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feelinblue
October 11th, 2005, 06:48 PM
Hi everyone...okay, for my first post I have an etiquette question...I just joined a Master's team a month ago, so I'm pretty new to all of this.
My question is about passing people during practice. I know that theoretically, the standard procedure is to tap the person's feet to let them know you want to pass, and then they're supposed to stop and "pull over" at the next wall to let you get ahead. But do any of you actually do this a lot during practice? Do the people you pass let you do so without a problem, or do they get mad?
Maybe this doesn't sound like a big deal at all and it seems silly that I'm concerned, but I haven't seen anyone even attempt to pass someone else during our practices, and so I'm afraid it would be rude. Plus, some people I swim with seem like they'd get offended, since they're pretty competitive. But last night, I was getting kind of frustrated because I was swimming behind someone who was slower than me, and I felt like I could go so much faster...is the appropriate thing to do to just suck it up and enjoy the "break", or attempt to pass?

nkfrench
October 11th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Well, when I was in high school one of my teammates would just grab my ankles, give a strong yank down/back, and swim right over me without warning if I was going too slow...

Discuss with your teammates / coach.

Presumably everyone is at practice to get a good workout. Etiquette means that you don't interfere with somebody else's workout if it's avoidable.

Rude:
* Pushing off the wall when a faster swimmer is coming in for a turn
* Putting on fins and still starting last
* Not following the set, ie, different stroke or distance
* Refusing to start set in proper order, not allowing correct interval (5 sec or 10 sec) between swimmers
* Stopping during a repeat and not clearing out of the way
* Speeding up when somebody tries to pass
* Refusing to let somebody pass

Not rude:
* Lapping somebody
* Just misjudging who will be faster or slower

If you are the passer, make sure you haven't done anything rude to get yourself in the position where you're at somebody's ankles. Then go ahead and pass, especially if they did something stupid to wind up in front of you.

We pass at my pool, probably don't do the ankle tap though. The swimmer in front can usually tell somebody's encroaching.

knelson
October 11th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Don't expect the leading swimmer to stop at the next wall. The onus is really on the passer to swim around the lead swimmer. Yes, sometimes the leader will stop, but it isn't really a given.

Sabretooth Tiger
October 11th, 2005, 07:15 PM
I don't care for the ankle grab or foot tap myself. If you're fast enough, just pass. Another alternative is to turn before the wall to place yourself in front of the slower swimmer if you have laps remaining. I'll do this to get myself up the ladder, ahead of the slower swimmer and to get myself into the lead or behind a swimmer more well suited to match my speed.

At the wall, just ask "mind if I go ahead of you on this next one?" That works for me, on both the receiving and giving end.

You can also determine whether you need to move to a faster lane.

As you get to know your teammates better, you'll all get a better sense of where you are in the pecking order. And it will likely differ depending on the sets. In my lane, the people that lead the shorter swims (50s and 100s) are not necessarily the same ones who will lead a 500 pull set.

that should be about 2 cents worth.

Fishgrrl
October 11th, 2005, 08:02 PM
Good topic! I could go on and on about lane manners....

I know I've said this before, but another rude thing to do is sandbag (unless you're sick or injured - then it's not sandbagging!) during practice...meaning you are clearly faster, yet you choose to go behind someone else, then ride their toes the entire set!! :mad:

I've asked people if it's OK for me to go ahead on the next set and no one's ever said no; people have asked me as well and it's never a problem.

I've also turned at the flags on longers swims if it makes sense to pass a slower swimmer.

Another pet peeve is when people don't wait the full 5 or 10 seconds before pushing off, then they ride your toes!!

hmlee
October 11th, 2005, 09:09 PM
My university team just had a small lecture on this by my coach the other day.

Our policy is that the responsibility to pass is on the passer. If you want to pass someone it's not their responsibility to stop or pause at the wall - in fact that can be bad because it can throw off their set if they're going on an interval.

My coach says that if you want to pass someone you better speed it up enough to be able to pass them. If you can't go fast enough to pass them then you should'nt be passing them in the first place.

The foot tap/brush is nice because it lets people know that you *are* going to pass them.

