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Being in Water Makes Every Sport Harderwaterbunny13 Honestly, reading all of these comments, i still believe that water polo and swimming are the hardest sports out there. I saw one person that said, "it's so hard, i train 10 hours every week for gymnastics!", and i thought to myself, yeah sure, i train 20+ hours every week for swim. Two to three hours everyday, sometimes twice a day, morning practice and after school practice and dryland/strength training every monday, wednesday, and friday. I understand that gymnastics is a tough sport, and i'm not trying to offend anyone. i just beleive that swimming utilizes all of those skills and more. Swim is a year round sport, there is not break between seasons. Swim meets are held in burning hot weather and in freezing rain. as long as there is no thunder or lightning, you are still swimming. When you get on the block, you have to hold still and not move at all, for fear of disqaulification. If you are a sprinter, as soon as you dive into the water you have to explode all of your energy into the race. Not to mention, YOU CANNOT BREATHE. If you want to be fast, breathing is not an option. For us 50 freestylers (2 laps for you nonswimmers), zero breaths is expected, and taking one or two is frowned upon by coaches. If you are a distance sprinter, you have to be able to last through 20+ laps in a race, or even up to a mile. For those that say swimming is easy, all you do is move your arms back and forth and kick your feet, you are wrong. There is an exact science to swimming. Knowing how to pull the water for maximum excelaration through the water, tighting and lengthening your body through a streamline just to get yourself a few centimeters past the person you are racing, calculating the exact distance to flipturn so you can get maximum push off a wall, anything that drive you forward to out touch someone by a fraction of a second. Every second counts in swimming. i learned this the hard way. Losing by .01 of a second is not fun. And after all this, I'm just a high school swimmer. The club swimmers train twice as hard as us, and they are twice as fast.
And yet you still have to use all of this and more in water polo. In a game, you are always either sprinting and protecting the ball, or wrestling with another player. Even though the quarters are 7 minutes long, the game clock is stopped everytime there is a foul or a goal, so the game ends up being a lot longer in "real time". There are six field players on a team, plus a goalie. Everyone is constantly part of the game, because if you are not currently playing offense, then, you are defense. The field players are only allowed to touch the ball with one hand, which requires hand- eye coordination, especially since you are treading water at the same time, also while fighting someone off of you. Even though the refs try to do their job and call fouls and ejections for especially agressive play, they cannot see everything. There is actually a lot that happens under water, which is probably why most people say that water polo does not seem very difficult. The oppsing team will do anything to hold you down, and scare the crap out of you so that you cannot play. This is also probably where girls' adn guys' polo differs the most. Having scrimmaged with the boys a few times, i've noticed that they are a lot more physical. They would grab my ankles, wrists, and hold me under water. Basically you are having an underwater wrestling match. With girls, it's a little more dirty, because that's just the way girls are. I've been licked, clawed, had my suit pulled up my butt crack, and one time a girl pinched my elbow to keep me from getting the ball. I've seen girls get nosebleeds, their suits rip, and run away screaming because you swam up to them and said, "Hey baby, hows the water?" And i haven't even touched on one of the most important aspects of the game, really, what makes water polo a true game. Teams have to communicate and work seamlessly with each other in order to run plays. You have to be smart enough to think on your feet if one girl is not working with you. You have to sense when to turn back and sprint to the other side of the pool, just to beat one of the other girls and stop her from scoring. You have to get a feel for each ref's individual calling style, to see how much you can get away with during the game. And then afterwards, you get out of the pool and shake each girl's hand and thank her for a good game, with no hard feelings, win or lose.
Well thanks for taking time to read my whole spiel :)