As we gear up for the big, fun Summer swim team season, I wanted to pass along my Top Ten Things Parents New to Swimming and their Swimmers Need to Know about getting that first Swim Team Suit also known as “Meet suit” or “Competition Suit.”
Here they are:
1) A new suit out of the box is going to feel a little uncomfortable or “tight” when you are first trying it on.
2) If you have not worn a swim suit since last summer (or ever), your new suit is going to feel a little snug and it should.
3) Please do not pull the suit on like pants. Think tights or pantyhose when pulling on a swim suit. You want all the fabric up at your bottom before you pull it up and over said gluteus Maximus.
4) A team suit for competition is supposed to fit your body snugly not tightly, and there is a difference.
5) If I can get my entire fist under the shoulder straps of the suit, it's not too tight. It is in fact too loose.
6) Every swim suit is not the same. Each manufacturer is different. So, just because your son or daughter wore a particular size suit last year (and they've grown), doesn't mean they automatically go up one size. That's why we have swim suit try ons every year. Kids grow, manufacturers change styles and teams pick different suits.
7) If your suit is wrinkly and saggy when you put it on and you are smiling because it feels so good, it is too big. You need a smaller size; and
8) If your suit is saggy and baggy and is fitting like bermuda shorts (and your child is smiling or not), it is the wrong size. You need a smaller size. (NOTE: There are specially made suits that have a lot of extra fabric and are made for the purpose of making a swimmer work harder in practice and feel heavy. They are called “Drag suits,” and they are not worn in competition – for obvious reasons.)
9) I know every parent wants to get at least two years of wear out of every suit they purchase. Sometimes it's possible and sometimes it's not. Wear and tear, care, fabric, AND your child's physical growth are all factors in how long a suit will last. Just buying a suit one or two sizes bigger is not…
And, 10) Swim suits are not ever, ever, ever to be washed in the washing machine or dried in the dryer. Rinse the suit in cold water and use no soap, detergent or specialized cleaning solution. Hang the suit to dry in a well ventilated area. Let the suit dry completely between wears, and you should get as long of a life out of the suit as it can give – depending on wear and tear factors and the fabric it is made from.
The biggest tip of all is to Have Fun! Summer swim team is about fun, friends, family, cheers, challenges, and courage and doing your personal best for the team. Enjoy!
Rack of Practice Suits