The Answers You’ve Been Waiting For: What Your Best Stroke Says About You


The Answers You’ve Been Waiting For: What Your Best Stroke Says About You

Have you ever taken a BuzzFeed Quiz? You know, the iconic miniature tests completed with a few clicks of a button, only to reveal some totally absurd and equally irrelevant piece of information about yourself that is probably randomly generated with extremely minimal amounts of true calculations involved?

As if it’s possible to determine which flavor Pop Tart you are, based on which t-shirt you choose, or which color you like the best, or what you would have for dinner between a salad, a steak, and a hamburger. The quizzes continue to inform you, as the quiz-taker, what your flavor of Pop Tart says about you. Because logically, a lot can be determined from this. Cherry? You probably prefer to stay in and watch movies on a Saturday night. Blueberry? Somebody get this kid a cup of coffee because you, my friend, are certainly not a morning person!

Well, imagine if there was a BuzzFeed Quiz pertaining to the lovely, beautiful, crazy world of swimming. Imagine if there was a quiz to tell you what your best stroke says about you.

This is a bit anticlimactic because, unfortunately, I have not come to you with a colorful and flashy BuzzFeed quiz. I have limited software. However, I have come to you with this vital information in article form! Whether you swim butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke or freestyle, I have all of the answers you need.

Do what you must with the knowledge I am about to pass along.


Look, dude, I’m going to be totally honest here. If your primary stroke is butterfly, you’ve got to be a little insane. Like, something isn’t completely intact in your brain. Especially if this includes the 200 butterfly, which odds are, it does. Are you doing all right? Have you considered therapy?

In all seriousness, as crazy as you may be for indulging yourself in your unfortunate talents that just so happen to lie in butterfly, you are a serious badass. Butterfly is physically challenging, and I might argue the most intimidating stroke in the game.

In my experience, every butterflyer I’ve ever met is so nonchalant about the pain it brings them. They’ve accepted their fate, and it’s admirable. Props to you, man. I would be scared if I saw you in a dark alley.


I don’t know, I think this just means you’re weird. Like, do you run backward too? Is there something so fascinating about the ceiling, or the sky, or whatever it is above you? How does it feel to be required to spend that extra money on super-tinted goggles, because if you didn’t, the sun would quite literally blind you? I bet you wish you had a nose plug, huh?

You probably like the simple things in life. If staring at the ceiling, or sky, is what lights your fire, then more power to you. I can imagine your breath control is impeccable, given the whole “underwaters on your back” thing. Good for you.

If I saw you in a dark alley, I don’t think I would be scared. I’d probably invite you out for a cup of coffee, though. I feel like backstrokers would be enjoyable for this occasion. I hope this isn’t offensive.


If your best stroke is breaststroke, it means you are an alien. You aren’t from Earth. That’s literally all it means.

Breaststroke has got to be the most unnatural, most inefficient way of moving through the water as a human being and, yet, you still have it all figured out? Alien.

With that being said, there’s always a hint of another feeling in my stomach when I think about breaststrokers. I haven’t been able to pinpoint it, but it’s a mixture of admiration, jealousy and envy. Congratu-freakin-lations. I’m jealous of you. Only because me and my 3:00 200 breaststroke haven’t figured out how to swim it properly. Once I do figure it out, though, it’s all over for you guys.


Wow! You specialize in the baseline stroke of swimming! Would you like a cookie?

That was harsh, I’m sorry. If your best stroke is freestyle, you’re probably a very nice fella. Everyone is inherently good at freestyle, or decent enough, because it’s the foundation of the sport. When you dive in for warmup, you typically swim freestyle. But if you specialize in this stroke, it means you have to do even more to stand out. That’s impressive.

You probably appreciate the traditional way of doing things. You also probably prefer paper books over digital technologies. Your coffee preference is straight black, and uh, you probably have some pretty gnarly shoulder problems.


Aren’t you special? You’re just so good at swimming, you couldn’t choose a stroke, huh? Renaissance man over here. Your life must be so hard.

In actuality, if your best stroke is I.M., or all of them, you probably have lots of quirks about you. Lots of miniature talents that you whip out in social settings. You also probably like to buy Chex Mix at the gas station on long road trips, because there’s just so much variety to experience in one bag.

As much as I joke around with the common stereotypes associated with each of these strokes, all of them are appreciated. They compose the sport we love so much. And it’s almost beautiful to see how every swimmer has different specialties. At the end of the day, we come together with our differences, all because of the shared passion we have for the sport. Butterflyers, backstrokers, breaststrokers, and freestylers. You are all appreciated equally. Thank you for making this sport so inspiring.

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

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