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Coaches Blog

Suiting Up: What's the Deal with Tech Suits?

Why suit up for a collegiate dual meet? 

Saving racing suits for championship meets is a thing of the past. College teams choose to suit up more often for dual meets, but why? Winning or losing a dual meet does not have a bearing on NCAA qualification, tech suits cost at least $300 and can only be worn a few times before beginning to lose their effect. What might sound even crazier is that it is common to “suit up” during practice. Some teams even wear racing suits 1-2 times per week. So what is the benefit? Practice. Teams are suiting up more often as a dress rehearsal for when it matters- conference, NCAAs, and even Olympic trials (competed in long course meters- not an NCAA meet). 


Tech suits impact a swimmer’s buoyancy, the speed a swimmer carries through the water, and the compression on the swimmer's body (mostly legs). A swimmer must practice racing in these conditions because the athlete will need to adjust the timing of the breakout and even how many dolphin kicks they take before reaching fifteen meters. 


Logically, practicing real race speeds and scenarios as often as possible makes sense, but what are the drawbacks? 

  1. Cost- Tech suits cost between $300-$500 so how do teams afford to provide athletes with racing suits for the year? Some programs have the resources to purchase multiple suits for each athlete, but many can only afford to purchase one new tech suit per conference athlete per year. It is likely programs with sponsored pro athletes gain access to suits as well.

  2. The mental game- Some athletes struggle to see “slow” times when they wear a tech suit. Generally speaking, I believe coaches should be able to work on this mentality with their athletes; however, it is up to the coach to work with the athlete to determine what is in their best interest. 


Swimming fast is fun. If you haven’t already had the opportunity to race in a tech suit and you get the opportunity one day, go for it!


If you're interested in purchasing a tech suit, visit our partners over at SwimOutlet.com to shop all the major brands!

 

Coach Sydney brings more than 20 years of swimming experience to Team MPI as both a swimmer and coach. As a swimmer, she was a Colorado State Champion, State Record Holder, and All-American. She moved on to compete for the University of North Texas, an NCAA Division I team, qualifying for National Invite and Conference USA Championships. As a coach, Sydney has coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level with UNT and is now the Head Coach for the Colorado Torpedoes in Manitou Springs, CO.

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