We often get asked if you should bring swimming goggles at your first swimming lessons. It might seem an easy question to answer but it’s different from person to person and it depends on your confidence in the water, personal preference and a range of other things. We want to give you the best learn-to-swim experience possible so we’ve prepared this blog to explain what will be best in different situations.
Is swimming very new to you?
If you haven’t swum much and you’re building your confidence in the water we think it’s important that you don’t wear goggles to begin with (we obviously won’t force you!). Why? Well, getting water in your eyes is part of swimming “naturally” and, in an emergency, if you HAD to swim you’re unlikely to have had the time to put your goggles on. It’s true you might get some eye discomfort, whether that’s chlorine or salt water, but it’s a fact of swimming for safety that you normally wouldn’t have your goggles available.
Swimming for safety is something we take very seriously at Dolphin Academy and so our advice if you’re just starting out is to try swimming first without eye protectors.
Stage 2 Onwards?
For swimmers that are learning at stage two level, contrary to the previous section, we advise that you do wear goggles. This is because it’s easier to learn your swimming strokes and breathing technique without having to worry about your eyes as well. By stage two you’re already comfortable in the water and really it would be best for you to concentrate on more advanced parts of swimming.
The main point here is that the reason we advise against goggles prior to stage two is because we think it’s important you are used to the water in emergency situations; but after you’re safe in the water, we think goggles become beneficial.
Stage 3 Onwards?
After stage three we consider goggles to be essential along with a swimming cap. At stage three you are learning more advanced swim techniques that include underwater swimming. Goggles will allow you to concentrate on correct stroke technique and a swimming cap will keep you more streamlined. Whilst they’re advisable at stage two, they’re essential at stage three if you’re going to learn properly.
You might have your own favourites but at Dolphin Academy we recommend goggles from respected, established brands like Speedo and Zoggs. We’ve found spending a little bit more on your goggles does result in an increase in quality, for example how well the goggles seal around the eyes, but good goggles can be found at all budgets. What’s most important is that you’re comfortable because a bad fitting set of goggles can distract you from your swimming.
If you’ve got any more questions about preparing for your swimming lessons don’t hesitate to ask us or take a look at our article 8 Things to Bring With You on Your First Swimming Lesson.