A Few Ways The Sport of Swimming Can Change Your Life

Wheaton College Swimming & Diving teams compete against WPI and UMass Dartmouth. - Photo by: Keith Nordstrom

A Few Ways The Sport of Swimming Can Change Your Life

What do you think about when you hear the words “competitive swimming?” Michael Phelps at the Olympics? A long pool? Early morning practices? Do you ever think about how beneficial it can be – for both your mental and your physical health? How it can improve your social skills and confidence?

No? Well, in that case. you’ve come to the right place! Swimming has the ability to change your life for the better in many different ways.

It’s Healthy!

Swimming can be an excellent sport for those looking to stay healthy through exercise.

“The same water resistance that improves cardiovascular health can (also) help you build and strengthen muscles in your arms, legs, core and other places for a stronger, leaner body,” All American Swim mentions on its website.

Swimming improves physical health and offers an outlet to many athletes. Also, swimming helps strengthen your body and can even help protect it from certain diseases. A strong body is a healthy body. It doesn’t matter how “good” you are at the sport. Anyone can benefit from exercising in this healthy – and tiring – way.

In addition to making your body stronger physically, swimming also helps to improve mental health by relieving stress.

People have a lot going on in their daily lives. Athletes, especially student-athletes, have a lot to juggle. So, it can be helpful for them to have a place to let off some steam. The pool can be that place. Since it is an aerobic activity, swimming can create a sense of calm throughout the body, leaving dedicated swimmers to feel refreshed after their workouts.

Swimming helps over-thinkers by giving them something else to focus on. More, swimming can help improve time management skills in young athletes, which in turn can help athletes organize their time and decrease stress levels.

It Builds Valuable Social Skills

Joining a swim team can not only be beneficial to your health, but it can also be beneficial for your personality and social life.

When you swim, you have a built-in group of people who are ready to cheer for you and support you – no matter what. Your team. Swimming is an interesting sport because it balances the individual aspects of athletics with the team aspects of sports.

Ultimately, you are trying to meet and beat best times. However, you can also cheer for and support teammates during their races – which can eventually lead to a bond of mutual friendship and respect. As a team, swimmers train together, wake up early together, race together, and cheer together. There is almost no way to stay dedicated to the sport and not have a close relationship with the team, even if you just met them.

Swimming allows you to meet and talk to people who you never would have met outside of the pool. And, once you begin to build friendships with the team, they will start supporting you as well. A little bit of support can go a long way in building confidence.

“Self confidence allows athletes to thrive in their environment. Self confidence gives athletes the belief that they can overcome any obstacle and that they can achieve their goal,” Believe Perform says on its website.

Support and encouragement from teammates, as well as positive messages from coaches, can help to put athletes in a good mental state. This is very important. Athletes must be in a good mental state in order to perform their best. They must first believe that they are capable of swimming well. Also, the work they put into the pool during practice will eventually help them to become sure of their own skill set.

Just remember, every athlete is different. And every athlete must have a coaching style that works for them. Eventually, the confidence they forge will help them to become stronger people.

My Experience

The sport of swimming has truly helped to change my life. It’s helped to improve my physical abilities. It’s helped me to meet new, fantastic people – some of which have influenced me to become a better person. Swimming has taught me how to have more confidence in myself and my abilities, as well as how to cheer on other people in order to become a better leader. Now, I feel much better when I’m in the water.

In fact, I feel happier during the day if I swim early in the morning. This sport can truly help to change your life for the better. I, for one, cannot imagine my life without it.

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

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Rosemary Niebauer

    Great job Riley! I saw this article and said “I would like to read that” before I knew you wrote it!

  2. avatar
    Paul

    Totally relate…im not competing but I like my fellow swimmers and our swimming culture…and my body likes the 5-6 workouts per week. It’s truly transformative of body and mind. In my day there is pre-swimming and post-swimming and its the latter gives energy and peace…I could go on,

  3. avatar
    Bob Niebauer

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I got it in my mail a week or so ago and put it into my reading list for after Thanksgiving. I hate to miss one of Ms. Dunn’s articles. I can depend on them being well researched and give an inside look at a swimmer’s life!

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