Introduction to Pool Etiquette
As the weather begins to cool, so do the lakes, rivers, and oceans. If you will be heading inside for your winter swim training, chances of the pool being more crowded are high. Here are some helpful hints on how to get along with your fellow lanemates.
Pool Rules Obey all pool rules and lifeguard instructions.
Sharing the Lane If you happen to be the only swimmer in a lane, first consider yourself lucky as your solo swim will probably be short-lived. Be aware that another swimmer may try to get your attention and ask to join you in your lane. If you arrive to the pool and there are no empty lanes, look for a lane with only one swimmer. Wait for that swimmer to reach the wall and try to get their attention. Ask if it is ok to join them and also decide together if you will split the lane in half or circle swim. If you split the lane in half, you will stay on either the left or right side of the lane throughout your workout. If you both decide to circle swim, swim in a counterclockwise rotation. If there are 3 or more swimmers in a lane, it is best for all to circle swim.
Passing Another Swimmer When the lane becomes crowded enough to circle swim, chances are you will have varying speeds, strokes, and styles. If you need to pass another swimmer, do so promptly. Hanging out on a person’s feet can be annoying both to the passer and the passee. Move to the left side of the swimmer you are overtaking and make your pass quickly. A gentle tap on the foot is a good way to let the swimmer you are overtaking know you are there. This also might prevent collisions after pushing off the wall.
Starting a Set If you are a slower swimmer, try to start your set behind the faster swimmers in the lane. Do not wait until a faster swimmer is about to turn at the wall before you push off. On the other hand, if you are a faster swimmer, give the slower swimmers in front of you enough space. Also, if you are starting a kick/pull/drill set, let those which are still swimming go ahead of you.
Rest Intervals If each swimmer is doing a different workout, you might be resting while your fellow swimmers are swimming. Stay off to the side of the lane while you rest. Do not stand on the black line or in the middle of the lane. Just be aware of where the other swimmers are and courteously try to stay out of their way.
Pool Equipment If you have access to a pool which lets you borrow pull buoys and kickboards, feel free to take advantage of this offering. However, other swimmers might find it necessary to borrow these same items from you as well. It happens, so go with it. If you bring your own personal pool equipment, write your name and even your phone number on the items. This will also help you retrieve anything you accidentally leave behind.
In general, when sharing the pool with others, always be aware of what is going on around you. Use common sense, communicate with your fellow swimmers and above all, be nice, the chlorine is irritating enough.
Written by Carrie Smith