FYI.

knelson
January 24th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Yeah, I think pool space is the major rationale. In the two states I've lived (MI and WA) girls swim in the fall (say Labor Day till November) and boys swim winter (November through mid March).

This system worked well--at least for boys, can't really comment on girls!

swimr4life
January 24th, 2005, 05:16 PM
That would take some of the fun away from high school swimming!! Thats a shame.

Rob Copeland
January 24th, 2005, 05:29 PM
Yea, it does take away some of the fun, by it also alleviates overcrowding and under coaching.

In my HS days in Iowa the girls swam in fall and the guys in winter. We had about 20 -30 boys on the team and worked out in a 5 lane 25 yard pool. The head coach handled both girls and boys programs.

Now in Georgia, my son and daughter swim on the HS team with boys and girls combined season. They have 40 - 45 swimmers in 4 lanes, 10+ per lane, with one head coach and one assistant.

Iím sure there are a few swimmers here who would forego some of the fun of swimming 10 to a lane, for a little more space and some better swimmer to coach ratios.

swimr4life
January 24th, 2005, 05:47 PM
That is a very good point Rob! I'm an assistant coach for a large high school team. Overcrowding is definitely a problem at times! I guess I was just remembering my high school days and how much fun it was to have all those guys that were like big brothers to me and "friendboys". From a swimming point of view, it would be better to seperate the boys and girls.

laineybug
January 24th, 2005, 06:55 PM
I agree with everyone else

1) go for it, and hopefully your family will see that you are serious and won't tease you about it being a girlie sport. Maybe you can invite them to watch a pratice and talk to the coach so they can see exactly how difficult it is. Maybe you could hunt up the recent thread where a distance runner and weight lifter got in the pool and could only do 50 yards before he had to stop, and show it to them. That says something about how difficult a sport it is, and how much training in technique and endurance is necessary to be successful. Search the net for information about swimming as a sport, what it takes to be a swimmer etc, and print it out for your family to read. Find articles on famous swimmers and how much they train. How can anyone view swimming as a girlie sport when they realize that some swimmers swim 5,000 to 10,000 meters A DAY. Point out that swimming is a relatively injury free sport. If all else fails, send them here to ask us about the sport! We will set them straight.

2) not only will you be hanging out with physically fit young women your age, you will be hanging out with physically fit young women who are in bathing suits (LOL I wanted to say half naked, but since you are a kid...)

3) yes women think male swimmer's bodies are sexy, the sexiest of all sports.

Lainey

Fishgrrl
January 24th, 2005, 07:11 PM
"girly sport." Ha!!!! It is TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH!! I can't imagine why anyone would think it was "girly", and frankly, I'm kind of offended by the term anyway, because it implies that girls can't do tough sports.

Here's a little historical data about one of my heros, Debbie Meyer:

DEBBIE MEYER
(B:8/14/52- )
Was the first woman to win three individual gold medals in a single Olympics. Despite her handicap of having a stomach infection at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, she went on to win the 200m, 400m and 800m free. In her career, she held 24 American records and 15 world records. She was named the 1967, Ď68 and Ď69 World Swimmer of the Year and received the Sullivan Award for top amateur athlete in 1968. She was the first woman to swim the 1500m free under 18 minutes, the 400m free under 4:30, the 500y free under five minutes and the 1650y free under 17 minutes.

************
What was also interesting is that she was (reportedly) either the first or one of the first females to prove that girls can train just as long and as hard as boys. She put in 30,000 miles of training before the 1968 Olympics!!

Anyway - I agree with the other posts - and I will add that all sports are hard in their own way; some are harder than others, but show me a football player who can last out an intense 2 hour swim practice and I'll eat my hat!

So put those Speedos on and get in the pool!!
:cool:

thisgirl13
January 24th, 2005, 10:09 PM
First off, howdy, and welcome!

Your story sounds pretty similar to mine, with a few obvious exceptions (I'm a girl, so a girly sport would be okay for me).

However.......I was a high school swimmer, in a tiny Southern Ohio town ruled by a religion we call high school football. There were a record-breaking 7 people on my team my sophomore year, and we were teased endlessly by the other jocks in the school....until we invited them to a practice. You won't always earn their respect, but you're not swimming for them.

You're also not swimming for your family, and the same theory applies. Invite them to some practices, and let them see the work you're doing. My dad played high school and college football, basketball, and baseball. All of my athletic talent comes from him, and he was so disappointed that I never got into softball or basketball that he has attended one (1!) of my swim meets in my entire career, and I've swum in hundreds of meets.

Your coach, and your teammates will help you with suits, traditions, shaving advice, drag, taper, everything. All I can offer you is the advice of a high schooler who's been exactly where you are, and I can tell you that when you're doing a sport that you love, nothing else really matters, and the people you're worried about won't matter when you're in the water.

