Have you ever finished a training session and noticed you had some bruises without knowing how you got them?
Swim lanes, particularly when they are packed, can be accidents waiting to happen. Although there are unwritten rules about behaviour in the pool, most swimmers deliberately choose to ignore them and go ahead with their own training session as if they were on their own or even in a race.
But if you want to avoid being hated in the pool, here are the five things you absolutely must NOT do!
1. Swim the butterfly
Your coach has probably included some medley swimming in your training plan, but swimming the butterfly greatly increases the likelihood of you accidentally hitting (hard) other swimmers in your lane. Wait until the people training in your lane have reached the other end of the pool and, if you do have to cross paths, get ready to “miss” a stroke: you will save yourself plenty of insults and curses!
2. Touch the feet of the swimmer in front of you!
It is not difficult to tell whether the person swimming in front of you is slower or faster. Ask them to overtake you and, when they start swimming, do not slap their feet for the entire length of the pool. If you have been the person being “followed” at least once, you will know how annoying it is: behave appropriately.
3. Take a rest sitting at the edge of the pool
You will not just drive your coach and the pool attendant crazy, you are also likely to hurt the hands of training partners swimming the backstroke or the feet of those swimming breaststroke. If you want to avoid inevitably getting into an argument, follow this simple rule.
4. Try and get to the end of the pool first at all costs
Twenty-five metres are twenty-five metres and fifty metres are fifty metres, but a training session is not a race and if there are about fifteen of you in one lane, then you are better off going to the back and waiting for the “traffic” to ease off.
5. Not be nice to backstrokers
A backstroke swimmer’s life is painful: constantly zigzagging and banging their heads against the end of the pool after “distractedly” miscounting the number of strokes after seeing the flags above their head. Before shouting at a backstroker after a collision halfway along or at the end of the pool, remember that person could be you one day.
Training at the pool during the busiest times of day is not easy, but if you want to unwind and relax a little during your hour’s swimming…. then try to put into practice these five simple rules: they will help you enjoy life more in the swim lane!