At MySwimPro, we deeply value the diversity of our global community members, ambassadors, and team. Together we stand with the black community. Together, we stand in solidarity against racism and violence, because black lives matter. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt. We have donated funds to Diversity in Aquatics to help expand diversity in swimming. Learn more about our mission here.

Swimming is a global sport, with millions of people participating worldwide. However, the overwhelming majority of swimmers are white. According to a 2017 report from the USA Swimming Foundation, 64% of African-American children surveyed (ages 4-18) reported that they had no or low swimming ability, compared to 45% of Hispanic children and 40% of white children.

A major part of this problem is a historical lack of accessibility to aquatics for black athletes. 

In honor of Black History Month, we’re exploring the disparities that have prevented black people from swimming, including systemic racism and economic inequality, and asked black swimmers to share their take on the sport.

Segregation and Racism

Pools have been a site of racial tension for decades. In the United States, many pools and beaches in the 1940s, 50s and 60s boasted “Whites Only” signs, barring black people from visiting. These spaces were often the site of civil rights protests, sometimes called “wade-ins.” Numerous riots occurred when pools were integrated, discouraging black people from swimming for fear of violence. 

Related: Jamaican National Swimmer Michael Gunning | The #AskASwimPro Show

Under South Africa’s apartheid regime, which was in power until 1994, different races were forced to live separately in often unequal conditions. Pools and beaches were segregated for Europeans and non-Europeans, similar to the United States.

Although both the United States and South Africa have been fully integrated for years, black people worldwide still experience racism and harassment at swimming pools due to these deep-seated systemic issues.

Related: Jeff Commings | The #AskASwimPro Show

Swimming as a Privilege 

From the 1970s to the 1990s, many cities in the United States stopped building new public pools, which caused expensive, membership-based private pools to grow in popularity. As a result, swimming became a privilege.

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s 2019 State of Working America Wages Report, African-Americans make an average of 27.5% less than white Americans. If a black family couldn’t afford a private pool’s membership fee, didn’t live near a public pool, and didn’t have the transportation to get to a public pool, swimming wasn’t an option.

Related: A Swimmer’s Race

Competitive Swimming

At the 1976 Olympics, Enith Brigitha of Curacao was the first black person to win an Olympic medal in swimming. The modern-day Olympics have been running since 1896. She paved the way for the elite black swimmers we know today, such as Cullen Jones, Simone Manuel, Lia Neal, Anthony Ervin and others. 

In the United States, only 1% of almost 400,000 swimmers registered with USA Swimming are African-American.

USA Swimming Foundation

While the number of black swimmers has grown over the years, there is still much work to be done. In the United States, only 1% of almost 400,000 swimmers registered with USA Swimming are African-American, according to the USA Swimming Foundation. To promote increased diversity in the swimming community, swimming organizations worldwide have implemented protocols and diversity requirements that provide education and competition opportunities for swimmers of different races and backgrounds. 

Related: British Marathon Swimmer Alice Dearing | The #AskASwimPro Show

Black Swimmers Share Their Stories

We asked a few black swimmers to share their stories and vision for the future of swimming in the black community. Here’s what they had to say: 

Jamal Hill, U.S. Paralympic Swimmer (@swimuphill)

Where you come from and what you look like does not put you in a box to what you can become and accomplish. 

I’m at an intersection of my swimming career, my heritage, and my day-to-day life as part of the disabled community. It has been the most exciting and amazing thing for me. It’s an identity that not a lot of people have. What makes me love it is that it’s mine and how unusual and unique it is. I feel so blessed to not only be able to be a beacon of what’s possible in terms of swimming for black or disabled people but to really show people that when you own your truth and who you are, stuff starts to happen. There’s no limit!

How has swimming changed in the black community in recent years?

I don’t think the professional community has changed all that much. Most days I’m still one of max. 5 black people on deck at a competition, even international competition. 

The biggest thing is that black people don’t see a future in swimming. A lot of people want to play football or basketball. It’s important that people like me and Simone Manuel are opening these doors and showing people that you can reach this level of success in swimming.

Why are diversity and representation important in swimming?

When we talk about diversity we’re talking about everyone on Earth. So no matter what you do, we need to understand that where you come from and what you look like does not put you in a box to what you can become and accomplish. 

Making swimming more present in the media can change the narrative from “this is not what we do” to “this is what we do.” When you can see others who look like you and act like you doing something it can help you realize what is possible for you.

