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  • Writer's pictureTodd Handler

Swimming For Special Forces: How To Swim Like A Boss

Updated: Jul 6, 2023


Hey there, future special forces hotshot! Ready to dive into the world of swimming?


Good, 'cause you're gonna need to master it if you wanna make it through the selection process. But don't worry, we're here to help you swim like a boss!

First things first, why is swimming so dang important for special forces? Well, for starters, it's a complete full-body workout that builds strength, endurance, and flexibility.


But it's also a great way to train your mind to stay focused and calm in high-pressure situations. Plus, you know, it's pretty cool to be able to glide through the water like a ninja.


But let's get real. Swimming can be tough. Like, really tough. Especially if you're trying to pass Navy SEAL selection or other special forces assessments.


That's why we're gonna teach you everything you need to know to dominate in the water. We're talking different strokes, different kinds of swim training, and even some tips on how to swim like a dolphin (ok, maybe not that last one).


And of course, we can't forget about safety. Swimming can be dangerous, especially if you're battling waves and currents out in the open ocean.


But don't worry, we'll show you how to stay safe and avoid becoming fish food. And if you ever come face-to-face with a shark, we've got your back.


So grab your swimsuit, your goggles, and your game face, because this guide is gonna teach you how to swim like a boss and crush it in special forces.


You ready to make waves? Let's do this!



Why Is Swimming Important For Special Forces?


Swimming is a critical skill for any aspiring special forces operative. Not only is it an essential component of the selection process, but it also offers a range of physical and mental benefits that are crucial for success in the field.


Let's start with the role of swimming in special forces selection.


Whether you're trying to become a Navy SEAL, a Green Beret, or a member of another elite unit, you can bet that swimming skills will be tested. In fact, some special forces assessments include timed swims, distance swims, and even underwater swim tests. So if you can't handle the water, you might as well kiss your special forces dreams goodbye.


But it's not just about passing the tests. Swimming also offers a range of physical and mental benefits that are essential for special forces operatives.


First and foremost, swimming is a great way to build strength, endurance, and flexibility.


When you're swimming, you're working your entire body, from your arms and shoulders to your core and legs. And because water offers more resistance than air, your muscles have to work harder to propel you forward.


This kind of full-body workout can help you build lean muscle mass, increase your cardiovascular endurance, and improve your overall fitness level.


But swimming isn't just about physical strength.


It's also an excellent way to train your mind to stay calm and focused under pressure.


When you're in the water, you have to constantly regulate your breathing and maintain a steady pace. This kind of mental discipline is essential for special forces operatives who may face high-pressure situations in the field.


By learning to control your breathing and stay focused in the water, you can develop the mental toughness and resilience you need to succeed in any situation.


Of course, we can't forget about water safety. Swimming can be dangerous, especially in open water or adverse conditions. That's why it's crucial for special forces operatives to have a solid understanding of water safety principles.


By learning how to recognize and respond to rip currents, how to swim in a group, and how to use safety equipment, you can minimize your risk of injury and stay safe in any situation.


In short, swimming is a critical skill for any special forces operative. Whether you're trying to pass the selection process or stay safe in the field, swimming can help you build the strength, endurance, and mental toughness you need to succeed. In the next section, we'll dive deeper into the specific physical and mental benefits of swimming for special forces.



Different Kinds Of Swimming Trainings For Special Forces


Swimming is not just about jumping into the water and paddling around.


It requires a variety of different skills and techniques, as well as a strategic approach to training. Here are some of the different kinds of swimming training that can help you build the skills you need to succeed in special forces.



Types Of Swim Workouts


There are many different types of swim workouts that can help you build endurance, strength, and speed. Some of the most common include:


Distance Swimming: Swimming long distances at a steady pace is a great way to build endurance and cardiovascular fitness. This type of workout can help you prepare for timed swim tests and increase your overall stamina.


Interval Training: Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity swimming with periods of rest or active recovery. This type of workout can help you build speed, power, and endurance, as well as improve your anaerobic fitness.


Drill Workouts: Drill workouts focus on specific swimming techniques and help you improve your form and efficiency in the water. They can also help you build strength in your core, arms, and legs, and improve your overall swimming performance.



Importance Of Variety


It's important to mix up your swim workouts to prevent boredom and plateauing. Doing the same type of workout over and over can lead to stagnation in your progress. By incorporating a variety of different swim workouts, you can challenge your body in new ways and continue to see improvements in your swimming performance.



Use Of Swimming Drills And Techniques


Swimming drills are a key component of swim training. They help you focus on specific aspects of your form and technique, such as body position, kick, and breathing. By practicing drills regularly, you can improve your efficiency in the water, reduce drag, and swim more effectively. Some common swimming drills include:


Kick Drills: Kick drills focus on improving your kick technique, which is important for generating power and propulsion in the water.


Catch-up Drill: Catch-up drill helps you work on your arm stroke technique by ensuring that each arm completes a full stroke before starting the next one.


Breathing Drills: Breathing drills help you work on your breathing technique, which is important for regulating your oxygen intake and maintaining a steady pace in the water.


