When I was a competitive swimmer, we had no such luxuries such as caps and goggles. We got use to blood shot eyes stinging with the chlorine and no amount of Murine would ease the pain. And our hair which went a greenish color was a badge of honor. A true testament to the hours spent in a heavily chlorinated pool. Thankfully those days are no longer with us. Pool water is not heavily chlorinated and is more often than not, salt water. So, are caps and goggles a fashion statement now or tools of the swimming trade?
As a swimming instructor and coach I suggest they are necessary tools of the trade. When children are taught to use them properly they allow the child to concentrate on the task at hand….learning to swim. No longer is their hair in their eyes, nor do they complain they cannot see the submerged toy. More importantly, caps and goggles assist the child to roll their head to breath and remain in a streamlined position. There are minimal heads being lifted rather than rolled to the side to breath. Also there is reduced ‘head tossing’ when breathing to the side. ‘Head tossing’ comes from those children with longer hair who are flicking the hair out of their face when trying to breath. Nervous children can see under the water which can at times distract them from their nervousness. The younger ones realise that with goggles on they can ‘take their eyes for a swim’ which can lead to blowing bubbles and submerging the head.
However, caps and goggles must be worn correctly. If a child places the goggles over the cap line, the goggles can leak. If hair is caught in the goggles they can leak. Caps can fall off or be uncomfortable if put on incorrectly.
At Swim For Your Life, we spend time throughout the term ensuring the children have part of their swimming lessons without goggles on. We believe they need to get use to not wearing goggles as well. Let’s face it, most children who get into trouble around water, are not wearing goggles!
We would be more than happy to show you a relatively pain-free way to put your child’s swimming cap on. Next lesson, please ask!