If you’re looking to join a high school swim team, one of your first thoughts might be ‘how much does a swim team cost?’
Compared to year-round and summer league swim teams, high school swimming doesn’t require much in terms of cost. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some cost associated with high school swim teams.
For this article, we’ll focus primarily on the costs associated with joining a high school swim team. If you want to know the cost of being on a year-round club swim team, check out our other post: How Much Does Competitive Club Swimming Cost?
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High School Swim Team Costs
Fees for High School Swim Teams
Rarely do high school swim teams have a fee or due associated with them. As of this writing, we’re unaware of any high schools that would make students pay to be on the swim team.
That said, check with your high school or the coach to see if there is anything that you’ll need to pay.
Teams typically run off funds allocated by the school. Along with the money raised by the team itself or by the booster club.
Because of this, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to pay dues or fees for high school swimming. This is one of the biggest differences between high school swimming and other swim teams. But again, we encourage you to check with the team first before assuming anything.
Your biggest swim team expense will be a swimsuit.
Most swim teams do provide a suit for their swimmers. However, it’s generally expected that you wear this suit for meets only. Wearing the same suit at every practice will wear out the material quickly and possibly leave you without a suit at the end of the season.
Because of this, we highly encourage you to have an extra suit or two for practices. We recommend having two suits, if only because it provides a backup in the event one rips.
Related article: How to Make Your Swimsuit Last Longer
Rotating through swimsuits at practice will also help extend the life of the swimsuit, too. You can do this by wearing one suit on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And then wearing another suit on Tuesday and Thursday. And then switching the order the following week.
Swimsuits vary in cost based on the fabric and the brand. However, a cheaper suit isn’t always the best. Those suits typically won’t last a full season before you’ll need to replace them.
When looking at your suits, look to see if the fabric is chlorine resistant. These fabrics hold up better against the constant use in the pool. Especially if you rotate through your suits and rinse them out after each practice.
Swimsuits for Competition
Tech suits are designed specifically for swim meets and are different from practice suits. Because of this, they tend to be much more expensive than your typical practice suit.
But they’re not mandatory. Especially as they can be an expensive swim team cost.
You might see some swimmers wearing tech suits at big swim meets, but it doesn’t mean that you need to wear one. And even if you do, tech suits come in a wide range of styles. From entry-level tech suits to elite tech suits.
Related article: 15 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Tech Suit
Prices range from $80-600 for a suit based on the tech suit you’re wanting.
Cap and Goggles
Doing this will help make your team cap last longer.
High schools though, typically don’t provide goggles for their swimmers. This is an expense that you’ll have to pay. And much like a cap, it’s good to have more than one pair. Because you never know when they’ll decide to break or end up lost.
For swim caps, you can get a plain latex or silicone cap for practice. Latex caps are pretty cheap at around $2-5. And silicone, while a bit more expensive at $3-9, tend to last longer and are more comfortable than latex. They also make them specific for long hair.
For swimming, gear can refer to the training tools used in the pool. On a high school swim team, you can expect to use the following gear:
- Pull buoy
- Gear bag (to hold all the gear in one place)
- Snorkel (depending on the team)
Typically, swim teams will provide this gear to their swimmers. And that’s good news for you! Especially as each of the gear listed above can cost around $10-50 or more.
However, if you want specific gear or a specific brand/style, you’ll have to provide this for yourself. Some gear that you may want but that’s not provided are:
High School Swim Meets
If you’re new to the sport of swimming, you might be surprised to know that it costs money to compete! This comes in the form of paying for each event that the swimmer will compete in at the swim meet.
More Content for You: The True Cost of Swim Meets
The good news is that a high school will typically front the cost of any swim meet expenses. This will also include the cost of any travel expenses, such as renting a bus or van. Along with any overnight stays for larger meets.
However, the school will only cover these expenses for the swimmers and coach. And possibly a chaperone.
This means that parents need to pay for any travel costs if they plan on watching the swim meet. Swim parents and family may also need to pay a parking fee and an entrance fee to get inside the natatorium, too.
Again, this varies with each pool location. Some natatoriums won’t charge a parking or entrance fee. While others might.
Food and Swim Meets
This gets its own section because it is a cost associated with swim teams that most people overlook.
Sometimes the team will provide snacks for the swimmers at the meet. Just as the pool might have a concession stand. But that doesn’t mean they always offer the healthiest of meals. Swimmers and parents might want to keep some healthy snacks on hand.
Lastly, don’t forget that the team might go out for a meal after a swim meet. High schools rarely cover meal expenses for swimmers. If your team goes out to eat after a meet, know that you’ll have to pay for the meal.
Miscellaneous Swim Team Costs
You’ll find that some costs for swim teams aren’t as obvious as the expenses listed above. But they do add up and can skew your monthly budget if you’re not careful.
Related article: Swimming on a Budget
Some expenses that you’ll see rise are:
- Food Expenses: Yes, food again. But swimmers burn a lot of energy during practice and eat a lot to recover. If it’s never been part of your budget before, you’ll notice the difference pretty quickly.
- Clothes/shoes: You don’t think about clothing or shoes when you think about swimming. But high school swim teams require proper clothes and shoes for weights or dry land.
- Towels: Admittedly, this one seems obvious, but swimmers go through their fair share of towels. Either due to losing them, mold growth, or someone taking them. Pick up some at the end of summer when they’re going on sale. You never know when you’ll need that backup
- Gas expenses: In addition to swim meets, you also have to factor in the amount of gas used traveling to and from practice. If possible, look into carpooling with teammates that live close to you.
As always, happy swimming!
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