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The 7 unspoken rules for swimming harmony

So what’s swimming etiquette all about? In a nutshell, its about keeping lane harmony at a public swimming pool. The more you understand how the following simple rules work the more enjoyable your swim will be, no matter what your ability.

  1. Lane speed

Probably the most important aspect of lane harmony is seeding your own swimming ability. Most public pools will have some sort of self-seeding system i.e slow, medium or fast lanes. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide on what lane you should swim in. Ultimately you want to pick a lane where you do not have to overtake other swimmers every 5 seconds, and visa versa you do not want to be that person who is being overtaken all the time!

  1. Smile

It’s always a good idea to say ‘hi’ and smile when you join a lane so your fellow swimmers are aware of you.

  1. Overtaking

Overtaking another swimmer can be tricky, especially if you are swimming at a similar speed. It’s a good idea to gently tap the swimmers feet in front of you to let them know you would like to over take. This is generally done when turning at the end of the length.

  1. Be aware of what’s going on around you

Do not push off directly in front of another swimmer unless you are sure you are quicker than them.

  1. Taking a break

When resting stick to the sides of the lane, not smack in the middle of the lane where people want to turn around.

  1. Change lanes

Do not be afraid to change lanes during a session, for some reason everyone wants to swim in the fast lane, where quite often the medium lane is near empty. Best to jump into the medium lane and enjoy a peaceful swim.

If you are doing a kick or drill set, be aware of your fellow swimmers, sometimes it’s a good idea to drop down a lane.

  1. It’s only a swim

And remember its not life or death, it’s just a swim session, so know matter how frustrated you might get, smile and be thankful that you are healthy and can swim a few lengths.


Happy swimming,

Coach Damo