Learn To Swim
Tips For Being An Awesome Swim Parent
Tips For Being An Awesome Swim Parent
Whether you're a swim mom or a swim dad, you're probably very proud your child has chosen swimming as their sport of choice. You most likely want to be able to show that you support them no matter what. However, swimming is an involved sport, and when you have other commitments such as pets, other children and work, being a good swim parent can mean your life becomes even busier.
The swim parent lifestyle includes early morning practices, weekend swim meets, fees, event chaperoning and carpooling, among other responsibilities. In return for their own commitment, most parents want to get the best from their swimmers without pushing them too hard. Follow this advice for parents of competitive swimmers to know how to best support your child's goals!
10 Tips for Swim Parents
This swim parent advice could help you connect better with your children and help them love the sport that they are in.
1. Encourage Accountability
Accountability means your child takes ownership of their responsibilities, which means keeping track of their own gear, meets and practice schedule. Younger children may not be able to do all this independently, but encouraging them to follow through on their commitments can help build accountability.
You can also encourage them to set personal goals and evaluate and track their own workouts to instill a sense of control regarding their own swimming style and progress.
2. Take the Good Days With the Bad
As a parent, you have to control your own emotions and feelings when your child is playing any sport. Even if you swam and have a deep connection to the sport, recognize that your child is different from you. They may swim to have fun rather than to compete with others.
Through their good days and bad, you should show the same unwavering support and encouragement — showing your disappointment to your child on their bad days can make them feel even worse. You also cannot fall into the trap of thinking your child’s performance is a reflection of you. As long as you offer plenty of support and encouragement, you will be an awesome swim parent.
3. Set the Standard for Good Sportsmanship
How you react to your child's performance sets the stage and trains them for how they should react. Good sportsmanship is paramount in sports, and showing respect for other players, coaches and officials is essential. Fighting the coach's or official's decisions does not set a good example. Instead, you should set an example of sportsmanship and self-control for your child to follow, even if you are disappointed or upset.
4. Moderate Your Expectations
Swim parents are amazing at sacrifice — between fundraisers, driving, swim meets, hotel rooms and various travel costs, you put so much time and energy into helping your child. Some parents might see this as an investment that they should be getting a return on, whether through college scholarships or more professional sponsorships. However, your child's goals should guide your expectations.
Swimming and other sports should not be measured in dimes and dollars. Rather, expect your return on investment to be the lessons of perseverance, accountability and the memories your child gained along their journey.
5. Address Issues Privately and Directly
When issues arise with another swimmer, coach or parent it's important to take care of these issues privately and directly to avoid rumors and gossip. It's best to assume the best intentions from everyone and approach conflict with an understanding attitude. If you're upset as a parent, take some space to sort through your emotions before confronting anyone.
It's in your kid's best interest to keep them out of any drama — which includes discussing your issues with other swimmers or parents around them. If you do need to sort out an issue, set a meeting outside of swim time to get everything sorted out.
6. Let Your Swimmer Have Other Hobbies
Kids are kids and they will have more than one interest or hobby. It is important that their entire lives are not dedicated to swimming, especially at a young age. Kids still need time for friends, other interests, family and school. Constantly having to relive meets and practices outside of the pool can become mentally exhausting. Let your kids be kids and allow them space to explore multiple interests and passions.
7. Be a Good Role Model
Be there to teach your kids about good sportsmanship. Winning is not everything and losing is not the end of the world. Teach them to support their teammates no matter the circumstances and tell them your goals for them and help them set their own. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations — instead, set attainable goals so that your child does not get overwhelmed or discouraged. Accomplishing a goal can provide a major sense of self-gratification and pride.
8. Let Them Make Decisions
Going along with accountability, allow your child to make some of their own decisions regarding their sports. You can help them by laying out their choices and explaining the consequences, but assure them the decision is theirs. For example, allow them to decide if and when they want to practice outside of mandatory hours. Giving children this ability to make their own decisions teaches them better decision-making skills and affords them a sense of responsibility.
9. Let the Coaches Do the Coaching
One issue that a lot of sports teams face is a couple of parents who jump in on the coaching. This can be distracting and counter-productive if the children have more than one person telling them what to do. Many of these parents have good intentions, but generally, the coach knows best. Everyone who attends a meet must know their roles to keep everything flowing smoothly.
10. Be There for Them
The most essential, and perhaps the most simple, tip to be a good swim parent is to just be there. More than anything, your child wants to see you in the stands. They want to know that you are there for them for the rough meets and the amazing meets. They want to hear you cheering from the bleachers and calling their name. Be their shoulder to cry on, give them words of encouragement when they lose and toss them on your shoulder when they win.
Get Your Swim Kid the Best Swim Gear
Being a swim parent is not an easy task. There are a lot of sacrifices, including hard work, financial investment and time commitments, but the reward of seeing your child do something they love overpowers all of that.
More than anything, your child wants your support and to know that you are proud of them. Part of supporting your child is ensuring they have everything they need to succeed. Check out The Lifeguard Store for your one-stop shop to get all the suits and gear your child will need for swimming.
Tech Suits Guide
Tech Suits Guide
If you've been a part of the competitive swimming community for any amount of time, you've most likely heard of technical suits. As swimwear technology advances, it's essential to stay up to date with the latest racing suit trends if you want to realize your full potential in the pool. But what exactly is a tech suit, and how much do tech suits help?
This complete guide will answer your questions, such as what the best tech suit is for you is and how long tech suits last. You'll also learn about the benefits of a tech suit and what to think about when choosing one, such as sizing, style, brand, restrictions and maintenance practices.
What Is a Swimming Tech Suit?
A technical suit is a special type of high-technology bathing suit specifically designed for swim competitions to optimize athletic performance. Tech suits for males usually look similar to traditional swim jammers but are tighter around the thighs to compress the leg muscles more. Women's tech suits are created to compress the muscles by wrapping around the shoulders in addition to the legs and core to provide full-body compression.
Because they are developed for high-intensity racing, tech suits are not intended for wearing to everyday practice sessions.
Benefits of Tech Suits
While there are numerous advantages to wearing a tech suit for competitions, here are the top three:
Tech suits were developed to improve athletes' blood flow while swimming by compressing their muscles. Compression enables the body's systems to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste more quickly during hard efforts, resulting in improved performance.
