THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS OF SWIMMING
1. WORSHIP ONLY ONE SET
There is not enough room in the lane to flaunt this gospel. There can be only one set or chaos will descend. If you “do your own thing” you will inevitably get in the way, cause confusion, make the other swimmers miss their intervals, and frustrate everyone including yourself. If you have any comments or suggestions for the coach, email the office or talk to the coach after – not during the workout. We will listen to constructive criticism.
2. HONOR THY LEADER
The lane leader is responsible for following the set. Everyone else is responsible for following the leader (at 5-7-10 second intervals.) It is vital for everyone in the lane to have faith in the leader. If you think he or she has misinterpreted the set, just stop at the wall or go with the flow until he or she stops at the wall. There is more virtue in swimming an extra 50 than there is in bringing a workout to a grinding halt for discussion.
3. START NOT ON THINE OWN
If you’re late to church or to temple, they don’t start the sermon over for you; you pick up where everyone else is. Likewise, if you get into a lane and a set is already in progress, don’t just start swimming the set from the beginning — fall in with the pack. Don’t worry if you don’t know what the pack is doing, just follow until they stop, then find out where they are. If there’s not enough wall time to find out, simply start 5 seconds behind the person in front of you until the set ends.
4. TO THINE OWN SPEED BE TRUE
Every lane has its own speed, relatively speaking. If you are too fast for the rest of the pack, move up a lane. If you are too slow, move down a lane. All swimmers in a lane must fall within the same relative speed range or they will be swimming up each others’ backs. With that said remember; the faster swimmer has the right away in long swims. It takes just a second to get out of the way rather than hold up a few swimmers.
5. THOU SHALT NOT KILL THE FLOW
If, for some righteous reason, you are in violation of the previous Commandment but cannot change lanes, be conscious of other swimmers. If you are faster than the rest of the pack, try to match their speed by mixing in some drill or some stroke. If you are slower than the others, stop at the wall to let the swimmer behind you pass when he or she touches your toes or, better yet, when it seems inevitable that you will be touched within the next length. If the whole pack passes you, fall in behind them and finish when they do.
6. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S WALL SPACE
When you stop at the wall, move over as far as you can to the left to make way for other swimmers. There should be room for at least four on the wall in a narrow lane, five in a wide lane. If there are more swimmers than can fit on the wall, the person on the right should move to the left and tread water to allow other swimmers to touch the wall and complete their set. If you must skip a 50 to rest, be sure to stay far to the left of the wall or get out of the pool to allow others to make their turns unimpeded. At the end, leave the finishing half the lane empty for swimmer behind you to touch. Lane leaders move completely over to the right or get off the wall for some additional space.
7. THOU SHALT BE NICE
If you believe one of your lane mates has broken one of these commandments and a gentle reminder does not work, do not allow the situation to escalate into anger.