Swimmers in these
groups have some competitive swimming experience. The focus of this
group is to refine and continue to develop the swimmer’s
skills. Conditioning and endurance training are also introduced. As
with Stroke School and Novice/Beginner Swim Team, all of the
swimmer’s other activities, such as soccer, baseball, dance,
etc. are encouraged. Swimmers generally compete in "BRW" level swim
meets and are encouraged to attend at least four of the five 1-1/2
hour practices offered each week. Skills are still being used to
advance to the next level. Advancement to the next level would be
Junior Olympic Group I.
Gold Group Equipment List
indicate required equipment. The examples shown are recommended,
not required brands. Swimmers should always put their name on
ALL equipment with permanent marker.
Hard foam boards are preferred, no plastic.
Fins should not be hard plastic snorkeling or "toy" fins. Good fins
are made of rubber, should fit on like a slipper, and have a fin
length that is approximately double your foot length. Young
swimmers grow quickly and keeping fins that fit properly is very
important. We use them often and fins that are too tight will give
them blisters and foot cramps. Unfortunately I have yet to find a
good fin with adjustable sizes. Zoomers or short training fins are
not recommended for swimmers in the gold group.
Small one piece buoys are recommended
Any swimmer (male or female) with hair past their ears needs to
wear a cap. Long hair (even if it is in a rubber band) falls out
and gets into the filter and causes damage to the pool. Not to
mention it is really gross when you get a big long hair in your
mouth when you take a breath. Latex or silicone caps are preferred.
Lycra caps are easier to get on and won’t get as many
complaints about being tight, but they fall off very easily and
they wear and stretch out very quickly.
Mesh Equipment Bag
These are mesh bags meant for "wet" equipment. Swimmers should keep
all of their equipment that they will use during a practice in one
of these bags at the edge of the pool. This helps prevent confusion
on whose equipment is whose, and it allows equipment to dry without
Believe it or not swimmers do sweat. It is crucial for optimal
performance and health to drink WATER and replace fluids lost
during exercise, especially in this arid environment. The county
has asked us to no longer use disposable water bottles because of
the amount of trash being left at the pool. Sports drinks are OK to
use in addition to water but not in place of and really should be
consumed before and after practice not during. Sports drinks are
often high in sugar and salt and are not necessarily appropriate
during training. NOTHING is better than water at replacing fluids.
You should always read the nutritional information on any sports
related product before using them. Many products out there today
contain banned substances such as caffeine and creatine. Not only
are these substances banned for competition but they can be habit
forming, and affect development in young athletes.
Hand paddles are not required, but they can be a very useful
training tool. When buying paddles for young swimmers you should
look for paddles that are about the same size as the swimmers
hands. Large paddles are meant for more mature athletes and can do
damage to the shoulders of developing athletes and the other
swimmers in their lanes.
Goggles are not required but are highly recommended. Finding
the right goggle and getting them adjusted prior to competition or
practice is crucial. Young swimmers often complain of goggles being
too tight, but when they dive into the pool the goggle fall off. As
a coach I have spent as much as 20 minutes a practice messing with
goggles because of improper fit, comfort, fogginess, etc. Once you
find a pair of goggles that you like, you should keep a spare pair
in your equipment bag that is already adjusted. Features to look
for in goggles:
Proper size or
adjustable nose pieces. Some goggles are available in junior sizes
for smaller swimmers. These have a smaller eye cup and nose piece.
Do not buy masks (any goggle that covers the nose).
Durable and easily
adjustable straps. All goggle straps will wear out with time, sun
& chlorine so keep this in mind when selecting a pair. The more
pieces involved in adjusting a strap means more time spent
adjusting. Bungies with a toggle are a great accessory for young
helps but never really works. The best way to clear up foggy
goggles is to rub spit (yes spit) into the goggle than rinse. It
sounds gross but it works.
A comfortable seal
or gasket. Antibacterial is especially important for goggles with
foam cushioning. Foam cushioning deteriorates faster and it may be
better to avoid foam all together, but some swimmers complain that
the silicone, plastic & rubber seals hurt. Usually the softer
seals or goggles with a separate gasket used for the seal are less
durable and more likely to leak.
Tint or UV
protection. This is important for use in outdoor pools. We have a
lot of swim meets in outdoor pools. Swimming backstroke with the
Las Vegas sun in your eyes can be very distracting for young