Swimming provides a whole-body experience for adaptive athletes, improving mental, physical, and emotional health. However, did you know there are specific benefits for adaptive athletes in joining a swim team?
General health benefits for adaptive athletes.
Physical benefits: General overall health improvements from swimming include: low impact for mobility restricted individuals, improved cardiovascular health, improved flexibility and muscle tone, range of movement, and can provide positive assists in meeting therapeutic goals outside the pool.
Psychological benefits: Recent studies have proven that adaptive athletes report a proportionate increase of positive self-identity with increased physical activity. In the first study, designed to counteract the metaphors and descriptors used for athletes with disabilities, there were three overarching themes.
- Don’t treat athletes differently
- Exercise assists in managing emotions
- Physical activity balances others’ negative perceptions
In the second study, explicitly done on swimmers, athletes also reported similar findings.
- A strong self-identity
- A moderate to strong social identity
- Negative affectivity with lower levels of exclusivity
- Strong competitiveness and goal orientation
But why the swim team?
For adaptive athletes, there are specific benefits of joining a swim team, especially athletes with socialization barriers and self or peer-directed exclusion from neuro-typical events. Adaptive athletes who participate in swim teams benefit from the following:
- Better sport-specific coaching.
- More rigorous training.
- More competition in practice.
- Higher expectations than they are likely to receive in other settings.
- More socialization opportunities.
- Greater independence in activities of daily living.
- Improved ability to cope with limitations imposed by disabilities. (Source).
The data is clear on all fronts. Joining a swim team creates a next level positive impact on the pre-existing physical, emotional, and mental benefits derived from swimming. Register today for an opportunity to join our adaptive athletes swim team!
Molly is a member of our creative team, mom of four water-loving babies, and a fierce advocate for CPR training and really early swim instruction.