News for SWIM PARENTS
We have received questions from both parents and swimmers about equipment. Below is breakdown of the various swimming equipment we encourage our swimmers to have. The brands are not listed in any particular order. Typically, the swimmers select the item based on personal preference. Many of our seasoned swimmers use the various brands listed below and are more than willing to allow their peers to try them out before buying.
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Equipment: Swim Fins
Swimming fins are designed to help swimmers develop a more powerful kick, increase their kick tempo, and improve ankle flexibility.
For our introduction group (Bronze) a longer fin is ideal. We feel that it will benefit our newest members of the team by having a longer blade fin that will help with confidence while working on balancing drills.
There are many different recommended brands of fins to choose from for the Silver & Gold that have a shorter blade and will replicate the natural kicking motion the best: Aqua Sphere Alpha fins, Arena Tech Fin or Powerfin Pro Swim Fins, FINIS Zoomers Gold Swim Fins, Speedo Nemesis Swim Fins or Short Blade Training Swim Fins, Sporti Training Swim Fins, TYR Burner EBP Floating Fin or CrossBlade Training Swim Fin. Please keep in mind that it is ok if a Bronze swimmer decides to purchase different fins. By no means are we saying that Bronze must use a longer fin blade or they are prohibited from using one of the fin styles described under the Silver & Gold section.
Equipment: Swim Paddles
Swim paddles help swimmers improve arm and shoulder strength, but more importantly, serve as teaching tools to improve correct stroke mechanics. The size of the paddle determines the amount of resistance: the bigger the paddle, the more effort it will take to move it through the water. Paddles with holes allow water to flow freely through the paddle, reducing the resistance to allow a natural stroke pattern. As a rule, swimmers should start with a paddle that is only slightly larger than their hand and slowly build up to bigger paddles with more resistance.
There are many different recommended brands of paddles: Arena Vortex Evolution Hand Paddle, MP Michael Phelps Strength Swim Paddle, Speedo Nemesis Contour Paddles, Speedo Power Paddle Plus, Sporti Swim Paddles II, TYR Catalyst Training Paddles.
Equipment: Swim Snorkel
Snorkels are tools that can have a significant positive effect on a swimmer's stroke improvement by allowing the swimmer to focus on their stroke. Poor swimming typically stems from poor head and spine position. The swimmer doesn't carry a good "line" in the water. The snorkel allows the swimmer to straighten and swim as horizontal as possible with water line. The more horizontal you are the more efficient the swimmer will be.
There are many different recommended brands of snorkels: Arena Swim Snorkel, FINIS Swimmer's Swim Snorkel (to include the Glide snorkel), MP Michael Phelps FOCUS Swim Snorkel, Speedo Hydralign Center Swim Snorkel.
What is Long Course, What is Short Course?
One of our pools is 25 yards long (the Cove) and the other is 25 meters long (Barnes Field House.)
For years the "American Standard Short Course" pool has been a 25 yard pool. Almost all high school pools and most college pools are 25 yards and all high school and college meets are run as short course meets. Club teams generally swim short course meets from September through March.
The international standard is meters. The Olympics, Pan-American Games, and World Championships are held in 50 meter pools. In this country, most 50 meter pools are outdoors due to the cost of building an indoor 50 meter pool. For that reason our long course season is generally from March through August. As more and more indoor 50 meter pools are being built and as the United States focuses more on international swimming the distinction between the "short course season" and the "long course season" becomes less distinct and more and more meets are going to the long course standard throughout the year--with the exception of high school and college swimming which will remain short course yards.
At this time we have just finished swimming short course. Now we will swim meets that are long course. This will cause some confusion about times. The times will be slower because a 50 meter swim is approximately 5 yards longer than a 50 yard swim Another factor are turns. There are less turns in long course swimming. Generally, turns are faster than swimming--we can push off the wall faster than we can swim. (Although for some of our swimmers who have not yet mastered a turn, the turning process is slower than swimming!)
Some people attempt to "convert" a short course time to a long course time or visa versa. The conversion factors are not precise due to differences in turns, strokes, and individual's ability to swim the extra distance at speed. Conversions can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointments, or to a false sense of achievement. For those reasons we do not convert times. We simply say that each swimmer has two sets of best times, one for long course and one for short course.