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

  1. #61
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I asked a friend to chime in on this and, as I expected, he had a great response:

    Of course it isnít. Any sport that does not require simultaneous competition by two or more people advancing the same goal is not a team sport. People may claim it is, but thatís just an attempt to try to inflate its importance, or at the very least a concern that it will be perceived as inferior if itís labeled as something else.
    That's the key: football requires simultaneous competition by two or more people, but swimming does not.

  2. #62
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    It seems to me that your friend doesn't understand high school/college athletics.

    If my teammate allows me to draft does that count? If my team's running mates box in another team's competitor to slow him down does that count? If I sit on the bench the entire time am I not a team member?

    If my teammate assists me by swimming slower, pacing me so that I come in third, isn't that simultaneous competition by two or more people advancing the same goal?

    You have a better argument with Olympic team gymnastics, or golf's Ryder Cup.

  3. #63
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by stillwater View Post
    It seems to me that your friend doesn't understand high school/college athletics.

    If my teammate allows me to draft does that count? If my team's running mates box in another team's competitor to slow him down does that count? If I sit on the bench the entire time am I not a team member?

    If my teammate assists me by swimming slower, pacing me so that I come in third, isn't that simultaneous competition by two or more people advancing the same goal?

    You have a better argument with Olympic team gymnastics, or golf's Ryder Cup.
    But those additional actions are not required to contest the sport. Just because you can concoct ways that the other people can help doesn't make it a team sport. And I can draft off you whether you want me to or not, so I don't think that makes much difference.

    If putting a team scoring on an individual sport makes it a team sport, is there any individual sport which isn't also a team sport? If not, your approach dilutes the term to meaninglessness.
    Last edited by haroldbuck; October 1st, 2008 at 06:35 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by stillwater View Post
    If my teammate allows me to draft does that count? If my teams running mates box in another team's competitor to slow him down does that count? If I sit on the bench the entire time am I not a team member?

    Individual efforts combined to achieve group victory. Sounds like football, baseball, soccer, and doubles ping pong.

    I think I understand your position. I choose to expand the definition, not limit it.

    I don't think that bowling qualifies, I could be wrong.
    There's a difference between swimming and the sports you mentioned. If a football player just stops playing or doesn't play hard, the whole team suffers. Watch any Eagles game where McNabb just isn't up to snuff that day. In swimming, if your teammate doesn't swim fast enough so you can draft off him and still win, you just draft off someone else.

    In swimming, you aren't out there to win as a team, you're out there to reach a personal goal (win a race, etc.). The points you earn for the team are secondary. Swimming is a team sport only in that you train together and can lend each other support, motivation, etc. Once you hit the pool, it's an individual sport.

  5. #65
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldbuck View Post
    But those additional actions are not required to contest the sport. Just because you can concoct ways that the other people can help doesn't make it a team sport. And I can draft off you whether you want me to or not, so I don't think that makes much difference.

    If putting a team scoring on an individual sport makes it a team sport, is there any individual sport which isn't also a team sport? If not, your approach dilutes the term to meaninglessness.

    According to your standard, ONLY football and Rugby would be considered team sports. Water Polo, Basketball, baseball, and soccer all fail your test. Better get a new test.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Client 10 View Post
    According to your standard, ONLY football and Rugby would be considered team sports. Water Polo, Basketball, baseball, and soccer all fail your test. Better get a new test.
    They don't fail the test, you're just failing to apply it correctly. How do those sports fail the test? If someone just gives up in water polo, basketball, baseball, and soccer, the team is at a huge disadvantage. In swimming, the ONLY time that affects anyone else is in a relay. You can swim your whole life and never swim in a relay. A couple of events (free and medley relays) that rely on each swimmer not stopping and standing up in the pool hardly constitutes swimming as a team sport.

  7. #67
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Client 10 View Post
    According to your standard, ONLY football and Rugby would be considered team sports. Water Polo, Basketball, baseball, and soccer all fail your test. Better get a new test.
    Basketball can be played one-on-one, and when it is it's not a team sport. But can you play baseball without a pitcher and a catcher? The games require multiple players: if you have one person on each baseball team, I don't know what it is, but it's not baseball.

    Is your point that they could choose not to work together? I suppose that's true if they want to take a collective ass-kicking, but we all know that in baseball, football, water polo, soccer, team handball, etc., that the rules of the game require multiple players and that it requires--not in a rule sense, but in a practical sense--cooperating of those players to achieve success.

    Swimming, of course, can be done with teams, but if you saw two people racing each other across a pool and asked anyone what those people were doing, everyone would say, "Swimming!" and they'd recognize it as a race. If you had a pitcher and a batter, they'd say, "Batting practice!"

