I’m almost daily at the pool, and sometimes with a shaking head, I watch what people are able to drop out from their mouth or a certain behaviour, whether it is hygienic habits or just not being rude. In this article, I would like to devote myself to general education and the situation on the swimming pools, mainly Prague, but these rules will, of course, apply to most of the pools. So how to behave in the pool that you can enjoy being there?
Hygiene is the foundation
Recklessness in some cases does not know the limits, and it’s just as little as slippers and shower will make a change. I believe that for most people, hygienic habits are automatic, but according to what I often see in the pool, especially in showers and dressing rooms, I wonder if we are a nation of shameless pigs?
For example, smudges from the socks, if you do not take your slippers in the cloakroom, will print on a wet floor and leave behind you the traces to the showers. On this dirty floor, I do not want to step with my slippers and I can’t even imagine doing it not wearing them. Taking your slippers as soon as you take off the socks, then go into the shower and shower properly, keeping clean in cloakrooms, in the showers and then in the pool.
Shower without the swimsuit. Let’s keep together the purity of the locker area, wear slippers and take a shower before entering the pool. By taking shower you will splash sock smudges, sweat, women make-up and men various hair gels and clays, just to name a few.
On your way out of the pool, make sure you will wring your swimsuit right in the shower, into the canal, or in the designated room. Be sure to dry yourself in the designated room, not in the cloakroom. I have seen several falls because of the wet floor in the dressing rooms where there often are not anti-slip tiles.
Behaviour in the pool
If you know that your swimming skills are not at such a level as to swim in the fitness track, recognize it and try to move economically in the public area. The public area is designed for people who, for example, swim slowly, with head above water or just relaxing.
You can recognize the public pool area by the mark, which is usually located nearby, and if you do not see it, ask the lifeguards or pool staff. They will direct you. If the pool is full, you need to adjust how and where you swim. Use system, not a random swimming.
Someone will always be slower or faster. Be thoughtful, avoid collisions in time and make room for faster swimmers. Do not wait until another swimmer gets close to you. Do not swim next to each other and do not block others. It’s very hard to overtake you if you chatting and swimming side by side.
In a more occupied pool, you can best swim in circles from right to left (or vice versa, depending on the situation), even in an area without dedicated lanes. Do not think that everything must be about you, acknowledge yourself others and be kind. Try to talk with swimmers. This is the only way to swim in a public area without any problem. How to swim in circles is shown on a picture below.
By swimming all the way in one direction you take up more space here and there. The swimming pool can not inflate, and it is necessary to think about it with common sense when the pool is crowded. If you need to swim side by side and talk, maybe you should go out of the pool and sit and talk on the bench.
Be patient with beginners who are just learning to swim and need to move around the wall. Some are afraid of the water. Respect that they want to learn to swim and can be clumsy. Do not get close to them, make a space for them.
Do not dive off the block or sides, you can make people feel uncomfortable near you. It is not pleasant for them and you endanger yourself and others. Dive only when it is possible to jump without limiting anyone. Advice your children who like to dive. Just direct them.
Get swimming glasses and a cap. It is a matter of several hundred CZK. It is likely that when you are in the pool, it will splash around when people swim and you may have a wet hair or drop fall in your eyes. It is inappropriate to be rude when someone accidentally splashes on your hair, you are in the pool so you need to count on it. How to choose the equipment for beginner swimmers can be found here.
Intermediate and advanced
If you swim crawl, it is ideal to swim in a fitness (slow or fast) lane that matches your swim speed. If you are overtaken by other swimmers every 5 meters, you should probably move to a slower lane or public area without lanes. Do not block the faster swimmers in the lane.
If a fitness lane is not available in the pool, for example, when sports clubs having a training, swim considerably in the public pool area. Circle swim from right to left or vice versa, as appropriate, and do not use training tools (pads, fins) that are only allowed in the fitness lane in most pools. When swimming crawl, look ahead and avoid collisions in time.
In the lane swim on the side so the faster swimmer can easily overtake you. If you need to rest on the edge of the pool, move to one of the corners of the lane. Swimmers can still operate in the middle of the wall without anyone blocking.
The rules of circle swim on the lane are given. Before you dive into the lane, you have to look at the current direction in which athletes swimming. Do not think that the right-to-left rule applies everywhere and every time. That’s nonsense, just use common sense and see the picture below for a safe swimming system in the lanes.
It has its reason and especially it’s about the safety of competitive (all) swimmers. If you swim fast and in the wrong direction, you can knock your hands to the point where you or other swimmer is injured by a broken finger or whole arm. Unless otherwise specified, you can use the right-to-left rule.
If you can not swim in the left-to-right direction, then you have to do something about it and not claim a change in the direction of swimming and hit the swimmers already being in the lane as one athlete who would argue in the blood that he always swims from the right to the left, although the swimming direction worked on the principle shown in the picture above.
Communicate with other swimmers, tell each other who is faster and respect each other. Everyone has their training motive and pace. Just do not block, move quickly and rest in the corners.
And the last topic is where sports clubs or teams come to training and they need a lane. If you are swimming in the fitness lane and are forced to stop training, try to soften your emotions a little and do not argue with athletes. They just have come to training in their lane.
In Prague, the situation with the pools is not ideal, there is a growing interest in swimming and unfortunately, the number of fitness lanes on the pools is limited, especially at peak hours before or after work. There are many sports clubs that have rented lanes and also many individuals who want to swim their fitness training. It must be seen from both sides, be thoughtful and able to adapt. I’m sure everyone will be happy at the pool and that’s what it should be. Also look at the more detailed article about how to be the right training partner.