Squad Etiquette

To make your swim squad more enjoyable and safe for yourself and the other members in your lane please be courteous at all times and respect your teammates and your coach. Familiarising yourself with the below guidelines to follow during squad will help keep everyone swimming together. Be sure to ask the coach if you have any questions.

1. Select a lane suitable for your speed – start yourself in Lane 1 (the slowest lane closest to the wall) if you are unsure. (Your coach can also assist finding you the right lane). No diving in the shallow end – please enter feet first. If you are new to a lane, introduce yourself and swim near the end to get a feel for the speeds of the group. The order of the lane may vary depending on the nature of the workout eg: kick, form stroke vs freestyle.

2. Pay attention to the direction of the circle for your lane before you get in (ask if you are unsure). We swim in opposite circle direction as per the below direction – lanes 1 & 3 swim clockwise and lane 2 swims counter-clockwise. (The left side of lane 1 is the wall). This helps prevent swimmers from banging hands and wrists with the swimmers in the lane next to them.

Circle Swimming
Circle swimming at North Sydney Masters

3. Start your session slowly and carefully, ease yourself into it! Warm-up is meant for warming up – not racing.

4. Follow the workout: keep to the times nominated and do the stroke specified – even if you feel you are not ‘good’ at it. This is the time to practice! If you don’t understand the set or have an injury, let the coach know to both clarify the set and help you with any modifications.

5. If you need to take a break or stop swimming during the workout, make room at the wall by moving out of the way of other swimmers and sliding into a corner. Leave the centre of the lane open for swimmers to make their turn and carry on. Do NOT push off the wall in front of another swimmer who is about to do a turn or push off. You may need to wait a bit longer at the wall while the faster swimmers in your lane go by. That also lets you swim with less stress! If you are lapped during a set (or if you are late), re-join the set with the other swimmers in the lane when you are ready.

6. If there is a faster swimmer on your feet behind you, then move out of their way at the wall when you are near an end. If you happen to be in the middle of a lap and want to let them by sooner, then stop and move to the side of the lane (not the centre) or dunk underwater and let them swim around or over you.

7. If you need to pass a swimmer, tap their feet to let them know you are coming and wait for them to notice and move out of your way. (Try to place yourself in the right order in your lane at the beginning of each set – fastest people at the start to avoid too much passing). Do not pass down the middle until they have stopped and moved to the side or underwater. Our lanes are not wide enough to pass someone who hasn’t stopped and you put both yourself and oncoming swimmers in danger of crashing if this is attempted.

8. Make room at the wall by moving to the other side of the lane to let the swimmers behind you finish at the end of each interval. At the same time, be sure not to move in front of a swimmer who is about to leave on the next interval on the opposite side of the lane. (Sometimes you need to stand sideways in a line up the middle of the lane to keep room at the wall on one side and room for the lead swimmers to push off on the other side).

9. Watch the clock and leave 10 seconds apart unless otherwise instructed by the coach. Try your best not to sit on someone’s feet (drafting). If you are constantly catching up the person in front of you, go ahead of them at the next interval and or see #5 on how to pass.

10. We use the pace clock as a primary tool during squad. If you have never used one before, learn how it is used online. One useful article can be found at this link: https://loneswimmer.com/2015/05/13/how-to-an-introduction-to-the-pace-clock-for-beginner-improving-swimmers/

11. It will be useful to bring your own equipment to squad, including pull buoy, fins, snorkel, and water bottle.

12. When the coach is talking, listen! Be sure to ask questions if you are unclear. The coach is there to help, but listening first is appreciated:)

Swimming, and particularly squad swimming, is NOT a mindless activity – your brain needs to be engaged at all times. This means that not only are you fully aware of what you are supposed to be doing and working to the best of your ability, you are also mindful of the others in your lane, to ensure you are swimming safely. If you are having a bad day and things don’t seem to be going right, do not take it out on your lane-mates or coaches. Remember a polite reminder of swim etiquette will go a long way to lane harmony.