Practice Etiquette

At the Start of Practice:

  • Arrive to practice early so you can stretch and get ready for the workout. A late swimmer disrupts the practice, interrupts other swimmers, and risks injury since there is no opportunity to properly warm up.
  • Help putting in the lane ropes (if required) so that practice can start on time.
  • Pick up a kick board and a pull buoy (and fins, if requested by the coaches), prior to starting to swim.
  • Select a lane that suits your speed, even if you can’t complete the sets (take more rest).
  • If you do arrive late, tailor your warm-up so you don’t impede swimmers doing the workout (find out at what point on the workout the other swimmers are, and start swimming at the same point, after making your presence known).

During Practice:

  • If your lane is crowded, a faster swimmer should move up a lane for the session.
  • Swim in order of speed – e.g. fastest backstroker may be slowest in breast, or longer distance.
  • Follow the workout – that’s the reason why you have a coach!
  • Use the pace clock.
  • Leave 5 or 10 seconds between swimmers to avoid crowding, allow for turns and track your time.
  • If you want to pass the swimmer in front of you, touch his/her foot 10m before the turn.
  • If the swimmer behind you touches your foot, let him/her pass at the next turn.
  • If you are consistently the fastest or slowest in your lane, consider moving up or down a lane.
  • Never crowd the wall of the adjacent lane – leave their space clear.
  • When at the wall, move over! Leave the end of the lane open for swimmers to turn or finish.
  • When turning, push off the return side of the lane to avoid on-coming swimmers.
  • Swim in straight lines by following the line on the pool bottom, or the ceiling tiles.
  • If you skip a set to rest, sit out on the deck; don’t hang onto the wall if that would obstruct other swimmers.
  • If you join a lane after the workout has started, make your presence known. Unexpected newcomers can cause collisions.

At the End of Practice:

  • Once the practice has ended exit the pool right away so the next program can start on time.
  • Help putting away the lane ropes (if required) and help out to put away the kick boards, pull buoys and other swimming equipment.


  • Follow the instructions of the coach and the lifeguards at all times.
  • Don’t dive in the shallow end.
  • Don’t run on the pool deck.
  • Don’t hang off or climb on the lane ropes – it can damage them.
  • Don’t clear your nose or throat in the pool.
  • For the sake of other swimmers, don’t wear a bathing suit that is so old that it “clings” or is transparent – get a new one.

 Thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy your workout!

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