LaJoya Smith, MySwimPro Ambassador (@lajoyabee)

While growing up I didn’t see a lot of other swimmers who looked like me, it’s up to the swimmers now to educate and inspire other African Americans to learn how to swim.

While growing up in a small town in Ohio, at times I found myself being the only African American swimmer, whether that was as a lifeguard for a summer job, to being the only person on my high school swim team, to having a career in the aquatic world as an aquatic director and coordinator. That never stopped me from doing what I love. 

As a child, I would get questions about my hair care routine and at times I would be bullied about being the only black kid on the swim team. People would brush me under the table when it came to my swimming ability. I never let that bug me. I always held my head high and stood tall. My parents did an amazing job of showing and telling me who I was and educating me on our history. They always encouraged me to stand out and be proud of who I am and what God has blessed me with.

How has swimming changed in the black community in recent years?

We still have A LOT of work to do! But from where I started to now it has changed. Now we see more diversity in the swimming world. Which is amazing to see. While growing up I didn’t see a lot of other swimmers who looked like me, it’s up to the swimmers now to educate and inspire other African Americans to learn how to swim. It’s a life skill that’s so important and provides so many health benefits.

Why are diversity and representation important in swimming?

Representation in swimming is important all around. I think diversity period in swimming is important. It gives the younger generation the belief they can do anything! It opens the doors to a sport that has so much more potential and growth within itself! The water isn’t just for one race, but for all! That’s why I do what I do. I teach lessons to educate the importance of water safety. I swim to show the younger generation that this is a sport that can take you far! I encourage others to be bold and be proud to be you!

Dr. Asherah Allen, Assistant Professor, North Carolina Central University; Blogger, Black Girl Swim (@dr.asherahallen)

There needs to be positive association with swimming in the black community and an increase in the perceived value that swimming and other aquatic activities can have our overall health and well being.

I began swimming at the age of 4. My parents would make sure that my sister and I had chances to be in aquatic spaces like the community pool in the summer, at YMCA after school, or at the beach on vacation. I always loved the water and I was never afraid of being in the water, so at the age of about 11 or 12, I told my parents that I wanted to join the swim team at the YMCA. That is where I learned all of the competitive strokes and techniques of swimming. I later joined my high school team and became a lifeguard and swim instructor. Throughout the years I have continued to work in aquatics and swimming, as an assistant professor, researcher, and aquatic enthusiast.

Growing up, I always heard that black people don’t swim, but I always thought that was strange, because I am a back person that swims and knew many other black people who swam and did it well! Because of this stereotype, I wanted to do my part in informing my community about the benefits of swimming and 2013, I started a blog called Black Girl Swim, where I share my experiences as a black woman who loves the water. I also joined Diversity In Aquatics, Inc. and started My Swim Village, LLC in 2019, as a way to bring the Black Community together to know that participation in aquatic activities is a real possibility!

I have experienced challenges with access to pools within my community. Often times, you have to be associated with an organization or institution to access pools and other aquatic spaces. This, I find, is a barrier that many people in diverse and underrepresented communities face when it comes to participating in aquatic activities. Over the years, there have also been issues with finding the best hair care routine as a black woman. There have been many advances when it comes to hair products and swim caps, which is an amazing thing! Black people have also started to embrace their natural hair, which can have positive impacts on the health of your hair, especially as a swimmer.

Related: Natural Hair Care Tips for Swimmers

How has swimming changed in the black community in recent years?

There is much more representation of black people and swimming in the media and within aquatics. There is still much more work to do when it comes to increasing positive representation of black people and swimming. There have been spaces created for black people to feel comfortable with their appearance (hair/body image) as a swimmer. We are also finding out more about the history of black people and swimming, realizing that our ancestors were skilled and proficient swimmers. Recent research has also indicated that there have been slight improvements in the amount of people within the black community that have the ability to swim, but large percentage (64%) of black children cannot swim.

Why are representation and diversity important in swimming?

When you are able to see someone that looks like you and has had the same experiences as you accomplish something that once seemed impossible, it increases your confidence and self-efficacy. There needs to be positive association with swimming in the black community and an increase in the perceived value that swimming and other aquatic activities can have our overall health and well being. If people in the black community are given more access to resources and to pools, I believe that they can learn to swim, and value the skills and experience, we will continue to make strides!

