Swimming 101

How does Swimming work? What are the basic fundamentals of the game? Get ready to learn about Swimming 101. You don't need any prior knowledge to start learning.

Swimming 101

Swimming The Basics

Swimming is a sport in which athletes race up and down the length of a pool. There are multiple variations of how this can happen as there are many different swimming events. For example, athletes can participate in specific events such as the backstroke and the breaststroke. Events can also be grouped by a distance such as 50 meters, 200 meters, etc. Athletes each get their own lane that they must stay inside during the entire race. They start on one side of the pool and dive in, ending up on either the same side or the other side depending on the distance of the race.

swimming basics

Swimming Equipment and Gear

There are not many pieces of equipment that athletes use in swimming. Mainly athletes wear swimming goggles, a swimsuit or speedo, and a swim cap. The goggles help the athletes to keep their eyes open underwater; this allows them to see their lane and where they are going as well as where their competition is. A swim cap keeps an athlete’s hair inside so that the athlete is not bothered by their hair during the race. Swimmers may also have equipment such as stopwatches in order to time themselves when practicing before a race. This helps them to know how their time compares to other athletes and also whether they have improved or not. Warmup suits are also a common item to have in order to stay warm when not in the water.


Swimming Penalties and Rules

Athletes in swimming can be penalized for a false start as well as lane violations. A false start is when an athlete jumps into the water or moves before the opening gun is fired. This is referred to as a fault and racers go back to their posts to restart the race. The athlete can be penalized with a disqualification in some instances of false starts. Swimmers can also be disqualified for lane violations, this is when a swimmer wanders into another lane that is not theirs. Finally, athletes can be disqualified for other things such as touching the bottom of the pool, not touching the end of the wall when turning, or using the lane markers for momentum.

swimming penalties

Swimming Positions

Positioning in swimming can take a few forms. Before the race has started, athletes will take their “starting mark” this is when athletes bend down and grab the board they are standing on in order to be ready to catapult themselves into the water. Athletes also position themselves with their feet against the wall during a turn in order to give themselves momentum back towards the other side of the pool. Finally, swimmers will position themselves by reaching for the wall in order to get there as quickly as possible at the end of the race. This is done to try and beat other athletes as well as to lower overall time.

Swimming Positions


Important Swimming Concepts

There are not too many concepts to know surrounding swimming, however, there are a few. For example, it is important to know the different types of strokes as well as the different types of races. A relay race is when multiple swimmers race together as a team to try and beat other teams and get the lowest overall time. Here is a list of a few concepts to know regarding swimming:

  • Relay
  • Meters
  • Distance
  • Stroke
  • Freestyle
  • Medley

Swimming 101 Terms

There are many terms to know about swimming. Here is a list of some important terms to know: