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]

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Jacob is the Assistant Swim School Manager and Private Swim Coach at AUT Millennium. Jacob has been with AUT Millennium since 2015 where he became a qualified learn-to-swim instructor. He now assists in managing the Swim School as well as working with learn-to-swim students, both adults and children. As well as competitive swimmers and open-water swimmers who are trying to refine their technique in 1-on-1 sessions. His background in swimming involves representing both his club at National events, as well as New Zealand at International events.