Collegiate swim and diving is a long-forgotten sport for women that can benefit them immensely. Not only is it entertaining to watch but these women that participate can take their swim career to the next level if they work toward it.
Women's swim is in the top five easiest college sports to get a scholarship for, meaning right out of high school is when its benefits begin. It takes time to build the skill and strength needed to earn a scholarship, however, with the diverse styles of swim almost every woman can find their niche.
One of the reasons that women's swim is so accessible is due to its variety of methods in which someone can be good at it. There are the separate skills of diving and swimming, to start. Within the realm of diving there are individual and team events that one can master. Swimming also comes with individual and team events and those events offer a variety of strokes that one can use as well.
A quick search on Youtube and you can find how to begin mastering the stroke or dive of your choice. Most people already have the basics of freestyle down just by knowing how to swim. It's a skill you learn early in life that you can progressively get better at the more you do it.
Now you may be asking, how would this benefit me as a swimmer long term? That's a great point, knowing how to swim well in a certain event isn't all you need to do to progress in your swim career. There's a social aspect of networking and socializing with differing college coaches until you find one that benefits you and them. You also must demonstrate your understanding of the sport so taking the time to really understand it can get you noticed.
From there it’s simply doing your individual part as an aspiring athlete to get recruited to a college. Being a part of a collegiate-level swim and diving team, regardless of the Divison, will provide you with unique experiences and an upper-level coaching staff that you’ve likely not seen before.
There's a lot of hard work needed to get to this level. Pushing to get there and beyond will set you up for the next level. College swim offers the opportunity to be scouted for things far beyond schooling, the most known being the Olympics.
In the 2016 Olympics, a total of 1,818 women qualified for the Olympics and they built the US swim team based on those women. Training throughout college as swimmers, these athletes had a better chance at making it to the top.
Putting your foot down and deciding that you want to make it to that level is definitely doable. This is a sport that can more easily be picked up later so aiming to get a college scholarship based on swimming or diving can be a great opportunity that women usually look over.
Swimming can not only be monetarily beneficial but also is very healthy. Olivia Bray is one of the top Division I competitive swimmers, competing for the University of Texas. In an interview, she described her experience swimming as a kid as "an escape".
In action, swimming can truly be stress relieving and will build the willpower to work hard just as much as any sport.
While competitive swimming pools are not always easily accessible for people, it can start anywhere. Simply swimming in a community pool, a lake, or even the ocean can build a love for a sport that does not get nearly enough attention for all it does for its women athletes.
Swim and diving is a fun hobby and pastime, but getting serious about it could result in a swimming career you never knew was possible.