Advice from BSC Coaches

Firstly, thank you for choosing to continue your swimmer's aquatic journey with us at Bradford Swimming Club. It can seem daunting to most new members when they see more established members arriving with piles of kit and equipment most of which will have never been used by your swimmer(s). This document is aimed to ease that burden and make everything a little clearer as to what is needed and therefore your swimmer(s) will be able to get the most from their sessions.

Swim Attire

It is vital that swimmers wear an appropriate swimsuit. This ensures that they will get the most out of a session without being impeded by baggy shorts or costumes which cause excessive drag. Most male swimmers will wear what are known as “jammers” these are cycling short length skin tight shorts, whilst most female swimmers will wear traditional swimming costume, (some with cycling short length legs and some without).

Swimming Costume Jammers Racing Swimming Costume

These vary greatly in price from a few pounds and into the hundreds from the more advanced race technology-based ones. But until you are sure that this is something the swimmer is going to stick with, I’d avoid going mad.

Race suits/costumes

Our advice would be not to spend hundreds of pounds on a race suit until you are sure that your swimmer is going to stick at the sport. Children grow a phenomenal rate of knots so look for things in the sales and ask other parents about their swimmer suits. You might find that they have old ones you can have or buy from them. However if you do take the plunge and decide to spend some serious money on a race suit then it is essential that it is FINA approved and has the approval badge on it, (see below).


Essential Equipment for training sessions

  • Goggles
    These are personal choice in terms of style, brand and price. We have found that you generally get what you pay for. Comfort is essential as the swimmer will be wearing these for a long time. Again, prices can sky rocket into excess of £50 to £60 for the top-rated race goggles but an average price would be around £20. Generally, swimmers have at least 2 pairs just in case one breaks.
  • Hats
    We can supply club hats in both Blue, (used for competitions) or White, (used for training) and these can be personalised for an additional fee. These are priced at £4 for plain and £8 for personalised ones.Hats are available to order through Swim Manager.We encourage all long-haired swimmers to wear these at all times for hygiene and minimising levels of drag during swimming. Short hair swimmers for training it is optional but we encourage our swimmers to wear them in races for drag reduction and club identity. These can be fragile so having a spare is always a good idea.
  • Training Fins
    We use these in training along, especially with our younger swimmers as it stops them tiring out too quickly when training. Using these during technical training sessions allows them to concentrate on arm/leg positions etc. whilst not having to kick as hard or worry about sinking.These are an example of suitable fins.


    Prices are generally in and around the £25 mark. But again, there are many, many brands out there and feel free to spend as much or as little as you wish. Be wary of buying diving/snorkelling fins which are longer. These tend to impede rather than help the swimmer. These are essential pieces of equipment for all sessions, especially in the lower/developmental squads.

  • Kickboard
    These are you more traditional looking floats. These are used to train swimmers kick and will be used at most sessions the swimmer attends. Again, prices and quality vary. All we ask is that it has hand holds and is larger in size.
  • Water bottle
    It is essential that all swimmers attend with a plastic water bottle preferably filled, (although these can be filled at the session). Performance during training sessions is key and if a swimmer is dehydrated then they will never reach their full potential. The pools are warm both in and out of the water and they won’t often realise how thirsty they are.We have club branded bottles available again through our website for £5.
  • Net/Mesh bag
    Swimmers will to keep everything neat and tidy and the end of their lane and it also give them something to carry their training kit to and from each session. Generally, most swimmers will use a net type bag, (brands, price and quality vary) which dries quickly and they can easily see what they are getting from it when instructed by the coaches.


We hope that this little bit of information helps to ease the transition from swimming lessons and into the glorious world of competitive swimming. As you or your swimmer progresses there may be other smaller items of kit that they may require but this will be discussed with you nearer the time. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to speak to a coach, committee member or even another swimmer's parent, they are all more than happy to help.

Once again thanks for choosing us.

Kindest Regards

The Coaching Team.