Ed Accura, Writer & Producer, “A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim” (@edaccura)

I have a young daughter and the thought of me not being able to help her if she ever was in a life or death situation in water was the main reason for me learning how to swim later in life.

My relationship with swimming was non-existent until August 2018, when I wrote and produced the short film documentary “A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim.” The aim of the film was to understand why there is a disproportionate amount of black people and ethnic minorities that can’t and don’t swim. I initially wanted to swim but never got round to it for one reason or the other and then it became easier to hide behind the stereotype that blacks can’t swim. I have a young daughter and the thought of me not being able to help her if she ever was in a life or death situation in water was the main reason for me learning how to swim later in life.

Figures indicate that 50% of black adults in England don’t swim or have a fear of water. Some of the reasons that have been branded out there include social issues such as not swimming because the parents didn’t and hence didn’t introduce them to swimming at an early age, not having access to swimming pools, historic fears of drowning, black women not wanting to get their hair wet and last but not the least is one that keeps coming up – the difference in bone density.

The response from the film enticed me to start the BLACKS CAN SWIM campaign with the aim of encouraging the community to address their fear of water, confront the stereotypes, dispel the myths and recognise swimming as a life skill. I also co-founded the Black Swimming Association, a non-profit organisation setup to:

  • Highlight the importance of learning to swim as an essential and invaluable life saving skill.
  • Educate the black community on water safety, life-saving and drowning prevention measures in collaboration with other swimming charities and national governing bodies.

Why are diversity and representation important in swimming?

We all (regardless of background and ethnicity), realise and agree swimming is an essential life skill. That’s the key platform for the BSA. We know that our greatest strengths lie in working together to understand, resolve and drive the necessary positive change that would foster participation and inclusion for all in aquatics.As part of the BLACKS CAN SWIM campaign, I started a podcast called IN THE DEEP END interviewing celebrities and influential people from the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community on their personal swimming stories.

Olivia Watkins, Triathlete (@chemistrinerd)

Having representation of black people in sports we traditionally have not participated in shows that we are multidimensional. It opens up the door for opportunities not provided to us in the past.

After my husband and I finished our PhDs in chemistry and moved to Texas, we were energized to place our 3-year-old son into formal swim classes after hearing that the black kids living next to us didn’t know how to swim and couldn’t attend class trips or parties involving water. He took those classes for a few years before he expressed interest in a competitive swim team. And it turned out he was good! Around that same time I was encouraged by fellow running buddies to enter a super sprint triathlon. I figured if my son can go from not knowing how to swim to swimming competitively, I could learn to swim properly since I already knew how to “survive” in water. I’m now training for my third Ironman.

Finding the right cap for my braids was a big deal. I just can’t wear a silicone or latex cap. They would consistently come off mid swim. It took me several searches of “swim cap for black hair” to find the neoprene base cap (MySwimCap) that I use under my normal swim caps to keep them from slipping off. 

If my husband and I weren’t financially well off I could see being able to afford swim classes, a swim coach, gear, and natatorium yearly fees being a hurdle in learning how to swim like many in my community experience.

How has swimming changed in the black community in recent years?

For one, we know about and aspire to be as fast as some of the professional, Olympic and Paralympic (hopeful) black swimmers. My husband and I get so excited at meets when we see teams obviously from primarily black communities competing, especially since our son is one of few black swimmers on his competitive swim team. It lets us know that there are coaches exposing black communities to this sport.

Why are diversity and representation important in swimming?

Having representation of black people in sports we traditionally have not participated in shows that we are multidimensional. It opens up the door for opportunities not provided to us in the past. And it is so satisfying that the world can see what we’ve always known about our community — we can be successful in any sport, any activity, any field like everyone else. That representation erodes the limitations others place on us via bias.

Noelle Singleton, Founder & Swim Coach, Afroswimmers (@coachwiththefro)

If we eliminate the financial and racial barriers that prevent people from having access to pools, we can help save an entire generation.

