Chlorine Chronicle (Archive)NMSC Sep/99 Newsletter
There are several rules that most swim clubs implement to direct lane traffic and eliminate the need for wearing helmets while swimming in crowded lanes.
- The coach will separate swimmers into lanes depending on their speed. Note that a swimmer's speed will change from practice to practice and set to set. A coach may move swimmers around from practice to practice or even within a practice depending upon what type of workout is being planned.
- Within a lane, swimmers should arrange themselves for each set with the fastest swimmer at the front and the slowest at the back.
- It is the lead swimmer's duty to ensure that the lane starts swimming at the proper time for swim set. After that, swimmers must ensure that they are spaced far enough back so as not to interfere with the swimmer in front of them. Most of the time, 5 seconds is enough to ensure that there is at least a body length between swimmers. If a swimmer finds that they are coming closer than a body length, they should either allow more than 5 seconds or switch places with the swimmer in front of them. It is considered very impolite to swim too close to the swimmer in front as this can cause difficulties turning, the major cause of collisions. It is the second swimmer's duty to keep a count of the number of repeats completed within a set.
- For shorter swims (25 to 75 meters) it is usually not necessary to pass a swimmer. If you are catching up, hang back and ask to switch places at the next stop.
- For longer distances it may be necessary for you to pass mid-swim. In this case you should tap the feet of the swimmer in front and then wait until the end of the length to pass. The swimmer in front will stop at the end of the length and allow you to pass. Try not to slow each other down more than necessary.
- You will notice that alternating lanes swim clockwise and counter clockwise. This is so that you will be swimming beside people in the next lane going in the same direction which helps reduce collisions. This will be explained in greater detail by your coach on deck.
- Another note about circling: if you find you are swimming over a black line, you are too close to the centre of the lane and risk running into someone. Try to stay towards the outside of the lane.
- If you come late to a practice warm up on deck and avoid swimming hard until you feel warmed up.
- Not all swimmers can do all the workouts at all times. You may want to discuss this with your coach. If you will not be doing the same thing as the rest of your lane, do not interfere with what they are doing. Either swim at the front or the back or consider somewhere else depending on circumstances.
- Finally remember that swimming is fun. Smiles are mandatory at all times.