The etiquette of swimming

Well, some of you might be surprised to find out that there is an etiquette of swimming, but having had a frustrating swim this morning I am adamant that it exists. So, here are the rules!

1. If the swimming pool is laned off please do not sit at the end of the lane taking up all the wall space so that people who are actually swimming (the clue is in the fact that it is a SWIMMING POOL) can push off when they are swimming laps. This is particularly directed at old people who think it is their divine right to get in the way. If you want to chat there is a nice coffee shop in the leisure centre – go and use that.

2. If you swim slowly that is fine but please do not swim up the middle of the lane. Please be considerate and swim at the side so that people faster than you can overtake.

3. Please do not stop dead in the middle of the lane and stand up. I will swim into you if I am swimming behind you.

4. If there are lots of people in the lane please do not bring your small children who are wearing armbands into it. I understand this may be difficult if the main part of the pool is being used for swimming lessons. Might I suggest that you use the small pool?

5. Please do not glare and tut at me when I overtake you. I just want to have a good swim and increase my heart rate to a reasonable rate so that I feel like I am actually doing some exercise rather than lying in a cooling bath.

6. And this final one is a plea to the managers at the leisure centre. I understand that school swimming lessons are important, but if you say that the main pool is open but with restricted lanes then please make sure that there are at least two lanes open to the general public – one for fast swimmers and one for slow swimmers. if necessary why don’t you lane off the pool width ways so that people swim short lengths but at least they get the chance to have a decent swim without running into each other.

End of rant…. can you tell I am pissed off?

9 thoughts on “The etiquette of swimming

  1. Oh I’m so with you on this, especially number 1. Can I add some others?

    Continuing to have a conversation whilst swimming in lanes is a silly idea, either one behind each other (where you won’t be able to hear each other) or side by side (thus blocking the lane for anyone coming the other way). Trust me, conversations held wearing more clothes and with more privacy are much better for you.

    To Mr Splash-Splash-KICK who frequents my pool, please learn to swim in a way that doesn’t cause a tidal wave every stroke. Its not nice, its not pleasant, and you’re expanding unnecessary energy which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t a great idea at 7:30am.

  2. These rules should have been on every party’s manifesto.
    Another: take a moment to see what everyone else is doing (e.g. swimming up the right side and down the left) before wrecking the system by doing it YOUR way.

    The rules should also be adapted to people dawdling down the street when shopping. (Eg. don’t stand in doorways with your family discussing the price of eggs when others want to come in/out; don’t walk down the street five abreast with two pushchairs; I could go on…).

  3. 🙂 I have come to love the system in the UK and I was once told in the swimming pool to switch to the slow lane (mind you, it was Loughborough’s Olympic training pool where the national team trains…), so whilst I totally appreciated your rant and fully agree with it, it’s a good thing there are lanes and directions in the first place – in Germany we’re not even THAT organised (honestly, who would’ve thought 😉 )

  4. If only the pool I go to would

    a) have more than one lane and
    b) suggest to the people who are doing a good impression of drowning that they should be in the slow lane.

  5. oh to have easy access to a pool with a reasonable length, price, location etc … the closest indoor lap swimming pool is over an hour’s drive way – so that doesn’t happen – we’re using a local indoor pool, 18 metres, admittedly we do get it to ourselves (have to book, times are fairly random!), but it’s pricey … miss my lovely 50 metre olympic indoor pool in sydney!

  6. Sigrun:
    I think the British approach to swimming is probably similar to our attitude to queuing. 😉

  7. I hear you loud and clear!

    Additional rule: if you have only one lane open for lane swimming, don’t advertise in the reception area that two are open!

    Also: please ask parents how old their boys are and bloomin well send the over 7s to the men’s changing room!

  8. Or… if you can’t beat them, join then, but be waaaay worse to piss them off more!!!

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