Team Etiquette


Although the vast majority of workouts go smoothly, friction among swimmers occasionally arises. A few agreements help maintain a safe, fun and effective workout:

1. Swim in the correct lane
Select a lane which is the right pace for you. Repeatedly getting caught or repeatedly catching swimmers means you need to try a slower or faster lane.

2. The Five Second Rule
Give the swimmer ahead of you five seconds before you push off the wall at the beginning of a swim.

3. Circle Swim Counter-Clockwise
Swim on the right side of the lane; don’t swim down the middle (be extra careful doing backstroke). If there are only two of you in a lane, you may agree to split the lane until another swimmer joins you.

4. Stopping/Resting
Stop/rest at the extreme right side of the wall (as you face the wall); the left side is for turns. If you can’t complete a swim, move to the extreme right side of the lane and continue to the wall at your best pace.

5. Passing Another Swimmer
Try to wait until the end of a swim to change places with another swimmer. To pass in the middle of a swim, tap the preceding swimmer’s foot twice as you approach the flags (one tap might be an accident). S/he will stop at the next wall (on the right) to let you by. Note: If you pass someone, be prepared to stay ahead for the rest of the set, and preferably the rest of the workout. If you feel your foot tapped twice, allow the swimmer behind you to pass.

6. Turns
Cross to the left side of the lane to make your turn. If you get too close to the preceding swimmer, you might have to turn somewhat closer to the middle of the lane (Give the preceding swimmer a little more room in subsequent turns or pass the swimmer – see “Passing Another Swimmer” above).

7. Arriving Late
If you arrive late, either pick up the workout in the middle (same stroke, same speed as everybody else) or, wait for “empty water” to begin your warm up and move out of the way as needed.

8. Changes to the Workout
You cannot change the workout for the lane unless everyone in the lane agrees (e.g., three seconds between swimmers when the lane is crowded, faster/slower intervals, etc.). If you want to make your own changes (e.g., swim a different stroke, use equipment when no equipment is specified), it is your responsibility to stay out of the way of swimmers doing the prescribed workout.

9. Swim Friendly
If you have an issue with a teammate, please follow these three steps:

1) Politely speak to that person. Most issues arise from confusion about-or ignorance of-proper swimming etiquette. A gentle reminder will most likely be effective.

2) If Step 1 does not resolve the issue, PLEASE DO NOT APPROACH that swimmer again. Instead, inform the coach on deck. That coach will then talk to the swimmer, which typically resolves the issue.

3) In the rare case that Steps 1 and 2 do not resolve the issue, the deck coach will bring the issue to the Head Coach for resolution.
10. The Coach on Deck is in Charge -- Period!
As an expert at providing a safe, fun and effective workout, the coach on deck is completely in charge. Depending on the workout and the number of swimmers, the coach may ask you to move up or down a lane. A swimmer who does not follow directions may be asked to leave the pool. If you have an issue with a coach, please discuss it with our head coach or e-mail your concerns to

“Following these rules of etiquette will keep issues to a minimum. TEME swimmers will get the best possible workout and have even more fun swimming with their teammates!”

Thank you,
Head Coach Orin Bentley