psych profile of a swimmer

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Phil Schuman, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Phil Schuman

    Phil Schuman Guest

    We attended our son's high school swim conference champ meet
    over the weekend, and I started thinking about the various boys
    in the meet and where else they are in school... grade, sports, etc

    I wonder if anyone else has run across this thought process,
    of what makes a swimmer vs another sports person ?
    Thinking pool short course here - not long course or open water

    For our group - they seem to be above average in grades,
    our son is 3.8GPA - but not on the nerd side -
    He is in great physical shape - no tummy -
    and he also runs Track, and now refs Soccer.
    So - any random thoughts and traits on swimmers
    vs baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, wrestling, etc....
    Yeah - some play more than one sport,
    but at our HS they are all going on at the same time - so pick one -

    It would seem they are not quite a "team" person,
    but rather a single - ie, swimming and track
    They do well academically, and potentially in other "mental" areas.
    In our case, several peers are in Scouts, and Eagle or close to it.
    Not so much involved with the physical contact sports,
    and not sure how well they do in the other aspects
    of social or physical contacts :)

    And lastly, I recall a local DJ talking about the summer olympics,
    and how swimming to him wasn't a sport -
    in that most sports involve the potential of getting hurt....with a
    stick or ball -
     
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  2. Martin Smith

    Martin Smith Guest

    Phil Schuman wrote:
    > We attended our son's high school swim conference champ meet
    > over the weekend, and I started thinking about the various boys
    > in the meet and where else they are in school... grade, sports, etc
    >
    > I wonder if anyone else has run across this thought process,
    > of what makes a swimmer vs another sports person ?
    > Thinking pool short course here - not long course or open water
    >
    > For our group - they seem to be above average in grades,
    > our son is 3.8GPA - but not on the nerd side -
    > He is in great physical shape - no tummy -
    > and he also runs Track, and now refs Soccer.
    > So - any random thoughts and traits on swimmers
    > vs baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, wrestling, etc....
    > Yeah - some play more than one sport,
    > but at our HS they are all going on at the same time - so pick one -
    >
    > It would seem they are not quite a "team" person,
    > but rather a single - ie, swimming and track
    > They do well academically, and potentially in other "mental" areas.
    > In our case, several peers are in Scouts, and Eagle or close to it.
    > Not so much involved with the physical contact sports,
    > and not sure how well they do in the other aspects
    > of social or physical contacts :)
    >
    > And lastly, I recall a local DJ talking about the summer olympics,
    > and how swimming to him wasn't a sport -
    > in that most sports involve the potential of getting hurt....with a
    > stick or ball -


    To me, being a DJ isn't a real job.
     
  3. Pat in TX

    Pat in TX Guest

    Your post got me to thinking about my two sons. One was a swimmer who passed
    all of the Red Cross badges by age 10----and also a skier, an ice skater,a
    tennis player, a cyclist and a soccer player---but only to age 11 when he
    gave it up. The other one was a soccer player, a tennis player, a basketball
    player, a skier, and a baseball player who gave up swimming as soon as I saw
    that he was proficient. So, there is a connection there with the individual
    sports vs the team sports. I remember once that a woman said to me, "Your
    Christopher doesn't participate in sports, I have noticed." and I said,
    "Wait a minute--he skies, he swims, he hikes, he skates, and he rides a bike
    for distance. Those are sports!" and she replied, "Oh, I was talking about
    soccer and football and baseball. Those are sports." Both boys were Scouts,
    so I didn't see a difference there. The younger son was the team sports
    guy, so maybe birth order makes a difference, too.

    Pat in TX
     
  4. Phil Schuman

    Phil Schuman Guest

    Yeah - all those individual sports are "hobbies"
    and not a real sport - until you can go after another with a stick or
    ball :)
    Also - forgot to mention the attraction and financial support -
    football stadium attendance - basically still watching the old
    gladiators kill each other -
    vs a 3hr swim meet... (yawn - boring)
    and the corresponding funding for each activity at HS or college level
     
  5. jtaylor

    jtaylor Guest

    "Phil Schuman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > We attended our son's high school swim conference champ meet
    > over the weekend, and I started thinking about the various boys
    > in the meet and where else they are in school... grade, sports, etc
    >
    > I wonder if anyone else has run across this thought process,
    > of what makes a swimmer vs another sports person ?
    > Thinking pool short course here - not long course or open water
    >
    > For our group - they seem to be above average in grades,
    > our son is 3.8GPA - but not on the nerd side -
    > He is in great physical shape - no tummy -
    > and he also runs Track, and now refs Soccer.
    > So - any random thoughts and traits on swimmers
    > vs baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, wrestling, etc....
    > Yeah - some play more than one sport,
    > but at our HS they are all going on at the same time - so pick one -
    >
    > It would seem they are not quite a "team" person,
    > but rather a single - ie, swimming and track
    > They do well academically, and potentially in other "mental" areas.
    > In our case, several peers are in Scouts, and Eagle or close to it.
    > Not so much involved with the physical contact sports,
    > and not sure how well they do in the other aspects
    > of social or physical contacts :)
    >
    > And lastly, I recall a local DJ talking about the summer olympics,
    > and how swimming to him wasn't a sport -
    > in that most sports involve the potential of getting hurt....with a
    > stick or ball -


    Success (however one determines that) in Swimming, as a competitve sport, is
    composed of such a large number of factors that it is a mug's game to
    attempt to predict 'success' from any small number of characteristics. The
    positive side of this is that what some might see as an insurmountable
    impediment can be overcome by strength in other abilities. A recent example
    is Terrence Parkin.
     