Along with muscle compression, a tightly fitted tech suit makes your body more streamlined, which means you can move faster through the water. A tech suit can also help you maintain better body alignment, assisting your breathing and reducing overall fatigue. All of these factors can help increase your speed on race day.
Tech suits are made from a hydrophobic material that repels water. Because the suit does not absorb water as you swim, you experience less drag and less water weight slowing you down.
Tech suits also have few seams. The seams they do have are carefully constructed to direct the flow of the water and make the suit function as close to a second layer of skin as possible.
3. Psychological Edge
Sports are largely mental games, and competitive swimming is no different. When you believe you are strong and smooth in the water, you perform at your best. A tech suit can give you the psychological upper hand by increasing your confidence and making you feel faster.
By making you feel more hydrodynamic and prepared before a big meet, a tech suit can give you the edge you need to outswim your opponents. Choose a tech suit in a unique color or style that expresses your personality to feel as confident as possible when you dive into the water.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Tech Suit
If you want to start taking advantage of all the benefits a tech suit has to offer, it's time to think about what kind of tech suit is right for you. Choosing a tech suit is a big decision, and there are a few key factors to consider when finding the right tech suit for you. Include these three steps in your tech suit decision-making process:
1. Focus on the Fit
When shopping for a new suit, swimmers have a tendency to overly rely on their typical swimsuit size. This approach may work for regular practice suits, but every technical racing suit is going to be sized a bit differently. Instead, prioritize how the suit feels over the actual number on the tag. As swimming suit technology rapidly evolves, the size and fit of different tech suits also changes, so pay more attention to a suit's structure, comfort and materials than the size.
Your comfort and range of motion in the suit is the most important component of finding the right tech suit. If the suit feels too tight in the legs or shoulders, you could be in pain throughout your race. Look for the suit that will help you swim as fast as possible rather than the most brightly colored or in-fashion suit.
2. Evaluate Brand and Style
Before choosing a tech suit, research the latest brands and styles to determine which type of tech suit is best for your swimming techniques and races. Tech suits can be made from a variety of materials that each behave differently in the water. Some fabrics allow for more stretch and flexibility while others concentrate on compression, so think about the way you move and what kind of suit would complement your movements best.
For instance, if your favorite stroke is breaststroke, look for a suit that has seams around the leg muscles that will allow for more stretch. Similarly, if you're a long-distance swimmer, don't get a suit that's designed for short sprints. There are a lot of different brands and styles of tech suits on the market, so make sure you're aware of all your options before deciding which suit to buy.
3. Think About Money Matters
High-quality tech suits are not cheap, but they are a worthwhile investment in your training and swimming success. Along with the hard work you put in at practice, a tech suit is the final step for getting you prepared to race at the highest level possible. Doing the research required to find the best brand and fit for you will make purchasing a technical suit pay off in the long run.
Although it is important to not compromise on quality when it comes to buying your tech suit, keep in mind that the most expensive tech suit is not necessarily the best. Sometimes an older model or less expensive brand can be just as effective as the latest tech suit release. Even if you are on a tighter budget, you can still find a tech suit that will fit your needs.
How to Know Your Tech Suit Size
While fit is the most important part of purchasing a tech suit, knowing your size can be a helpful starting point. The most reliable strategy for finding your ideal tech suit fit is to choose a brand first and check out that brand's specific sizing guidelines.
After finding your size, be sure to try the suit on and get adjusted to the feel of its compression. Regardless of what the sizing chart says, try on a different size if the suit feels too tight or too loose.
Styles of Tech Suits for Men and Women
There are tech suit style variations for both men and women. Some of the differences come down to personal preference while other differences have more to do with fit and form.
Tech Suit Styles for Men
The main difference when it comes to technical suits for men is length. Most competitive male swimmers opt to wear a jammer-style tech suit, but there are shorter brief-style tech suits available. While shorter men's tech suits may be quicker to put on, longer tech suits provide more compression and water-repellence. The compression effects of a jammer can make men feel like they have a slimmer profile in the water, which can make them more hydrodynamic and faster.
Another main difference in men's tech suits is the waistline. Regular waist tech suits stop just below the top of the hips, whereas high waist tech suits cover all the way up over the hip bone. While a high waist tech suit may provide a bit more core support than a regular waist tech suit, choosing between the two mostly comes down to fit and comfort.
Tech Suit Styles for Women
Women's tech suit styles can vary in leg length as well as back structure. Tech suits for women come in the traditional, high-cut leg style or neck-to-knee coverage. A neck-to-knee tech suit is a popular choice among female swimmers because they provide a larger surface area of water-repelling material and compression technology. However, some female swimmers prefer traditional-style tech suits because they can feel less restrictive and offer a greater range of leg motion.
Women's also come in open back or closed-back styles. Open back tech suits look more like traditional swimming suits, leaving the back uncovered and exposed, whereas closed back tech suits cover the lower portion of the back with material, leaving only the shoulders exposed. Some female swimmers feel more comfortable in the familiar open back swimsuit style, but some favor the added compression that comes with a closed back tech suit.
Regardless of its style of back, a women's tech suit will have flat, wide straps to give the wearer sufficient support and control. Some tech suit straps will have elastic in them to add a bit of flexibility. Make sure you choose a tech suit with straps that are tight enough to keep the suit fitting properly, but not so tight that your movement feels constrained.
Popular Tech Suit Brands
When searching for the best tech suits, here are a few of the most popular brands to consider:
- Speedo: As one of the most famous swimwear brands in the world, Speedo upholds its reputation by producing quality tech suits. Speedo drew the inspiration for its tech suit designs by analyzing how shark skin behaves in the water to reduce drag. With maximum compression and increased flexibility, Speedo tech suits can enhance swimmers' speed, power and comfort.
- FINIS: To make their tech suits the best they can be, FINIS works alongside Olympic swimmers to test and evaluate the performance of its suits. FINIS takes the fit of its tech suits seriously and strives to make its suits lightweight enough to glide through the water while being durable enough to withstand many races. FINIS technical suits each include a single layer of panels on the inner thighs to give swimmers a greater range of motion and additional speed.
- TYR: TYR has always been a swimwear staple, and its tech suits are some of the most advanced on the market. TYR tech suits use hydrophobic material, so they repel water rather than absorb it. This ability to repel water, along with an anatomically-engineered fit and features like turbo woven fabric, help to decrease drag and increase your speed. Thanks to its innovative design, a TYR tech suit maximizes every stroke to get you to the finish line as fast as possible.
