This I Believe

Julia - Fayetteville, New York
Entered on October 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

When people think of sports they usually think of football, basketball, lacrosse or soccer. Not many people think of swimming as a sport. When you think of the Olympics you may not think of football or soccer, but there is a good chance you’ll think of swimming. However from my experience as a swimmer, I believe swimming is one of the hardest sports out there.

In study hall a couple of days ago, a few of us got talking about sports. And one of the kids said the only thing that is considered a sport is something that deals with a ball. He said all the other so called sports are just secondary. This really got me mad. They don’t have the right to say what a sport is. A sport is defined as an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature ( taken from For all they know I probably work harder than they do. A cheerleader I was sitting next to got mad as well. She works just as hard as anyone in a sport does.

Swimming is a sport that not only tests you physically but mentally as well. For instants this year at FM, we got a new head varsity coach. She is very intense, has goals she expects our team to fo-fill them. Basically she is training my team and I to levels I never thought I could go. Everyday our team does weight training, running , pilates, and then swimming. Now I can’t say this for everyone but by the time a swim meet comes around I am sore. But this is where the mental part of swimming comes in. You have to learn to fight through the mental block. While swimming in a meet, you test yourself mentally as well. You race against other swimmers who may be faster than you, but also race against the clock. When I am swimming I think about how I have to reach my goal time and my expectations as well as those set up by my coach.

In order for me to get better I have to train harder. I swim year round training two hours a night and swim roughly three miles a night, if not more. While swimming long boring sets, my head is clear and I am able to think the best. Another physical aspect of this sport is how you have to hold your breath. Not holding your breath like runners hold their breath but you have to hold your breath for long periods of time underwater, while moving fast through the water. I’m not racing the person next to me, I’m racing time and myself.

Now of course not every person you ask will agree with me about swimming being a hard sport and I am not certain that it is the hardest sport, I can only base it on my experience and the experience of other sports I have tried. Such as soccer and basketball. But I believe that swimming is one of the hardest sports there is.