Swimming Success at AC
Last week a crowd of excited parents and friends assembled in our aquatic center to cheer on about 47 AC Cougars participating in a swim competition involving a total of 105 swimmers and three other schools, ISM, SEK los Valles and Julio Verne. The swim program has grown substantially. Aside from many wins in individual categories, our relay teams placed second in the medley relay and first in every age group of the freestyle relay. Next week 9 of our swimmers will be competing at St. Catherine’s University in Minnesota, our second time competing in the United States. According to Athletic Director, Juan Jose Fuentes, four years ago we were lucky to have 15 swimmers on the team. Today we have 48 competitive swimmers. Adding a second season has helped build the program. Competing at the South American Activities Conference (SAAC) championships at Nido de Aguilas in Santiago, Chile; and this year in Brazil, as well as many local competitions has raised the prestige of this sport in our community.
Individual sports like swimming foster mental strength and resilience. Youth learn to motivate themselves by working through challenging training sessions. Some committed Cougar swimmers train at 6 a.m. In an individual sport, there's nobody else to hide behind on a bad day, so athletes learn to deal with poor results. When a swimmer wins they have a strong sense of accomplishment. Participating in individual sports can increase a sense of personal mastery. Athletes improve and develop new skills, leading to improved performance and confidence. Individual sports also allow for independence and can be a great fit for a student who doesn't like to rely on someone else's skills to perform well. Athletes can focus on their own training needs, whether that means addressing a personal weakness or improving a favorite stroke–something that can be difficult during team training.
Training can be solitary at times. Even when groups train together in compound sports, like swimming, athletes have to grind out the work alone. Being on a team doesn't make a swimmer faster or a gymnast able to perform a difficult skill, and athletes can't progress solely on the strength of their teammates; they have to improve on their own to compete. Swimming can be particularly beneficial for children with attention deficit, sensory, and socialization disorders because they help develop self-esteem, focus, and social skills while encouraging physical activity, that can to lead to being healthier adults.
Swimming is widely regarded as the most comprehensive and beneficial sport. It requires use of more muscle groups than any other sport, is tremendous aerobic exercise and considered the safest sport regarding chances of injury. To top it off, being a strong swimmer could save one’s life in an emergency. Considering its benefits and our pool facilities, we expect swimming to continue developing at AC.