1. Leaving early.

Five seconds apart. Not three. Not four. Definitely not two. Five. One, two, three, four, five. If you have yet to figure out how to read the pace clock, you can count out loud if need be.

Say it with me: One, two, three, four, five.

The sin of leaving early exponentially increases the risk of committing sin No. 2, which is a sin so evil it should only be punishable by repeated 200 butterflies.

2. Obnoxiously touching someone’s feet.

You know how annoying it is when you’re outside on a warm summer night and there are pesky mosquitos all around you that never seem to leave, no matter how many times you swat them away?

That is exactly what it’s like when someone behind you doesn’t. stop. touching. your. feet.

If you happen to be one of those swimmers who feels the need to give a teammate an unwanted foot massage in the middle of practice, you have one of four options:

  1. Speed up to pass them.
  2. Leave the full five seconds behind (See No.1: Leaving Early).
  3. Try leaving 10 seconds behind them. (10seconds, not nine).
  4. Stop.

Personally, I am a huge supporter of the fourth option.

3. Not letting someone pass you when they obnoxiously touch your feet.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse: Obnoxiously touching someone’s feet or refusing to let that person pass you. If someone is repeatedly touching your feet, let them pass you. Be nice about it. It’s not an insult if someone is touching your feet and it doesn’t mean you’re slow.

Lane Etiquette 101. Study up.

4. Sprinting warmup.

I will admit, I used to be one of those people. You know, the person who pretends that warmup is an Olympic final.

That is, until I had a life-changing realization.

I realized that warmup is in fact not an Olympic final. It’s not even a summer league race. It’s warmup, and you’re supposed to warm up, not aim for a new American record. The faster you warm up, the sooner you get to the main set, and nobody should be dying to get to that. (Spoiler alert: the main set will inevitably come, however, no matter how slow you swim during warmup).