You are here

Lane Etiquette by Dean Hawks



Every team has their own set of rules.  There will be many similarities but also some idiosyncrasies.  Here are a few things to be aware of at IAM practices. 

  1. Be nice.  This covers a multitude of sins.
  2. Being on time is helpful to the coach and your lane mates. If you join a workout late, be cautious of entering the pool and disrupting the flow of the set. Enter as the last swimmer and swim easy until there is a stopping point and readjust.
  3. Find an appropriate lane.  Ask the coach for help.  Look for lane mates of similar abilities.
  4. If there is an empty lane, ask the coach if you can take it.  Many times lanes are designated for certain abilities.  People show up late and still want their lane!  Sometimes there will be 5 in a lane and 2 in another.  Depending on the type of workout, swimmers of varied abilities can swim together.  Other times it won’t work, especially on longer distances.
  5. If you are joining one other swimmer in a lane you can split the lane and each take a side.  Be sure both parties understand what you are doing.  Head-on collisions are a headache.
  6. Three or more swimmers in a lane must circle counter-clockwise. Swim on the right side of the lane.
  7. If you are the slowest in the lane, yield to the other faster swimmers. If you stop, rest in a corner of the lane out of the way of the traffic.
  8. When stopping to take a breather or when finishing a swim, move to the side on the wall so others can turn or finish their swim at the wall.
  9. To Touch or Not to Touch?  Some people don’t like their feet touched.  To pass you can try to tap once and go around or turn in the middle.
  10. If you are slower that others in your lane, don’t push off just before they are beginning to turn. Wait for them to turn, give them some space, then go.
  11. :05 Rule!  Always give the person in front of you the full :05 before pushing off behind them. If you are faster than the person in front you can give them more time or lead the lane!
  12. Learn your lane mates names!  We are an amazing team.  Get to know your mates!
  13. Equipment! Use your own or borrow from the pool if they have extra.  If you are using equipment use common sense.  If it makes you faster, go ahead and lead.  Slower, go at the back. 
  14. We all have days where we want to put our head down and swim. Be aware of the needs of others in your lane, work together, and have a great workout.
  15. Be nice.