Synchronized swim focuses on teamwork
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The girls synchronized swim team is ready to put their suits back on to start the season. Synchro swimming is very different than other forms of swimming. Rather than swimming laps back and forth, teams of girls have to work together to perform a choreographed routine in front of judges.
In a sport where girls have to work together to perform, teamwork is vital. Teams consist of four to eight people, but smaller teams have a harder time earning points because they are docked points. Larger teams are rewarded more easily, while smaller teams have to work harder to build up their points.
Senior Grace Gualtieri said, “Teamwork is really big because we’re scored on our synchronization. Everyone has to move together and everyone has to be able function together as a team.”
Other than performing in teams there are also trios, duets, and solos that are performed. Each of these have figures inside of them. A figure is an individual movement inside of a routine where each swimmer is scored individually, and the girls need to learn four of those. Figures are worth 50 percent of the teams score making them vital to be successful.
Coach Kathy Henderson added, “A synchronized swimmer must be a good swimmer first. Once they have mastered basic swimming skills, then they can learn and build their synchro skills. Synchronized swimmers need to be fast and athletic like regular swimmers, but they also need to be musical, creative, and enjoy performance. It is sort of like combining swimming with gymnastics, dance, and strength-training all in one… while holding your breath.”
Synchronized swimming is like no other form of swimming. It can very much be compared to an art. Swimmers are dressed up and stage a piece that is backed by music. Swimmers have to swim to the rhythm of a song together.
Junior Claire Summary added, “With regular swimming it’s more of a forward motion. But with synchro you’re moving up and down and backwards and side to side. You’re muscles are moving in such a different way and you’re performing rather than competing.”
While synchronized swimming is beautiful to watch it is not simple at all. The girls are practicing six days a week to nail their routines. Synchronized swimming is difficult because of all the different techniques swimmers need to learn in order to perform.
Senior Mamie Thrall explained, “We’re doing so much, we’re not just doing standard front crawl or breaststroke. We’re adding that into our routines and then we’re adding a million things more.”