The British-born sport of swimming became competitive in the mid-1800s and was part of the first modern Olympics, where just three swimmers competed. Nowadays there are hundreds of swim competitions throughout the year. These sites illustrate swimming's rise in prominence and growth as a sport.
Whether you're looking to swim competitively or just want some exercise, you'll need to find a suitable pool. The following sites help you find some of the finest and most conveniently located swimming facilities both nationally and internationally.
- Plan to send an e-mail or make a phone call to get all the required, most-recent information about where, when, and what it costs to swim close-to-home. Also, keep in mind that none of the sites are comprehensive, so check out a couple to find the most conveniently located pool.
- Many of the sites below feature information about swim clubs, which are some of the best ways to gain access to a pool, while simultaneously benefiting from camaraderie and training.
- Web locators use geographical information-zip code, city, state-to find and list local teams and pools. They typically depend on users to update their own entries, which leaves some outdated.
Swimming is an international sport, with competitions held all over the world. Learn about these swimming championships, and keep up with the latest developments in the world of competitive swimming on the Web sites of these major swimming organizations.
Once every four years, competitive swimming gains international attention during the Summer Olympics. In the years between, however, swimming is given little coverage by mainstream media. For frequently updated, comprehensive swimming news, it's best to seek out specialty sites.
- If you are trying to compare times among long-course meters, short-course meters, and short-course yard races, try the "Swimming Time Conversion Tool" from the Huntsville Swim Association.
Whether you're looking for the latest in swimwear technology, or just want a regular bathing suit and goggles, these sites can help you find all types of swimwear and swimming gear.
- Many retailers listed here offer free shipping for orders costlier than $75-a suit, cap, and goggles will usually get you there. Most places offer 30- to 60-day return policies on unworn suits.
- Most online retailers offer a "Grab bag," which contains older models of swimwear at a steeply discounted price. You are able to choose your size and product type, but not the manufacturers, models, or colors. Grab bags are a good option for recreational swimmers or competitive swimmers looking for extra training gear.
- Many of these sites also cater to divers, water polo players, and lifeguards.
Whether you're a recreational or competitive swimmer, it's important to learn proper swimming techniques and training habits. These sites will help you perfect your stroke and get the most out of your workouts.
- The Web won't offer season-long guides, but it will provide workout plans and other advice that coaches and athletes can use.
- Not all Web workouts are accompanied by glossaries, so check out USA Swimming if you need help with a term.