Colorado Springs, CO
With widely varying conditions at the Olympic venue in Weymouth, England, the U.S. Sailing team is expected to bank on its experience from its U.S. Navy Seal-style training.
U.S. sailors got a taste of the rigorous training when some members of the elite Navy sailors traveled to Colorado Springs to help train the team gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The team was in the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado as part of their twice-a-year training. Apart from team meetings there were guest speakers from the Navy SEAL.
After a genial start of video presentation session and some talk of the endeavour of becoming a Navy SEAL, the mental toughness training commenced.
Of the 42, whom the Seals pushed farther beyond their limits at the camp, only 18 athletes remained from those who started the challenge.
The training began with a mile run from the U.S. Olympic Training Center to a local park amidst a 40-degree temperature and with winds of about 50 mph.
The Seals' new recruits were made to do nearly 100 push-ups and other physical exertions. It left the athletes shaking from pure exhaustion and from the cold as they were made to run into the water of a freezing pond several times.
Apart from pushing the athletes farther than they ever thought they could go, the severe training served also a channel for the participants to focus on accountability, common goals and common hardships.
At certain points of the training, the SEALs advised the athletes to focus on their next step amidst the consuming fatigue.
They were advised to ignore the discomfort of the elements, brush aside the aches piercing through their muscles along with whatever doubts plaguing their minds, and persevere by simply putting one foot in front of the other.
When asked whether these trainings are at all similar to the well-known difficult SEALs training, one of the SEALs who ran the session and asked to remain anonymous because they were active-duty said, "it's really not that close a comparison," the Navy Times reported.
The selection and training for the United States Navy's Sea, Air, and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, is regarded as very rigorous, having a reputation as some of the toughest anywhere in the world.
The dropout rate for their 24-week "A" School also known as Basic Underwater Demotion-SEAL school (or BUDs classes) sometimes reach over 90 percent.
SEALs are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations forces. They are also part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.
About 10 U.S. teams in Olympic sports have been through at least one session of training with the SEALs in recent years as part of their preparation.
USA's women's field hockey credits their sessions with the SEALs last fall in their conquest of the top-ranked Argentina squad in the semifinals at the Pan Am Games.
Though it is still unconfirmed, former world No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods was said to have trained several times in 2006 and '07 with the SEALs, which may have resulted in his knee injury, as alluded in the book of golf instructor Hank Haney.
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