Practice Lane Etiquette for Master’s Swimmers (by Dave Smalley):
1. Try to swim in a lane with people of the same caliber as you as it relates to speed and endurance.
2. When swimming long course ALWAYS go 10 seconds apart on intervals. Short course go 10 seconds apart until there are 4 swimming in a lane, only then go to five second intervals.
3. If you are the person in the lane that asks another to lead the lane or go ahead of them, NEVER swim up on them, keep the interval between you and them. (Note, that many will ask another to go first, simply so they can swim in the easier draft of the swimmer in front of them or lay back with less effort until late in the set then challenge the person in front of them by swimming up on them “Sammy save-up style) Poor form! Either get out in front, or stay back in your spot. If you want to draft, be upfront about it and ask the person in front of you if it bothers them.
4. If a swimmer says that they will lead the lane, or asks to go in front of you or simply assumes they are the leader, then rule 3 does not apply, Go for it!
5. If you are being lapped by a faster swimmer, swim to the farthest you can to the right to let the faster swimmer by. If you come to the turn and you are about to be passed, wait on the wall as far right as possible until the faster swimmer has gone by.
6. To pass a slower swimmer tap them, brush them, on the left foot or calf to signal you are there.
7. Never modify a set as to send off unless you have the full agreement with your lane mates and the coach on deck. It is not a do your own thing time. Be considerate of others and stay with the intervals suggested.
8. ALWAYS rest the prescribed interval rest on sets. Do not cut it short to catch up or stay up. If you are passed on say the broken mile or other long interval rest set, drop the 50 so you will be back on the same lap so to speak as the leaders, which will allow you to rest at the same intervals then pick up the lapped 50 at the end. You will find it much less congested and confusing. Related here is to leave on the interval, not a couple seconds prior.
9. Always swim staying to the right of the center line, do not crowd the middle. Respect the people in your lane.
10. Know the Family Rule. If someone’s family shows up on deck, invoke the family rule for the sake of the individual whose family has shown up. This means letting that person win the interval or lead the lane convincingly, effectively showing off to the rest of the family. When the family leaves, go back to running over the slacker.
Elbows high...(and pulling with paddles)
Here Coach Cindy is demonstrating - with her left AND right arm - that wide paddle swing that earned her the nickname of "Chopper."
Don’t panic, there are not two "choppers" loose in the lanes . . . these are time lapsed photos of Cindy merely to demonstrate the danger. Not only are her lane mates in peril but so too are those poor innocents in the immediate neighboring lanes.
The coaches look at me a bit strangely when I plead with them to put me in any lane but Cindy’s. Cindy gives me that look that causes my life to flash before me . . . I am convinced that she sharpens her paddles on (Big) Scott’s grinding wheel in the garage.
So remember . . . keep those elbows up!
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