If I feel a foot brush on my foot I just make sure not to speed myself up. I may slow down a little, but not significantly. If I feel the tap when I'm going into a wall I'll pause momentarily or do an open turn and let the other swimmer pass.

But I generally don't just stop unless someone indicates it....

feelinblue
October 11th, 2005, 10:58 PM
Well, when I was in high school one of my teammates would just grab my ankles, give a strong yank down/back, and swim right over me without warning if I was going too slow...


I actually laughed out loud at that.... That would probably be enough to get you banned from our Masters practices.

Anyway, thanks for the responses. It's a bit complicated, all this lane etiquette stuff...but I'm getting the picture that the burden rests on the passer, not the passee.

I guess the real reason I posted this is that I had a pretty unpleasant "incident" last night...I was swimming behind someone who I suppose is or was a regular, although she hadn't been to practice for awhile. Anyway, my hand accidentally brushed her feet during a backstroke length (I had waited more than a few seconds before pushing off the wall) and she actually stopped and yelled at me. Yes, yelled. She did apologize later in the locker room, and I understood that she was upset because she was swimming a lot slower than usual since she hadn't been in the water in awhile. But still...I was thinking, I should've just passed her in the beginning of the set, but at the same time I'm afraid to pass her now for fear of her really freaking out.

Okay, rant over. Thanks again for the responses. :cool:

PeirsolFan
October 12th, 2005, 01:46 AM
http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?a=138

Dated October the 1st and gracing the front page of www.usms.org it's an article that addresses your question.

art_z
October 12th, 2005, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by feelinblue
[B].I was thinking, I should've just passed her in the beginning of the set, but at the same time I'm afraid to pass her now for fear of her really freaking out.


if you are catching people or looking to pass (unless you are lapping them), you should just go in front of them at the start of the set. if they give you greif simply state "I plan on doing these on X time. if you are going to go faster, go ahead, otherwise, i'm going in front"

it sounds like your "friend" has some anger management issues. what she should have done is just got out of your way like any considerate swimmer would have done.

hmlee
October 12th, 2005, 10:03 AM
Yeah...she really shouldn't have done that. I think if anyone had an outburst like that during our team practices my coach would get just a little bit angry.

It may not feel good to be passed...I know that when I was first swimming with the girls on my team my ego took a huge hit by being passed a lot. I was only lapped by one or two people...but the passing was hard.

After comming back from a summer of swimming in health clubs where I was easily one of the faster swimmers...getting passed during my university practices was hard.

I imagine that at one point in time she was a pretty fast swimmer and that for whatever reason has lost some of her fitness. Getting passed by someone she's not used to swimming with was probably a blow to her ego that trigged the outburst. Still doesn't justify it though...

knelson
October 12th, 2005, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by PeirsolFan
http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?a=138

Dated October the 1st and gracing the front page of www.usms.org it's an article that addresses your question.

The article is good, but it's targeted at etiquette during lap swims, which is slightly different than during an organized workout. The main difference being that in lap swims everyone may be doing something a little different. In this situation the slower swimmers should try to stay out of the way of the faster swimmers. I think during an organized workout the faster swimmer should pass a slower swimmer and not expect the slower swimmer to stop for them.

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 12th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Yesterday, I was told that I scare some of the older peole in the lap lane. I'm crushed! Supposedly, they are a fraid of me becasue I create a quake in the water & it makes it hard for them to breath.

PeirsolFan
October 12th, 2005, 09:11 PM
The elderly have expressed to me that it scares them for a variety of reasons...

1. Don't swim well enough
2. Don't feel very confident in the water
3. Don't appreciate getting splashed
4. Don't like getting their hair wet

Only on rare occasions have I felt like someone was creating a wake or splashing to where it made me uncomfortable. Some guys like to cause a scene, some people are just sprinting and wakes/spashing happens, and other people just have poor technique.

There's one guy who can spash from 2 or 3 lanes over during free. No elbow bends and a flat palm entry into the water. I don't know what bothers me more, watching it or hearing it! (Jaws theme sound) ;)

Guvnah
October 13th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by knelson
The article is good, but it's targeted at etiquette during lap swims, which is slightly different than during an organized workout. The main difference being that in lap swims everyone may be doing something a little different. In this situation the slower swimmers should try to stay out of the way of the faster swimmers. I think during an organized workout the faster swimmer should pass a slower swimmer and not expect the slower swimmer to stop for them.