By incorporating a variety of swim workouts and drills into your training regimen, you can improve your swimming performance and build the skills you need to succeed in special forces.


Different Kinds Of Swimming Strokes


Swimming is more than just a leisurely activity.


In special forces, it is a critical skill that could mean the difference between life and death. To become a top-performing special forces member, you must be able to swim efficiently. Knowing the different kinds of strokes that are used in special forces training will help you become a better swimmer.


There are four main types of swimming strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Each stroke has its unique advantages and disadvantages.


Freestyle: This is the fastest and most efficient stroke used in special forces. It involves the use of the arms in a continuous alternating motion, while the legs kick continuously. It's excellent for long-distance swims and requires less energy than other strokes.


Breaststroke: This is the slowest of all the strokes but is the most energy-efficient. It is also the most technical stroke because it involves coordination between the legs and arms. In this stroke, the swimmer's arms move simultaneously while the legs perform a frog kick.


Backstroke: This stroke is swum on the back, with the swimmer's arms moving in an alternating overhead motion. The legs execute a flutter kick, similar to the one used in freestyle. Backstroke is useful in keeping the swimmer oriented while in the water.


Butterfly: This is the most challenging and energy-consuming stroke. It involves both arms moving simultaneously, in an overhead motion, and the legs performing a dolphin kick. Butterfly is used to build upper body strength, speed, and endurance.



When practicing swimming strokes, it's essential to pay attention to technique to maximize efficiency. Proper form and technique help reduce drag and improve speed.



Ocean Vs. Pool Swimming


Swimming in the ocean and the pool are two very different experiences.


While pool swimming provides a controlled environment, swimming in the ocean presents unique challenges that can make it more challenging for special forces members.


Here are some of the differences between pool and ocean swimming and some tips to ensure your safety while swimming in the ocean.




The Unique Challenges Of Swimming In The Ocean:


Open water: Unlike the pool, the ocean is open water. This means that there are no lane markers, walls, or ropes to guide you. Open water swimming can be disorienting, and it's essential to be able to navigate using landmarks, the sun, or the stars.


Currents and tides: The ocean has currents and tides that can significantly affect your swim. These factors can make it harder to swim and cause you to expend more energy to maintain your position.



Differences Between Pool And Ocean Swimming:


Temperature: Pool water is typically heated, while the ocean water temperature varies depending on the location and season


Visibility: In the pool, the water is usually clear, and you can see the bottom. In the ocean, visibility can be poor, making it difficult to see where you're going or what's around you.



Tips For Ocean Swimming Safety:


Always swim with a buddy: Never swim alone in the ocean, always swim with someone else.


Check weather and water conditions: Before entering the water, check the weather and water conditions. Be aware of rip currents and other potential hazards.


Wear a wetsuit: Wearing a wetsuit can help regulate your body temperature and protect you from jellyfish stings or other potential dangers in the ocean.


While both pool and ocean swimming are important for special forces training, ocean swimming presents unique challenges that must be addressed.


By taking the necessary precautions and being aware of the differences between the two, special forces members can become proficient swimmers in any environment.



How To Train Swimming To Pass Navy Seal Selection


Swimming is a crucial part of the physical fitness requirements for Navy SEAL selection.



It's not just about being able to swim a certain distance, but also about being comfortable and confident in the water. Here are some tips for training to pass Navy SEAL selection:



Overview Of The Swimming Requirements For Navy Seal Selection


To pass Navy SEAL selection, candidates are required to complete a timed swim of 500 yards in under 12.5 minutes. This swim must be performed in a pool with a minimum length of 25 meters. Candidates are also required to complete a 1.5-mile open water swim wearing pants and boots within 70 minutes.



Recommended Training Programs And Strategies


To prepare for the swim portion of Navy SEAL selection, it's important to build endurance and mental toughness. Here are some recommended training programs and strategies:


Interval training: One effective training strategy is interval training, which involves alternating short periods of high-intensity swimming with periods of rest. This can help build both endurance and speed.


Hypoxic training: Another useful training strategy is hypoxic training, which involves restricting your breathing while swimming to increase your lung capacity and improve your ability to swim underwater. This can be practiced by holding your breath for longer and longer periods of time while swimming.


Swim drills: In addition to regular swimming, incorporating swim drills into your training can help improve your form and efficiency. Drills like sculling, kicking drills, and catch-up freestyle can help you become a better swimmer.


Mental toughness: Mental toughness is just as important as physical fitness in Navy SEAL selection. Practice pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and pushing through fatigue while swimming to build mental toughness.



Tips For Building Endurance And Mental Toughness


Building endurance and mental toughness can be challenging, but it's essential for passing Navy SEAL selection. Here are some tips for building endurance and mental toughness:


Consistency is key: Make sure to swim regularly to build endurance and maintain your skills.


Gradually increase distance and intensity: As you become more comfortable in the water, gradually increase the distance and intensity of your swim workouts.


