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Thread: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

  1. #1
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    "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Your opinion=

    (University research project. Your opinion is greatly appreciated )

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Some swimming is not - like much of USA age group swimming. Chasing A, AA, AAA etc. times is swimmer vs. stopwatch.

    But high school and college swimming is definitely a team sport. Every race scores points, every meet has relays, and many meets are against rival teams.

    Sorry - not a simple answer.
    Last edited by hofffam; September 22nd, 2008 at 05:54 PM.
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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    High School and College are definitely team sports.At some of our Masters meets I certainly feel part of a team.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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  4. #4
    Chuck Norris
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    If swimming were not a team sport, it would look much more like athletics (track and field). Anyone who has ever swum at the club, high school, or college level knows the feeling of standing next to the pool exhorting one's teammate to swim faster. Or the one being in the water, feeling and often hearing the support of one's mates. Or swimming faster on relays than ever being able to do by one's self (46.06, anyone?). It is a team sport judged and scored largely by individual performances.

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    Very Active Member Rykno's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I agree that HS and College swimming are more like "team" sports than age group swimming, mainly because of the relays and team scoring. It's usually only at national level meets that age group swimming is more team like...since every club wants to be the best in the nation or region.

    but I feel that swimming is very much a individual sport. once I leave my teammates and head to the check in, or get start my pre-race warm up, it's all about me. sure at I wish my teammates good luck, congratulate them after swimming their race, but for the most part I try to get my mind and body ready to race.

    the only time I feel like swimming is a team sport, is during practice. then my race prep changes, because I want to help pump up my teammates...

    even at practice, I never think what can I do to help Fredrik be a better swimmer. I'm thinking about how hard I am willing to swim this set, since I know we have something harder after. or I'm kicking myself for taking the lead and having to swim faster than I planned on.

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    Very Active Member elise526's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I'd say it is a hybrid. It is not a pure team sport like football where your success is always dependent upon the performance of others. You can advance to a meet based on individual peformance. In other words, you can be on a team that never wins a meet and go to the Olympic Trials based on your own performance.

    On the other hand, if you are talking about relays, your ability to advance is dependent upon the performance or others - your team. It also depends on what number you are looking at - how many points a team scored in a dual meet versus the time a person swam to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Swimming is an essentially individual sport with an artificial team structure imposed on it. Pretty much any individual sport can have a team scoring added to it: cross country running, track and field (athletics), fencing, golf.

    Then there are the sports that can be either: tennis and other racquet sports (singles or doubles), rowing (single vs. double, quad, 2, 4, 8). Though they can be done individually, there is an essential element of teamwork here that goes beyond just adding scores together.

    Then there are the sports that can only be played as intended as a team sport: soccer (football), American football, basketball, volleyball, team handball, ice and field hockey, water polo, lacrosse. (Basketball, however, can be played one-on-one, so you could argue about where to put it.)

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    Very Active Member anita's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Apart from relays, I've always considered it an individual sport. When I swam for my high school, sure points were nice, but while in the water I only wanted a school record and/or to better my time. While I was in the water I never thought about how my other teammates were doing in my heat.
    On my competitive team we were family, having swum together for 10 years. Teammates? Sure, but again, not while competing. Ultimately it is always between you and the clock.

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    Just swim. USMSarah's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by anita View Post
    Apart from relays, I've always considered it an individual sport. When I swam for my high school, sure points were nice, but while in the water I only wanted a school record and/or to better my time. While I was in the water I never thought about how my other teammates were doing in my heat.
    On my competitive team we were family, having swum together for 10 years. Teammates? Sure, but again, not while competing. Ultimately it is always between you and the clock.
    Ditto.
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    Active Member beluga's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Swimming is a individual effort with team results.

    Individual - once in the water, the real opponent is the clock, not much you can do when the swimmer in the lane next to you is faster (or slower). Win or lose the clock is the true judge of your performance. Invitationals, USMS meets, Olympics, etc are a series of individual efforts that may or may not have a 'team' scoring associated with it.

    However, High School, NCAA, and even some summer leagues Dual Meet format is definately a team sport. Placing is the important factor rather than clock times. Coaches juggle line ups to maximize points, swimmers may or may not compete in their 'best' events depending on the strengths & weakness of the opposing team, e.g. do I risk my top swimmer head to head against their top swimmer, or concede an event in favor of taking the points in a different event.

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    Very Active Member Kurt Dickson's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Swimming is definitely an individual sport. People try to make it a team sport. Look at football, a play succeeds based on whether the majority of the team does everything right. Look at high school or college swimming. If you have 3 or 4 great individual swimmers among 20-40 people, you are a state champion or a top 20 team at NCAAs.

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    Very Active Member RobbieD's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I'd say it's an individual sport, that was one of my favorite parts of it when I got started. My performance good, bad or indifferent only affected me.

    The "Team" aspect is more social than anything. There just happens to be the same group of people that show up everyday when you work out, and those people aren't a prerequisite of competing or succeeding.

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I definitely agree that it's an individual sport. It's great to train on a team, and in order to add another dimension (i.e., another competition) to it, they add team scores; however, the whole reason I love swimming is that even though I'm on a team, if I screw up or do something incredible, it only affects me.

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjgold View Post
    I definitely agree that it's an individual sport. It's great to train on a team, and in order to add another dimension (i.e., another competition) to it, they add team scores; however, the whole reason I love swimming is that even though I'm on a team, if I screw up or do something incredible, it only affects me.
    (Except on relays.)

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Ha, true. I forgot relays.

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    There is no more individual sport than swimming. You are competing in your own lane with a considerable distance to the next swimmer. You can not even talk to anybody while you are excercising. Even in relays you are just adding 4 individual swims together.

    But I just hate swimming by myself ... ???

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    Very Active Member 3strokes's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    As long as FINA doesn't come up with a new form of racing in swimming,
    "Synchronized Racing" where all swimmers have to have the same DPS and cadence and the same time (touching within 1/1000th of a second of each other).
    ..... Where, Oh, where did I last see my swimming suit? Oh well!

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    Very Active Member chowmi's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Mike H,

    What is your hypothesis? How will you test/measure your research? I am curious to see what recommendations or observations will come out of your research project.

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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Right now I am simply attempting to get a feel for the quantity and quality of feedback I can acquire on the subject, in order to see if the topic will be a wise choice.

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    Very Active Member Big AL's Avatar
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Absolutely NOT a team sport. It is an extremely competetive individual sport.... relays and college included. Relays are just a sum of individual effort. Interaction that does exist tends to be polarized... "hey buddy, good job on that set" or "I'm going to kick your butt next time we race."

    The teaming ability, to help others succeed by physically helping them out or taking up their slack, is non-existent (like tackling the foe in the other lane who is winning so your guy can win.)
    Last edited by Big AL; September 24th, 2008 at 04:48 PM.
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