Recognise Any Of These Swimming Personality Traits?

The Swim Smooth coaching team have just had a social get together here in Perth trading experiences about coaching different Swim Types. Below is a list of some of our more left-field observations about the personalities of each of the different Swim Types.

Cyndy, being a classic Swinger, likes her bright bathers.

If you're a coach and have used the Swim Type system we're sure you'll immediately recognise many of these traits, or as a swimmer you might recognise something about your own personality! If you've not seen our Swim Type system before, check out how you can use it to develop your own swimming or coaching at :

The Arnie/Arnette (full profile and videos here)

- May arrive for sessions late and in a bit of a fluster.
- Often shortens their name as much as possible (e.g. Robert becomes Bob).
- May use their partner's email address and write with caps-lock on.
- Has a tendency to say "yes... yes... yes..." or "yip... yip... yip..." to hurry along a coaching conversation.
- Tends to see the coaching relationship as a means to an end.
- Often frustrated with swimming and why they're not faster than they are.
- Responds well to a subtle ego massage.

For some unknown reason, Smooths
like to get in the pool and start
swimming this way.
The Bambino (full profile and videos here)

- The first thing they tell a coach is "I'm really not very good".
- Values the coaching relationship for its own sake.
- Dislikes leading a lane (opposite of the Smooth).
- Gets a huge buzz from small improvements.
- Generally warm and open personality.

The Kicktastic (full profile and videos here)

- Quite quiet and may appear aloof.
- Dislikes cameras and having their photo taken.
- Likes taking notes (can anyone explain why this is...?)
- Often wears ankle bracelets or foot jewellery.
- Often turns up late for swim sessions.
- Gets bored easily (needs variety in their sessions).
- May be a bit "earthy" or "hippy".

The Overglider (full profile and videos here)

- Tendency to wear long (jammer) style bathers.
- May prefer use of their full name (e.g. Jonathan instead of John), this is the opposite of the Arnie.
- Enjoys long technical discussions.
- Struggles not to constantly analyse an area of their stroke or their performance.
- Often wears a large watch or heart rate monitor when swimming.
- Likes stroke technique work.

The Swinger (full profile and videos here)

- Hates when people stand around the end of lanes and get in the way (everyone dislikes that but especially Swingers!)
- Lives "in the now" and likes to get on with things without undue discussion.
- The first on the pool deck and dying to get in the water.
- Dislikes clutter in their houses (we said this was going to be left-field!).
- Can easily turn the brain off and just swim (opposite of the Overglider).
- Likes wearing bright bathers.
- Finds stroke technique work boring.

The Smooth (find out more here)

- Likes to lead the lane and have clear water.
- Doesn't like having swimmers on their toes.
- When entering a shallow pool, likes to jump in feet first and then immediately bounce forwards into a dive (odd but true!).
- May have trouble motivating themselves and training consistently as an adult.
- Often likes to enter the pool by jumping in feet first and diving forward straight into their freestyle.
- Always well groomed.

Do any of them ring any bells with you or do you have any observations of your own? Post them on the comments section of this blog here. This is just a bit of light hearted fun and not to be taken too seriously. :)

Swim Smooth!


JamesBoH said...

I'm a "Smooth" but with slight "Overglider" tendancies in the pool and, bizarrely, in this list as well.

Anonymous said...

Any one else find it slightly disturbing that your swimming traits can be betrayed by your dress sense?
I'm Bambino-esque Overglider... but I'm sure you could tell that from the jammers...

Christian said...

When I started I definately had an Arnie-technique (24 yrs of weight training!) but not so much the personality traits. These days I'm both technically and personality-wise between an overglider and smooth. I match every single description point under overglider, and 4/6 of the smooth. :-)

Saskia said...

Hmm.. my stroke is "Overglider" but personality is "Swimger"... may have to adjust swim technique?

!00% Bambino said...

"I'm really not very good" but if I practice to be a swinger will the clutter vanish from my house?

Michael H said...

What if we partially resemble several of the categories in terms of personality quirks? There may be no hope for us. LOL

I don't do many group swims but I sometimes arrive later than planned for swim workouts. I shorten my name sometimes but not always. I post notes in my computer training log but I don't wear ankle bracelets. (I'm a guy!)

I wear jammers. I sometimes engage in technical discussions, but mostly when I'm trying to help get inactive people involved in some type of sports activity. I like doing some stroke technique work but I also recognize the important of longer sets and greater intensity, especially in the lead-up to goal races.

My jammers are black, but with a brighter band down the sides.

