The 5 basics of sharing a swimming pool

The 5 basics of sharing a swimming pool

A swimming pool is by definition a place where well-being, exercise and enjoyment should ALWAYS be king (yes, even when it is crowded)! Under no circumstances do we want to hear "swimming sessions" rhyme with "perpetual altercations"...


To make sure of this, it is important to underline the importance of good practice, good behaviour and the good manners necessary to successfully share a swimming pool, so that all users can get along and swim in peace.

Swimming direction, hygiene, manners, today Nabaiji is here to remind you of the 5 basics of "courteous swimming"!


Follow the swimming direction

As you have probably noticed, the swimming direction in the pool is the same as on European roads, on the right-hand side (anti-clockwise). If this is not followed, a collision is generally unavoidable. And if you're behind it, you will most likely be in for a telling off at best and a slap on the wrist at worst... A very unfortunate situation as I am sure you will agree!

However, even if the vast majority of people know this, some swimmers, whether they are aware of it or not, tend to veer into the middle of the lane to be comfortable. This is very restrictive for other swimmers who must, for some, reduce the amount of space they are taking up in order to let them go past, and for others, be forced not to overtake for fear of colliding with another swimmer.

It is also very important to note that when you get to the wall, you must make your turn on the left-hand side of the lane. If this side is occupied by swimmers having a rest, the turn can be made in the centre but never, ever to the right!


Carefully plan your session

When the pool is crowded at peak times, it is best to organise your training session accordingly.

For a successful workout even in a full lane, avoid doing the butterfly as it requires a lot of room and you run the risk of hitting other swimmers. Backstroke should only be used if you are able to control where you are going without looking, so as not to end up in an adjacent lane. This will help you avoid many collisions!

In terms of training equipment, crowded swimming pools are sometimes not conducive to the use of paddles" or fins. When human density is high, contact between swimmers is almost inevitable. Fins and paddles" can easily scratch or hurt on impact. To be used in moderation...


Follow the swimming pool hygiene rules

“Why wear a cap?”
“I don't need to wash, I'm getting in the pool!”
"Bermuda shorts are like a swimsuit!”

Who has never heard these words?

Yet these hygiene rules are laid down to ensure a maximum of enjoyment and safety for the users of the swimming pool. Pollution of pools can come in many different forms. Whether it is the dispersion of hair, cosmetics or other residues in the water, they all trigger the dreaded chloramines. Chloramines are chemical compounds that can cause symptoms such as allergies, irritations and breathing problems.

To avoid this kind of complication, it is necessary to comply with hygiene rules to ensure a better quality of water and therefore of training!


Respect other swimmers

Sometimes a swimmer may be a little slower than you, another will not be completely over to the right and a third might swim into you or even dive onto you (yes, it can happen...).

In these cases, and assuming you do not have an accident report in your swimsuit, composure, reconciliation and an apology (if you are at fault) will be in order.

To avoid these kinds of clashes, it is important to never stop in the middle of a length, nor on the right-hand side once you get to the end of the lane. If you have to cross a lane widthwise, look left and right before you take the plunge. Also, when stopped, be sure to wait until all the swimmers have finished their turn and pushed off the wall before starting off again.

Finally, when a swimmer is overtaking you, do not accelerate! It is not a competition or an invitation to duel! Let them go past and keep swimming at your own pace.


Respect the level of the swimming lanes

In public swimming pools, lanes are often divided up by swimming level. Several names may be given to them, but in general there is one lane for "slow" swimmers, another for "fast" swimmers and, less often, a lane for swimmers wearing fins and/or swim paddles".

Before you get into the water, take the time to observe the equipment, technique and swimming speed of the users already in the water to evaluate your level and choose your training lane.

There is no point in overestimating yourself. If you do, once in the water, you may disturb or be disturbed by other swimmers (who may or may not be wearing fins) and/or get into an inappropriate training pace that will not let you enjoy yourself.

It should be crystal clear that apart from these basics of sharing a pool, it would be looked down upon to run around the pool, shove other swimmers, disturb the peace of the atmosphere or throw any kind of projectiles.

All together so that "swimming session" always rhymes with "perpetual delectation”!

The 5 basics of sharing a swimming pool


National Swimmer & Dialogue Leader