I quit the swim team at 14 because I enjoy sleeping in, not smelling like chlorine when I sweat and generally having a social life but I have been swimming recreationally for a number of years and this is what I’ve picked up while (mainly trying to refrain from) interacting with the unwashed masses at the public pool.
  1. First impressions matter
    Kit is everything. Obviously wear proper swimwear - bikinis and board shorts do not deserve their own lane.
  2. Wear a swim cap
    This is key in signalling to fellow swimmers that you mean business. Bonus points if it has a print from a race or sth. Minus points if it has the logo of the pool.
  3. The water is -fine-
    Try to look unbothered by how freaking cold the water is as you initially submerge. You own this pool, the temperature is just right.
  4. Strong start
    Do two initial laps really fast. This'll show them what they're up against if they stay in your way.
  5. These steps ought to give you your own lane!
    Enjoy your swim, you're welcome.