As an almost century-old sport, synchronized swimming didn’t appear on the radar until the 1984 Olympic Games. The sport was eased into the athletic world with various recognitions until the Olympics made it a commonly known activity.
Head coach at Scottsdale Synchro for the upcoming season, Jill Parr, says that although synchronized swimming has come a long way in the last few decades, it is still a highly misunderstood sport.
“The swimmers are supposed to make it look easy,” says Parr, who has been coaching for 15 years. The veteran trainer says that, in reality, it’s an extremely difficult sport to master.
“At the higher levels, you want to do a regular swimming workout,” Parr says. In addition, gymnastics and flexibility training are utilized. Land workouts are included as well. “It’s good fitness in a relatively injury-free environment.”
Kids as young as six years old can start competitive synchronized swimming, as long as they are comfortable in deep water.
The difficulty in mastery of the sport lies within being part of a team. Parr says it takes her several months to come up with a really creative and complex routine, and her team will spend a whole season perfecting it for competition. Seasons begin in October and competitions begin in January.
“The girls get a great bond together,” says Parr. “It teaches dedication, hard work and discipline.”
Synchronized swimming doesn’t have to be competitive, though. It can be recreational as well.
Kendra Sollars and Hannah Creaser, the two synchronized swimmers who perform at The Saguaro’s Sips & Synchro happy hour event held every Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 pm., know best.
“I think that we grew up at a really lucky time,” Sollars says. “I think that we ended our synchro careers at a great time because just recently there are so many opportunities for synchro as a performing art and not just a competitive sport.”