Cross-training perks for youths
A research brief from the Aspen Sports Institute found that youth who play multiple sports tend to experience less burnout and perform at higher levels later on than those who train exclusively in one area. This rings true for synchro swimmers: Many are attracted to it in the first place because it combines so many of the different sports that they love. And cross-training is actually built into synchro conditioning, with weight-training, swimming and Pilates- and yoga-type stretching all an integral part of workouts.
The skills learned in synchro also provide an excellent foundation for activities like ballet, speed swimming, diving and water polo. We often encourage our swimmers to continue participating in other sports as their schedules allow, both for fun and further conditioning. Swimming and water polo coaches, in particular, enjoy having athletes with synchro experience, since they come on board with excellent breath control, body awareness, efficiency of movement, and strong legs (especially useful for kicking and eggbeater).
Some of PTX's most successful alumnae also excelled in outside sports, with their training from synchro boosting their performance in the others, and vice versa. 2012 Olympian Mary Killman achieved Texas Age Group Swimming (TAGS) time standards from 2000-2005 before deciding to focus on synchro exclusively. As a young girl, 2004 Olympian Sara Lowe also competed in speed swimming and gymnastics before concentrating on synchro. 2000 Olympian Carrie Barton-Garten currently holds the oldest-standing swimming records at Nimitz High School, set from 1992-93 when she was a nationally ranked PTX synchro swimmer.