4 Ways That Swimming Helps You Outside of the Pool

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Photo Courtesy: Stephen Frink/Florida Keys News Bureau

By Mark McCluskey, Swimming World College Intern.

Swimmers spend hours upon hours training and competing every year. Most of the time, the only purpose behind our training is to become faster. Sometimes when the going gets tough, it can be hard to see any other reason why we would torture ourselves on a daily basis for what feels like no reason. During these times, it is important to remind ourselves of the other benefits that swimming is giving us in life. Some of the perks are small and some are huge, but all of them give you a boost in life. Here are just four out of the many ways that swimming impacts your life outside of the water.

Quick Math

Math Class

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Wolf

Swimming is all about the numbers, whether it is splits, intervals, final times, yardage or anything in between. When we are focused in practice, our heads are churning out math equations without even being aware of it. To figure out how fast you have to go in each 50 of your 500 to get your goal time is an actual algebra equation. Being able to add and subtract time is a completely different set of math altogether. It is a really simple skill, but being able to do quick math like this in everyday life is a useful ability that not a lot of people can do. Swimmers are practicing algebra and other math skills an extra couple of hours every day, getting a leg up in math from the rest of the world.

Job Hunting

One of the best things to have on a resume is that you participated in a sports team. Even if the person who is reading your resume has not been on a team themselves, they understand that being in a sport requires self-discipline as well as showing that you have experience working with others. If the person reading your resume was a swimmer themselves, then they really understand the commitment that you have given and are capable of giving. If your interviewer was a swimmer, you already have a leg up on the rest of the applicants.

Introspection

UH underwater freestyle

Photo Courtesy: Jonas Gutzat

One thing that swimming has over every other sport is the ability to close yourself off from the rest of the world. When you are underwater you are truly alone, even though you are surrounded by people. Not a lot of people are comfortable being alone with their thoughts in this way or even have the chance to in their daily lives. For swimmers, this skill is so important for one’s mental health and can even be therapeutic if they are comfortable with it. When away from the pool in a situation where they must be alone for a long period of time, swimmers know how to be comfortable in their thoughts.

Water Safety

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Photo Courtesy: Lola Gomez, Daytona Beach News Journal

This may seem like an obvious one, but its importance cannot be understated. According to the organization The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, drowning is a top five cause of death for children between the ages of one and 14 in 48 of the 85 countries that monitor. The ability to simply stay afloat is not common throughout the world. Not only is this great of a skill to have for yourself but also to be able to pass on to others. Coaches are not the only people who can teach someone to swim. Teaching someone you know the basics of swimming could literally save a life.

Swimmers have trouble realizing that they are picking up skills that can be used outside of the pool. When they are discouraged with how things are going in the water, they can sometimes think to themselves, “This is a complete waste of my time.” What you need to remember is that you are getting so much more out of this sport than a fast 100 freestyle. You are gaining much more important life lessons.

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

6 comments

  1. Mary-Helen Hopkins

    Just counting is a challenge! Yay for my seashells!

  2. Anne Emaus

    Kalina Grace Emaus

  3. Reid Fady

    The trance. I like the trance you fall into on a long work.

  4. avatar
    Dennis

    Don’t forget improving your mood and your mental and physical health

  5. avatar
    Denise

    The online time comment is so true. That explains why I tend to NOT listen to the radio when driving long distances 😁 🏊🏻‍♀️