Swimming is my favorite sport, I also go to swimming competitions, so I take it pretty seriously. In this essay I will be writing about the competitive sport of swimming.
In swimming there are four strokes, freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke. Freestyle is the fastest stroke out of all four, freestyle requires strong arms and a good steady kick. I am a long distance freestyler, I am pretty bad at short distance freestyle.
Backstroke is somewhat similar to freestyle except you swim backstroke on your back; good backstroke requires the same things as freestyle, but it is a slower stroke. I dislike backstroke for the most part, and when I do swim it I usually overthink it.
Butterfly is probably the most difficult stroke to swim. Butterfly uses a completely different kick then freestyle and backstroke, the kick that is used in butterfly is dolphin kick; butterfly is the second fastest stroke. I am a butterflyer, its painful but I’m good at it.
Breaststroke is a pretty unique stroke, you look like a frog when you swim it, breastroke is probably the hardest stroke to master out of the four strokes, it’s also the slowest stroke. I used to be pretty good at breaststroke and even made it to provincials, but now I have become lazy with it since I focus on other strokes like freestyle and butterfly.
Equipment Used For Swimming
There are many different types of equipment used in swimming; these things are either things that are used in swim practices to improve the swimmer’s stroke or kick or used daily by swimmers.
These types of equipment are, swimsuits, race suits or tech suits, goggles, swim caps, kick boards, pull buoys, snorkels, flippers, and nose plugs.
Swimsuits for girls are like bathing suits except tighter and one piece, bikinis or two piece swimsuits are a big no in competitive swimming. For boys the suits are also tight, not like those baggy swim shorts that boys would wear at the beach.
Race suits or tech suits for girls are similar to swimsuits except for the fact that that they cover more of your body, the bottom half of the suit goes down to your knees, they are usually much more expensive than regular training swimsuits, and are much tighter, because more material is used and they are used for racing. Race suits for boys look the exact same as their training swimsuits, except they are tighter and more expensive.
Goggles are used to protect and cover the swimmers eyes, they look exactly the same as regular swim goggles except more round in shape.
Swim caps are usually provided by the swim team and are used to keep your keep your hair covered and protected.
Kick boards are not used at swim meets but instead at swim practices to help improve the swimmer’s kick, which is important for becoming faster and better at swimming.
Pull buoys are used for pulling. Pulling is a swim drill; you swim freestyle(usually), without using your legs, a pull buoy is what you put between your legs to prevent you from kicking during a pull set.
Snorkels are normally used when you go snorkeling at a beach, but they can be used for swim drills during a swim practice. Snorkels are used for arm strength usually since you can do more swim strokes with a snorkel. I can’t stand snorkels, I always end up choking on water, and I feel like I never get enough air.
Flippers are used to improve your kick like kickboards, flippers make your kick faster and more precise.
Nose plugs are optional for swimmers, some swimmers wear them in backstroke if they get water clogged in their nose, nose plugs are also used during a set that requires a snorkel.
Competitive Swimming Terms
Competitive swimming has quite a few terms when it comes to racing or swim competitions, these terms are very important to understand if you are a competitive swimmer. These terms are DQ, PQT, IM, Relays, and Personal Bests.
A DQ is the disqualification in a swim race, a DQ is used when a swimmer makes an error such as false starting or a mistake in technique; if you get a DQ in a race it means that your time is automatically deleted off of the results because you made an error in the race. I have gotten three DQs in my life.
A PQT is the provincial qualifying time, getting a PQT in a race means that you can go to provincials for that race. I have made it to provincials once.
IM means individual medley, which is a type of race that requires all four strokes in this order, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. An IM race can be as short as 100 meters to as long as 400 meters. To be good at IM means you have to be decent in all four strokes.
Relays in swimming is like relays in running. In swim relays there are four people in each relay, usually relays are separated by gender, usually there is a boys relay and a girls relay, but sometimes there is a mixed relay where boys and girls can be in the same relay.
There are two types of relays, medley relays and freestyle relays; in the medley relay each person in the relay swim one stroke that’s part of the medley. The order of the medley in a relay is different than the individual medley, instead of butterfly being the first stroke swam backstroke is, so the order is different.
Freestyle relays are just like they sound, a relay where everyone just swims freestyle. Usually each person in the relay swims 50 meters, which adds up to 200 meters total after four people swim but sometimes relays can be up to 400 meters long, so each person in the relay swims 100 meters each.
If you get a personal best, that means that you just got a best time.
This is my essay on my favorite sport swimming.