Lane Discipline

Training sessions must provide a safe environment where all swimmers are given the opportunity to succeed. Often there will be range of abilities within each group, with each swimmer having different strengths and weaknesses. Coaches will allocate swimmers to lanes by ability.  This will give swimmers appropriate time and space to perform each activity to the best of their ability.

 Good Lane discipline helps to create a safe training environment and a positive atmosphere. It allows swimmers more time to swim and coaches more time to coach. To maintain lane discipline there are some simple guidelines for swimmers to follow:

  • Remain conscious of where your team mates are in the lane.
  • When starting a swim leave the correct gap between swimmers, if the coach asks you to leave 5s, do not leave 2s or 10s.
  • Pulling feet is forbidden.
  • Pulling and Sitting on the lane ropes is forbidden.
  • Remember to move to the lane edge when you complete a swim to allow other swimmers behind you to turn or finish correctly and safely.
  • Avoid swimming in the middle of the lane - this is the area can be for the extra space needed for the extra inches of the arms and legs of breaststrokers and flyers.
  • Do not swim on another swimmers feet - this can be annoying, disrespectful and increase the risk of injury as the other swimmer kicks.
  • Show consideration to the team mates in your lane by changing lane order if you think that they are capable of swimming faster. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and you might change positions depending on the stroke/ set.

 Racing during practice is important, it helps to prepare you for the competitions ahead. However, racing within your lane just so that you end up at the front is likely to disrupt your own rhythm as well as that of the other swimmers. To get the most benefit out of your training, focus on working hard and maintaining your techniques and form at all times. Following what type of work/speed the coach is requesting will allow better development.



When coming in to turn you must cut across the lane before making your turn and push off straight - do not turn and then push off at an angle as this is dangerous for the swimmer behind you.

Do not try to overtake someone on the outside between the flags and the wall or within the flags and the lane end - you risk turning on top of each other


 Faster swimmers should touch the feet of a swimmer in front of them ONCE only. The lead swimmer should then continue to the end of the length and wait in the corner for the faster swimmer to pass by.

Do not stop or sink to the bottom to allow a faster swimmer to overtake. This not only upsets your rhythm but can also be unsafe. Instead, continue to the end of the lane and allow the faster swimmer to pass as described above.

 Whilst the slower swimmer should allow faster swimmers by as soon as possible, faster swimmers must realise that slower swimmers are trying just as hard as they are and their set is no less important.