The Eyrie

Swimmers live by the details

Sarah Buehler, Reporter

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Many different details and techniques go into the sport of swimming.

Brandon Simpson, head coach, said, “Swimming is a daily battle and is mentally taxing. The hardest part is jumping in, sometimes twice a day, into that cold water knowing you are about to get the best workout you can possibly get all to try and shave off a quarter of a second in a year’s worth of work.”

Off the blocks—

According to Simpson, a good dive off the blocks is crucial to a race.

All of the swimmers start the beginning of the race standing on the blocks, getting ready to dive in, waiting for the official to start.

The official will say “take your mark”; at this point all the swimmers bend down and get ready to dive in. Once there is a beep from the official, the swimmers dive off the blocks and the race starts.

Simpson said, “Races are won and lost by 0.01 seconds. If you can have a fast reaction time, a strong push with your legs and a clean entry into the water, you will beat your competitors half way down the pool.”

Different strokes—

There are four different strokes for swimming: freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breast stroke. Freestyle is also known as front crawl and the most well known stroke.

In backstroke, the swimmers are on their backs, rotating their arms. In butterfly, the swimmers use a dolphin kick, both feet together kicking, while bringing both arms forward and out of the water at the same time.

For breast stroke, the swimmer focuses on the kick more than the arms and uses the legs to propel forward in the water. According to Simpson, breast stroke is the trickiest with technique and timing of the kick and pull.

What’s an IM—

An individual medley (I.M.) is all four strokes in a race. For a 200 yard I.M., the athlete will swim a 50 yard butterfly, 50 yard backstroke, 50 yard breast stroke, then a 50 yard freestyle.

Simpson said, “The 200 I.M. has its difficulties with changing from each stroke.”

There is also a 200 medley relay.

Relays explained—

Out of the 12 events, three of them are relays.

In the 200 free relay, there are four swimmers and each will swim a 50 of freestyle.

The 200 medley relay consists of four swimmers also who each swim a 50 of one of the four strokes.

The last relay is the 400 free relay where four swimmers will swim a 100 freestyle. The average time for a 400 free relay is around 4:15.


Addy Bray, junior, stated that her favorite event is the 100 backstroke and her favorite part about swimming is getting to train with her best friends.

One swimmer said his favorite part is the team aspect and his favorite event is the 100 breast stroke.

Simpson said, “I love seeing the smile on the boys’ and girls’ faces when they reach a goal that they work so hard for. The building of a team and the camaraderie between teammates that will last a lifetime is invaluable. The depths in which these student athletes fight for themselves and each other is something to admire.”


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The student news site of Olathe South High School
Swimmers live by the details