The pool we swim at has TINY LANES, which means that having good lane etiquette is critical to being a good teammate. Here are some great tips/tricks/guidelines for being a good lane partner!
- If you are slower than anyone else in your lane, you must always yield to them. Never ever begin your lap as they are approaching your wall for a flip turn. Let them go first. If you notice that they are normally doing freestyle but end up stuck behind you and start doing breaststroke to slow down, you need to let them pass at the next turn.
- Move to the corner of the lane while standing or resting. When you need a rest break, don’t stand at the end of the pool in the middle of the lane. Other swimmers need to use the wall for flip turns. To take a break, swim into the wall on the right side, and stay as close to the lane line as possible.
- Pay attention to where you push off the wall when you flip-turn/turn. Flip turn to the left of the X. Envision yourself swimming down the right side of the lane, with another swimmer five seconds in front of you. If that person swims straight into the wall and flips such that their feet push off the right side of that big black cross, they will have to cut a very sharp angle to gracefully end up on the other side of the lane. They will narrowly miss crashing into you with each turn. If, conversely, they angle left into the wall, and pushes off to the left of the black cross, they can then streamline straight off the wall and are automatically on the correct side for the return lap. No near crashes.
- Situational awareness! If you are doing a set with a group of more than three people, pay attention to the person behind you. With three people, each person can touch the wall at the end of the set and look up to see their time. With four people, the third swimmer needs to move away from the wall so that the fourth person can touch the wall at the end. Usually the way this works is at the end of a set the first person touches in on the far left side of the lane. The second person touches in the center and remains there. The third person touches to the far right, and then immediately moves to the center of the lane, no longer adjacent to the wall, so that they are pool-side of the second person. Now the fourth person can touch in on the far right.