  6. rtk

    rtk Guest


    >>
    >>And lastly, I recall a local DJ talking about the summer olympics,
    >>and how swimming to him wasn't a sport -
    >>in that most sports involve the potential of getting hurt....with a
    >>stick or ball -

    >


    There seems to be some confusion about
    sports and games. Not all games are
    sports and not all sports are games.
    Sticks and balls are game stuff and,
    with the exception of baseball, are
    generally patterned on warfare. We kill
    you and take your land is the basic
    theme of football (GOOD game last
    night!!!), soccer, hockey, which are
    sports as well as games. I take your
    castle and knight and march through your
    territory to kill your king is similar
    to football, but not a sport, obviously.
    Swimming, combining skill and strength
    and speed is......oh, I won't go on,
    it's too obvious. Okay, so real men
    kill each other and swimmers are
    pussies. So, what else is new. Let
    that DJ get in my lane; I'll drown him,
    then he can call it a sport.

    rtk
     
  7. Martin Smith

    Martin Smith Guest

    Pat in TX wrote:
    > Your post got me to thinking about my two sons. One was a swimmer who passed
    > all of the Red Cross badges by age 10----and also a skier, an ice skater,a
    > tennis player, a cyclist and a soccer player---but only to age 11 when he
    > gave it up. The other one was a soccer player, a tennis player, a basketball
    > player, a skier, and a baseball player who gave up swimming as soon as I saw
    > that he was proficient. So, there is a connection there with the individual
    > sports vs the team sports. I remember once that a woman said to me, "Your
    > Christopher doesn't participate in sports, I have noticed." and I said,
    > "Wait a minute--he skies, he swims, he hikes, he skates, and he rides a bike
    > for distance. Those are sports!" and she replied, "Oh, I was talking about
    > soccer and football and baseball. Those are sports." Both boys were Scouts,
    > so I didn't see a difference there. The younger son was the team sports
    > guy, so maybe birth order makes a difference, too.


    Some members of my high school swim team, including me, also played
    football or baseball. I think that once you rise into the upper echelons
    of competitive swimming, you give up the other sports simply because
    swimming takes up all your time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I never
    reached that level of competition.
     
  8. Pat in TX

    Pat in TX Guest


    > it's too obvious. Okay, so real men
    > kill each other and swimmers are pussies. So, what else is new. Let that
    > DJ get in my lane; I'll drown him, then he can call it a sport.
    >
    > rtk


    heh heh
     
  9. Phil Schuman wrote:
    > We attended our son's high school swim conference champ meet
    > over the weekend, and I started thinking about the various boys
    > in the meet and where else they are in school... grade, sports, etc
    >
    > I wonder if anyone else has run across this thought process,
    > of what makes a swimmer vs another sports person ?
    > Thinking pool short course here - not long course or open water


    I'm not clear on why long course/short course has anything to do with it.

    > For our group - they seem to be above average in grades,
    > our son is 3.8GPA - but not on the nerd side -
    > He is in great physical shape - no tummy -
    > and he also runs Track, and now refs Soccer.
    > So - any random thoughts and traits on swimmers
    > vs baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, wrestling, etc....
    > Yeah - some play more than one sport,
    > but at our HS they are all going on at the same time - so pick one -


    I think that swimming may tend to attract people who are more into using
    their minds, because the problem of how to go fastest in swimming isn't
    one of brute force alone or of skill alone, but of strategy - and not
    just strategy at a particular race or in a particular heat, but also
    strategy in training.

    I agree with Madelaine that many swimmers tend to be introverted, and
    I've noticed that this tendency seems to be more pronounced the older
    they get. I coached at a swim camp a couple of years ago, and noticed
    that it was the teen swimmers who seemed to have the most trouble
    opening up to other people at the camp (who, obviously, they didn't know
    well). I don't know whether this is caused by the largely solitary
    nature of swimming, of whether it is that people who are introvertish
    are more likely to be comfortable with swimming because of its largely
    solitary nature.

    > It would seem they are not quite a "team" person,
    > but rather a single - ie, swimming and track
    > They do well academically, and potentially in other "mental" areas.
    > In our case, several peers are in Scouts, and Eagle or close to it.
    > Not so much involved with the physical contact sports,
    > and not sure how well they do in the other aspects
    > of social or physical contacts :)


    It's certainly true that swimming is not quite a "team" sport. Except
    for relays, a swimmer wins when (and only when) he/she excels
    personally. And even in relays, a swimmer never helps the performance
    of the team except by excelling personally. This is in contrast to many
    team sports, where a player may help their team by passing to another
    player and letting them score the goal or basket.

