Patches can be purchased online through the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) for swimmers achieving motivational time standards. For example, if your swimmer achieved a B time in backstroke, you could purchase a B Backstroke patch. If your swimmer achieves an A time in backstroke, then you can purchase a A Backstroke patch. The patches are called "chervons" and are fairly inexpensive.
Along with the time standard chervons, I recommend ordering the age group patch (10 and under, 11-12 and so on).
Alonges will sew the patches on the parka.
This is not a requirement, but some swimmers might enjoy collecting the patches. It is definitely one way of honoring their committment, dedication and hard work.
See Coach Jenn if you have any questions.