Making sure your child has appropriate swimwear is essential to improving their swimming. If you want your child to make some big changes to their technique, but they are wearing loose or baggy garments, they are going to struggle to get better. If it looks like your child finds it difficult to kick, get their arms over the water, or keep their breathing and body position correct, their swim attire may be to blame!

Appropriate swimwear consists of a cap, leak-free goggles, and a fitted swimsuit. It is important to ensure they have a tight-fitting swimsuit, as failure to do so will create more drag and make it harder for your child to swim.

When finding the correct pair of togs for your child, make sure that you buy a tight-fitting swimsuit, and not something that they will ‘grow into’. Loose togs are prone to stretching with use, so it’s likely that your child will need a new pair of togs before they grow into them.

We often see children swimming in rash tops and boardshorts for warmth, however, wearing these items will actually make them colder in the water! Not only this, but they will make it harder for your child to swim. This is because rash tops and boardshorts absorb more water than other swimming costumes.

Another disadvantage of wearing rash tops is that they make it difficult for your child to get their arms out and over the water. Your child will need to use more energy to do less, which makes it less efficient and harder to achieve correct technique. Learning to swim can be a challenging task, and we want to make it as easy as possible. This is why appropriate swim attire is so important.

Hopefully someday your child will be so good at swimming that in order to train effectively, their swim coach will require them to wear a resistance swimsuit. Until then, I recommend leaving the rash tops and baggy boardshorts at home.

So remember:

  • Cap and goggles (that fit correctly!)
  • Tight-fitting swimsuit (you’re more likely to need a new pair before your child grows into them)
  • No rash tops or boardshorts

You can find all the essentials for swimming at the Speedo store located inside the AUT Millennium concourse, or online at

If there are any technique tips you’d like us to tackle, let us know by emailing [email protected]

Previous articleThink about thinking
Next articleThe best seat in the house
Jacob Garrod works for AUT Millennium Swim School and the Schools Programme. He started back in February 2015 and teaches from Breather Level right through to Development Two. Whilst working part time, he is also in the home stretch of completing his Bachelor of Business Degree at Massey University in Albany. Jacob learned to swim aged three, and became a competitive swimmer at the age of 7. He continued right through until 22, clocking up 15 years in the sport. He specialised in breaststroke and has represented New Zealand on the international level, attending two Oceania Championships in 2014 and 2016, where he managed to get five medals - three gold, and two silver. Jacob also attended the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing, China, and the 2017 World University Games, in Taipei, Taiwan. Jacob attended multiple National Championships where he managed to get medals throughout the years, from junior level, to age group level, right through to open level.