SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers whether swim teams should take Christmas Eve off of practice entirely:
Question: Should swim teams practice on Christmas Eve?
- Yes – 64.1%
- No – 35.9%
Almost two-thirds of voters said they thought swim teams should continue with their normal practice schedule, even on Christmas Eve, while about 35% said teams should take the holiday off.
The issue is a tough one, and voters had a lot to say – this poll garnered the second-most total votes we’ve seen in the last few months, though it also had a longer run-time. Just this week, our comment section has been engaged in lively conversation on an opinion piece submitted a former swimmer and current high school swim coach wondering if swimming as a sport is alienating potential participants by “taking a sport that used to be the most fun sport around and turning it into a job.” That’s a common theme we hear from parents and swimmers – the commitment level is very high in this sport, from time to money to effort.
With swimming already a demanding sport on families, many voters suggested Christmas Eve should be left alone – time for families to connect, time for swimmers to relax and recharge, and to allow travel time for those visiting out-of-town relatives.
On the other hand, many still find a great sense of pride in the demands of the sport. In general, swimmers seem to carry the heavy commitment as a badge of honor – to them, it sets the sport apart from others, it makes the sport meaningful by being something that only the toughest, most committed athletes can truly embrace. There’s certainly an old-school mentality out there, too, that says missing training for holidays like Christmas can set a swimmer or team back in the long-run, though many will counter that a single day off of training can be refreshing and rejuvenating enough to help, rather than hurt, a long-term training cycle. Then, too, some probably voted “yes” in the poll because of the specific holiday we picked. Swimmers come from many ethnic and religious backgrounds, and some celebrate other days during the winter holiday season. For many coaches and programs, it’s worth holding practices on most holidays, allowing swimmers to take off the holiday their family celebrates.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll. Inspired by our own Andrew Mering‘s discussion of what makes a great race (and the spirited comment section conversation that ensued), we’re asking what makes a race great:
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The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner