EQUIPMENT & APPAREL INFORMATION
Everything your swimmer needs - from the team competition suit, to goggles, to practice gear to team apparel - can all be purchased from the MCDA Swim Shop! Simply send us an email with your needs, or stop by the aquatics office during the day. Check below for the complete list of available items.
Suits are the most important purchase for a competitive swimmer. It is advisable to have at least one suit for practices (practice suit) and another suit for meets (racing suits). As we are a Speedo sponsored team, all MCDA swimmers must buy the team Speedo suit (navy blue with logo) for competition. For practices, Speedo suits are recommended but not required. Additionally, it is necessary to wear suits in accordance with the guidelines below:
1. Material - When you purchase a practice suit make sure it is an “endurance” suit made of mostly polyester. Polyester/endurance suits are slightly more expensive but last at least 10 times longer than suits with Lycra/Spandex. This is a VERY important purchase!
2. Sizing. When purchasing a swim suit it is important that your swimmer gets the RIGHT SIZE. As a general rule, a swim suit should feel like it is 2 SIZES TOO SMALL when it is dry. Suits will stretch when wet, and if the suit is TOO BIG it will be uncomfortable, cause drag, and (in some cases) be on the verge of falling off during practice! If your swimmer says “I think it’s too small” when he/she tries it on, it is exactly the right size! Before you make any suit purchase, check with the coaching staff on proper sizes for your athlete.
3. Style. Swimmers need competitive-cut suits for training and racing. Competitive-cut suits are close cut, with sturdy straps and firm seams. Competitive-cut suits are not baggy and do not have ties, zippers or extra embellishments.
Specific Suit Information for Girls
- Two piece suits are not allowed for practice or competition.
- Girls should not wear suits with tie strings or buckles.
Specific Suit Information for Boys
- Boys should not wear swim trunks or boardshorts.
- Many boys new to the sport are apprehensive about wearing a brief-style swim suit. Alteratively, boys may choose to wear jammers (suit that covers the legs, similar to bike shorts) or square leg suits.
- As boys mature and progress through competitive swimming, it is recommended to wear a brief style suit, with a drag suit over top.
- Boys age 12 and over should wear drag suits in practice, even if over a jammer.
4. Racing Suits. As we are a Speedo sponsored team, all MCDA swimmers must wear a red or navy team suit with logo for competition.
5. Policy on Technical Suits. In recent years, high performance suits – “technical suits” – have become very prevalent. For athletes at elite levels, technical suits are simply part of what they do to race at the highest levels. Age group swimmers, however, do not need technical suits. For more insight into this issue, see “American Swimming Coaches Association: "The Big Deal About Swim Suits" -- August 1, 2009. MCDA POLICY ON TECHNICAL SUITS: Athletes will not wear technical suits (e.g., LZR, Fastskin, etc.) until they have qualified for JO' s or Sr. Championship level competition.
All swimmers will wear an MCDA swim cap during practices and competitions. MCDA latex caps may be purchased from coaches for $5 each, silicone caps for $20 each.
Goggles & Bungee Straps
Swimmers should always bring 2 pairs of goggles to practice. The best goggles are the ones that fit your face comfortably! MCDA also strongly recommends purchasing bungee straps to replace the normal strap that comes with goggles. Bungees, which last for years, can be adjusted easily and accommodate any size head.
Fins (all Groups)
Fins are one of our most important training tools. Athletes should have fins that are lightweight and flexible with a close fit, and made from 100% rubber. Do not buy your athlete fins they can “grow in to”. Also, do not purchase fins designed for snorkeling or scuba diving. These fins often have adjustable belts for sizing and hard plastic ends. These are not conducive to competitive swimming training purposes. MCDA preferred fin models are the Speedo Power Fins or the Sporti training fins.
Zoomers (only for Senior Elite)
MCDA preferred FINIS Zoomers Gold Swim Fins or the Speedo Biofuse. Short blade encourages smaller, faster kicks while increasing ankle flexibility and endurance and power!
Paddles ( only for Senior Elite, Senior Development & Gold)
MCDA preferred paddles are TYR Catalyst Brites Paddles. These come in a variety of sizes; most athletes will need the small or medium size. Other recommended paddles are Strokemaker and Speedo Power paddles.
Snorkles (only for Senior Elite, Senior Development, Gold and Silver)
Swimmers need MP brand top-mounted snorkels (either adult or junior size). Swimmers could also use a bungee strap (like those used with goggles) and replace the factory snorkel head strap with the bungee cord.
Swimmers are required to wear team apparel on the deck during a competition.
The team racing suit, swim cap and team t-shirt are the only required uniforms in competition. The purchase of all other MCDA apparel is optional. However, MCDA strongly believes in team unity and visibility expressed at swim meets, with the team pride each swimmer demonstrates by wearing MCDA team apparel. Additional apparel, such as team warm-ups, bags and hoodies are available from the coaching staff.
Swimmers sweat too! Swimmers work hard and need to stay hydrated by drinking water during
practice. All swimmers must bring a water bottle to practice to stay hydrated.
Mesh equipment bags
Acquiring a mesh bag to cart around a swimmer’s daily equipment is a quick and easy way to get all necessary items to practice/around deck and to keep everything in one place.
PLEASE WRITE YOUR NAME ON ALL OF YOUR GEAR!!!
The coaching staff will not be responsible for items left behind at practice; please remind your swimmer to exercise personal responsibility by picking up his or her belongings at the conclusion of training.
Swimmers are expected to show up each day with a big smile, a positive attitude, boundless energy, and an unquenchable desire to learn and achieve greatness this season!
Every swimmer should race in a team suit. Parents: Please don't spend $400 on a technical suit for your swimmers aged 12 and younger. It won't help them swim any faster and they need to learn the swimmer does the work, not the suit. Additional apparel include T-shirts, warm ups, and parkas. We strongly encourage our swimmers to show your team spirit by wearing team gear.