Getting Started / 101

Getting Started

Synchronized Swimming can be a very strenuous and skillful sport because competitors need strength and flexibility to perform the routines, as well as rhythm and flair to synchronize and interpret the music. But depending on what type of routine you do, it can be rather easy. All you need is music and water and know how to swim and tread water. Synchronized Swimming is open to both male and female athletes but it is a sport of mostly women. This is because the Olympic and World Championship competitions are not open to men.

Athletes perform routines that can be anything from two and a half minutes to five minutes long, depending on whether they perform alone or part of a team. The routines are made up of certain movements that are performed using certain basic positions.

Get Ready For Your First Time

Synchronized Swimming can be a very strenuous and skillful sport because competitors need strength and flexibility to perform the routines, as well as rhythm and flair to synchronize and interpret the music. But depending on what type of routine you do, it can vary in difficulty. All you need is music and water and know how to swim and tread water. Synchronized Swimming is open to both male and female athletes but it is a sport of mostly women. This is because the Olympic and World Championship competitions are not open to men.

Athletes perform routines that can be anything from two and a half minutes to five minutes long, depending on whether they perform alone or part of a team. The routines are made up of certain movements that are performed using certain basic positions.

Synchronized swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either solos, duets, trios, combos, or teams) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Although solos are not used in the Olympics, athletes training in clubs can do solos and compete in competitions. Synchronized swimming demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. During lifts, (where six people act as the platform, one person acts as a base, and one and/or two people act as flyers) swimmers are required not to touch the bottom - yet pull off an outstanding lift.

Olympic and World Championship competition is not open to men, but other international and national competitions allow male competitors. Both USA Synchro and Synchro Canada allow men to compete with women. – Most European countries allow men to compete also, France even allows male only podiums, according to the number of participants. In the past decade more men are becoming involved in the sport and a global biannual competition called Men's Cup has been steadily growing.

Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance which are required for performing difficult routines. Swimmers perform two routines for the judges, one technical and one free, as well as age group routines and figures.

Synchronized swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. Figures are made up of a combination of skills and positions that often require control, strength, and flexibility. Swimmers are ranked individually for this part of the competition. The routine involves teamwork and synchronization. It is choreographed to music and often has a theme.

When performing routines in competition and practice, competitors will wear a rubber nose clip to keep water from entering their nose when submerged. Some swimmers wear ear-plugs to keep the water out of their ears. Hair is worn in a bun and flavorless gelatin, Knox, is applied to keep hair in place, and a decorative headpiece is bobby pinned to the bun. Occasionally, swimmers would wear custom-made swimming caps in place of their hair in buns. Competitors also wear custom swimsuits and headpieces, usually elaborately decorated with bright fabric and sequins to reflect the type of music to which they are swimming. The costume and music are not judged (but marks will be taken off if the headpiece falls off any swimmer while she is swimming the routine), but factor into the overall performance and "artistic impression". Heavy eye make-up is often worn to help portray the emotions involved with the routine; it helps to accentuate the eyes of each individual swimmer.

Underwater speakers ensure that swimmers can hear the music at all times and also aid their ability to synchronize with each other. Routines are prepared and set to counts in the music, to further ensure synchronization. Coaches also use underwater speakers to communicate with the swimmers during practice. Goggles, though worn during practice, are not permitted during routine competition.

Beginner Check List

  • Swimsuit
  • Nose Piece
  • Towel
  • Under water speakers
  • Your favorite music
  • Choreography plan