- Arena: As the leading brand choice for Olympic swimmers, Arena is a trusted swimwear provider. The tech suit material used by Arena provides enhanced compression and flexibility. By being both hydrophobic and lightweight, an Arena tech suit manages to cut down on drag while being comfortable at the same time.
No matter which swimwear brand you choose, make sure you find a tech suit that is FINA-approved. Because FINA has strict standards regarding the style, material, thickness and surface treatment of tech suits, you can have a high level of confidence in the quality of tech suits that are FINA-approved.
How to Put on a Tech Suit
Because they are designed to be extra tight, putting on a tech suit can be tricky. Here are seven tips to make putting on your tech suit a smooth process:
- Start dry: Make sure you are completely dry before attempting to put on your tech suit and never wear any other swimsuit under your tech suit. Shaving your legs before putting on the suit will make it easier to slide it over your legs.
- Flip up the leg grippers: Tech suits have a rubber grip at the bottom of each of the legs to help keep the suit in place. Flip these grippers up to make sliding into the suit easier.
- Be patient: Sit down to gradually put the suit on one foot at a time. You will need to gently pull the suit up your legs very slowly without pinching it with your fingernails in order to preserve the fabric.
- Line up the seams: After pulling the suit up evenly over both of your legs, check that all the seams of the suit match up with your body. Fix any seams that may be twisted uncomfortably around your leg.
- Carefully stretch over the hips: Getting the tech suit over your hips is the most difficult step, especially for females. Be sure the suit is entirely over your knee caps before attempting to pull it above your hips.
- Lightly stretch the suit over your shoulders: Once the suit is as high above your hips and buttocks as you can get it, begin to gently pull the shoulder straps up until they are properly set in place.
- Flip the grips: Wait to flip the grips at the end of the legs until you are certain the suit is in the right place because you won't be able to readjust it after you flip them. When you're ready, flip the grips, and you'll be ready to race!
Tips for Maintaining Your Tech Suit
Once you've chosen the perfect tech suit for you, you'll want to take good care of it so it lasts for as many races as possible. From how to wash a tech suit to how to dry it, follow these six tips to keep your tech suit in pristine condition:
- Don't overwear your tech suit: Because racing suits can start to stretch and degrade rather quickly, you will need to limit the wear and tear you put on your tech suit by not wearing it to practice. Instead of wearing it throughout the season, save your tech suit for big meets, such as the league championship meets scheduled for the end of the season.
- Protect your suit between races: When wearing your tech suit at a meet, guard it against snags and tears by putting on pants or shorts over it when you're not racing. Additionally, avoid placing any sharp objects near your suit.
- Remove the suit slowly: When it is time to take your tech suit off, remove it just as slowly and carefully as you put it on. Even if you're upset over a disappointing race, don't take your frustration out on your suit and risk stretching it out.
- Rinse the suit in cold water: Rinse your tech suit out by taking a cold shower or rinsing with cold water in the sink. If you choose to shower, avoid getting any sort of soap or shampoo on the suit.
- Don't dry your suit: Don't ever put your tech suit in the dryer. Otherwise, it can sustain permanent damage. You should also avoid using a blow dryer on it or wringing out the suit. Instead, roll the tech suit up in a towel to transport it to your home where you can allow it to air dry.
- Don't hang up the suit: Although you should always let your tech suit air dry, you should never hang it up to do so. The weight of the suit's fabric on the hanger can cause it to stretch out. Simply lay the suit out on a towel once you get home.
New USA Swimming Tech Suit Restrictions
The final factor to keep in mind when considering a technical suit is age. As of September 1, 2020, 12-and-under swimmers have new restrictions on what types of tech suits they are permitted to wear for competition. Under these new rules, no 12-and-under athlete may wear a technical suit at an approved, sanctioned or observed swim meet.
According to USA Swimming, a technical suit features these components:
- Bonded or taped seams: No matter its material or shape, any swimsuit that has taped or bonded seams is not allowed. Tech suits use taped and bonded seam methods to better fuse seams together and increase compression.
- Woven fabric past the hip: Any swimsuit that has woven material that extends beyond the hip area falls under the tech suit ban. Regardless of what seams it has, a suit that has woven material beneath the hips is illegal.
To comply with USA Swimming regulations, look for a suit with these qualities:
- Limited woven fabric: Suits with woven materials and sewn seams that do not pass lower than the hips are permitted.
- Limited knit fabric: Likewise, suits with knit materials and sewn seams that stay above the knees are permitted.
- Stitched seams: Seams that have been stitched together with thread are compliant with USA Swimming regulations.
- No FINA logo: Suits without the FINA logo are approved for 12-and-under competitions. However, certain suits that have the FINA logo and a check mark next to it are permitted because the check mark indicates that the suit does not meet the definition of a technical suit.
Find the Right Tech Suit for You at Kiefer
If you're looking for a speedy tech suit, check out the wide variety of dependable tech suit brands offered by Kiefer. From Arena to Speedo, Kiefer has top-quality brands to help you perform your best on race day. By selecting from our large inventory of men's and women's technical suits, you can find the best fit for your size, stroke style and budget.
To find a professional-grade racing suit that will make you feel faster than ever, shop tech suits from Kiefer today.
Swim Essentials for Beginners
Swim Essentials for Beginners
People start swimming for many reasons. It's good exercise, it helps build and tone muscles, it relieves stress, and it's a fun way to pass the time. If you're just starting out, you might be unsure what you need for swimming equipment. Some equipment is designed to keep you safe and comfortable, while others are tools you can use to train your body and improve your swim performance.
No matter what your swimming goals are, here is everything you need to know about swim essentials for beginners:
Goggles are an important piece of safety equipment for all swimmers, regardless of experience. Goggles allow you to see clearly when swimming both above and underwater, protect your eyes from UV exposure and help keep your eyes safe in chlorinated pool water, freshwater and saltwater.
Pool chlorine is a safe combination of hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions that is not dangerous on its own. When it reacts with dirt, debris and bodily fluids in the pool water, however, it can irritate your eyes and strip away some of the protective layer of film that keeps your cornea safe. When this happens, your eyes become prone to further irritation, like burning and itchy eyes, temporarily blurry vision or exposure to bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye. Swimming in seawater is typically easier on your eyes than chlorine, but can still lead to discomfort. "Surfer's eye" is a term coined to describe general eye irritation caused by salt, wind and sun exposure. Goggles are also useful in combatting seawater bacteria.