    > And lastly, I recall a local DJ talking about the summer olympics,
    > and how swimming to him wasn't a sport -
    > in that most sports involve the potential of getting hurt....with a
    > stick or ball -


    What's amazing to me is that people are willing to listen to somebody
    that silly.

    I've found that one of the ways insecure people deal with their feelings
    of inferiority is to try to exalt the activities they do above the
    activities that other people do, so they can try to convince themselves
    that even though they're only mediocre at the activities they do, they
    are really still better than all those people who excel at other activities.

    Swimming is actually one of the purest sports in existence. By this, I
    mean that there are, on the one hand, SPORTS, and there are, on the
    other hand, GAMES, with a lot that falls in between the two. Chess,
    bridge, poker, and backgammon are all pure GAMES, because there is no
    physical activity involved. Swimming, track, weightlifting, speed
    skating, downhill skiing, and ski jumping are all SPORTS, because
    physical activity is at the crux of them. Activities like football,
    baseball, hockey, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and water polo fall
    somewhere in between, because while there is certainly physical activity
    involved, the exact physical activity that is key to winning is not well
    defined.

    In baseball, for example, the ability to pitch strikes or to hit home
    runs is certainly a physical achievement. But what good does it do if
    you can hit home runs, but they keep intentionally walking you? And
    what good does it do if you pitch what should have been a no-hitter, but
    your teammates let the winning runs get through on errors?

    In swimming, the nature of the competition is always well-defined. You
    and the next swimmer may have different strategies for trying to win,
    but the outcome virtually always depends on your comparative performance
    as athletes.


    Bob
     
  10. Man o' Tea

    Man o' Tea Guest

    rtk wrote:

    > There seems to be some confusion about
    > sports and games. Not all games are
    > sports and not all sports are games.


    Hmmm, if there is no competiton, rules, etc.,
    such as with solitary hiking, is it a sport or an
    activity?

    >(GOOD game last night!!)


    Only here and there. I'm happy for Cowher and
    Bettis, but I thought the play was sloppy on both
    sides.
     
  11. Man o' Tea

    Man o' Tea Guest

    Robert W. McAdams wrote:

    >Swimming, track, weightlifting, speed skating, downhill
    >skiing, and ski jumping are all SPORTS, because
    >physical activity is at the crux of them.


    Neverthless they are part of the Olympic *games*.
     
  12. Man o' Tea

    Man o' Tea Guest

    Phil Schuman wrote:

    > it's interesting to note - do the swimmers gravitate
    > toward the sport because they may be introverted -
    > or does swimming perpetuate that trait


    There weren't that many introverts on my high school
    team. Or my college team, for that matter.
     
  13. Martin Smith

    Martin Smith Guest

    "Man o' Tea" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Phil Schuman wrote:
    >
    >> it's interesting to note - do the swimmers gravitate
    >> toward the sport because they may be introverted -
    >> or does swimming perpetuate that trait

    >
    >There weren't that many introverts on my high school
    >team. Or my college team, for that matter.


    Mine neither. Nor were we particularly more intelligent or academic,
    as a whole. We did tend to be more responsible about doing our
    homework and getting good grades, but I suppose that was the
    discipline we acquired from the swimming program.
     
  14. rtk

    rtk Guest

    I think a distinction has to be made between the psyches of
    sprinters and distance swimmers. I think they are more
    unalike than swimmers and dry folk.

    Sprinter: Doesn't like getting wet. Hates cold water!
    Distance: Flies from the locker to the pool. Hates warm water!
    Both: Don't play well with others.

    Sprinter: Highly focused. Loves the smell of eau de
    chlorine. Likes black lines
    Distance: Dreamer. Loves the wild open waters, the fishy
    smell. Doesn't like clock.
    Both: Really don't play well with others.

    rtk
     
  15. Phil Schuman

    Phil Schuman Guest

    I just think it's interesting to compare the Winter Olympic skiers
    to the Summer Olympic swimmers -

    Bode vs Phelps - it will be interesting to see how things turn out -
    Kwan - ?

    Maybe I'm just embarrassed by some of people
    that represent our USA to the rest of the world - at a variety of
    levels -
     
  16. Martin Smith

    Martin Smith Guest

    Phil Schuman wrote:
    > I just think it's interesting to compare the Winter Olympic skiers
    > to the Summer Olympic swimmers -
    >
    > Bode vs Phelps - it will be interesting to see how things turn out -
    > Kwan - ?
    >
    > Maybe I'm just embarrassed by some of people
    > that represent our USA to the rest of the world - at a variety of
    > levels -


    I'm embarrassed when the winner does a victory lap with the flag.

    I think it would be really funny though if a swimmer did it in the pool.
     
  17. Steve Curtis

    Steve Curtis Guest

    Phil Schuman wrote in part:

    >I just think it's interesting to compare the
    >Winter Olympic skiers to the Summer
    >Olympic swimmers -


    >Bode vs Phelps - it will be interesting to
    >see how things turn out -....


    They both have one thing in common, alcohol. One has admitted to skiing
    while intoxicated (recent "60 Minutes" interview) the other was arrested
    for DUI.

    SC
     
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