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The Swimmer's Glossary

Whether your new to swimming or have been at it for years, there's always at least one term that is new. Hopefully the following will make time at the pool a little less confusing.


General Swimming Terms

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Swim Practice & Equipment Terms

Dryland: exercising and strength training done out of the water. usually on the deck before practice.

Goggles: Eyewear used to protect eyes from the chemicals in the pool water. Allows a swimmer to see underwater and avoid hitting the wall, lane lines, and other swimmers.

Caps: Headwear to contain hair and make a swimmer more streamlined. Most pools require a cap to prevent issues with cleaning the pool.

Parka: A large long insulated coat for keeping warm at a meet while in a swim suit. Can be used wet or dry and reduces how much clothing a swimmer has to keep track of during a race.

Practice Equipment:

Kick Boards: Floating foam boards that keep arms and head above water while practicing kicking.

Paddles: Rigid plastic put on hands to aide in gripping the water. Used to help get a feel for hand position in the water and swimming at speed.

Pull Bouy: Held between the legs to help the body float in the proper streamlined position while swimming. Can be used for normal swimming and when only pulling. For a challenge, hold between ankles.

Fins: Rubber flippers used on swimmers’ feet during practice only. They help get a feel for kicking and swimming at speed.

Set: A group of swims during practice

Interval or Rest: the time given to complete each distance in a set or the time give to rest between swims in a set.

Drill: an exercise where a stroke is swum in a modified or exaggerated manner to focus on a certain aspect of a stroke. For example, “Catch-up” free where each arm completes a rotation before the next arm starts, catching up in the streamline position.

Kicking: A length or set where the swimmer does not pull. Usually done with a kick board and/or fins. Used to work on mid and lower body strength.

Pulling: A length or set where the swimmer does not kick. Usually done with pull bouy and/or paddles. Used to work on upper body strength and practicing streamline.

Choice or Stroke: a set where a swimmers primary stroke (other than freestyle) is swum.

Pace Clock: used to keep track of interval time during practice.

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