Swimming Pool Etiquette

Let’s talk about swimming pool etiquette or the distinct lack of it. I swim on average three to four times a week and average about 7 – 9km of swimming a week. I enjoy my swimming, its something I look forward to, although that is changing.

Over the years I have experienced a distinct lack of respect in the pool from swimmers who frankly don’t care about other swimmers or those around them trying to swim.

There are those that choose to swim in the fast lane when (and this is said with respect) they have no intention to swim fast. They idle along with a backstroke or a breast stroke at a pace that makes it very difficult for those wanting to swim fast to actually do anything more than 2 lengths before having to stop and wait for the person to get far enough away to do a couple more lengths. It’s actually dangerous especially when you are joined by another swimmer and you take the risk to pass the slow swimmer only to find that you have to stop or crash into the oncoming traffic.

I have taken the approach in recent times to tell the person that they need to be in the other lane but often there is either the shrug of the shoulders or I am told to get lost or that they have as much right to be in the lane as I have. Not true – the rules are on the wall and they are designed not to disenfranchise someone from the far lane but for health and safety of those swimming. I have collided with swimmers a few times over the recent months and I always get the look as if I am in the wrong. Not true, I don’t collide with other faster swimmers, it’s those taking care of their log impressions.

It is also not ok to walk in a swimming pool fast lane when others are swimming. Yes, I have experienced this too recently, the person that decides to stop. swimming and walk out the rest of his lengths. Good apparently for those recovering from injury, great in fact but do it in the slow lane when others aren’t trying to swim!

I have also recently experienced those that have decided it is a great place to piggy back the girlfriend whilst walking up the middle of the fast lane. This makes no sense to me, it can only be something that the person feels will upset the swimmers in the pool and done deliberately!

I’ve had to put up with this for years of swimming and complaints do no good. I even told the person on a recent swim she was disrupting people swimming and suggested politely to move to another lane. She shrugged her shoulders and continued to swim on her back slowly! It’s frustrating and tarnishing the sport I love. Shorter sets are OK but the longer sets don’t work with these people in the pool!

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