Swimming Glossary

Swimming Glossary:

Age Groups:  This is the division of swimmers according to age.  In the CSL, we have these age groups: 8 and Under; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; and 15-18. 

Anchor: The final swimmer in a relay.

Backstroke Flags:  Lines of flags placed above the lanes five yards (short course) or five meters (long course) from the end of the pool.  The flags signal the backstroker that the wall is approaching and this information enables the efficient execution of the backstroke turn.

Beep: The starting sound from an electronic, computerized timing system.

Bulkhead: A wall constructed to divide a pool into different courses, such as a 50-meter pool split into two 25-yeard courses.  We do not have a bulkhead at our pool.

Disqualified:  A swimmer's performance is not counted because of a rules infraction.  If your swimmer is disqualified, the coach will receive a DQ slip and will talk to your child about it.

Dolphin Kick: A kick used in the Butterfly Stroke where both legs kick in time together.

Dropped Time: When a swimmer goes faster than the previous performance.

Dryland:  Training done out of the water that aids and enhances swimming performance; usually includes stretching and calisthenics. 

Dual Meet:  Type of meet where two teams/clubs compete against each other.  Most of Barrington's meets are dual meets, with the exception of IM Meet, Relay Carnival, Divisionals, and All Stars.

Easy: Easy means to swim without a lot of effort.  It does not mean "slow".  It is possible to swim easy without swimming slow.  Swimming easy means that you are swimming at a pace that allows you to think clearly and swim with great stroke technique.  

False Start: When a swimmer leaves the start before the horn.  One false start will disqualify a swimmer or a relay team, although the starter or referee may disallow the false start due to unusual circumstances.

Fast:  Fast does not mean "hard."  Just as it is possible to swim easy without swimming slow, it's possible to swim fast without swimming hard.  Easy speed is the goal.  Frantic movements in the water usually equal hard swimming rather than fast swimming.

Gutter:  The area along the edge of a pool in which water overflows during a race and is recirculated through the filtration system.  Our Barrington Pool doesn't have a gutter.

Heat Ribbon: At a "B" meet on Wednesdays, a ribbon that is given to the winner of a single heat.

IM:  Individual Medley.  A swimming even usign all four of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths of the race.  The order must be: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle.  Equal distances are swum for each stroke.

Jump: An illegal start done by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th member of a relay team.  The swimmer on the block breaks contact with the block before the swimmer in the water touches the wall.

Kick Board: Used by swimmers during practice.  Our team provides the kick boards.  

Lane:  The specific area in which the swimmer is assigned: i.e., lane 1, lane 2, etc.  During a meet, the lanes will be clearly marked.

Lap/Length: "Length" refers to one trip down the pool, from one end to the other.  "Lap" refers to a round trip, from one end to the other and back again to your starting point.

Long Axis: The axis that runs along your spine from the top of your head to your tailbone.  When you swim the long-axis strokes (Freestyle and Backstroke), your body rotates from side to side around this long axis.

Pace: Depending on what the coach might "assign", this can mean your race pace or the pace at which you normally swim repeats of a particular distance.

Pullout: The underwater pull (and kick) in the Breaststroke.

Referee: The head official at a swim meet in charge of all of the "wet side" administration and decisions.  

Rules: The technical rules of swimming are designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and promote uniformity in the sport.  Each swimming stroke has specific rules designed to ensure that no swimmer gets and unfair competitive advantage over another swimmer.

Seed: Assign the swimmer heats and lanes according to their submitted or preliminary times.  Deck Seeding is a bit different -- this is when swimmers are called to report to the Clerk of Course.  After scratches are determined, the event is seeded.  Pre Seeding: swimmers are arranged in heats according to submitted times, usually a day prior to the meet.

Set: A practice "assignment" consisting of a series of rounds and/or repeats with a specific purpose, task, or challenge to be met by the swimmer.

Short Axis: The axis that runs across your pelvic region from left hip to right hip.  When you swim the short axis strokes (Breaststroke and Butterfly), your body undulates up and down across this short axis.

Smooth: Easy, relaxed, fully controlled swimming.

Stand: The command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position.

Start: The beginning of a race.  The dive used to begin a race.

Starter: The official in charge of signalling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.

Streamline: The position used by swimmers when starting or pushing off the walls designed to reduce water resistance.

Stroke Rate: This is also known as a turnover rate or cancence or how fast your arms are moving.  Generally, a high turnover rate is reserved for short distances and racing, and in those cases it needs to be accompanied by great technique in order to be effective.  Many swimmers believe that the only way to achieve speed is with a high stroke rate.  What coaches know, and see, is that great technique almost always trumps high turnover in a race.

Submitted Time: Times used to enter swimmers in meets.  These times must have been achieved by the swimmer at previous meets. 

Taper: The final preparation phase, sometimes referred to as "rest".  

Team Records: The statistics that a team keeps, listing the fastest swimmers in the club's history for each age group/each event.  Mr. Shields keeps track of Barrington's team records.

Team Reps:.  Represents Barrington at Colonial Swim League meetings and coordinates the meets with the opposing team's representative.  Barrington's Team Reps are Mr. and Mrs. Van Beek.

Time Trial: An event or series of events where a swimmer achieves a time.

Warm Up: Low intensity swimming used by swimmers prior to a practice set or a race to get muscles loose and warm.  Warm up gradually increases heart rate, respiration, and helps to prevent injury.

Warm Down: Low intensity swimming used by swimmers after a race or a main practice set to rid the body of excess lactic acid, and to gradually reduce hear rate and respiration.