I was raised in Lithonia, Georgia; a predominately black community within South Dekalb County. Growing up in the summertime, my family and I were always at the pool. I swam almost every day.  During elementary and middle school, I was accepted into a gifted learning program called Magnet, which allowed students from different districts to learn together while focusing on Math and Science.  In 1997, I was invited to a summer party at a local community pool by one of my elementary classmates who lived in Dunwoody, a predominately white community within North Dekalb County. The pool was beautiful. It had a slide and a splash pad that looked like the giant mushrooms from the Super Mario video game. The water was crystal clear and the pool had a beach front entry so that you didn’t have to get all the way in if you didn’t want to. It was surrounded by a perfectly painted white fence; beds of thick green grass with colorful flowers lined the walk way. There were plenty of noodles for visitors and lounge chairs for parents to sit and watch their children play. Water fountains were everywhere so that patrons and guards alike could stay hydrated. The lifeguards were all white and the only other black person was the cashier, who collected money from public visitors. 

It was at this party that I learned that my neighborhood pool was not the “good pool” and that my classmates were experiencing a different quality of swim than I was. From then on, I begged my mom to take me to the North Dekalb pool when she could. Although I felt more comfortable being around people who looked like me, I was no longer satisfied with what I had always known. In my neighborhood pool, I was treated like everyone else. I was judged by my behavior and not the color or my skin. But that pool didn’t have a slide, a splash pad, or even grass. There was one water fountain that was covered in rust and a silver fence lined in barbed wire that surrounded the deck so no one would jump the fence. The North Dekalb pool appeared to welcome people in, while my pool aimed at keeping people out. It was that same summer at the North Dekalb pool that I learned that I was “The Black Swimmer” and from then on, the world never let me forget it. 

What I have learned as a coach is that diversity is intentional. People naturally flock towards what is familiar to them, so if you want to experience something different or foreign, you have to seek it out. Just like my magnet program, the world of swimming must strategically acquire participants and staff to create an environment in which all people feel welcomed and celebrated. At 28 years old, I realized that swimming is not a white sport. There are entire communities filled with people of color who swim, surf, row, dive, snorkel, and compete at professional levels. The media chooses to only share these faces when their talents appear super-human. 

How has swimming changed in the black community in recent years?

The impact of social media has increased the exposure of black swimmers worldwide. Swimmers of color are demanding equality in aquatic programs and drawing attention to the drowning rates within the black community. We are no longer waiting to be acknowledged by traditional programs or media outlets to validate our accomplishments. We celebrate each other through the creation of our own learning initiatives. I created #Afroswimmers because there was a need for active swim communities on social media that were bringing swimmers together. Now, I see a new account promoting swimming almost every week. In my opinion, one of the biggest changes that have taken place in the black swim community is that people are telling their stories through an uncensored platform. If you want to know the truth, it is readily available. 

Why are diversity and representation important in swimming?

Swimming is more than a sport, it’s a life skill. It is a required technical development that can save the lives of babies, children, and adults from any race, culture, or background. Representation controls how someone or something is presented to the world. The power of representation has been researched and tested by governments, scientists, and even Hollywood. If we show black swimmers, coaches and athletes to the black community, more black people will want to participate. If we eliminate the financial and racial barriers that prevent people from having access to pools, we can help save an entire generation. The Afroswimmers motto is: when others win, our community wins because #representationmatters. 

Miriam Lynch, Executive Director, Diversity in Aquatics (@diversityinaquatics)

Representation has the utmost importance, especially for a life-saving sport where African Americans and Hispanic / Latinx populations still have to dismantle discriminatory practices and stereotypes

My personal experience as a Black swimmer extends back to when and where I learned how to swim. As a military child, I learned to swim in Saudi Arabia at age 4. Our compound had a culture of community life that evolved around the pool. Learning to swim was about my safety as the pool was literally the coolest place to be in the desert heat.

Later on, after moving to Germany, I swam a number of years on both the European Forces Swim League and with a German team in Frankfurt AM called SG Frankfurt. My coach spoke hardly any English at the time. The feeling of being “out of place” didn’t come from being a black swimmer, rather it was being an American swimmer on a German team.

During our time in Germany, I had an opportunity to come back to the US during the summer to visit my grandmother. She lived outside of Philadelphia and would drive me to a team she read about in the local newspaper, PDR. It was such a privilege to swim on PDR during that time under the legendary Jim Ellis. I remember at a young age, he put me with a set of twin ladies heading to West Virginia to swim. They were so good and my only goal was not to get lapped by them in the distance lane. I swam my hardest during those summers to prove my worth amongst his group of talented swimmers.

Eventually, after 7 years in Germany, our family moved back to the US and located outside Washington D.C. The challenges as a black swimmer didn’t come from being overseas. It wasn’t until I came home that I recognized things were different. In Germany, I knew I was different because I was an American in Germany. However, at home was the first time I felt the isolation of being the only black female swimmer in my swim group. I was very fortunate to have two wonderful parents and coaches who provided a great support network. But there were times when I was questioned over my hair, body, and the constant inquiry of my swimming ability which came from both the swimming community and the school environment that provided a mixture of feelings. It was this grey area of being black and a swimmer, to exist in both worlds rather than both at the same time.

I remember times when I was questioned over my blackness because of participation in this sport. That hurt as this process can be lonely because rarely did I encounter another peer who had similar experiences to talk about each of these things in addition to how to handle the micro-aggressions of being an athlete in this sport on a daily basis. I was lucky to use these feelings as fuel into improving my swimming. That’s why programs such as the USA Swimming National Diversity Swim Camps and Black History Swim Meet are so important. Along with my family and coaches, these programs provided me with such great and positive experience because I had the chance to swim with other black athletes from all over the country representing the best of the best from Florida, Detroit, NYC and more. These programs became like family reunions and expanded the support network in this sport.

Later on, I went to Howard University to have same feeling of support. It was important to me to simulate the same as I experienced with swimming summers with PDR and at those programs. It is important to have and continue to support programs and experiences like these because it allows swimmers to feel unique, yet part of a group. Besides having top tier (Olympic and Professional athletes) as role models, it gives them an opportunity for further development in a sport where still many feel underrepresented. 

How has swimming changed in the black community in recent years?

There are three main things that have contributed to the changes seen in swimming in the black community:

  • Increased Grassroots Efforts: The change in swimming in the black community can be attributed to the coaches and instructors who have been developing swimmers and aquatic professionals in the field. People like Jim Ellis, Lee Pitts, Ken Roland, Gary Peters, Tommy Jackson, and many others have not only been role models and creators of programs such a the USA Swimming Diversity / Outreach Manuals, but they have trained great athletes who have become leaders in the sport. Many of us have had the opportunity to train under coaches like this and now we are coaches ourselves. There are more programs receiving funding to promote and create opportunities in aquatics for underrepresented communities. We also have aquatic groups like scuba working with learn-to-swim groups to develop a whole curriculum and expand swimming. Private organizations and parks and recreations are all coming up with creative ways to draw swimmers into their programs.
  • Expanded Research: There was once biased research that said that blacks couldn’t swim due to body composition. Research has expanded to debunk this myth and identify some social determinants of this pressing public health issue. One of the main sources that many media and large organizations have used is from the University of Memphis Study titled “Predictors of Swimming Ability among Children and Adolescents in the United States” this research along with findings from the CDC found great disparities found between various racial/ethnic groups. These studies and other help to bring attention to the effects of historic racial practices and policies have on swimming ability and participation. This has fueled increased funding and attention to address these disparities. 
  • Rise of the Media: The broadcasting of national and open meets on major networks such as NBC and the Olympic Channel has helped spread swimming to homes across the country. In addition, social media has greatly influenced the images and information received involving swimming. The #hasthag movement has allowed people/organizations to connect under a similar cause. This is how Diversity In Aquatics started as a “Network to Help Save Lives.”  In the sport of swimming, Diversity In Aquatics and other groups have connected and supported one another on issues of water safety, opportunities and shared resources using this space. 

Why are representation and diversity important in swimming?

Representation has the utmost importance, especially for a life-saving sport where African Americans and Hispanic / Latinx populations still have to dismantle discriminatory practices and stereotypes involving participation and leadership in aquatics. The successes of Olympians and pro athletes such as Simone Manuel, Ashley Johnson, Maritza Correia McClendon, Cullen Jones, Lia Neal, Max Fennell, and Anthony Ervin to name a few have been important because of the barriers they broke.  But it isn’t just them that have been part of creating this important image of what is possible in aquatics. 

Representation at the grassroots level has also been important in swimming.  As coaches, athletes, aquatic professionals, and leaders each of these individuals are part of the first step toward breaking these stereotypes involving all things from hair to body image and more. Role models on each level of the sport help to inspire and encourage growth in this sport where there is still underrepresentation and participation.

Those who have the opportunity to give back to the sport provide the option to “see” a person who looks like you in this setting. It changes how you view yourself and your future in being a part of it. As it did for me, having role models such as Dr. Angela Beale, Janelle Atkinson or Tanica Jamieson and many others provide me with what a female leader looks like in this space. They inspire me. For swimming, athletes and people like those mentioned are great role models; not only are they getting more kids to participate in the sport, but they are also helping them and their parents understand that swimming is not only important to save one’s life, but can create various paths of opportunity. 

