When it comes to swimming, most people tend to think that they are pretty good swimmers, that is until they see the swimmers in the Olympics.
Then, they realize that the type of swimming they are doing is completely different.
However, if you are someone who is interested in swimming better, faster, or even swimming competitively, then here is a list of five items that you will need to get started.
Obviously, you won't need these with you all the time, but having these can help you to become a better swimmer and actually make you look a little more competent when you arrive at the pool.
Kickboard - A lot of people think that a kickboard is only used by children who are learning how to swim, but nothing could be further from the truth.
When you go to any swim practice, from age group swimmers who are only five or six, all the way to the United States Olympic team, you will always see kickboards on the side of the pool.
The reason for this is they are the ideal way to really work out your legs while giving your shoulders and arms a chance to rest.
Pull Buoy - This is sort of the opposite of a kickboard in that it exercises your arms and upper body more while allowing your legs to rest.
By using a pull buoy, which is a flotation device that you stick between your upper thighs, you will be unable to kick and therefore all of your propulsion will need to come from your upper body.
Paddles - These are often used in conjunction with pull buoys and are designed to build strength in your stroke, but also to ensure that your stroke is efficient.
There are many different kinds of paddles, and they come in a variety of sizes.
If you are new to swimming, make sure that you choose a smaller or beginner's model or you may put too much pressure on your shoulders and injure yourself.
Swim Cap - Nothing is worse that swimming with hair in your face, even if it is an inch or two long.
When you swim with a swim cap, whether it is latex or silicone, it helps to keep the hair out of your face so you can breathe to the side more efficiently.
You might look like an egg, but it will make you swim faster and breathe easier.
MP3 Player - More and more swimmers are choosing to plug into music when they are working out.
Not only is this a great way to drown out the sounds of other people in the pool (specifically screaming children), but you can learn to swim in pace to a song and you can also just enjoy your swim much more.
These are extremely affordable and will provide you with a lot of entertainment while you are working out.
Put all of these in a nice swimming bag, put on an appropriate swimsuit for lap swimming, and no one will ever know that you are new to the sport!