History of competitive swimming
Competitive swimming was developed in the 19th century. England was the first to introduce this sport. As early as 1837, six London swimming clubs competed against each other in swimming competitions. Since then, competitive swimming has only grown in popularity.
Swimming has been an official Olympic sport since 1896. Then only men were allowed to participate and only two distances were swum. Women have also been allowed to participate since 1912. Today, swimming is one of the biggest sports in the Olympics. There are now a total of 32 matches: 16 for men and 16 for women!
This is why the Netherlands is a real swimming country
The Netherlands is a huge swimming country. You can already notice how early children get their swimming diploma and how often people swim in swimming pools, lakes, canals and canals. The fact that we like to swim is also noticeable at the Olympics. The Netherlands is often at the top of the rankings in many swimming events at the Games.
Inge de Bruijn and Pieter van den Hoogenband are well-known names in the swimming world. Inge won four gold medals and Pieter three in the years 2000 to 2004. There are also no fewer than 5 world records in the hands of Dutch swimmers! Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Kira Toussaint have individual records in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke. And the Dutch teams were the fastest ever in 3 different relay events. That is quite something!
How do you start competitive swimming?
To get started with competitive swimming you need swimsuits, a swimming cap and goggles. A swimming cap ensures that your body is streamlined and that you swim faster. Thanks to your swimming goggles, your eyes will not be bothered and you will have good visibility under water. It is also useful if you have all the basic diplomas, so that you at least know how to stay above water!
For swimming you have to master a certain breathing. Because you spend a lot of time with your face in the water while swimming, you can only breathe at certain moments. You need to train well to master this way of breathing. A big advantage of this: the more often you go for swimming pool operators training, the better your condition becomes!
There is also a lot of technique in the swimming strokes and the position of your body in the water. You train all muscle groups at once. That doesn’t happen often in sports. When you start swimming, it is wise to build it up slowly. Start at a speed you can sustain with ease. For example, first try to swim continuously for 20 minutes and build it up by 2 minutes. Too easy? Then try to swim a little harder. You have to be out of breath to train your condition!
Ultimately you can focus more on the distances. In competitions, the distances are fixed in advance. By training on this and keeping track of time, you can see whether you are making progress with swimming.
Did you know this about swimming?
1. You have little chance of injury with swimming. This is because you don’t put any strain on your joints and you can’t fall.
2. Swimming burns a lot of calories. Swimming for half an hour burns as many calories as cycling or running for an hour. This is because swimming uses all the muscles in your body.
3. After swimming, you sleep better because of the effort. Are you a bad sleeper? Then give it a try!
Swimming can be very relaxing. This is partly due to the temperature of the water and because you get the feeling that you are weightless.
4. Swimming is about 8000 years old. About 3000 years ago, Egyptians already swam in the Nile with swimming pool operators training, where children were raised with swimming lessons.
5. During a training in the water, your heart rate is lower than on dry land. This is due to the diving effect: because your body is submerged in the water, your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. This function subconsciously regulates your heart rate better and ensures the centralization of your blood circulation.
6. The water pressure and horizontal position during swimming ensure a better stroke volume of your heart. Due to a simplified blood flow, your heart does not have to pump as hard and your heart rate is therefore lower.
7. Your body is continuously recovering while swimming. Under water, your body is completely focused on supplying oxygen to your vital organs.