Busy Pool? Lap Swim Etiquette for Sharing Lanes


Don't feel like you are forced to keep up with the flow of your lane. If you need to stop and rest, you may do so. But be mindful of the other swimmers in your lane when you decide to take a break, particularly if you're swimming circles.

  • The best place to stop is in the corner of the lane at the wall. If you're doing circles, it's most likely that the swimmers will do a flip turn, then push off and angle to the right to keep going. From the vantage point at the end of the lane, that leaves a sliver of space in the bottom-right corner of the lane for you to rest if needed.
  • Don't stop in the middle of the lane. That is not expected and can lead to swimmers running into you. The best way to be a good lane mate is to be a predictable one, so rest at the walls.


The bottom line is, it's possible to join a lane with other swimmers and get your workout in without bothering anybody you're sharing the lane with. In fact, that's what you should strive for.

Be aware of the other swimmers, don't get in their way and make sure you get in the workout you desire. That will make for a fulfilling and drama-free day at your local pool.

More: Natalie Coughlin's Freestyle Tips

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