You gotta do this for you, sugar, and enjoy finding a common oddity among your teammates. It takes extraordinary discipline and mentality to be a competitive swimmer, and those that got it, got it. Those that don't, don't get it.

Good Luck!

Swimmerguy
January 24th, 2005, 10:36 PM
I swam for my HS team and the other team sports considered swimming a "weak" sport. After my freshman year the new football coach had water training for the team. It is unbelievable how much respect they had for the swimmers after their new workouts. They would say that they had to swim 4 to 6 laps and asked how many we do in a practice. After telling them that on the 3 a day winter break days we would do about 10,000 yards they started to defend the sport greatly. I say if anyone wants to call it a "girlie" sport tell them to get in the water a couple of times and then make their decisions. Swim On!!!!!

knelson
January 25th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Swimmerguy
After telling them that on the 3 a day winter break days we would do about 10,000 yards

10,000 in three workouts? That doesn't seem like much to me. Maybe you guys were girlie! ;)

shark
January 25th, 2005, 12:31 PM
sv20lacrosse,

Being only 14 you might not have heard of a swimmer by the name of Matt Biondi. I believe, as I have been told, that Matt did not start swimming until he was a freshman in HS. (If this is incorrect, please, someone let me know) Matt went on to NCAA, Olympic and World Record glory. And also wasn't a shabby water polo player either. Swimming might not be consistently a big spectator sport, or have as much public glory in it as you might have in other sports, but, the personal gratification that you will get from improving your technique, knowledge and eventually times will be enough, IMO, to test even the most driven athlete. IT WILL NOT BE EASY. It takes hard work and dedication. YOU WILL GET BETTER. Case in point, I had a freshmen 4 years ago who could not make it acrossed the pool on the first day of workout. As a coach you always wonder how long it will take for an individual such as this to choose another career path. We encouraged him to stick it out and this kid worked hard, was voted by his teammates the hardest worker on the team 4 years in a row and went a 22.85 in the 50 and 49.9 in the 100 his senior year. He now swims for a Div III school here in Ohio.

Swimmers do not have it easy. It takes a special kid to come out for swimming. Swimmers are the best people you will meet. In the future, you will have a common bond with a lot of people, worldwide. For the people who call us different things, well, they just do not know. Leave them alone and go about your business of getting better and having fun doing it.

If two roads diverged in the woods, take the one less travelled by and it will make all of the difference. There is a whole other world under the surface. Come on in, the water's fine.

mattson
January 26th, 2005, 02:28 PM
To add on to what others have said:

I remember one time in HS where a bored wrestler tried to tease us about wearing Speedos. I reminded him that he wore a women's swimsuit and groped other sweaty boys. :D

Find a tape of a good water polo match, and ask how girlie that is. (For that matter, how girlie were those women's Olympic matches? Yikes! :eek: )

Lastly, three words: Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller (http://www.mergetel.com/~geostan)

(Added later...)
Both New York and Illinois have fall girl's season, and winter boy's season.

EyeoreSAM
January 26th, 2005, 03:16 PM
I know here in MN the girls swim in the fall and the boys swim in the winter. It puts a damper on the USS swim season for some of the boys!!

Bob McAdams
February 1st, 2005, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
I was a high school swimmer, in a tiny Southern Ohio town ruled by a religion we call high school football. There were a record-breaking 7 people on my team my sophomore year, and we were teased endlessly by the other jocks in the school....until we invited them to a practice.

When I was in high school, football was definitely the "big" sport. In fact, every game was a major school event, complete with cheerleaders, the band playing at half time, refreshment stands, etc. They didn't even have a swim team when I was there (though from what I hear that has changed).

But here are the sad facts:

Most of the guys who played high school football weren't good enough to play it in college.

None of them, to my knowledge, were good enough to turn pro.

And those guys who aren't good enough to turn pro soon discover a hard reality: If you don't turn pro, about the only options for football as an adult are watching and coaching, neither of which will keep you in shape. An unfortunate number of high school football players, when they become adults, end up sitting in front of their TV sets watching the superbowl while they grow beer bellies and reminisce about the glory days when they were 17.

SwiminONandON
February 1st, 2005, 03:44 PM
I agree with what everyone has said. When I was told to chose between swimming and gymnastics (for some reason my mom didn't like the idea of me being in the pool at 5am then again after school then going from swimming to a five gymnastics workout) I chose gymnastics to spite my parents because they hated gymnastics - fear of neck breaking injury and all. I am all for doing what you want and what makes you happy. You can't live your life for someone else.

Swimming is a tough sport. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't ever tried it. I have a co-worker that played all the "guy" sports and he has told me on several occassions (before he knew I was a swimmer even) that he thinks swimming is the hardest sport out there and is for masochistic people.

And honestly I have never heard anyone call swimming girlie. Do they know who Michael Phelps is? Tell them to swim a 200 fly and see if they still think it's girlie.