General Behavioural Guidelines
• Strive to bring your best attitude and performance to each session. Be a good sport and a team player.
• Control your temper and your language. Verbal or physical abuse is not acceptable. No criticism by word or action.
• Be a good sport. Applaud good performances whether they are made by your team or the opposition.
• Treat all swimming participants, as you would like to be treated. Do not bully or take unfair advantage of another swimmer.
• Cooperate with your coaches and fellow swimmers. Do not argue with coaches. Resolve disputes with coaches and/or fellow swimmers in a dignified and appropriate manner.
• Participate for your own enjoyment and benefit, not to satisfy the expectations of others.
• Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of their gender, ability, ethnicity, cultural background or religion.
• Ensure you have adequate rest between sessions to obtain your best performance.
• Take responsibility for your actions and follow the directions of coaches at all times.
Swimmers should adhere to the program that the coaches have written. If you are suffering from an injury or recovering from a race, please discuss the program with the coach to decide on an appropriate modification. Those following a modified set need to be accommodating of the others who are doing the full set program.
Please discuss your swimming ability with the coach if you are unsure which lane you should swim in. Coaches may instruct you to change lanes or lane position during a session if they feel it would allow each lane to flow more smoothly. Please follow coaches’ directions cheerfully if asked to move position.
At all times, be realistic with your lane and lane position choices. Most “lane rage” occurs when people seed themselves incorrectly. Try and avoid this by being aware of yours and others’ speeds and swimming accordingly.
General Considerations and Lane Etiquette:
Always leave a five second gap between swimmers unless instructed by the coaches, (ie. when doing pack swims in triathlon training). It is more beneficial for each swimmer to work under their own steam, not be pulled along in the draft of a faster swimmer. Keeping a gap also reduces resentment from the “pulling” swimmer and reduces the incidence of crashing or accidental touches.
Always swim on the left of the lane - Please do not veer into the middle or right hand side of the lane.
Passing and being passed: Follow these guidelines for safe and effective lane swimming.
An overtaking swimmer should gently but distinctly tap the feet of the swimmer they would like to pass as they are nearing the end of the lane. Please do not grab the slower swimmer’s legs or hit with any force. A gentle tap is sufficient.
A lead swimmer who feels a touch on the feet from a following swimmer, should continue to the next wall, then stop in the left hand corner of the lane to let faster swimmer(s) past. If you unsure whether a request is being made, remember that two or more distinct touches should be regarded almost universally as a request to swim through.
- Swimmers enjoying a draft behind a strong lead swimmer, but who are just barely able to hold that pace should not tap the leader’s toes and ask move ahead. It is highly unlikely that the passing swimmer will be able to hold the lead for more than a lap, causing the lane to change leader again and disrupting the flow.
Drafting swimmers not wishing to pass should ensure that the gap between them and the faster swimmers is far enough to avoid inadvertent toe touching.
Passing swimmers should not attempt to overtake a slower swimmer in the middle of the lane, (unless they are the only two swimmers in the lane) as this presents a collision hazard with those coming in the opposite direction.
Overtaking exception: The only exception to the overtaking rule is for swimmers who are fast enough to safely overtake and return to the left hand side of the lane before any oncoming swimmers are in danger of collision.
Ambiguity at the wall: If two swimmers arrive at similar times to each other at the wall, the slower swimmer must give way to the faster swimmer, unless the faster swimmer relinquishes their lead to the slower.
In longer sets, if the lead or a fast swimmer finds themselves behind a group of slower swimmers, they may move into the other side of the lane and swim in the opposite direction, placing themselves at the front of the lane again.
During longer sets, swimmers should always stay aware of the gap behind them to the next swimmer, and try to anticipate if and when that swimmer is likely to overtake them. This can easily be done by looking back just before or during each turn at the wall.
A lead swimmer who sees another swimmer coming up close behind as they turn at the wall should stop and move to the side immediately at that wall in order to let the faster swimmer past, rather than blocking that swimmer for an entire length to the next wall.
Swimmers being overtaken should never stop in the middle of the pool, but continue swimming to the next wall. Move over to the side at this wall and allow the faster swimmers to pass.
If more than one swimmer is bunched close behind, the swimmer being overtaken should allow the entire group of faster swimmers to pass before pushing off the wall again (i.e. don’t push off right in front of someone else who’s also obviously faster.)
Swimmers being overtaken should not attempt to speed up (or slow down) once tapped, nor should they jump in and tap the new lead swimmer on the next lap. Maintain the 5 second gap and swim with respect and decorum.
If two or more swimmers are closely matched in pace it is advisable to share the lead during the session.