Welcome to Otters-- Team Gear and a short-term sale

David Cameron

Parents,

I'm sending out some welcome information this week. Each day, I'll introduce another aspect of the team, and am glad to answerr questions to not only help you, but also to update our team's information on our website for the year.

I normally start with an introduction of staff and the program, but we have a unique sale that can help you out that ends on Wednesday. So, today, we'll review team equipment that's suggested and required.

Speedo Team Fundraiser

Elsmore and Speedo are running a Speedo Team Fundraiser from now until September 15th. you are able to shop through your team dealer AND SpeedoUSA.com, items include all Vibe practice suits, printed backpacks, and select Team Apparel. Everything will be 25% off, with 10% of sales on select items returned to your team.

You can use the attached PDF, along with the following code that is specific to your team (available to be used at your dealer AND SpeedoUSA.com):  BKMZU4

All of our team sales are done through the Elsmore Swim shop site at

https://elsmoreswim.com/teams/minnesota/clubs/ywca-otters.html

 

One of the nice things about getting started in the sport of swimming is the relatively small amount of equipment needed to begin. As swimmers move up in practice groups, some equipment can benefit training and competition for an athlete, and for certain groups we require them to have specific things.

 

Please note that ALL Otters need to pick up a team suit for competition. They are not required for practice.

Practice Requirements (each of these things is required to participate in practice, for ALL groups)

  • Swimsuit: a training suit, it does not have to be the team suit for practice. Keep in mind, a suit with polyester or an endurance blend is going to last much longer then a regular Lycra suit
    • Girls need a one piece suit. Two piece suits are not competition-legal.
    • Boys need a jammer, brief or speedo. Trunks are not appropriate for swim practice
  • Otters Swim Cap: Every swimmer gets 2 practice caps when they start
    • One is the team cap, for use in meets.
    • The other is a cap for their practice group.
    • These are latex swim caps with the Otter logo on them. 
      • Otters caps are the only caps allowed to be worn in practices and competition
      • Award caps and named caps are fine.
    • Custom silicone caps (with swimmer last names on them) are ordered every 6-8 weeks through the year.
  • Goggles:  If your swimmer does not have goggles they either need to borrow some from a friend, or they cannot practice
    • Have a backup pair in your swimmer's bag, as goggles do not last forever and goggle straps do break.
      • Bungee cord straps for goggles are fantastic, they do not break, and they are cheap.
      • There are many types of goggles to choose from, and it kind be a bit confusing when you are trying to find the best pair. We recommend Speedo Vanquisher goggles, they come in jr., men's, and women's. We do not recommend the lower quality goggles typically sold in summer gear sections at big box retailers.
  • Water bottle:  When you swim, you sweat, so any fluids you had in your body leave it.
    • We need the swimmers to stay hydrated throughout their workouts so they can perform at the best level possible, and keep their focus and strength up.
    • Getting out of the water in the middle of a set stops the flow of their workout, and their lane’s flow, and we want everyone working together as a team.
    • We didn't want swimmers sharing bottles before COVID-19. Now, it's absolutely not allowed.
  • Snack: Have your swimmer pack a snack for after practice (one for before practice is also good, depending on when they eat lunch at school) in their swim bag so they can get some good, quick fuel in them right after practice. Some schools have lunch 4-6 hours ahead of practice. Kids who arrive and are running on empty can't think their way through practice to get the best learning and improvement from it.

Sea Otters are encouraged to have the following equipment.
Pre-Seniors & Seniors are REQUIRED to have the following equipment

  • Tempo Trainer (by FINIS): This is a waterproof metronome for swimming. It allows us to improve stroke connections and timing, and develop specific rhythms for each race's tempo.
  • Flippers: These are great training tools for swimmers, and we do use them in the upper levels for certain sets. It is very helpful when swimmers have their own pair, because they will be the right size, and in good condition since they will be taking care of them! We have full length fins on hand. Seniors and preseniors should also get a pair of zoomers/cutoff fins for training this year.
  • Front Mount Snorkel: Helpful in getting them to hone in on very specific focal points for there strokes, and not having to worry about breathing. They can get very technical without interruption!

Swim Meets 

Required at ALL meets

  • Team Swim Suit: Otters has a team suit for competition, this way all swimmers are wearing the same suit and creating a team look and unifying together as Otters. When you click on the Team Suits tab of our website (on the home page) you will be taken to the link on the Elsmore store website. Please order these now- it has NOT been ordered for you, and it is required for competition. Even though some models are on back-order (because Speedo is moving their warehouse), it is best to order this now.
  • Team Cap: The one you are given at the start of the season works, and if you want to order a custom one with your swimmer's last name on it, we have many of those orders throughout the season.
  • Goggles: Having an extra pair in your swimmers bag is never a bad idea, when goggles break it is usually at a swim meet when they are getting ready to go up and race, or already behind blocks getting ready to swim.

Encouraged at swim meets

  • Team Gear: Otters has a Team Spirit Wear store on the home page of our website, when you click on it you will be taken to the online store where you can see all the possible gear options! We also sell some gear at the front desk at the Uptown YWCA, but we have limited stock
  • Nose Clips: These are only recommended for upper levels, Sea, Pre-Senior and Senior. They are helpful for some races and training sets, not for all the time use
  • Dome Cap: This is for postseason swim meets only! These caps are designed to create less drag for your swimmer, they are seamless and extra tight, you wear them over your normal cap and goggle strap during races. To be used at the following meets: MAC, MRC, State, Zones, and certain Prelims/Finals meets
  • Tech Suits: These suits are only for postseason meets (MAC, MRC, State, Zones) and top level meets (coaches will notify you of those). Tech suits are not comfortable, nor are they meant to be, they are meant to be VERY tight, and they are only good for a handful of meets. They are expensive, but they are really a huge asset at big meets. At different times of year, on different websites, you can find them on sale or discounted (sometimes an old style), or you go on Elsmore and look at Female Tech Suits or Male Tech Suits. Most tech suits are banned for 12 and under swimmers.
    • It is best to go to Elsmore and be fit for a tech suit. Each brand fits differently, and even some models within a brand size differently.

Not Allowed at Swim Meets

  • Gear Representing Another Team: This goes for other swim clubs, and high school and middle school teams. There are rules specific to this by our league and other leagues (MSHSL) that we follow, and it violates our code of conduct. Team Minnesota (zones) and Team USA are acceptable.
  • Non Team Suit or Tech Suit: The only suit allowed at a meet is the Otters team suit, or a tech suit depending on the meet.