Sometimes it is amazing to think about how swimmers always seem to know where they are in the pool. While some people think they know where they are based on the number of strokes they complete to get across the pool, most swimmers are thinking more about technique than how many strokes it takes to get across the pool. The secret lies in the swim lane ropes you see floating in the pool. However, these pool lane lines also serve other purposes as well.
If you look closely at the swim lane ropes, you will see they change colors. In the middle of the pool, the colors typically alternate between two colors, often representing the home team or the colors of the organization hosting the event. The colors alternate at regular intervals so swimmers have a good idea of how far they have gone. At the 15 or 25 meter mark, the lane lines will change to one solid color to signal the end of the pool is approaching so swimmers know the race is ending or they must make a turn.
Another major function of the swim lane ropes is to provide less resistance as swimmers are moving through the water. If you were to immediately follow behind another swimmer, you would find yourself in their slip stream, causing less effort to move yourself forward. In swimming, this is frowned upon. Likewise, the wake of the other swimmers can have a detrimental impact on the efficiency of your swimming. The lane ropes are designed specifically to prevent these disturbances from transferring between lanes so everyone has a fair chance.
Stay in Your Lane
Staying your own lane while you are swimming can often be more difficult than it looks, particularly if you do not have swim lane ropes to guide you. This is one of the primary functions of the lane ropes. You will easily identify where you are supposed to go so you can swim in a straight line. The straighter you are able to swim, the faster you will be able to finish the race.
There are many reasons why swim lane ropes are essential in any pool. The most important function is to let swimmers know exactly where they are in the pool to avoid collisions with the end of the pool. They are also designed to prevent resistance caused by other swimmers and to help you swim in a straight line within your own lane. This will offer you the best chances of success.