SMU Summer Swim Survival Guide

10 Great Things you need to know and Practice
Swimming in the SMU Outdoor Pool

By Coach Bobby Patten


Welcome to SMU Summer Swimming with the Dallas Aquatic Masters!

As many of you already know, the SMU Redd Barr pool is our most popular location, especially during the spring/summer months.  For you swimmers new to DAM you will find swimming outdoors enjoyable and challenging!

There are a few things to keep in mind when joining a practice session at SMU:

1. Lane ability changes day to day: What was one day a lane full of swimmers holding a 1:30 pace may the next day be a lane full of swimmers holding 1:15 pace. You need to be flexible on a practice to practice basis. But don’t worry the pool is 50 meters long in EVERY LANE!…. We checked it last week.  
Famous quote: "There is water in every lane, so it is OK."  Ian Thorpe (on being in Lane 5 for a final).

2. Swim practice already in progress: Some practices are back to back, or have a 15 minute crossover.  If you’re running late or show up early please don’t just hop in a lane without checking with the coach on deck. Make sure you’re able to warm up at the pace of the lane you normally swim.  While we encourage swimmers to arrive on time for a workout swim, we fully understand life gets in the way, and some swimming is always better than no swimming. Just be sure as you join a session already in progress you don’t interfere with the swimmers already enjoying their workout. 

3. Skill levels vary in each lane: Be sure you communicate with lane mates. Wearing fins or a pull buoy will change the order, remember play nice.  Famous Quote: I walked away from the sport for 17 years, then started swimming again recently in a master's program. Mark Spitz"

4. Swim Equipment: Dam provides a limited number of fins and other equipment.  However, If you want to be guaranteed the use of swim equipment be sure to bring your own, this is especially true of fins. D & J Sports offers 10% off when you show your DAM member card.  And just to avoid any lane battles, PLEASE place your name on your swim stuff. Please be respectful of others equipment, and if you see that someone left something behind simply give it to the coach on deck.  Not so Famous Quote: My old swim coach use to say "Pick up your swim toys...your momma don't work here"...kindly return the equipment back to the bins.  

5. Altering a swim set: While it’s fine with the coaches if you decide to pull on a swim set please make sure you’re paying attention to what is going on around you, don’t ruin other swimmers workout doing your own thing.

6. I swim therefore IM: Workouts are written in advance and have a weekly,l monthly and seasonal plans. Please don’t come to a DAM practice and expect to swim your special “triathlon coach certified practice” follow our recommendations and you will improve in the water. 

7. Coach must be on deck! Never get in the pool without the coach on deck. Swimming before our scheduled practice time without a coach on deck could possibly result in the entire program losing SMU as a training location.

9.Practice Etiquette: Please read Jim Montgomery’s “Rules of the Road”, also known as the Twelve Commandments of Practice Etiquette.  You break a commandment we take away fins and pull buoys.

10. Got Goals?  Remember in any given practice there are thirty, forty, fifty or even one hundred reasons why we are swimming.  Your goals may not be the same as the person next to you. But we are all in the pool together, so lets all enjoy the experience and be friends!

And as a reminder:

See you at the SMU pool! Let's have a great summer!  

Bobby Patten
DAM Head Coach, Pool Peace Keeper and Guardian of the Rules!