Goggles can keep your eyes safe from all these threats and more. The most important part of selecting a pair of goggles is making sure they are a good fit:
- The nose piece: Look for goggles that have an adjustable nose piece, or a stationary nose piece that fits securely across your nose. If your nose piece is too wide, your goggles will leak. Nose pieces that are too small can pinch your skin.
- The strap: When you try on your goggles for the first time, do so without attaching the strap. Press them against your eyes and see that the seals rest comfortably against your skin without gapping. Then, attach the strap and adjust it until it keeps the seals pressed against your skin. Avoid over-tightening your strap, or you will cause red lines to form around your eyes.
- The lenses: Choose the color of your goggle lenses based on the place you swim most often. If you swim outdoors, choose a tinted lens to keep the sun out of your eyes. For indoor swimmers, a tinted lens may be too dark to see well underwater. Some lenses are also treated with features like anti-fog or UV protection.
Swim caps are among the most useful swim essentials because they provide the following benefits:
- Mobility: Swim caps create a smooth, uniform surface for water to move across. This can give you an advantage in speed and mobility.
- Protection: Although swim caps cannot keep your hair completely dry, they do protect your locks from the majority of chlorine or saltwater related dehydration. Caps can also keep your hair in place, so it is not flowing in front of your eyes or into pool drains. If you're swimming in open water, brightly colored swim caps can also boost your visibility and keep your head warm on cold days.
- Security: If you have trouble keeping your goggles secured to your head, consider putting them on over top of your swim cap for additional traction.
- Hygiene: Some pools require swim caps to keep water free of loose hairs and residue from hair care products.
There are several different types of swim caps on the market today, including caps made of silicone, latex, spandex, rubber and neoprene. When choosing a cap, follow these tips:
- Consider the temperature of the water or swim setting. Some caps provide more insulation, while others are designed for ventilation.
- Make sure you can secure all of your hair tightly under your cap to avoid slippage.
- Choose a cap based on what type of swimming you will be doing. If you plan to submerge your head or swim laps, you'll need a more waterproof design. If you are doing mostly above-water exercises or training, something lightweight and well-ventilated should be fine.
Whether you wear swimming trunks, boardshorts or a bikini, anyone who has spent time in a pool wearing a poorly fit swimsuit knows how uncomfortable it can be. A swimsuit for beginners should be both comfortable and supportive, but also suited toward your pool-time preferences. If you plan on being very active or are going to swim in rough ocean waves, choose a suit that won't budge easily. Consider investing in a rashguard to go under your swimwear. A rashguard is ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time in the water, particularly if you engage in high-intensity exercise or prolonged laps. These thin, moisture-wicking garments can keep your skin safe from chafing and UV exposure.
If you are prone to ear infections, have a pre-existing medical condition or just want to keep yourself safe from swimmer's ear, earplugs are a must. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal that occurs when water becomes trapped inside. Symptoms include pain, itching, redness and difficulty hearing. Though symptoms are minor, they can evolve into a more serious condition over time. The best way to stay safe and avoid injury is to invest in a pair of earplugs that fit both securely and comfortably in your ear. Make sure they are designed for use in water.
Nose clips are ideal for young swimmers who are still mastering how to hold their breath underwater, or for new swimmers learning how to breathe through their mouth during laps. They can also help block harmful bacteria from entering your body through your nose. Nose clips are usually made out of silicone, making them flexible and durable in the water. They are available both with and without a strap to hold them in place and come in a variety of different colors and designs. When you try a pair of nose clips, make sure they are not pinching you too tightly, but that they are secure enough to stay on your nose when propelling through the water.
If you're swimming to train, exercise or improve your skills, swim fins are a great place to start. Swimmers looking to strengthen their flutter kicks use swim fins to warm up and strengthen ankle muscles, which can help prevent injury or strain. Take your time when choosing your swim fins — there are many different types available. For example, swim fins designed for scuba diving will not be suitable for swimming in a pool. Swim fins vary in length, and some are designed to target specific areas of swim training, like breaststroke or increasing speed. Once you've chosen the right pair, educate yourself on how to use them safely and efficiently.
Kickboards are another popular, powerful training tool for new swimmers. By holding on to a kickboard, you can focus your attention on your legs and perfect your form, which is crucial when developing a positive swim routine. Kickboards can also keep new swimmers afloat while learning the basics of treading water. You can find kickboards in several different designs and colors, making it easy to choose one that fits your personality and swimming goals.
To use a kickboard, place your hands at the top or sides of the kickboard, or through the holes if applicable. Always keep your arms straight and head still while kicking. Ask a swim instructor or lifeguard for more information about using a kickboard to become a better swimmer.
Hand paddles are used to perfect different arm strokes, as they position your hands correctly for optimal gliding. Hand paddles can also improve your agility in the water. Paddles can be flat, ergonomic or targeted toward specific types of strokes. Some have holes, which let you swim faster and provide less resistance than solid paddles, which are better suited for resistance training. The most important factor to consider when choosing a set of hand paddles is how they fit your hand. For the best results — and to avoid potential injury — choose a paddle that is slightly bigger than your hand.
Snorkels are for more than kids and vacationers — they are also on many beginners' must-have swimming items list. Swimming with a snorkel can help you improve in many areas of your swimming routine.
For example, they can help:
- Improve your arm strokes
- Keep your face in the water
- Develop a stronger kick
- Perfect your form in the water
- Prevent muscle injury or strain
The three main types of snorkels are j-tubes, semi-dry snorkels and dry snorkels. To choose the best snorkel for you, take into account whether you plan to use it while submersed or above-water only. If you plan to use your snorkel underwater, make sure you take a few above-water laps first until you are accustomed to breathing through the tube.
Find Your Swim Essentials at Kiefer Aquatics
Kiefer Aquatics is your one-stop shop for all the things you need to swim, train and have fun in the water. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned pro, you'll love our variety of top-quality swim equipment, personal gear, swimwear and more.
How to Train to Swim in a Triathlon
How to Train to Swim in a Triathlon
Triathlons are physically challenging competitions. Triathletes begin the event by swimming, biking and then finally running to the finish line. Depending on which triathlon guidelines the event adheres to, the distance for each portion of the challenge will differ. For example, the Olympic guidelines for a triathlon include 0.93 miles of swimming, 24.8 miles of bicycling and 6.2 miles of running. An Ironman Triathlon ups the challenge with 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of bicycling and 26.2 miles of running. Other variations on the triathlon will require different distances or even mix up their order of events. Regardless of which guidelines your event follows, you will need to get into the water and swim.
