Let’s make it easy on ourselves and the coaches...

Five points to remember in running a smooth swim practice by Jim Montgomery

This time of the year DAM gets an influx of new members which can cause some practice etiquette anxiety. For those fairly new to DAM I hope our coaches have adequately explained the rules of the road. If not, check out the Practice Etiquette, also available on our website.   Learning how to circle swim and keeping it to the right are as basic as it gets. But there are a few practice etiquette rules of conduct that even our DAM veterans choose to ignore.      

The amoeba lane.  Defined in the dictionary as a one-celled aquatic or parasitic protozoans having no definite form and consisting of a mass of protoplasm. For those who never lead a lane but love to push off 2-3 seconds behind someone so they can draft off another body. Give the swimmer ahead of you at least a 5 second head start, 10 seconds is even better if the lane you are swimming in is not too crowded... If you are still catching the person after giving him or her a 10 second lead, then you need to politely ask if you could switch.

Where to hang out when you need a wall break. If you are facing the end of the pool you want to   stay in the right hand corner of the lane so swimmers can turn in the middle of the lane and keep swimming. When doing a set of swim repeats (Example 5 X 100) and there is a rest interval but no room at the wall, the place to hang out is the middle of the lane. This allows the lane leader and those that follow an avenue to push off on the left side of the lane and those behind you to swim in and finish at the wall. 

Sammy or Suzie save up.   You do not win brownie points with your lane mates if sit out a swim repeat or two then jump back into middle of swim set refreshed, ready to go swimming on someone’s feet or worse try to pass someone. The worst circumstance is when the lane leaders are coming into the wall for a turn and Sammy or Suzie push off ahead of them thinking they won’t be caught but almost always are causing a pile up.

The great divide, fins or no fins. Back in the good old days fins only existed whenever I saw a rerun of the 1950s TV show Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges. Now it’s standard equipment for the majority of DAM members. The guys are the worst because their hip flexors and hamstrings are so tight I have actually seen a few men go backwards without fins. For those of us purists that don’t use swim fins during a kick set, you have my ultimate respect.  All you fins people, back off and gives us our space!  

Please don’t make me move. Some of us have a tough time aging gracefully especially in the pool. Has anybody noticed Coach Jim hanging out in lane six instead of with the animals in lane eight?  Lane six is where everyone loves that extra minute of rest and nobody really cares how fast they swim as long as they get that 3000 yards/meters in. Then there is the reverse. The person in the lane that is way better than anybody else but nobody cares because he or she always leads the lane. Stop swimming non-stop just to keep up, and move down a lane. Or stop being a weenie and move up a lane.