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Kit Requirements

Caps

For those with long hair.  You must wear a cap that fits well, stays in place and is comfortable to be worn for up to two hours.  Constantly rearranging your hair is a distraction for yourself, your fellow swimmers and the coach when trying deliver training sets.

For those with short hair.  We would encourage you to wear a cap at training as you have to wear one at competitions, we think there should not be a difference.  Training racing, racing training!  Cap cap!

Have a spare in your bag, they can rip at the most annoyingly awkward times!

Goggles

Best advice is find a brand / style that fit and then stick to them.  Sleek mirrored ones are nice and expensive but they don’t reduce your drag coefficient that much!  Your improving technique is what will get you from end of the pool to the other quicker, not fancy goggles!

Have a spare pair too.  Straps or nose bridges can snap or irreversibly stress when you least need them to!

Kick boards

There are many and varied styles and brands out there.  Get a matching one, get a contrasting one, just make sure its one you’re going to like as you’re going to spend a lot of time behind it looking at it during your swimming career doing kick sets!

All squads need one.

 

Pull bouys

Same advice as the kick board, they will be used between ankles, knees, thighs and in front of you when doing drills.

All squads need one.

 

Paddles

For development squads, whole hand coverage is recommended where there is a finger loop or two and a wrist strap.  For those transitioning to performance squads, finger tip variants are a necessary addition to the wet bag as these help refine technique further and will be expected by the coach.

Hand Paddles                                                       Finger Paddles

Snorkels

We do not encourage the types that attach to the goggles or rise to the side, centre positioned that are curved or with a kink in them are what we require the swimmer to have in their wet bag.  Some pivot on the head strap while others don’t, we don’t have a preference for this feature.  As younger swimmers develop and they lose baby teeth and grow in their adult set, we have found that snorkels need to be changed to help the swimmer manage the orthodontic fit.  Our advice is to pay less attention to colour, curve, kink or brand, but focus on the mouth piece, the positioning of notches, the height of the gum shield and the depth/shape of the biting area.  A better fit in the mouth will help the swimmer develop their technique with this piece of kit as opposed to having a poorly fitting one causing discomfort and distress or letting in water.

All squads need one.

 

Ankle straps

These are only for performance squads or those transitioning to them.  They are for advance technique training and not necessary for development squad swimmers.

 

Fins

These need to be short and flexible.  We do not recommend long fins where the material extends more than 10cms from the toe cut out.  Flexibility is a key feature to assess when purchasing these.  If you cannot reasonably bend them with your hands, then they are too rigid and will cause ankle / calf damage to the swimmer and cramps!  The motion of the hip to knee to ankle to toes, needs to be fluid and accentuated by the use of fins, they are an aide to build muscle tone and strength, not a means to force an unnaturally different motion, that is not what we use them for.

Wet bag

Make sure you get one that can take being thrown around and is capable of being packed with all the kit.

 

Water bottle

Get one, then: Fill it.  Remember / pack it.  Drink it.  Wash it.  Repeat!

Name your kit

There will be at least one person or more in your squad with the exact same piece of kit.  Put your name, initials, a mark or a distinctive doodle on it so you know that when you’re clearing up at the end of the lane at the end of the session, you take your kit, not someone else’s.