Lane Etiquette in the pool

Every sport has its own code of etiquette that even newcomers are supposed to know from day one. Swimming is one of those sports. Whether in a group coached swim or self directed swim we listed some common guidelines to make your swim more enjoyable.

  •  Rest: When you are resting between intervals, avoid hanging out in the middle of the wall. When you finish an interval, touch the wall and then immediately move to one side. This allows other swimmers access to the wall to rest or to turn to continue on with their interval. It’s very frustrating as a swimmer to arrive at the wall and there be no room to touch or turn.
  • Passing: Swim close to the lane ropes rather than the middle of the lane, just as you do on the bike path. This will limit risk of collisions and facilitate passing. If you come up on someone who you would like to pass, tap their feet twice so they know you are there. This signifies to them that they should move to the side at the end of the length and allow you to swim through. Alternatively, you can pass another swimmer in the middle of the length as long as you first tap their toes so they know you are there. Look ahead to confirm that you can safely clear anyone swimming in the opposite direction. As the swimmer being passed, don’t speed up, allow yourself to be overtaken. If in doubt, wait for the wall.
  • Giving space: Start about 5 seconds behind a faster swimmer, to avoid running into each other during your workout. If a swimmer is faster than you, make sure you don’t start another lap just as the swimmer is coming up behind you.
    If you’re at a comparable pace with your lane mates, allow 5 – 10 seconds between each other and you will barely even notice anyone in your lane.
  • Drafting: Try not to draft other swimmers unless we are doing this as a drill or exercise. Drafting is a great skill to acquire for open water but not in group swims. If you are constantly catching another swimmer move in front of them at the end of the lane or set. If you are the swimmer being caught, let the others go in front of you at the wall. This will facilitate continuous swimming for all.
  • Communication: We all want to enjoy our swim sessions. If someone causes you angst within the lane, just tell them what they need to do. Chances are they aren’t aware they are doing anything wrong.

Remember we all start somewhere. Be patient with your new lane mates as we all get to know one another.

Our workout page has variety of workouts to practice these skills in your next session.

Coach Mary