When Humans Become SEALs

When Humans Become SEALs

The United States Navy SEALs have established a partnership with USA Swimming and USA Water Polo, both organizations that have been the natural breeding ground of a number of SEALs over time.

In its notoriously difficult training, the swimmers and water polo players have demonstrated the highest passing percentage than athletes from other sports or individuals from other disciplines.

Justin Gabriel talks about the advantages of competitive swimmers and water polo players in becoming a Navy SEAL.

In their grueling Hell Week of five-and-a-half day stretch, each candidate sleeps only four total hours in total, runs more than 200 miles and does physical training for more than 20 hours per day including spending hours in the cold Pacific Ocean. While the physical demands on the human body are nearly indescribable, it is the mental strength that helps drive successful candidates.

The belief that [Hell Week] is about physical strength is a common misconception. Actually, it’s 90% mental and 10% physical,” said a SEALs instructor at the San Diego facility. “[Students] just decide that they are too cold, too sandy, too sore or too wet to go on. It’s their minds that give up on them, not their bodies.”

Cold, wet and dark…experiences that play on the mind and affect the body and something that many channel swimmers have an intimate understanding of…



The Navy SEALs counterparts around the world include the British Special Air Service (SAS) and the Norwegian Navy Seals and a few others. Lewis Pugh is one well known example of an individual who has experience in both these Special Forces (having served in the British SAS for a number of years) and the sport of open water swimming, from short swims to the English Channel. There are others…but their identity remains confidential.

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