COVID Comeback - The Plan

by James Nock — in


So, we're back in the pool in just 2 days time. It's felt like FOREVER since we last swam, but now, somehow, it all feels very fast - I think that's due to the amount of planning and effort that has gone into making sure we are all safe on our return.

Below is essential reading for all swimmers in my squad.


  • Swimmers need to arrive "swim ready" in swimming costumes covered by tracksuit or similar i.e. something that is easy to change in and out of poolside.
  • Swimmers should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to the start of your session and MUST wait socially distanced to the left of the main entrance.
  • Facemasks must be worn when arriving, entering and exiting the building as well as on poolside until the session coach advises it's safe for them to be removed.
  • Anyone arriving after each group has entered the building will not be able to join the session as there will be no one at the door to let them in so please arrive on time.
  • The coaching team will let the swimmers into the building. Please remember no parents will be allowed into the building under any circumstances - a breach of this policy may result in termination of our use of the pool. Parents please dropoff your swimmer and go - no parents are to remain on the grounds. (Coaches will have a list of parents telephone numbers in case they are needed).
  • Swimmers will have their temperature checked and then enter the building. They must then go to the reception desk to use the hand sanitiser. Coaches will sign the sign in book at reception with the total number of swimmers attending.
  • Swimmers will be led to poolside using changing room 1 by their coach where they will change on poolside 2m apart at a labelled station.
  • Any clothing taken into the building will be kept poolside 2m apart at their station. Swimmers are to remain 2m apart at all times.
  • Toilet facilities will be extremely limited so please do your very best not to require them during your session. We do appreciate this is not always possible but your assistance with limiting use is appreciated. There will also be no showers.
  • After the session swimmers will be led out of the building via changing room 3 by their coach and parents need to collect them promptly.
  • No swimmers are to remain at the pool or grounds.
  • Coaches will be wiping down all touch points and bucketing down poolside between groups.
  • Before arriving at training a completed 'return to training' document must have been returned to the club via email.
  • Swimmers are to bring Kickboard, Pullbuoy, Goggles, towel, a drink and a swimming cap if desired (+ asthma inhaler if needed) ONLY. No fins/paddles/snorkels/foam rollers/mats/extra clothing etc. Equipment must be dipped before and after the session. Swimmers with additional kit will be turned away.

The pool

Swimmers will get changed on poolside and then leave their clothes neatly piled at a numbered 'station' around poolside. Once everyone is ready masks will come off and they'll head towards their lane. The pool will be setup into 3 double-width lanes and each swimmer will be assigned a 'station' each session (I've listed out the first session's stations further down in this post). A station is simply a place where a swimmer starts and finishes a swim. To make life easier, we've made the stations in line with markers that are already on the lane ropes and we'll also be putting coloured cones down each side of the pool too to make it even easier. Hopefully the diagram below explains things nicely:

Pool setup

The coloured 'blobs' at the sides are the cones and the letters A-V represent a station. All lanes will be swimming in the same direction because if we went clockwise/anti-clockwise/clockwise in the traditional fashion two swimmers could end up swimming side by side blowing air into eachother's faces. Normally, we alternate direction so that two swimmers can't clash arms over the rope but because the lanes will now be over 4m wide this should not be an issue. We will not be doing any Butterfly to start with but when we do extra consideration will be needed. Regardless of COVID we'd be off butterfly to begin with anyway as shoulders need to adapt and this will take some time.

First session back

For the first session back, I've grouped swimmers into lanes based on age and then ordered each lane alphabetically by name, so this gives lanes and stations as per the following:

Lane 1

A) AHu

B) AWi

C) CNa

D) DDu

E) LSh

F) MMc

G) MCl

H) SNa

Lane 2

I) AHo

J) DGi

K) EKe

L) JLi

M) KPh

N) MTh

O) SBa

Lane 3

P) AGo

Q) FNa

R) JPa

S) KDa

T) LGo

U) MKe

V) TGr

I think it's fair to say that the first session back will be more about getting into the 'new' normal than it will actually be about swimming. We really need everyone to work together on this to keep eachother safe.

First week back


🏊‍♂️ Swim 🏊‍♀️


🏊‍♀️ Swim 🏊‍♂️


Rest Day


🏊‍♂️ Swim 🏊‍♀️


🏊‍♀️ Swim 🏊‍♂️


💪 Resistance Tubes / Core Workout 👟


Rest Day


Getting back into this will take some time, there will be no points for swimming fast right now - my stopwatches will stay in my bag (or might even be left at home). We'll be working on sculling, treading water and long steady swims to start with. Some swimmers may struggle more than others, we'll work together as a squad and help eachother return to fitness, we move as a unit.

Please, please, please make sure you've read and understand the above as I would hate to have to send someone away on the first day back! See you all on Monday, in your masks 👍 😀

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