When you commit to triathlon, you need to get your endurance level and conditioning up. Use these triathlon swimming tips to prepare for the first leg of your competition.
Tips for Preparing to Swim in a Triathlon
- Swim Training: If you are looking for a guide on how to swim a triathlon for beginners, the first step is simple. Find a pool where you can get in the water and train. Set aside time each week for swimming laps and timing yourself. You can train solo, or you can seek out other triathletes gearing up for the race. No matter how you prefer to practice, commit to a regular schedule and track your progress. Triathlon swim training is just as essential as preparing for the biking and running portions of the race.
- Training Tracking. A triathlon training schedule is a rigorous process that requires a lot of planning. When will you get in the pool? How many times a week? How will you track your progress? Instead of trying to rely on your memory, invest in a swim log and goal planner to keep you on track. You can easily keep track of your workouts and training milestones as you work toward the day of the race. Swim logs can even offer helpful insight into training technique.
- Proper Training Equipment. On the day of the race, you won't need much equipment for the swimming portion. But, you can use different gear to help you as you train. For example, kickboards and fins can help you strengthen your legs and hone your kick technique. Likewise, paddles can help you strengthen your arms and improve your stroke. If you want to focus on your arm and leg movement without thinking about breathing technique, you can use a training snorkel.
- Proper Racing Gear: When you are training for your triathlon and then finally competing, you need the right equipment. Serious triathletes typically invest in separate swimsuits for training and race day. The chlorine of a pool can damage your suit, and you want your race day suit in top condition to help you perform at your best. Opt for the same suit or a similar style for training and racing, so you get accustomed to the feel and performance of the suit before the actual competition.
When it comes to selecting a swimsuit, you have plenty of options designed specifically for racing. For example, many triathletes opt for tech suits. Tech suits fit on your body like a second skin, which offers the benefit of compression. You will be able to move through the water faster. Tech suits also have longer legs — usually extending down to the knee — which can make the transition to biking and running more seamless. Depending on the temperature, you may need to wear a wetsuit over your triathlon biking and running gear. After the swim, you remove the wetsuit and race on to the next leg of the competition.
The swimsuit is the most impactful decision to make when it comes to swimming gear, but you will also need a swim cap and goggles with anti-fog lenses. If you know you will be competing in sunny conditions, it can also be helpful to buy a pair of goggles with tinted lenses. Many triathletes keep two pairs on hand in case the strap of one breaks. Some triathlons provide competitors with swim caps on race day, so you should get used to practicing with one. Bring one with you on race day just in case. Try on the one available at the event to see if it is a comfortable fit. If not, you will have a backup swim cap in your gear.
- Mental preparation: A triathlon, especially for first-time competitors, can be an intimidating and grueling experience. You want to perform well, and the pressure is high. Factor mental preparation into your training routine. Set goals for your swim time, but don't let the desire to meet those goals sap all the enjoyment from the event. Completing a triathlon is a significant achievement worth celebrating.
How to Improve Your Triathlon Swimming Technique
If you signed up for a triathlon, you likely already know the basics of swimming. You will need to spend your training time improving your technique to shave valuable seconds off of your time. Here are triathlon swimming tips for beginners.
- Kick: Your legs provide a great deal of propulsion when you are in the water. Some triathletes focus on saving their leg strength for biking and running, but maximizing your efficiency in the water requires a strong kick technique. Good kick technique is not about how fast or furiously you move your legs. Instead, it is about mindful, balanced kicks that help keep your body balanced in the water. Practice your kick by taking your arms out of the equation. Use a kickboard and do laps using only your legs. Ankle strength is an underrated, but central, component of an efficient kick technique. Work on ankle strength outside the pool by doing ankle rotations and exercises like skipping rope. These dryland exercises can do double duty as training for the running portion of the triathlon.
- Pull: A triathlon swim also requires upper body strength. When swimming freestyle, your arms will do approximately 90% of the work to move you through the water. When working on your technique, break down the arm movement into its separate parts: down-sweep, in-sweep, upsweep and recovery. Your arms move in alternating motions. While one is coming up out of the water, the other is extending underwater along your body. The arm that moves upward will have a bent elbow, while the arm in the water will pull straight back. The arm beneath the water will have a moment to recover before it sweeps upward and out of the water. The position of your hands is also an essential part of pulling yourself through the water. Keep your fingers tightly together, forming one smooth line from your wrist to your fingertips. Each hand will enter the water at an angle to minimize splashing and unnecessary drag. As you practice, work to make your arm motion one smooth cycle.
- Head position: While your arms and legs do the work of moving you through the water, the way you position your head is an essential part of your technique. You will place your face in the water, keeping your head in line with your body. As your arm moves up to stroke forward, you will turn your head to the side just enough to take a breath. When your arm comes down, you will turn your head to place your face back in the water. If you want to practice just your head position and breathing, you can use a kickboard. With your arms straight in front of you, try moving through the water using only your legs. As you move, you can practice the back-and-forth movement of your head. You can also make this drill completely static by placing your arms straight on the edge of the pool.
- Watch yourself: Triathlon swimming technique can be hard to master when you can't track your progress. If you have a training partner, take turns filming one another. Watch video of yourself to determine which areas of technique you still need to hone. Watch how you kick, how your arms enter the water and how you position your head. Having this visual training tool can help you measure your progress and adjust your training regimen as needed.
A Swim Training Plan
You will likely swim freestyle during the race. Naturally, this stroke will be a big part of your swim training plan, but it won't be the only stroke you swim. Triathlon beginner swimming incorporates other strokes like breaststroke. Each person will have a unique training swim training plan, but you can build those plans with basic exercises, such as the following.
- Warmups: As with any type of exercise, you want to warm up your muscles first. Swimming warmups involve shorter distances and reps. For example, you can warm up with six 50-meter laps with a focus on kick drills. You can also keep things simple by warming up with a brisk 400-meter swim.
- Main workouts: Swimming in a triathlon is all about endurance, which means your training should help you build that necessary stamina. Swim a medley of 100 meters each of freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly to build up endurance. You can also work in technique training into different sets. For example, swim 400 meters of freestyle while working on your breathing technique. You can also time yourself swimming the entire distance your triathlon requires, whether Olympic or Ironman guidelines.
