At times all that is necessary is an exchange of glances, a small gesture to understand each other right away. A passing, a dive, a slowing down of pace. Sharing the pool becomes immediately more“friendly”, thanks to those rules that are not written but that every swimmer should know in order not to disrespect or disturb the activities of others using the pool. An etiquette of sorts made of simple instructions, drawn from common sense that at times does not come naturally to everyone. So here is a useful “memo” for those who are just starting out: so the next time your lane neighbor gives you an ugly look seemingly without reason, you will be able to know why!
First rule: space in the changing room
Let’s start from the changing room, the pool’s antechamber, and often the place where good manners are established. If there are areas reserved for shoes for example, it is there where you should leave your shoes and not leave them wherever you happen to drop them. Always have slippers or flip-flops. As it is known, in the humid environment of the pool it is easy for molds and fungus to thrive and it is good hygiene and fundamental for your health and that of others to wear slippers. Do not leave your belongings (clothes, body wash, hairdryer, etc) scattered around, but in the locker or in the benches in your bag. Space is precious, try not to invade the space of others.
Lane, swim cap and other fundamental rules
Once inside the pool (we assume that you have disinfected your feet and took a shower, right?) you probably cannot wait to dive. Check the lanes and choose the onesreserved to freestyle swimming.
Wear your swimcap (nobody likes to find the hair of strangers floating in the water) and if possible choose a lane that has swimmers of your same level so as to avoid sudden changes in speed. Keep right and be fast passing others, while if someone is trying to pass you, slow down.
Regarding respecting the speed limit, the rule is the slowest swimmer should yield to others every time a lap is started. Also the direction is important: try to maintain the trajectory, changing lane can cause problems such as frontal collisions that are certainly not good for anyone. If a collision with your pool neighbor occurs apologize, make it clear that it was an accident and that you will make sure that it does not happen again in the future.
It is just as important to make swimmers in the lane understand that you are about to join as well: do not dive in suddenly (also not to disrupt their swimming rhythm), let others get used to your presence, maybe waiting a couple of minutes on the edge before starting with the arm strokes.
Avoiding applying make up before entering the pool
Some considerations should be made on your look, which should keep in mind the aquatic environment where you will carry out your workout. Avoid make up unless it is waterproof. Foundation, blush, lipstick, eyeshadow etc will disperse in water, inevitably dirtying it, that’s why before diving you will have to remove your make up with the appropriate make up remover.
If you would rather have the entire lane for you maybe there is a solution: going to the pool during hours where normally there is not much traffic, like early morning or late evening before closing time. You will see that by following these simple rules you will share the space with other people easily and can even lead to new friendships. In and out of the water!