You raise an important distinction between open lap swim and an organized workout.

By and large, in an organized workout (keyword: organized) there is general understanding about what's happening, and who is whom, and each person understands his/her place. (If someone doesn't know what he's doing or where he belongs or where he "ranks" on the pecking order of capability, he will be quickly straightened out, whether by his lane mates, or the coach.) Usually within the first 200 yards or so, it all gets worked out and harmony reigns! Peer pressure is a wonderful organizer.

Not so in open lap swim. Often the others in your lane have no peer relationship to you. They resent your presence if they can't have their own lane. They aren't friend, teammate or family. They don't know you, probably won't see you again, and chances are extremely high that their capabilities have no match to yours whatsoever. There is no working concept of slow/medium/fast -- even in pools where lanes are so labeled. They will be doing a workout that has no match to what you are doing. Chaos and conflict are the ecosystem. If the lane is split only by two swimmers, this is all generally moot, but once the third swimmer arrives and you have to circle, expect disharmony.

Not enough people have read the article (or even the etiquette rules posted on the wall at the pool.) And if they have, most assume it doesn't apply to them.

Guvnah
October 13th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by PeirsolFan
The elderly have expressed to me that it scares them for a variety of reasons...

1. Don't swim well enough
2. Don't feel very confident in the water
3. Don't appreciate getting splashed
4. Don't like getting their hair wet



Generally, people who feel this way have the sense to move elsewhere. Those who don't, well, they choose their fate.




Only on rare occasions have I felt like someone was creating a wake or splashing to where it made me uncomfortable.


My philosophy: Create a bigger wake! (Swim harder.)




There's one guy who can spash from 2 or 3 lanes over during free. No elbow bends and a flat palm entry into the water. I don't know what bothers me more, watching it or hearing it! (Jaws theme sound) ;)

Probably every pool has one of these. We call ours "Sir Splash-a-lot".

art_z
October 13th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah

Probably every pool has one of these. We call ours "Sir Splash-a-lot".

I refer to them as "UFO"s.
Unidentified
Floating
Object

hmlee
October 13th, 2005, 05:20 PM
An interesting story from today's morning practice on my Uni team.....

So I swim in a lane with this one girl on my team. She's new to competitive swimming and really hasn't mastered interval swimming...or exactly what a set is.

I feel sometimes sad for her because we'll do a set of say... 3 x 25 on some interval...and she'll hit the wall after the first 25 and not check the clock and just keep going...as thought it were a 75. I try to explain it to her...but it doesn't seem to work.....

Anyway.

Sometimes our lane has 3 or 4 people in it. When it does, we naturally circle swim. Other times (depending on the amount of people at practice, the workout and intervals...) we're the only two in the lane. This morning was one of those such times. During these times we either circle swim or split the lane...whatever we feel like. But usually we pick one and just stick to it.

So this morning we had kind of decided on splitting the lane. Anyway, during one set I was at one of the walls and she was comming in on a pull set getting ready to turn around. She was in my side of the lane. I paused her at the wall and asked her if we were circling or splitting...she didn't seem to be sure...so I said...okay how about we split the lane. You take your normal side I'll take mine. So she says okay I'll stay over here and goes to that side.

Fine.

She goes off and since I'm on an interval I don't think much about it. My time to leave comes up and I start swimming ...I'm not looking forward... and then all of a sudden in the middle of the pool *CRASH!* She ran smack dab into me.

I acted like it didn't bother me, but really I was a little pissed.

I mean come on.

She nearly hit me once and we had a discussion to sort out the lane settings...she agreed...and THEN she did hit me. I mean come on.............

Michael Heather
October 14th, 2005, 01:23 AM
Early on, someone suggested that you discuss the approved passing protocol with the coach or your lane mates. A very wise decision.

I am all in favor of the foot tap, as it allows the passee to prepare to be passed, either to slow a bit, pause at the wall, do an open turn, whatever. This is in a perfect world where we all agree that at some time or other, 99% of all swimmers will be passed.

