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Coach's Corner

A Few Thoughts About Swim Gear...

Goggles

Goggles are a vital part of the swimming uniform, much like shoes are for walking.  For practices, comfort and fit are the primary attributes for making a selection.  Moderately priced goggles often use softer and more durable rubber than their cheaper counterparts, so don't be fooled by price differences.  Even for practice goggles, we trust brands that outfit athletes of all ages: Speedo, Tyr, Nike, etc. -- or find a pair of goggles that you can feel prior to purchasing, to ensure that they will be soft and confortable, since this will also provide a better seal to keep water out.

Racing goggles have similar requirements, but finding the right pair for your swimming can be a daunting task with so many options available, so we are listing our recommendation to make things easier.

Speedo Vanquisher Goggles – The Vanquisher goggles are well suited for racing, and fit the majority of faces. It comes with three different sized nose pieces, small, medium, and large. Though the nose piece takes some manipulation (and sometimes needle-nosed pliers) to change, once in place it will not move. The strap is easy to adjust and does not slip. The goggles last quite a long time, and if every swimmer gives their unused nose pieces to the coaches, then we will have spares in the right sizes in case the nose piece breaks. The Vanquishers come in a variety of options including:

  • Color Tinted – Allows good visibility for all strokes, best all-weather selection.

  • Junior – smaller eye piece for smaller faces. Every other part is the same.

  • Mirrored - great for backstrokers, highly recommended for age group and above.

  • Clear – Highest visibility, good practice goggles for older groups swimming after dusk.

  • 2.0 – Extra Dark Mirrored for light-sensitive eyes

  • Prescription: the highest quality, lowest cost prescription goggles on the market.

As swimmers begin to wear in their goggles it is important to purchase another pair before they are needed. A swimmer should wear a new pair of goggles for at least a few days before using them at a meet, making sure they are properly fitted and dive-tested. Older swimmers will often keep one racing pair, fitted tighter and designed for daytime racing, and one practice pair, looser with higher visibility. Younger swimmers should avoid mirrored goggles during practice, since knowing where a swimmer is looking while swimming communicates important information to the coaches.

Caps

Caps are available for purchase from the coaches, and are recommended to all swimmers for meets, and for practice if the swimmer's hair is longer than their eyebrows. The purpose of caps is three-fold. First, keeping hair securely away from the swimmer's face allows for easier breathing, better head position, and therefore better body position for all strokes. Second, it allows for a sleek feeling in the water, suitable for fast practices, time trials and meets. Third, it helps parents and coaches identify swimmers on the blocks so that we don't miss races, or if the swimmer is in the wrong place, it helps coaches and officials quickly find the swimmer and get them to their block.. SOLO is purple for a reason: it stands out in a crowd. We recommend for swimmer to wear their caps for two practices prior to meets, to get used to the change in feeling and hearing.

  • Latex Caps - $5 – These cheaper caps can be good for swimmers with shorter hair, who don't use them as often. They stay in place a bit better, but can sometimes pull hair as you put them on. They require more maintenance and care, but can be a blessing if you have a swimmer who often misplaces things. Swimmers usually take them off between races, or use baby powder on the inside of the cap for comfort and care.

  • Silicone Caps - $15 – These quality caps last longer, fit more comfortably, and require very little maintenance. Turn them inside out and throw them in you bag to dry out. Put your name on the inside somewhere with a sharpee to make sure it doesn't get lost.

    Caps take some getting used to, and sometimes take two people to put on. Ask the coaches or a seasoned teammate for help. If your swimmer is having trouble hearing, flip up one side to expose the ear (at a meet, the one towards the starter).

Practice Suits

Suits come in such a large variety, and almost everything is good. Boys have options of Speedos (briefs) or Jammers (like biker shorts); avoid swim trunks because they cause excessive and unnecessary drag which can be difficult on younger swimmers. Girls can wear almost any one-piece suit; look for suits with a shoulder strap at least half an inch wide for durability. Check you child's suit occasionally to make sure it is not becoming translucent, especially in the posterior. Remember, a wet suit looks even more see-through than if it's dry.

We recommend purchasing suits at the SOLO meets. Companies often sell the last of a suit model at discounted prices, and you can find some excellent bargains on practice suits there.

For Age Group swimmers and older, we suggest wearing two practice suits at the same time. The under suit is usually newer, and fits more snugly. The outer suit is usually a worn and stretched suit formally used as an under suit, and it helps protect the newer suit from unnecessary wear and tear. This outer suit, called a “drag suit,” helps increase the lifespan of your swimwear, and adds the right amount of resistance for training.

Team Suits

The SOLO Team Suit is black, with an embroidered SOLO Logo. We suggest you only use your team suit for swim meets, and otherwise keep it in dry, clean storage. You can wear the suit to practice the day prior to the meet to make sure that it fits and feels right prior to racing. You can place team suit orders from home and the swim suit will be mailed to your house.

  1. log on to www.swimshop.com

  2. click the right hand corner "register or log-in"

  3. Follow instructions for registering. When prompted to select a team. Select SOLO

  4. Once registered, click on the TEAM ORDER FORM on the left hand side

  5. SOLO team suits are listed, just select your size and complete the order

Bags & Parkas

Our Team Uniform Volunteer will need to place these orders on your behalf in order for us to receive the team discount. Without the discount, these items are quite costly. Complete the [order form] and mail it to the address listed on the form or give it to the coaches at practice. Each Session, we do one bulk order, and another if there is enough demand. To find out when the next bulk order is, please talk to your coaches.

Please note that it can take up to 6-8 weeks from the time we place the order for them to arrive. If you want a bag or parka for birthdays or holidays, order it early.

 
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