Lap Swimming Etiquette
Lap swimming etiquette is something that escapes most
lap swimmers. It is simple to follow and will make your (and everyone
else's) swimming experience more worthwhile.
grew up swimming competitively with a team. As a result, we had 5-6
swimmers in the lane during our practices. Lap swimming etiquette was
taught from day one and if you wanted to survive, you would observe it.
Otherwise it was time to get out.
Alas, many years have
gone by and I wanted to return to the pool. Every now and then I get
the urge to get wet, because swimming has become second nature. It was
shocking to me to see how many 'swimmers' there are that do not
understand the common courtesy that should be in lap swimming.
rules with lap swimming etiquette are simple. It may take a few times
to get them under your skin, but once there they will stay (I think the
chemicals in the pool ingrain them into your mind).
The Rules of the Pool
1. Use good gym etiquette and shower
before you enter the pool
. This may sound a bit silly, but
a simple rinse will take off a lot of sweat and gunk that your body
loves to collect.
2. As with anything athletic, use good sports etiquette and wear appropriate swimming attire
for working out
. Seriously, no string bikinis in the lap
3. Along with the suits, wear appropriate hair and eye protection. Pull
your hair up into a cap or a pony tail. Wear goggles
does not do you any good to lap swim if you cannot see where you are
4. Once on deck, take a moment and gather
. See where the lap swimming lanes
are. Determine the slow, medium and fast lanes. Check swimmer numbers.
5. Once you have gathered your information, select the lane that is the
closest match to your swimming level
Do not try to be a 'superswimmer' and jump in the fast lane when you
should be in the slow lane. You will be fed to the pool sharks if you
6. Enter the pool at the shallow end. Slide into the pool, do
not dive or jump in. Also it is good lap swimming etiquette to ask them
if you can join when the other swimmer(s) rest.
7. If your lane has only two swimmers, you and another person, split the lane
This means that you each take a side of the lane and stay there. If you
are on the right side of the lane, you will swim up and back on the
8. If your lane has more than two swimmers, you all will need to circle swim
. This is
done by following each other on the right side of the lane down and
9. When you are circle swimming and you feel like the person in front
of you is going too slowly,
gently tap their toes/foot
and back off until the end of the lane. This is the signal that you
would like to pass them, called overtaking. Do not try to swim around
them, this is bad lap swimming etiquette and a bit dangerous.
When you have received an overtake signal, at the end of the lane, stop
and step off to the corner so that the other swimmer(s) can pass you.
11. If you are sharing a lane, do
not work on other strokes
Some strokes take up a lot of lane space and could harm the other
swimmer. There is nothing like ramming heads while doing the
backstroke. It is not one of my favorite pains.
12. If you need to stop and rest during your workout, step off to the side
so that you are not in the way of the other swimmers.
13. Save the socializing
for another time
If you are like me, when I am in the middle of a good workout, the last
thing I want to do is talk about my life. There is a time and place for
To sum it all up, use the golden rule and do unto
other lap swimmers as you would have done to you. It makes sense to use
lap swimming etiquette as it will enhance your workout and everyone