In reality, many Masters swimmers, particularly the fitness, sometimes the triathletes, do not know they are being passed. Or worse, actively do not want to be passed. In either case, you are stuck behind them until the end of the interval, unless you decide to cut a length short. Which now brands you as a cheater, and ruins your pace for the swim. you can blame it on the recalcitrant passee, but it is really up to you to pass safely if you need and are able to do so.

As for the ankle grab, it is a very useful training tool if everyone is aware that it is an approved tactic in the workout, but is usually only a college or High school ploy.

newmastersswimmer
October 14th, 2005, 12:24 PM
I'm wondering why Mr. GoodSmith hasn't put his two cents into this thread yet?....It seems like a perfect invitation for his unique personality....LOL!!....So where are you Mr. GoodSmith?....How do you suggest we pass slower swimmers at practice (like say triatheletes that push off the wall right in front of us...etc...)??......I'm anxious to hear your take on this....but I bet I can more or less guess what your response will be.


Newmastersswimmer

Conniekat8
October 17th, 2005, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by nkfrench
Well, when I was in high school one of my teammates would just grab my ankles, give a strong yank down/back, and swim right over me without warning if I was going too slow...


I'm having open water racing flashbacks. Isn't there enough room in the ocean???

mattson
October 19th, 2005, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by Michael Heather
I am all in favor of the foot tap, as it allows the passee to prepare to be passed, either to slow a bit, pause at the wall, do an open turn, whatever.

Sometimes you get the swimmers practicing for their next triathlon by swimming on your ankles. They get distracted, tap your foot (more than once during the set), but refuse to pass (because then there would be no one to draft). Doesn't happen often, but I worry afterwards if I scare them too much when I... erm... voice my displeasure. :cool:

GoRedFoxes
October 19th, 2005, 01:22 PM
HMLEE,
I bet your novice swimmer there is a TI disciple or I mean student (lol). I've noticed they tend to swim more towards the center of the lane. Something to do with curing circle swimming tendancy in a race.

Anyway, I like this thread. After reading the article on pool etiquette, I started thinking about "training etiquette". There are a few peeves of mine, one of which was touched upon earlier.
I know, 1 and 2 are mental, but isn't that what pet peeves are?

1)The sandbagger, who picks and chooses his/her sets to work on, only to blow you away on the (usually easier) set they choose to move on.

2)The ego from the other lane (much like the guy in your lane who speeds up while you're trying to pass). This is the guy (in the lane next to you) who you easily catch (5 - 10 yards per 25), but then for some unexplainable reason, you find it impossible to move an inch on him once you've caught up. (I wonder if these are the same drivers who speed up when you try to pass them on the road.)

3)Surface pushers. These are the guys who push off the wall at or just a few inches below the surface, creating a wake acceptable for a boogie board ride.

I guess I am so intuned to practicing my own practice and not thinking about the other guy (college coach always said since you can't control the other guy, why worry about him, swim your own race), that it drives me nuts when someone is focusing in on me.

BTW, drafters, by drafting (obviously), decrease your drag and actually 'push' you faster. I welcome the guy behind me to push off right behind me. So long as he doesn't take advantage of it, and pass me on the final lap (STRO!)lol.

Betsy
October 20th, 2005, 07:43 AM
If swimmers would just talk to each other and respect each other, passing shouldn't happen. If swimmer A catches B, A should ask B if she should go ahead. If B says no, then it is B's responsibility to go faster and stay out of the way. If B asks A if she wants to go ahead and A says no, even though she caught B, then A's obligation is to slow down and not catch B.

If you lead, you must go fast enough to stay ahead. If you do not want to lead and go second, you must set your pace correctly.

I have practiced with some younger swimmers who are faster than I am, but who have not been training. The smart ones will deliberately go behind me so they can set a pace to make the whole set. After a few weeks, they can lead or move up a lane. The not so smart ones insist on leading for 2-3 out of 10 and then die and mess up everyone's interval. The coach should advise the new swimmer, or the others in the lane should talk to the new swimmer.