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

    There are definitely good points made throughout here, but I absolutely think that swimming is a team sport. There is a scoring method and unless the entire team swims well you will not win the meet (no matter if you bested your time or broke a record). Yes, there is an individual aspect to the sport because there is an emphasis on individual times, etc. However, we can say the same for football (or any other sport as well). There are personal records broken, league records broken, etc.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I guess that might be accurate for college teams or high school teams or the like, but when I go to a meet (and most swimmers my age that I know), whether or not my team "wins" is secondary. I want all my teammates to do well, but if we lose to another team because we didn't get as many points, I really don't give a crap.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhoons Coach View Post
    There are definitely good points made throughout here, but I absolutely think that swimming is a team sport. There is a scoring method and unless the entire team swims well you will not win the meet (no matter if you bested your time or broke a record). Yes, there is an individual aspect to the sport because there is an emphasis on individual times, etc. However, we can say the same for football (or any other sport as well). There are personal records broken, league records broken, etc.

    Just my 2 cents.
    And again, I say, then everything is a team sport if you just put a team scoring system on it.

    Individual records in team sports are a way of measuring individual contributions to the sport and not the overall point of the sport.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldbuck View Post
    And again, I say, then everything is a team sport if you just put a team scoring system on it.
    Exactly.

    Wrestling teams are comprised of individual wrestlers.
    The team only wins if their collective victories outnumber the oppositions.

    Scoring = Team sports.

  12. #72
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    It doesn't seem there is much point in debating whether swimming is a team sport when there is no agreement on what a team sport is.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
    Exactly.

    Wrestling teams are comprised of individual wrestlers.
    The team only wins if their collective victories outnumber the oppositions.

    Scoring = Team sports.
    And if anything is a team sport just because there's team scoring, then the term "team sport" is diluted to worthlessness.

    And, really, if your definition of team sport is "there's team scoring," then of course swimming is a team sport whenever there's team scoring. But I hardly believe the OP was asking that question.
    Last edited by haroldbuck; October 3rd, 2008 at 09:20 PM.

  14. #74
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    You're correct.
    There's scoring in golf...but it's not a team sport.

    As Lindsay said the definition needs to considered.

  15. #75
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    I don't know if I consider the Ryder Cup a team sport. I am sure that the athletes involved do.

    "If putting a team scoring on an individual sport makes it a team sport, is there any individual sport which isn't also a team sport? "

    Yes, mumbly peg. That's it, according to my friend.

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

    "Wait a minute. Is the job of the coach to try to cultivate talent within the state, or to try to put the best team together he can to try to win?

    But I'm pretty sure that in college, they want the team to win. If the football team at Auburn went 4-8 and the coach said, "Yeah, we didn't win, but look at all of the local talent I cultivated!" I'm pretty sure he'd still get fired. Is swimming all that different?"



    No it isn't.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by stillwater View Post
    "Wait a minute. Is the job of the coach to try to cultivate talent within the state, or to try to put the best team together he can to try to win?

    But I'm pretty sure that in college, they want the team to win. If the football team at Auburn went 4-8 and the coach said, "Yeah, we didn't win, but look at all of the local talent I cultivated!" I'm pretty sure he'd still get fired. Is swimming all that different?"



    No it isn't.
    Swimming is obviously scored as a team, and that's obviously what I was referring to; as I've said a million times now, just adding team scoring to an individual sport doesn't make it a team sport.




    Okay, new angle:

    How much time in swimming practice do they spend teaching people to work together as a team? How much coaching is devoted to strategies and tactics involving the cooperation of two or more swimmers to improve team performance? Other than the relay exchange--which is stretching is because really it's just a different way of having an individual start, although they do need to say, "Don't take an extra stroke at the last second because you'll throw off your partner's timing"--is there anything?

    Now compare that to a true team sport like basketball, football, soccer, water polo, or hockey: there, a great deal of time is spent on addressing working together to achieve the team goal of outscoring the opponent, and if you don't work together you probably don't have much chance of winning.
    Last edited by haroldbuck; October 5th, 2008 at 10:17 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldbuck View Post
    Okay, new angle:

    How much time in swimming practice do they spend teaching people to work together as a team? How much coaching is devoted to strategies and tactics involving the cooperation of two or more swimmers to improve team performance? Other than the relay exchange--which is stretching is because really it's just a different way of having an individual start, although they do need to say, "Don't take an extra stroke at the last second because you'll throw off your partner's timing"--is there anything?

    Now compare that to a true team sport like basketball, football, soccer, water polo, or hockey: there, a great deal of time is spent on addressing working together to achieve the team goal of outscoring the opponent, and if you don't work together you probably don't have much chance of winning.
    As a coach there are only a few drills that I utilize everyone on the team to better eachother. Other than that, it is very much so invidually driven in practice.

    This may be stretching this post a little bit, but I think that it is up to the coach to stress the importance of a team setting in order for swimming to truly be a team sport. I know that is sort of wishy-washy, but it's only an opinion.

    My overall opinion is that swimming is a team sport from a coaching perspective and very much so an individual sport from a swimmer's perspectice.
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    Re: "Swimming is not a team sport," or is it?

    You may swim your event, but the team is behind you & counting on the points you may win for them.

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

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/sp...?_r=1&emc=eta1

    "Though swimming is an individual pursuit, Steen treats it as a team sport. He preaches to his athletes that everybody has a redeeming quality; as teammates, their job is to find the positive in one another and let go of the rest."

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