So I might be a swinger/smooth/kicktastic/overglider. In terms of swimming, I was probably an overglider in the past but I've tried to work on cadence and not gliding. My biggest problem is consistency in training, as a triathlete. For the bike and run, I can always go outside at any time to train (unless there's a thunderstorm). But for the swim, I can only go to the gym during certain hours. And during some of those hours, there are swim groups and aquatics aerobics classes going on that occupy some of the lanes. Someday I'll have a pool of my own where I can do midnight swims if I feel like it.

Anonymous said...

In response to the above comments:
To the anonymous Bambino/Overglider - no cross breed with these swim types! Are you sure you're not an Arnie?! Arnies wear jammers sometimes.
Saskia - sorry; you may have bright bathers, but there are several swinger traits missing from your personality.
100% bambino. I'm sure you are ok to have a bit of clutter in your house. You don't get too upset about much (except maybe the open water).
Michael H - your an Arnie!

dleit said...

The Smooth's jump in, little dive and then start is spot on. At our masters group, I've only ever seen that in our fastest lane, where our Smooths are. Nowhere else.

We have one woman who is clearly a swinger. Fastest woman in our group. She absolutely just gets in an swims and kind of shrugs when anyone is talking about stroke rates, etc.

Anonymous said...

to dleit,

Amazing isn't it how the Smooths start their sessions. The same in my squad as well - always in the fast lane. Gotta love the Swingers. Really enjoy having them in the pool!

Anonymous said...

I can switch from one type of swimming to the other reasonable easy... Naturally probably I am a swinger with some element of swim smooth... Any yes, I can find lots in both profiles, but then I often last in the water and I hate jumping in.... Have to be taken reaaaaaly slow.

Help! I have an identity crysis!! :)

Anonymous said...

To the above. I don't think you are a Swinger or a Smooth (you can't be a bit of both!). I get a feeling you may actually be an Overglider - I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

Man, you nailed me. I didn't think I was an overglider until you produced this list. This is me to a T. So the next time some new boss tells me we're going to all do the "Stengthfinder" or Myers-Briggs tests, I am going to suggest instead that we all go swimming!

Anonymous said...

When I took the, swim types questionaire recently I was across between a bambino and overglider, but in this I have to say iam a true bambino

Anonymous said...

I'm an Arnette without a doubt. Swimming is a very frustrating experience but I'm getting better now I've slowed my stroke down. Your article made me laugh though. My name's Bex, shortened down as much as possible from Rebecca! I do arrive at sessions late flustered too. Most of your points are spot-on!! Love getting your emails with swim tips, keep 'em coming.


Tony said...

We teach kids to enter the shallow end of the pool the way Smooths do to stop them hitting the bottom if they go too deep. Could it be that Smooths are more likely to have been club swimmers and taught to do this from earlier days?

Fi said...

That is hilarious. I am a smooth and do that funny jump and swim. I've always done it even back doing squad training as a competitive swimmer! My husband definitely fits the swinger personality and swims as a swinger!

Judi C said...

All oh so true, as a bambino/swinger, I don't think I'm very good, and I HATE it when people stand at the end of the lane!!

Anonymous said...

Oh My, I am such a smooth feet first jump in dive forward type......spooky. Love it. Nice work as ever chaps.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - not one kicktastic has commented yet. Perhaps part of our quiet and "aloof" personality traits, aka being quite happy to blend in.

Claire O'Connell said...

Th kicktastics are completely showing their form by not commenting up to now! I'm a bambino, I think, if I'm good enough to be in that group?? Please please?

brynster said...

interestingly I found mother nature can give you some fascinating feedback.
- 2012 (pre Swimsmooth 121 with Paul) I cross my hands on entry; during ocean Rotto training I generally incur stinger stings down the lats mid way and look like an S&M whip victim.
- 2013 (post swimsmooth 121 with Paul) straightened out; during ocean rotto training I now generally incur stinger stings on the inside of my neck and top of shoulders.

how does this relate to swim styles and/or techniques? interested in other views

p.s. i'm a diagnosed/archetypal Swinger.. ;-) can't you tell

mcvalko said...

I coached for almost 40 years and have seen all of the types here. I had a boy who looked at his flexed biceps after each set. What do you call that? I had a lane of Swingers, a lane of Bambinos and a lane of Overgliders. But within each lane were different personalities: the party type, the serious leader, the psychoanalyst...
thank you for this great article and bringing back TONS of memories!

Annie Oberlin- Harris said...

Thanks for sharing all your interesting quirks and memories with us, we're glad you swim types' personalities as fascinating as we do! It's even amusing to note the differences in the way each self-diagnosed swim type comments!

Anonymous said...

Kicktastic here...

We take notes because we learn and think by writing it out.

Anonymous said...

I've never noticed it, but I swim in the top lane, and now that I think about it, all my lanemates jump in feet first! Definately all Smooths.

Unknown said...

Great to observe isn't it!

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