The Traits Of 7 Types of Swimmers You’ll Find During Your Swimming Journey

There are many types of swimmers in the swimming and we all know what our training buddies are and of course what we are. There are the sprinters and the distance swimmers. Then we have the I.Mers, backstrokers, breaststrokers and butter-flyers. Some swimmers are a mix of everything. 

No matter what swimmer you are or the reputation you have as a swimmer, we all support and encourage each other during our swimming journey. Take a look into the different types of swimmers you’ll find around the pool deck.

1.The Butterflyer


Hali Flickinger. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The butterflyers are the swimmers who love butterfly and pick it over nearly every other stroke in training and of course in racing. These swimmers are the distance swimmers of the form strokes. As swimmers, they are mentally tough (fellow swimmers know this, especially if you’ve swum a 200 butterfly) and love a hard workout at practice. It leaves them feeling on top of the world. 

Most of the time you will find them bragging about doing the hard main set in butterfly instead of freestyle and putting their hands up to do the 400 freestyle in butterfly while at carnivals. 

2. The Backstroker

Peirsol,A. 08 5486 - Backstroke

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The backstroker is the most relaxed and chill type of swimmer you will find. They go with the flow and nothing really fazes them. Backstrokers are so relaxed they are usually the ones having a good laugh beyond the blocks. You will usually find backstrokers hanging off the lane rope having a chat when they should be swimming or asking the coach to repeat the set because they didn’t listen the first time. 

We will never know why all backstrokers are so chill but every other swimmer reckons it’s because they get to look up to the sky and relax while swimming, instead of following the black line.

3. The Breaststroker

The breastroker has a reputation in the swimming world as being a little odd and a bit different from the rest of the swimmers. These swimmers can be found dancing around the pool deck, swimming breaststroke faster than freestyle and doing their weird drills to help with their knees and hips during training.

You’re probably reading this and a certain breaststroker comes to mind making you think, “yep, I love that swimmer but they are a little quirky.”

4. The I.Mer 

The I.Mer is the all-arounder of swimming. These swimmers can do everything, and like distance swimmers, they love a little bit of pain. These swimmers breeze through every stroke in training and no matter the set, they will be ready to dive straight in and conquer it.

5. The Sprinter

florent-manaudou - Sprinter

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

The sprinters are always the overly confident ones. They strut around the pool deck with their shoulders back, looking like they’re on top of the world. Others always joke that the sprinters are the lazy ones in the group. They always have their own lane and are doing starts, turns and short sprints when the rest of the group has a hard, long set. 

This has given them the reputation of complaining that training is hard. In actuality, they are just doing high-intensity work and focussing on skills which is hard in its own right.

6. The Distance Swimmer

The distance swimmer is on the other end of the spectrum to sprinters. They are the badasses  of the group and are up for any set thrown at them. These swimmers love to train and are very competitive, stubborn and determined. They hate losing and always push everyone to train harder, being the last ones out of the pool. 

Distance swimmers always tackle the hardest races, from the 800 freestyle to the 1500 freestyle, with a smile on their faces. 

7. The Open Water Swimmer

Open water athletes are a different breed. Much like the distance swimmer, they are stubborn and determined. These swimmers live for the pain and are constantly pushing themselves to levels of discomfort other swimmers can’t imagine possible. Open water swimmers live for the rough and tumble and thrive when they are handling a tough set and getting hit in the face while swimming in a pack. 

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSSS nor its staff.

By Suzie Ryan | Swimming World Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *