Ready to Dive In?
What to Bring
Men: jammers or briefs are commonly worn;
Women: one-piece tank is typically worn.
You'll want to choose a suit that fits well enough to stay put while you move.
Swim Cap and Goggles
Swim caps are worn to keep long hair out of the way but to also protect your hair from the chlorine in the pool. Silicone or latex versions are typically worn.
Goggles that fit your face properly are essential to your workout. Mirrored goggles can be helpful outside but not overly necessary during early morning practice.
Although you are surrounded by water, you'll want to have a water bottle to drink from during your workout.
Pull buoy, Paddles, Fins, and Kickboard *
These are optional equipment but greatly enhance your workouts by concentrating on improving stroke technique are supplementing your speed. Some equipment available for use at either facility.
Swimming with a group is completely different than having your own lane. There are unspoken rules of the pool that are sometimes learned the hard way. Fear not! We've all gone through our first few days of adjusting to group swimming. Here are a few tips to making friends in the pool quickly.
In most pools, lanes are designated as slow, medium, or fast. These are relative terms. Choose a lane compatible with your speed, then notify the others in the lane that you are joining them.
If there are two of you in a lane, you may opt to keep to one side of the lane; the other swimmer will stay on the opposite side. Three or more swimmers in a lane must circle swim. In the United States, Canada, and most of the rest of the world, the custom is to stay to the right, that is to swim counterclockwise. (As you might expect, in Great Britain, Australia, and a few other Commonwealth outposts, swimmers circle clockwise. When will these people get it right?)
Joining a workout
If there is a workout set in progress, you may join only as part of the set.
Slower swimmers must yield to faster swimmers. Try to join a lane of swimmers that are swimming close to your pace.
Pass on the left. Gently tap the foot of the person in front of you before passing. If you are being overtaken at the turn, stop, and wait until the other swimmer has pushed off.
Rules of Common Courtesy in the Pool
Do not stand in front of the pace clock.
Entering. When you enter the water, never dive, jump, or push off into oncoming swimmers. Wait until they have made the turn and pushed off.
Stopping. If you need to stop, squeeze into the corner to the right of oncoming swimmers, so they will have sufficient room to turn.
Push off underwater. This will reduce the waves encountered by oncoming swimmers.
At all times be aware of what is going on within your lane. Also try not to kick or swing your arms into another lane.
Keep your toenails and fingernails trimmed.
For further reading about lane etiquette in a lighthearted manner check out this article by USMS.