- Cooldowns: After pushing yourself through your swimming workout, you will want to give your body a chance to cool down. Try a 200-meter swim at a slower pace. You can also do four 50-meter laps with rests between each lap. Do 25 meters of freestyle and 25 meters of any other stroke.
Remember, you will want to start your training at least six weeks before the date of your triathlon. You will need that time, or more, to build your stamina and hone your swimming technique. Balance your swim training with your biking and running training.
What to Do the Week Before the Race?
Training for a triathlon is intense. After your workouts, you might feel sore and depleted of energy, which is why it is vital to taper your training as race day approaches. You want to keep your body in top shape for the race, but you do not want to push yourself so much that you will struggle to perform at your best during the actual event. The week before the event, your training will be lighter. Swim training will only take up two days of your pre-race week, leaving room for you to slow down your biking and running workouts as well.
- First day of swimming: On your first day of swim training, you will spend a short amount of time in the pool with a quick warmup, a few sets and a cooldown. Swim between 300 and 400 meters to warm up in the water, which works out to eight laps in a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool and 16 laps in a standard 25-meter pool. After you have warmed up, you can time yourself on 50-meter sprints. Complete up to eight sprints and allow yourself time to recover between each set. This light workout is designed to get you ready for the big day, but it won't fatigue your muscles and affect your performance on race day.
- Second day of swimming: You may want to give yourself a day or two between swimming workouts the week before the race. When you do get back into the water, this workout will be even more low-key than the first one. Swim 800 meters at a leisurely pace. Focus on your form, but do not push yourself too hard.
What to Do on Race Day?
Once race day arrives, you should have finished all your training and be ready to compete. You don't want to cram in any last-minute practice. It is better to save your energy for the actual triathlon. But, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are ready to race at your best.
- Eat: You may be a bundle of nerves before you even get to the start line, but you should still get some food in your stomach. Make yourself something substantive about two hours before the race begins. That gives you some time to digest your food while still giving your body the fuel it needs. Choose foods that are part of your regular diet. Race day is not the time to try out something new. Go with something high in carbohydrates, such as pasta or pancakes. If you can't stomach the idea of solid food, blend yourself a high-protein smoothie with ingredients like fruits, veggies and oats.
- Organize your gear: Take the time to organize your equipment before you leave for the race. Do you have your swimsuit, goggles and a spare swim cap? Do you have any extra items like a nose plug and earplugs? Do you have all the gear you will need once you hop on the bike and hit the ground running? Being organized not only ensures you have everything you need, but it can also help soothe your nerves.
- Prepare transition areas: Arrive early enough to give yourself time to check in, test out any gear the race organizers provide you and, perhaps most importantly, set up your transition points. During the race, you want the shift from swimming to biking and then biking to running to go as smoothly as possible as you push yourself toward a personal best time. Set up your gear at each transition point and mark it with something that will make it easy to recognize. You do not want to waste valuable time searching for your bike and running gear.
- Find your starting place: When it is time to line up for the start of the race, find yourself the best possible position. If you are a triathlon beginner, consider starting further back from the crowd. Triathlon etiquette dictates the fastest swimmers should enter the water first. If you are confident in your swimming abilities and expect to be at the head of the pack, position yourself accordingly. No matter where you are in the starting line, remember to give your fellow competitors ample space.
- Celebrate success: Regardless of your finishing time, you should celebrate your success. Finishing a triathlon is an impressive achievement. If you are looking to improve your time, you can always adjust your training schedule and sign up for another competition.
Kiefer — Your Home for Triathlon Equipment
When you decide to start training for your triathlon, take the time to find the right gear. Browse Kiefer for the swimwear and gear you need to train for and compete in the swimming portion of a triathlon.
How to Improve Your Swimming Breathing Technique
How to Improve Your Swimming Breathing Technique
Breathing is an essential element of swimming. Some people believe that you should hold your breath while underwater, but what you should do is learn how to control your breath. As you practice the proper breathing techniques for swimming, you can improve your lung capacity and overall performance. Dive in and learn how to breathe while swimming.
Key Areas to Focus on While Breathing During Swimming
When you are going about your normal day, you don't have to give breathing a second thought. It is completely natural. Once you've spent some time swimming, breathing will become just as easy. When you are just getting started focus on:
- Creating a continuous cycle. The most important swimming breathing technique to remember is to breathe in and breathe out. Exhaling should take place the entire time your face is in the water. You should inhale the entire time your face is clear of the water. Some swimmers try to hold their breath while submerged and then inhale and exhale while their face is out of the water. Holding your breath will cause you to tire quickly, and breath-holding can actually lead to a loss of consciousness. You'll know that you're exhaling correctly if you see a constant stream of bubbles as you push air out through your nose and mouth. Focus on those bubbles until you come up to take your next inhale.
- Practicing your body's rotation. Once you begin swimming laps, you'll need to work creating a seamless movement that supports your breathing technique. As you swim freestyle, your body will rotate in the water. Do not pick up your head. Instead, allow it to turn to the surface with the rest of your body. As your stroke comes together, the movement will begin to feel more natural.
- Single-side and bilateral breathing. During freestyle, there are two approaches to breathing while swimming: single-side and bilateral. Single-side breathing means choosing either your left or side and breathing only on that side. Bilateral breathing means you alternate between your two sides. Both approaches have their benefits. Choose which one works best for you and focus on that technique.
Breathing Tips for Each Type of Swim Stroke
The proper swimming breathing technique is basically the same for each stroke. You need to maintain that continuous cycle, but picking up the knack is a little different for each stroke.
- Freestyle. Whether you opt for single-side or bilateral breathing while swimming freestyle, remember to focus on proper movement of your head. Many beginning swimmers overcompensate and try to push their head entirely clear of the water. Instead, allow your head to turn naturally just enough to clear your mouth and nose from the water. Take your breath and immediately turn your head back into the water. Looking at the bottom of the pool, particularly the painted lines, helps many swimmers focus on their rhythm. Invest in a good pair of goggles to keep your vision clear as you swim.
- Breaststroke. While swimming breaststroke, you do not have to worry about turning your head to breathe. Instead, your head will be held straight as you dip above and below the surface of the water. As you propel your body forward, you will naturally lift out of the water. Allow your mouth and nose to clear the water, then inhale. Exhale slowly when your face is underwater.
