Swimming Pool Etiquette for Beginners

by Coach Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Winter is a great time of year to master your swim stroke. Here are some tips if you are just getting started in swimming to remember at the pool.

  • Be sure and take note of pool designations (usually labeled): “Fast”, “Medium” or “Slow” and choose according to your ability. If you are not sure then time the swimmers to gauge where you fit in.
  • Be sure when you are on-deck not to stand in front of the timing clock as to block the other swimmers view.
  • Upon pool entry never dive-in and be sure not to enter right before other swimmers reach the wall.
  • If you have to join another swimmer or swimmers in a single lane make sure you communicate with them asking to join them and establishing if you will split a lane or circle swim.
  • Splitting a lane is done with 2 swimmers of different abilities or doing different workouts share a lane. Each swimmer chooses a side and swims back and forth on their designed side.
  • Circle swimming is typically done with 3 or more swimmers and in most countries follows a counter-clockwise pattern, with all swimmers staying to the right of the lane.
  • When you are joining a lane in the middle of a workout (masters or group training) communicate with other swimmers to determine where they are at in the workout and then try to join them where they are at. You may need to adapt some to be sure and get a warm up in. I recommend at least 4 lengths for my athletes.
  • Slow swimmers will need to yield to faster swimmers.
  • If you are coming upon a slow swimmer and would like to pass, tap their foot gently to let them know. Passing is done on the left.
  • If you are being overtaken or passed by another swimmer, don’t stop, just continue to swim your pace and try to hug the lane line as closely as you can to allow them more room to pass.
  • When you are working out in a lane with other swimmers (in a masters class) and all the swimmers in your lane are similar abilities be sure and take your turn to lead the lane.
  • If you use pool supplies (fins, kick board, pull buoys) please put them back where you got them when you are done to keep the deck clear.

If you’d like to learn more about swimming take a class from Coach Lora Erickson. She offers Underwater Video Analysis & Small Group Swimming classes.

Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com

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