Visualize success: Visualize yourself successfully completing the swim portion of Navy SEAL selection to build mental toughness and confidence.


Stay focused and positive: During the swim portion of Navy SEAL selection, it's important to stay focused and positive. Stay present in the moment and keep a positive mindset to help you push through the challenges.



Tips And Tricks For Swimming In Special Forces


Swimming is an essential part of special forces training, but it can also be a challenging and intimidating experience. Here are some tips and tricks to help you navigate the waters:


Equipment Recommendations


Investing in quality swimming gear can make a significant difference in your performance and comfort in the water. Here are some equipment recommendations:


Swim goggles: Choose goggles that fit well and don't fog up easily. Look for goggles with anti-fog and UV protection features.


Swim cap: A swim cap can help keep your hair out of your face and improve your hydrodynamics.


Fins: Swim fins can help you build leg strength and improve your kicking technique.


Wetsuit: If you plan to swim in cold water or the ocean, a wetsuit can help you stay warm and comfortable.



Dealing With Fear And Anxiety In The Water


Swimming can be a scary experience, especially if you're not a confident swimmer. Here are some tips to help you overcome your fears:


Start slowly: Begin with basic swimming techniques in a pool and gradually increase your distance and difficulty level.


Practice breathing: Learning proper breathing techniques can help you stay calm and relaxed in the water.


Visualize success: Visualization techniques can help you build confidence and overcome negative thoughts and emotions.


Get support: Find a swimming buddy or coach who can provide encouragement and feedback.


Staying Motivated And Focused During Training


Swimming training can be challenging and monotonous, but staying motivated and focused is essential for success. Here are some tips to keep you on track:


Set goals: Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself and track your progress regularly.


Mix it up: Incorporate a variety of swimming workouts and drills into your routine to keep things interesting.


Find a purpose: Connect your swimming training to your overall fitness and performance goals.


Celebrate your successes: Celebrate your small wins and achievements along the way to stay motivated and positive.


How To Survive A Shark Attack As A Navy Seal


When it comes to swimming in open water, one of the biggest fears for many people is the possibility of a shark attack.



While the risk of a shark attack is relatively low, it's important to know how to minimize the risk and defend oneself in the event of an attack. In this section, we'll cover some key tips and strategies for surviving a shark attack as a Navy SEAL.


The Rarity Of Shark Attacks On Humans


First and foremost, it's important to understand that shark attacks on humans are actually quite rare. According to the International Shark Attack File, there were only 57 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks on humans worldwide in 2020, and only 10 of those were fatal. While any shark encounter can be scary, it's important to remember that the vast majority of sharks are not interested in attacking humans.


Minimizing The Risk Of A Shark Encounter


That being said, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of a shark encounter while swimming in open water. One of the most important is to avoid swimming in areas where sharks are known to be active, such as areas where seals or other prey animals are present. It's also a good idea to avoid swimming alone, as sharks are more likely to attack solitary individuals.


Another important tip is to avoid wearing shiny or reflective jewelry or accessories, as these can attract sharks. Additionally, it's a good idea to avoid swimming during dusk or dawn, as these are the times when sharks are most active.


Strategies For Defending Oneself In The Event Of A Shark Attack


If you do find yourself in a situation where a shark is approaching you, it's important to remain calm and try to maintain eye contact with the shark. Avoid splashing around or thrashing your arms, as this can make you appear more like prey to the shark. Instead, try to back away slowly while keeping the shark in your field of vision.



If the shark does attack, one of the most effective strategies for defending oneself is to target the shark's most sensitive areas, such as the eyes or gills. Punching or kicking the shark in these areas can often be enough to deter it from attacking further.



While the risk of a shark attack during special forces training is relatively low, it's important to be prepared and know how to defend oneself in the event of an attack. By following these tips and strategies, you can minimize the risk of a shark encounter and stay safe while swimming in open water.



Swim Like A Navy Seal


Well, folks, that's a wrap!


By now, you should have a good understanding of the importance of swimming in special forces training. But just in case you were dozing off during the previous sections, here's a handy-dandy bullet point list to help you out:

  • Swimming is a critical component of special forces selection, and it's not just about being able to doggy paddle.

  • Swimming offers a wide range of physical and mental benefits that can give you an edge in special forces training and beyond.

  • There are a variety of swim workouts and strokes that you can incorporate into your training to improve your endurance, strength, and speed.

  • When it comes to swimming in special forces, the ocean and the pool are two very different beasts. Make sure you know what you're getting into before you dive in.


If you're aiming to become a Navy SEAL, you better start hitting the pool ASAP. The swim portion of the selection process is no joke.


And last but not least, if you ever find yourself face-to-face with a shark, just remember to punch it in the nose and swim away as fast as you can. Easy peasy, right?


All jokes aside, swimming is an incredibly valuable skill to have as a special forces operative.


Not only does it offer a wide range of physical and mental benefits, but it can also be a lifesaving skill in certain situations.


So whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned swimmer looking to take your skills to the next level, remember to stay focused, stay motivated, and most importantly, stay afloat!

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