- Butterfly. The butterfly involves coordinating a continuous dolphin kick with powerful overhead arm circles. While the movement is challenging, the breathing technique is straightforward. Just like with breaststroke, the movement of this stroke will propel your face above the surface of the water. At this point, inhale. Fully exhale while your face is submerged.
- Backstroke. Proper breathing in swimming is often easiest during backstroke. Your face will not be in the water, but it is still helpful to create a breathing rhythm. Connect your breath with the movement of your arms. Inhale as one arm arcs up and back. Exhale as it pulls back toward your body under the water. Repeat the inhale and exhale cycle as the opposite arm moves. This technique will help you control your movements and ensure you aren't breathing too rapidly as you move through the water.
Tips and Drills for Practicing Breathing Techniques
Swimming breathing drills can start out simple and progress as you get used to the process.
- Get comfortable first. Before you try to put an entire stroke together, get comfortable with the breathing process. Stand in the water. Bob up and down, taking your head beneath the water. When you go under, exhale so you see a steady stream of bubbles. Then, break the surface and inhale. Repeat the process until the process feels smooth and easy. You can also introduce kicking to your process. Hold on to the edge of the pool with both hands and gently kick until your body is horizontal. Practice placing your face in the water and creating the proper breathing cycle.
- Use a kickboard. When you use a kickboard, you don't need to focus on your arm movements. You can focus on piecing together your body's movements and breathing one step at a time. Hold the kickboard in front of you with straight or slightly bent arms. Move forward with a flutter kick or the frog kick of breaststroke. Practice breathing for freestyle by placing your face in the water and turning it to the side to inhale. If you are practicing for breaststroke, keep your head straight and allow it to dip above and below the surface of the water.
- Use flippers. If you want to think less about your kick, put on a pair of flippers. Swim fins will make it easier to move through the water. You can worry less about the propulsion power of your kick and more about how you are breathing. You can also pair flippers with a kickboard.
Once you feel like you have the hang of breathing, you can put aside the equipment and start swimming laps.
Get the Right Swim Gear
Whether you are just learning how to swim or you are trying to polish your existing skills, you need the right gear to get into the water with confidence. All American Swim has the suits, goggles, kickboard, flippers and more that swimmers need. Check out our gear and start practicing those breathing drills.
Guide to Choosing Swim Paddles
Guide to Choosing Swim Paddles
Using the right training tools during swim practice is one of the best ways to see results and improve your technique. Swimming hand paddles are among the top training aids used in professional and athletic swim settings because they allow you to target specific areas and strengthen your overall form in the water.
What Are Swim Paddles?
Swim paddles are hand paddles swimmers attach or hold onto while swim training to help improve their strength and skill. Because the paddles prevent water from flowing through the fingers, swimmers can focus on their form while they pull the water and help establish better technique. There are several different sizes, types and uses for water paddles, but they are primarily used by professional swimmers, lifeguards and athletes in training.
The Benefits of Swim Paddles
The purpose of swim paddles and incorporating them into your training routine is to make your body stronger, decrease your overall swim time and help you target and master specific swim techniques.
- Increases arm strength: Many swimmers use paddles as a way to target strength and muscle gain in a specific area. Swim paddles increase the resistance of the water, so as you propel through it, you increase the strength in your arms and upper torso.
- Increases speed: Swim paddles decrease the amount of water that flows through your fingers and promote an ideal body opposition, which lends itself to faster swim times. They are a perfect training tool, because as your body strengthens while using them, you become more naturally and physically capable of swimming quickly on your own, without the paddles.
- Improves technique: Generally, hand paddles improve your overall body position and in-water technique. You can invest in hand paddles that target specific techniques you want to improve, including your catch, stroke, water pull or freestyle form.
Things to Consider When Choosing Swim Paddles
Investing in training tools like swim paddles means you have a special interest in improving your performance. Reward that dedication by choosing the right equipment. Look for reputable manufacturers that create high-quality products in a variety of functions, sizes and colors. Choose hand paddles that are durable and will not bend or warp under constant exposure to the pool water. To choose a swim paddle that is right for you, investigate these three key areas:
The most important factor to take into consideration when selecting your swimming hand paddles is the size. The size of the paddle is what determines the level of resistance you will create. Paddles are usually available in small, medium and large sizes with a list of corresponding measurements. For optimal performance, your paddle should be just slightly wider than the palm of your hand.
If you buy paddles that are too large, you are less likely to develop proper technique and risk injuring your fingers or tendons. As you try your paddles on for the first time, check that they are comfortable and resist the urge to spread your fingers out as far as the paddle goes. Instead, relax your hands and keep them in a natural position.
Some swim paddle models have holes, which allow some water to move through them. Holed paddles do not provide as much resistance, but enable you to focus on developing your stroke pattern and hand positioning. Paddles without holes are intended to focus more on strength building. You can also select swim paddles based on function. For example, some hand paddles have a unique pointed shape, which is intended for freestyle swimmers.
You can choose flat hand paddles, ergonomic hand paddles or webbed swim gloves. Choose your paddles based on the results you want to see and your level of experience. While flat hand paddles create stronger resistance, ergonomic paddles conform to the unique shape of your hand. Swim gloves fit directly over your hands, making them a comfortable and easy-to-use training tool that helps you focus on improving the way you catch the water, but often do not provide the same level of resistance.
Find Swim Paddles at Kiefer
If you are ready to introduce swimming hand paddles into your training routine, look no further than Kiefer. We pride ourselves on offering an abundance of high-quality swim products from top brands — including swim paddles, swimwear, lifeguard gear and facility equipment — to fit any swimmer's want or need. Need help deciding which of our swim paddles are right for you? Here are some of our favorite models:
- Rise Pulse Hand Paddles: Rise Pulse Hand Paddles are crafted to provide your wrists with a full range of motion, even on the lowest point of the paddle. They are made with ultra-durable material, including 100% latex tubing and smooth, comfortable edges. Read the full product description for tips on how to size your Rise Pulse Paddles for a perfect fit.
- Speedo Clutch Paddle: Speedo Clutch Paddles are equipped with an innovative thumb garage that keeps your hand in the proper position, promoting good form and technique and improving your arm strength. The thumb garage also means you do not have to rely on the tubing straps for use if you do not want to. Additional features include Ecto Flex calves that promote water resistance and multiple holes that allow water to move through paddles quickly. The Speedo Clutch Paddles are available in a small/medium size and a large/extra-large size.
