Vist The Main Page

Swimming Strokes


Famous and Historic

Basic Terms Used In Swimming

All sport and fitness activities have their own lingo to communicate quickly. While watching a live exciting swimming competition; when the announcer says some of these terms over the speakers. But you dont know what they mean, dont worry, cause on this list lies plenty of basic terms. That will solve the issue of not knowing. So when watching another swim match this time you will know what the announcer means because you are now informed.

Its great to be able to follow what the commentary announcers mean when they use some of these terms. Also its nice to know what the swimmer has to know and apply to his or her race. Did you know 650 yards,1500 meters is equivalent to a swimmers mile.Its good to know some basic knowledge of some pool terms. Especially if you have no idea what the names are of certain items. Next time when watching a game it will be more enjoyable to watch because you know the terms used.

Here is a list of basic terms used in swimming

  1. Deck,The hard surface around the pool.
  2. Flags,Triangular pennants alternating two or more contrasting colors suspended on line stretched over each lane.Used primarily to notify backstrokers the wall is coming.
  3. Kickboard,A flat rectangular piece of styrofoam used to isolate leg muscles in kick sets.
  4. Lane,Specific area in which the swimmer is assigned to swim.
  5. Lane Lines,The floating markers which separate adjacent lanes. The first 5 yards or meters and the last 5 yards or meters of the lane line are usually marked as one solid color. This to alert swimmers for turns. In between the lines usually alternate colors.
  6. Lap,Distance from one end of the pool to the other end and back. In a 25 yard pool a lap is 50 yards, in a 50 meter pool a lap is 100 meters.
  7. Length,Distance from one end of the pool to the other. It could be 25 yards, 25 meters, or 50 meters depending on the length of the pool.
  8. Long course,Used as both an adjective and a noun in describing a 50 meter long pool.
  9. Pool,The body of water we hope you will be moving through and getting out of at the end of a workout.
  10. Pull buoy,Usually two cylinders of styrofoam tied together with rope and placed between the legs. It enables you to focus on your pull without kicking. Also called pull girt.
  11. Short course, describe a 25 meter long pool or a 25 yard pool.
  12. Shave down,Swimmers commonly shave off excessive body hair before a competition. This may include all their body and head. The reasoning for this is to reduce the slightest drag effect on the speed of the swimmer.
  13. Split Time,Split times are the times taken for each individual section 50m, 100m of a race, or the times of each individual in a relay race.
  14. Stroke Shortening,When swimmers start getting tired, each of their strokes becomes less effective. For this they often increase the frequency of their strokes. This helps them tamper there energy without increasing the overall speed.
  15. Taper,The taper is an important part of the preparation of swimmers to competition, whereas they modify their training so as to be in peak condition and fresh for their event. It may last from a few days to several weeks.
  16. Team,A group of swimmers representing the same club.
  17. Touch pad,Part of an automatic timing device placed on wall of each lane that will register the time when the swimmer completes the distance. The unit is activated when touched by whatever part of the body that hits it first, be it the hand, head or foot.
  18. Wall,Vertical portion of the pool, or the touch pad at the end of the course.