The group I coach swims out of a county pool. Over Memorial Day weekend, the pool was closed to allow time to open up the outdoor leisure pool. The next week, everyone in my group must have been on vacation so we ended up not having a practice. The week after that was sort of a miscommunication. We meet at 6:30. It turns out the pool changed lap swim schedules this summer so we showed up and there were no lanes open for lap swim. It was kind of frustrating and I felt bad that I didn’t somehow know in advance so I could plan accordingly.
Which brings us to last night… We decided to be flexible and go for a 30 minutes pre-swim run on the trail by the pool so we met at our usual 6:30 time. The plan was to get in the pool at 7:10 when the lap lanes opened back up. As it turns out, that was the plan for a lot of people. We were changed and out to the pool at 7:05, we see that there are 3 lap lanes with one of those lanes reserved for a group. Four people had already claimed the two free lanes. No problem, we’ll grab this outside pseudo lane by the diving well which worked just fine while the group swam about 300 meters… then the diving team started practice and were told to move.
Luckily, I knew the person who was coaching the 2 people in one lane and sort of knew the person coaching the 2 people in the other lane so we tried to merge the groups which proved to be a bit difficult. Circle swimming in the one lane was challenging for my beginner swimmers because we ended up with 5 people of varying speeds. As we were trying to make that work, my more advanced swimmer was standing at the wall in lane two with another girl who I did not know. A third guy comes in for a flip turn, stands up and tells my guy to get out of the way so he can flip turn. Ummm, sure buddy sorry about that. Granted, had there not been so much going on at that moment, I could have told my swimmer about lane etiquette. He has never had to swim in a lane with someone other than our group and the swimmers in my group aren’t at the flip turn stage yet. He truly just did not know. He was waiting for instruction from me while I tried to get everyone situated.
While I am doing my assimilating, the lifeguards decide to rope off the diving well area which gave us about 15 yards to work with which was fine for our group. All this moving people around and getting barked at by flip turn guy maybe took 5 minutes. As I am moving my group back to the 15 yard option in the diving well, my more advanced swimmer has decided he has had enough and is out of pool and goes home without saying anything. My other swimmers who stuck it out were completely fine with the 15 yards in fact it ended up giving one of them a great experience with swimming in deep water that prior to last night had been a fear for her. I felt bad that we didn’t have a proper lane to work with but they made the best of it.
So I guess the point of all that is to say that the coaching has been frustrating. It really has more to do with the pool situation. There are minor bumps in the road but I think the swimmers who are coming out each week seem to enjoy it and are improving which is the point of it all, right? I feel bad that one guy left last night but I don’t know that I could have done anything differently. CR says that maybe he had an expectation in his head when he got there (i.e. swimming in a lane solo) and when that didn’t happen it made him want to quit. I can certainly understand that feeling. On the bright side, all this lane sharing will get them ready for the churn of a triathlon swim. Flip turns optional.