Thank you to our wonderful friends for contributing to this story and sharing your journeys. 

Join The Conversation: 

Our MySwimPro community is dedicated to creating a safe space for swimmers of all backgrounds and races, and is passionate about growing our sport to millions of people around the world. Join the conversation and share why you are proud to be a strong, black swimmer. Use the hashtag #SwimmingIsForEveryone and tag @myswimpro to share your story with us. 

Organizations:

Check out these awesome organizations working to increase access to swimming opportunities and education for the black community!

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There are thousands of groups and organizations that are tirelessly working to give people more opportunities to swim. In 2019, MySwimPro proudly donated over $4,500+ to programs that promote water safety and prevent drownings. These organizations include: 

Please send us an email at support@myswimpro.com if you or someone you know would like to learn more about these programs, or recommend other organizations doing outstanding work!

World Swim Day

We are also excited to host our 3rd Annual World Swim Day on October 24, 2020! World Swim Day is a global holiday celebrating our love of swimming, and promoting water safety around the world. 

MySwimPro is dedicated to improving diversity and representation in the swimming community. If you are interested in connecting with our community to amplify diverse voices or if you’d like to become a MySwimPro Ambassador, we’d love to hear from you, too! Email us at support@myswimpro.com

15 thoughts on “Where Are All the Black Swimmers?

  1. My granddaughter, Olivia Watkins, put this article on Facebook, and I was amazed, and proud of all of the accomplishments our people have made in this area, as well as others. I hope we can all agree what’s best for one is best for all as we live together in this world.

  2. Thank you for this article. Ronn Jenkins from York, Pennsylvania and West Chester’s University diving coach since the 1970’s would have had great insight into this article also.

  3. Thank you for your post. It has been a lonely road for my children. The isolation is overwhelming for our youngsters. Strong family support is critical even though it would have been nice to have team mates who make you feel like part of the team. I have followed my swim pro and effortless swimming for many years and I am so grateful for the resources, and swimming tips that were not mentioned to my swimmers.

  4. 30 years ago when I was training things were very tough. I was the first Black to arrive at the Arden Hills team in Sacramento, under the famed Sherman Shavor (spelled incorrectly I am sure) who lead Mark Spitz to many wins. Although he embraced my talent and sponsored me joining the team, the coaching staff and other swimmers did not. They took little to know interest in me. My previous coach who brought attention to me as a success for Arden Hills had to remain by my side to encourage me. As I lived amongst and went to school with fellow swimmers, because of my complexion I was constantly the subject of ugly taunts, exclusions and abusive actions of parents who did not wish for me to excel above their children. The amount of discrimination I face was so profound I left swimming altogether after failing to place high at a national meet. My times were fast and I broke many records, but those triumphs were hidden due to the prominence of racism that went unchecked in the sport. I have so many stories and am glad to find that we are being embraced and supported in more ways today than in the past. There are hundreds of African Americans who can swim very well. Unfortunately in the past teams were not as open to us, especially those that were at the AAU level (now the USA Team). #BLM

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with us! We agree that there is a lot of work to be done before swimming as a whole truly embraces diversity and equality.

    2. Sorry to hear this, I also swam under Sherm in 1980 as a black man. I was with 2 other black swimmers from the Bay Area. We met Charlie the “Tuna” Chapman a black swimmer who was a resident swimmer. Charlie went on to swim the English Channel. Sherm was great and we didn’t have any racial issues. We were older though in our early twenties. Discrimination, envy, and jealousy are occurrences that plague sports on all levels. “The Locker Room” culture needs to be managed on the same level as the technical training protocols. Again really sorry to hear that the “Locker Room” culture stopped you from enjoying the sport of swimming.

  5. Thank you for this article and the resources! I was a nationally ranked age group swimmer and stopped the sport at 14 to play other sports. I swam summer league races beginning at 5 and started competitive year round at 8 or 9.
    I am taking my daughter today to a pre-comp swim team to learn the sport and join the team when shes ready. She is a strong swimmer but needs some stroke work. This is helpful!

  6. Thank you so my for this article. My son (9) has been wanting to learn to dive and I finally signed him up a couple of months ago.

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