New Swim Parents FAQ:

Should my child wear a cap and goggles?

The short answer? Y E S .

When you sign up your child for Race Pace Club AZ training, your child receives one team cap in addition to a t-shirt. Although it’s not mandatory to use a cap during swim practice, there are many reasons to do so.

  • Wearing a cap keeps long hair out of a swimmer’s eyes, nose, and mouth. This allows them to position their head correctly to learn the proper technique. Swimmers without caps spend unnecessary time, effort, and focus on wiping water out of their eyes, wiping hair away from their mouth, etc. They need to lift their head incorrectly to keep their hair from going over their face.
  • Caps keep strands of hair from getting tangled in goggle straps during workout.
  • Wearing a cap help keeps the pool operating at its best as there is less hair floating in the pool to clog the filtration system and fewer hair chemicals (shampoo, conditioner, styling products) to adversely affect water chemistry. 
  • Helps swimmers hear better as wet hair isn’t over their ears, muffling the sound when they come out of the water.
  • Prevents children from having to wipe away water from eyes, mouth, ears each time they finish a swim.
  • Protects the hair from pool chemicals that can cause drying and hair damage.
  • Silicone or latex caps keep the head warmer during windy or cool weather. 
  • Helps keep goggles in place when practicing starts. The goggle strap clings to the silicone cap instead of sliding across hair.  For even more stay-power, wear the cap over the goggle strap.
  • Swim caps reduce drag from hair in the water. This is important on race day. However, waiting until race day to wear a cap can feel unfamiliar and add to any nerves and butterflies the swimmer is already experiencing about their race.

Swim cap cautions

  • If the cap isn’t on the head properly or is too large for your child, it can hinder hearing or be a distraction to your child and others if they need to keep stopping to fix it. 

If your child doesn’t like silicone or latex caps, caps made from material such as spandex let the water flow onto the scalp but keep hair wisps out of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth as well as preventing hair tangling in the goggle straps. Material caps tend to stretch out over time and don’t return to their normal size. 

Goggles Pros

Most kids prefer wearing goggles as it helps them see clearly and keeps their eyes from getting sore from the pool water and sunlight.

Here are some other benefitsL 

  • Develops spatial awareness in being able to see underwater
  • Assists in swimming straight

Goggles Cons

  • Poorly fitting goggles waste precious swimming time from children adjusting them
  • Swimmers become reliant on goggles & panic when they don’t have them (We usually keep extra pairs at Camp Verde)

How to introduce your child to wearing a cap and goggles:

The first time your child wears a cap and goggles, it’s going to feel unfamiliar and be distracting to them. As with any aspect of swimming, getting your child used to wearing them before they come to workout will help the child focus without distraction when it’s time to get in the water with the team.

You can buy an extra cap through our team store or order a silicone cap to practice with from smiles.amazon.com —(a donation from Amazon helps support team expenses). Let your child learn to loosen and tighten his own goggles, put on her own swim cap, etc.  Let your child put them on a teddy bear or doll to see how they look. It’s good to practice putting on a cap ahead of time — most children will need help from their parents or an older sibling before swim practice to get their cap on properly. 

Teach your child how to loosen or tighten the goggles and check to make sure your child’s goggles are adjusted for comfort and to effectively keep out water. Spending time fiddling with goggles takes away swimming time at the pool workout and distracts other children.