General Season Information

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I just wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page and reiterate practice times and some other necessities that you may like to consider. Everything on our ORCA info graphic is correct, but this is consolidated for reassurance. Be on the lookout for something I will send out regarding a messaging service in case there need to be practice cancelations because of weather and the sort.


    • Practices will start Tuesday, June 1st and end Friday, July 30th.
    • Morning Practices will run Monday - Friday from 9:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
    • Evening practices will run Monday - Thursday from 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
    • Location - 172 Providence Rd, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
    • No number of practices are mandatory or necessary, but I encourage you to come as much as you can!


    • Certainly a suit to start as we will probably not have our team suits delivered by the first day.
      • Men - Jammers or Speedos are highly recommended, preferably not swim trunks, but anything is better than nothing at least to start.
      • Women - Anything that is a single piece style suit, preferably not a bikini style, although I have seen it work in the past.
      • Tips – The brands Speedo, Arena, and Tyr make the best suits all around. I would try and avoid brands like Nike and Adidas, as strange as that may sound, because they really just do not last as long and thr quality certainly is not as good.
    • Goggles
      • I highly recommend Speedo Vanquisher, and they are generally referred to as the best pair of training and racing goggles while not being too expensive.
      • Stay away from scuba styles of goggles, and cheaper pairs from places like Walmart (There’s a chance you can find Vanquishers here though). However, just like the suits, anything is better than nothing and as well as they do not leak you should be okay at least to start.
    • Water bottle
      • Any sort of drink from normal water to an electrolyte mix like Gatorade would be great. It will be very hot out especially in the evenings, and unlike land sports you cannot really tell how much you’re sweating and how dehydrated you may have become.
    • Not Necessary, but if you would like your own then these would be helpful, and we would certainly make use of them.
      • Kickboard – All kickboards do essentially the same thing, but do notice especially if you order one, that they come generally in 15 inches and 19 inches. 15 inches could be great for younger swimmers, but 19 inches is the standard size and necessary for most people probably older than 8 to 10.
      • Pull buoy and Paddles – These do not sell together usually, but they are almost always used together. Pull buoys are mostly all the larger size, but smaller versions can be found but eventually will need to be upgraded to the larger size. Paddles come in a range of sizes from around 7 inches to 10 inches and are something you will need to change sizes in as you grow every several years. The important thing is to try them on in person and make sure when worn properly, your fingertips will be close to the edge but not go over the edges of the paddles.
      • Fins – We really do not use fins unless you have them, but they fit like shoes and just like shoes you need larger sizes every so often. They should be tight on the feet with no wiggle room for them to slip off in the pool. I highly recommend trying them on in person instead of ordering, just to be sure.


    • oSwim and Tri – Probably the best swimming related store in Knoxville and certainly will have everything that I have listed above. Great for trying on suits and learning your proper sizes and everything they sell is high quality but not too expensive.
      • Location - 5921 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
    • Amazon, SpeedoUSA, ArenaSport, SwimOutlet (All Websites) – This is slightly risky if you do not know exactly the sizes of suits or equipment that you need. Goggles are generally always okay to order though, and Speedo Vanquishers are very easy to find online.

    Just a Note on this Starting Week

    This first week will focus a lot on safety and just trying to get everyone used to being in the water and learning a lot about where everyone’s particular limits are and what I feel comfortable asking everyone to do. We generally start with a lot of focus on kicking and getting the basics down, which may come faster or slower to everyone, but it allows me to group everyone based on what they can do and how quickly they’re coming along. I do not want to ask a young child to do the same sets as our older swimmers, so I tailor every set and task to each group, which could be a lot of kickboard work with little kids but a totally different thing for our seasoned swimmers. I guess what I am trying to say is that it will not be too hard or too easy for anyone, so do not be afraid to come, and do not think everyone is going to do the same thing.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, I cannot wait for this season to start! I hope you all have a great rest of your week and I will see you Tuesday!

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