We hope you are having a FINStastic day! You have been in the Intro to Competitive Swim lessons for weeks now and we hope your child is having a blast. We get questions all the time about equipment and tools needed for swim lessons. Today we are here to answer all of your questions about goggles, flippers and swim caps, oh my!
At this stage of swim lessons, most, if not all students will want to use goggles. Prolonged water exposure, whether in a pool or natural body of water, can irritate the eyes. Students in these levels will be swimming longer distances, so most will prefer goggles. The ability to keep their eyes open underwater and not have to worry about splashes coming their way will also free up a lot of distractions for your child. If your child does prefer to wear goggles, we do ask that they have their own pair. FINS has a limited number of pairs available to borrow for the occasional use by children who forget to bring their own. Having their own good pair of goggles helps the instructor to focus the entire class time on learning to swim, not adjusting goggle straps every time a different child wears them. Your child will also be familiarized with their own pair and will be able to keep the straps set to fit them the way they prefer. How do we define a “good pair” of goggles? First and foremost is comfort. The child must like the way they feel. Secondly, you must make sure the part around the eye seals tightly on the face. If the goggles are too big (or too small) water will constantly leak in making the goggles essentially useless. FINS sells goggles we LOVE and work well for many swimmers. In addition, there are a few local swim shops who sell other brands if you would like to explore further. Buying goggles at a big box store may not be the best plan. We tend to notice more leaking and quicker breaking of those goggles. A good pair purchased a FINS or a local swim shop will only cost a few more dollars, but will be worth it’s weight in gold!
We get a lot of questions about swim caps. While yes, it is true that all professional swimmers use swim caps, FINS does not require them. At this point it is a personal preference. Keep in mind that if your child does have long hair, it will need to be either tied back or in a swim cap during lessons.This helps avoid hair getting into the eyes,over the face and/or tangled in arms while practicing their swimming skills. FYI, swim caps will not keep the hair completely dry, or all water out of the ears. While the hair will not get quite as wet wearing a swim cap, it does not completely protect the hair from getting wet. Swim caps are not designed for keeping water out of a swimmer’s ears either.
We normally refer to them as fins, but since our name is FINS we also call them flippers to avoid confusion. They are one and the same! Students will begin using flippers/fins in our Bronze FINS level and each student will need to bring their own pair to each lesson. While we do have a few pairs for students to borrow if they forget their own, we do not have enough for every student. Flippers/fins in these levels are used to help students elongate their kicks, encourage proper body positioning, balance, swim endurance and to build foot, ankle and leg strength. The use of fins/flippers activates different muscles which will help build stronger swimmers! Not to mention that the kids find them very fun as they swim faster in them!
Be on the lookout next week for our final email in this series. We will talk about ways you can help further advance your child’s swim skills by practicing at home, and about the available options for swim team if your child has expressed interest!