Pool Etiquette

Swimming in a lane with friends, staying motivated and having some chuckles at the same time makes for a great swim practice. As the lanes get crowded with the anticipation of a new season, keeping your lane organized and motivated is the best way to get the most out of your practice.

Whether you attend our swim practices or jump in with another swim club, the following are the nationally accepted rules that control lane etiquette in the name of safety and fun.

Before you jump in the pool

Pool rules ask to shower before the swim. It reduces bacteria and chemicals content in the pool. Never apply deodorants, creams or cosmetics if you are going swimming. If you do, take the time to wash them off before jumping in.

Swim caps reduce the amount of hair in the pool. Goggles protect your eyes. Nose and earplugs are an option for your protection.

When you get on pool deck a little early it allows you time to warm up, meet lane buddies and get pumped for a good swim.

Take the time to help with getting kick boards, pull buoys and get your gear ready for the start of the swim.

Stand to the side of the pool out of the way of the lane clock. Chances are the finishing swimmers are using it to count down their sets.

Ensure you enter the right lane for your speed during training. If in doubt ask the coach.

Before you start to swim

Introduce yourself to new swimmers in your lane. Give everyone the chance to get in the pool before you start the set. This is always a good time for some encouraging words.

Agree to a lane leader who will take the team out and keep track of the sets. Seed yourself from fastest swimmer who starts first and so on to the least fast swimmer.

* If you arrive late do not start from the first set, ask the swimmers what set they are on and join in where they happen to be in the workout.

During the swim

Even lanes swim clockwise – odd lanes swim counter clockwise.

Swim close to the lane lines and check your location often, look for other swimmers.

Always follow the session set and keep with your teammates.

Check or change order to accommodate swim speed. If you swim long faster, on a long set you should be up front, if you swim sprints faster go to the front, if you have fins during a kick set, yes you guessed it go to the front.

A few encouraging words during the set is always a good thing.

Be accommodating to swimmers who want to pass. Swim to a corner and let them go.

When pushing off please allow 5 seconds between you and the swimmer in front, unless instructed by the coach to do something different, such as draft sets and group swims.

If you catch up the swimmer in front tap on their feet to let them know you are there and at the end of the set ask to go in front if you are unable to overtake in a safe manner.

If the swimmer behind catches you, please let them pass.

Never begin a set until everybody in the lane understands it (particularly drill sets). The extra amount of time spent to communicate the set and interval pace to the entire lane is a good investment of your time.

Communicate to your lane mates if you plan to do anything "different" in the set. This includes switching to another stroke than designated, putting on fins kicking rather than swimming, warming down in the middle of the set, sitting out an interval, or even getting out of the pool.

On long swims where lapping is likely to occur, communicate with each other ahead of time to agree on the passing procedure.

Stay focused and motivated.

Never assume that the first person in the lane knows what is going on. They may be having a bad day or not understand the set.

Watch the pace clock and stay in your send off spot throughout the set (5 or 10 seconds back from the leaders).

Swimmers of like calibre should swim together. If you are a little too fast or slow for the lane you're in ask the coach for a move to a more appropriate lane. Do not let your ego keep you where you shouldn't be.

Swim the program that's posted. You can modify it, but ask the Coach, and then ensure all swimmers in the lane adjust. NO ROGUE SWIMMING.

Make personal adjustments to keep the lane synchronized. For example, during a long set, the slightly faster can do an extra 50; - the slightly slower can cut a 50.

Be extra careful when you have paddles on and adjust distance from other swimmers.

After the Swim

Keep in mind what you brought to pool deck. Remember to check for water bottles and goggles. Take your kick board and pull buoy back to the storage racks.
It is not proper etiquette to bask, shave, and/or brush one's teeth in the shower, when fellow swimmers are waiting.

Be sure to share the sinks, mirrors, and electrical outlets with your teammates as well. If you aren't in a hurry, let someone who is get on his or her way.
Don’t rinse your bathing suit out on the locker room floor. Rinse in the sink or shower.

Applying hair conditioner after a swim is a good way to reduce the damage to your hair.

A good shower with a neutral soap will help reduce “skin itch” caused by chemicals and drying.