10 Ways To Conquer The Warm-Up Pool

Courtesy of Karen Hunt

In the midst of championship season, everyone is excited for tapering, fast swimming, and traveling to big meets with your teammates. But there is one thing that every single swimmer dreads at any meet: The warmup pool. Specifically, in a crowded championship meet where tensions and nerves are already running high, the warmup pool can be the most frustrating experience of the whole weekend. You’re trying to get pumped up and ready for your race, but it is nearly impossible when there are 30+ people in every lane all doing something different. Here are ten of the most annoying things that can happen in a warmup pool, and a few tips on how to deal with them:

  1. When you are trying to do a short sprint to raise your heart rate, and people continue to push off in front of you and swim slow.

  2. When someone pushes off the wall at the exact second you do a flip turn.

  3. When you politely wait for the gap in the lane to move your way so you can jump in, and someone else comes out of nowhere and jumps in right before you.

  4. That group of friends that takes up the entire wall just to have a conversation that could easily be moved to the pool deck.

  5. Swimming behind anyone kicking, sculling, or barely moving.

  6. Trying to pass a breaststroker without getting kicked, or hit by someone coming the other way.

  7. Those kids that go under the water to let someone pass them and then come back up right in front of you.

  8. That kid in the middle of the wall.

  9. People who push off immediately after you.

  10. Trying to do butterfly when everyone else is also trying to do butterfly.

We have all experienced some of these things are all guilty of several of them as well. Even though this a very short list of all of the inconveniences that we face in the warmup pool, it is important to remember that we are all trying to do the same thing. You may have to be a little assertive in order to prepare your body to swim fast, but no one needs to be a jerk about it. There is no need to violently trample people trying to warm down when you are trying to warm up; They probably just finished a race. You know how that is. We have to remember how much of our sport is mental, and if you do not feel prepared to race because it was too crowded to warm up, you are already sabotaging your swim. Trust in your body’s ability to perform, and that if you didn’t get your extra sprints in you will be fine. Do not let something so small ruin a race at your big meet. Just try to stay out of everyone else’s way and do what you need to do, regardless of what the swimmers around you are doing.

Written by: Brady Estrada