If the swimmer still insists on leading, the "pull the ankle and swim over technique" might have merit.

knelson
October 20th, 2005, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Betsy
If swimmers would just talk to each other and respect each other, passing shouldn't happen.

Probably true in most cases, but what about in longer swims where you lap or get lapped by someone?

swimshark
October 20th, 2005, 06:52 PM
Let me say that I just got moved up a lane in practice after being out many weeks having a baby and then working hard to get back into shape. The lane I'm in now is faster than me but I'm working hard to get back into their times. So, needless to say, I'm the slow one almost all practice long and I know it. When I see that someone behind me is too close, I will often stop and let them pass (usually they are lapping me). I don't want to hold them up since they earned that right to be in that lane and I feel I'm still "earning" it. If I need to pass, I have no problem doing the foot tapping. It is fine being done on me as well. It would be hard in our lanes to pass while still moving because the lanes are not wide enough for 3 swimmers comfortably across. Stopping on the wall is the best option for us and seems to be okay for all of the lane mates I have had the pleasure of swimming with.

Betsy
October 21st, 2005, 10:17 AM
If someone laps me on a long swim (and it happens), I stop at the turn and let them pass.
The responsibility should be on the coach. Sometimes a coach plans a workout with long swims, but if a lot show up that day and the swimmers have a wide spread of abilities and the number of lanes is limited, the coach may have to adapt the workout and do shorter distances.

Many years ago at the USMS convention, our workouts were in a small pool. Two workouts were scheduled, but most people came to the earliest workout. We ended up with 7-8 in lane, with swimmers from different parts of the country. Clay Evans was coaching and did an outstanding job. He changed his workout and re-arranged the lanes as we went along. It was a great workout because the coach adapted to the situation.

Draconis
October 25th, 2005, 12:33 AM
My local pool is only 25 meters and the lanes are so narrow you'd expect that they are made for one swimmer only. There's definitely no room for fly, and breast is possible if you have a narrow kick. It's hard to overtake someone when the lane's that short.
The most annoying thing about trying to overtake them is you go after 10 seconds from when the person ahead of you took off, you catch him at the 25 meters, but he does a tumble turn and pushes off the wall like a rocket, shooting straight for your head and chest. I was hit at least twice this way before I learned to stay the hell away from people when they are about to turn; usually I grab the lane rope at the 20 mark, wait for the person in front of me to tumble, then wait at the other end for that guy to reach the other end.

LindsayNB
October 25th, 2005, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by Draconis
The most annoying thing about trying to overtake them is you go after 10 seconds from when the person ahead of you took off, you catch him at the 25 meters, but he does a tumble turn and pushes off the wall like a rocket, shooting straight for your head and chest.

If you can make up a 10 second lead in 25m why aren't you leading instead of following?

nkfrench
October 25th, 2005, 09:17 AM
That can happen when not everyone in a lane is doing the same workout. Like - somebody just doing continuous lap swim while somebody else is doing sets, interval training, etc.

Here is one of my favorites: enough people in the lane that the last (slowest) person gets lapped. The lead swimmer waits a while before passing, so the swimmers behind him also get stacked up. Then - when the slow swimmer pulls up on the wall to let him pass, 5 people in a row swim by before the slow swimmer can resume his workout. Now, the slow swimmer is rested and pushes off and is immediately on the ankles of the swimmer ahead, who was maybe only marginally faster to begin with (or the same speed).

But a structured Masters workout still beats public open lap swim any day.

Guvnah
October 25th, 2005, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
If you can make up a 10 second lead in 25m why aren't you leading instead of following?

It's amazing what a good draft can do!

But the follow-up post to your question made the important point. If the lane is not part of an organized workout, there is no organization in most cases.

I would suggest this to people who find themselves in the position Draconis did. Maybe that might happen on the first lap, but it doesn't take long to assess what the other swimmers can do. Once I do, I consider it my own fault if I take off only 10 seconds after such a lane-mate. Next time around, I make sure I take off before they get back -- most preferably, immediately before they get back so that I have almost a whole 50 yards to make up before catching them. Maybe that way I can get in an uninterrupted 100 or 200.

Circling during a "general swim" open swim time usually sucks. You just have to do what you can to mitigate the passing.