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Aquatics Newsletter | January 2010 |
Lap Swim Etiquette - Courtesy Counts
Lap SwimAre you ready to hit the pool and work off some of those extra pounds from the holidays? Before you do, let's brush up on some swimming etiquette so your swimming experience can be an enjoyable one.

1. Lane designations. In any rec center pool, lanes are designated as slow, medium or fast. Choose a lane that is comparable with your speed and the speeds of the other swimmers currently in the pool.  Let the other swimmers in the lane know you are joining them.

2. Circle swim pattern. Swimmers must stay to the right in each lane, swimming in a counterclockwise fashion. This rule holds true no matter the amount of swimmers in the lane.  This pattern is important for swimmer safety, and helps with the flow of swimmers entering and exiting the lap lanes. Make sure to refer to the diagrams at the facility for any pattern changes.

3. Speed. Slow swimmers should yield to fast swimmers. A good place to stop and let a faster swimmer go ahead of you is on the wall. If you feel another swimmer is faster, once you reach the wall wait for a moment and let him or her go ahead of you. If you have been lapped several times by another swimmer, it may be a good indication that you need to move to a slower lane.

4. Passing. Pass on the left. Make sure it is safe to pass and then make your move around the swimmer on their left side.

5. Keep it moving. Swimmers should never stop in the middle of the lane (e.g., to adjust goggles), as this may cause a trailing swimmer to run into them. Make sure you are swimming all the way to the wall before you stop.

6. Swimmers resting or waiting on the wall. Swimmers should stay either on the far right or far left to allow approaching swimmers to tag or flip at the wall.

7. Ask a guard. If you are ever unsure of a rule or have any questions, you can always ask a Lifeguard.
Check the pool calendars using the links to the right to find lap swim times at any recreation center.
Improve Your Swimming Workouts
This is the third in a series of tips aimed to help you improve your swimming workouts.
To get the most out of your swimming workout, you need variety, good technique and a sense of pace. You can improve your technique through the use of drills. Keep in mind that drills are designed to work on one aspect of your stroke. The drill alone is not the perfect stroke; it's a specific movement done repetitively to help you learn a certain part of the stroke.
One arm pull, other arm extended. This is one of several one-arm drills.  Hold one arm extended out in front, pull with the other arm.  Be sure to rotate your hips back as you recover and finish the stroke. Watch your hand underwater to see where it goes.  Your pull should be shoulder width, not under your body.  Stroking is like paddling a canoe, you do not try to get the paddle under the canoe, but parallel to the canoe. A common mistake is to stay on your side and stroke, making your arm like an oar on a rowboat instead of a paddle for a canoe.  Pull one length with one arm and then switch arms for the next length.  A variation is to pull three with one arm and then three with the other arm.  This helps to avoid the "rowboat" effect.
Hurdling Into Fun - Youth Diving League
Youth Diving LeagueDoes your child love the exhilaration of going off a diving board?  If so, our Youth Diving League might be the perfect opportunity to enhance their diving skills!  This developmental league is an introduction to competitive diving for boys and girls, ages 7-15.  Designed for youth with little to no competitive diving experience, it is a great opportunity to explore the sport of diving in a fun, team environment. Emphasis is placed on learning the proper entries and approaches off the diving board.  In addition, each diver will experience improvement in flexibility, strength and coordination by the end of the season. 
Participants must be deep water safe and be able to dive off of the diving board.  Practice times will be determined after the required eligibility session.  There are a total of four dive meets (three regular season and one championship).  Participants will compete in age groups based on their age on the first day of practice.  Membership cards are required throughout the season.
View flyer for more information or register now!

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Pool Events
2/12 | Movie Night in the Pool | Bow Creek
2/21 | Float-a-Rama | Bayside
2/26 | Movie Night in the Pool | Princess Anne

NEW!  Ask Aquatics

Each month we will feature one of your questions along with an answer from our aquatics staff.
Q: How do I plan a swimming workout?

A: Workouts have several components in order for them to be considered complete.
Start with stretching. After loosening up your major muscle groups, move into a warm up. Depending on your ability and experience, this could be as little as one lap freestyle or as much as a mile! Regardless of distance, this part of your workout should be at a pace that doesn't tire you out, but prepares your body for the main set.
Try to mix some variety into the main part of your workout. You may want to incorporate drills, kicking, and several different strokes. This will help keep you from getting bored. Also, try to use intervals to keep you on track.
After the main set is complete, you should do a cool down. Focus on long strokes during this part and don't push too hard. End your workout by stretching your major muscle groups again.

Submit your questions to
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.