By popular demand, we talk in detail about this concept, so important in Artistic Swimming.
We need to first focus from a realistic point of view. We as coaches and swimmers look at our routines 150 times, we know it by memory, and not only that, we know our usual errors and who will make them. You know if “Miss A.” is late in the split rocket in the 80% of the times and your eye goes directly to her at that moment. We even see it in slow motion through the camera lens with the video recording to check our individual execution with the objective of improving.
The judge, on another hand, only sees the routine once. Maximum, twice if there is pre-eliminatory. They do not see it in slow motion, plus think about how their score will be (they are under evaluation too!), not onlylook at it from the spectators’ point of view. The human eye it is much more trained to focus on the error of synchronization, more than appreciating if the execution of 8 or 10 swimmers differs in a second.
Put yourself in the sink of the judge. Even in the one of the spectator:
The moment of the Split Rocket arrives. A team of 8 swimmers do it in the exact time, vertical, split, and vertical, in a very explosive way. In that moment you say “wow! They were Identical!” If you see it in slow motion after, you see that one is with the body forward, another is much lower in height and one has really bent back knee in the split. But live you do not notice, you have only seen how incredible the synchronization was. Then comes the next team and each swimmer does it on a different count. Or even more noticeable: two swimmers do it two counts late. “Ugh … wrong”. You watch the video in slow motion and you see those swimmer, that were late, have done a great split, maximum height and perfect body line. Typical picture that you would post on Instagram 😉 but it was useless, because you won’t get a good score.
A technical error can be disguised with synchronization, by contrast, desynchronization does not let you appreciate a good execution.
This concept is SUPER IMPORTANT for swimmers. I remember many times when I swam that I wanted to be higher than everyone else. And that is what the rest of the team wanted. But if in a barracuda, for example, 8 is the vertical and 1 is the split, and you are late in the preparation for whatever reason, is better that you do the vertical under your knees and a low split, than do a good preparation and go behind the count. For team and duet events it is a priority that you go on the count. ALWAYS!
Synchronized jumps in a routine? The same way, even if your tower does not push on 1, you have to jump on 1, even if it is lower, because the acrobatic move will lose the power when desynchronized. Evidently, these examples do not occur in solo, or the acrobatics of one tower. This is when you can really show off 😉 And, obviously, the best thing is to have it all: Good synchronization and execution. Also, normally good execution helps us to synchronize more, but many times we lose sight from priorities and in many clubs this have to be set, since there is not enough time for everything!
Synchro is Hard, make it easy!