- TYR Catalyst Stroke Training Paddle: TYR Catalyst Stroke Training Paddles are made from a form-fitting, transparent material. They contour to your palm and allow you to see your hand's position to maintain the correct form. Designed for both novice and expert swimmers, these paddles provide the perfect amount of resistance so you can practice putting more power into every stroke. Their gridded lacing and silicone tubing helps them maintain flexibility so you can stay perfectly balanced as you move through the water. They come in seven sizes, ranging from XXS to XXL, so you are sure to find a comfortable fit.
Visit Kiefer online to learn more about how swim paddles can improve your technique and help you build strength.
How Parents Can Help Their Children Overcome the Fear of Swimming
Start with splash parks, start with the sprinklers in your back yard, start with a baby pool, but getting a child to see the fun side of water is far more effective than tossing them in and saying ‘get over it.’ Playing in the water and having a good time is the first step to eliminating fear, fun will overpower the fear in time. If a child can’t see the value in an activity their cooperation level will probably frustrate you.
Let your children pick the water activity or let them pick out their accessories. Having their choice of swimsuit or goggles gives them a little more ownership; likewise letting them pick a water activity gives them some say. Make it their choice and not yours.
Bring a Friend
Everything is better with a buddy.
Group or private lessons can be great confidence boosters. If they have a competitive spirit or work well with peers, group lessons might be the next step to eliminating fear. If they need a little more attention a private lesson with an experienced instructor could be the way to go.
Swim With Them
Show them you aren’t afraid and be their partner. The bond you have with your child is special and they instinctively trust you to keep them safe. Play with them. If they are young enough take part in a swim lesson where you take instruction with them.
Regardless of how you introduce your child to swimming, make sure it's fun for both your child and you!
Read More Swim Parent Resources:
Swimming Lessons For Children: How To Help Your Child Learn To Swim
The first rule of swimming and the path to success is deciding your role as a parent before you dive in. What is the goal? Are you aiming for a safe swimmer in the water for fun and play? Or do you have an aspiring Olympian?
Children who are just learning to swim may thrive in group classes offered at local recreation facilities. If this is your path follow it with as much enthusiasm and the happiest face you can muster. Why? If you are feeling anxious, scared, or hesitant about getting your child in the water they will know.
I speak from experience. Currently I teach baby to toddler swim lessons and run six to ten sessions every week. The goal in my class is safety skills, survival, and fun. There are awesome parents who love getting in the water with their children and there are parents who fear it. Guess which kids kick, scream, and cry.
When and How To Get Started
Start them young when they are babies. Both of my kids were in the water at 5 months, about the age when they can begin to regulate body temperature, assuming you are using a pool that is at least 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Parent and child lessons are awesome. Most of my swimmers are 2 or younger. Start them as babies so they are not the 3 or 4 year old in a class full of 12 month olds. It can be more detrimental to their young egos to be struggling where clearly younger children excel. If you are already in this predicament aim for something one on one with an instructor to get your older toddler/child up to speed so they can quickly rejoin an age appropriate group.
When they are ready for group taught lessons without parent assistance is when your parental role changes. They have an instructor or a coach who is now in charge of their development. This is an important skill for you and your child. For your child this is the introduction to group learning, a life skill used across sports and education. They are forming the ability to focus, listen, and initiate directions on their own. The parent role can be more difficult. It’s no longer time for you to be their coach, that time has passed with their graduation into an instructor led class.
If they are destined for a swim team this is the best practice. Participate by showing your enthusiasm in what they are doing and being able to watch them. Give them your time. If you have questions talk to the instructor, or when the time comes your child’s coach. Open communication between adults is important when the kids are little. Coaches and instructors alike can be a learning resource for you as well as your children.
For more parental education on swimming, check out these posts.
Warm Weather Safety
Get Ready To Swim
As winter begins to fade from the rear view mirror and temperatures begin to rise, swimmers, lifeguards, and outdoor enthusiasts begin to make their plans for another season of blissful summer fun.
Make sure you make the most of forthcoming warm weather by taking the proper precautions, whether you are swimming, sunbathing, or just hanging out in hot weather.
Limiting Heat & Sun Exposure
One in every five Americans develops skin cancer during their lifetime. Skin cancer's most preventable cause is exposure to ultraviolet radiation found in the normal spectrum of sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation causes sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer.
Preventing Skin Cancer
To minimize exposure to UV light and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer:
- Seek shade whenever possible, especially during midday.
- Reduce exposure to the sun by choosing clothes that cover arms and legs.
- Wear wide brim hats to shade your head and neck.
- Wear sunscreen with a minimum 5 SPF.
Overheating & Heat Stroke
Overexposure to heat can lead to overheating and heat stroke. Higher humidity reduces the body's ability to dispel heat through evaporation. Heat illnesses can be very serious, and can ultimately lead to dehydration, confusion, and even death in extreme cases.
Preventing Heat Illness
The chances of developing heat illness can be reduced by taking the following precautions:
- Wear loose clothing made from lightweight materials to allow bodily ventilation and perspiration.
- Avoid strenuous exercise during hotter daylight hours.
- Wear light colored clothing to reflect light, as darker fabric easily absorbs heat without reflecting it away from the body.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
The Tools Of The Trade:
- Water Shirts: help block the sun and fit closely to allow freedom of movement in the water.
- Tech shirts: technical fabrics wick away moisture and ventilate easily to cool the body.
Remember to eat properly and drink plenty of water during the warmer months.
Improper nutrition can cause exhaustion, dizziness, and cramping.
Take the time to fuel your body before starting your activities - and bring snacks and water to keep the good times rolling.
Staying Safe In The Water
An average of ten people die from unintentional drowning every day. Every fifth drowning claims the life of a child aged 14 or younger.
Follow these tips to help stay safe in the water:
- Keep Watch: Pay close attention to children or less confident swimmers when in or around water, remaining within reach at all times.
- Swim With A Friend: Use the buddy system by making sure to swim with a partner.
- Lifeguards: Whenever possible, choose swimming areas that are under lifeguard supervision.
- Life Jackets: Don't use a toy in place of a life jacket. Rafts, water wings, and noodles aren't designed for safety!
- Drinking Alcohol: Don't drink alcohol while swimming or supervising other swimmers.
Learn To Swim!
Adults and children alike should have formal swimming lessons to provide added protection from drowning. Never substitute swim lessons for supervision. But remember, all young and less confident swimmers should be closely supervised even if they know how to swim.