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Old 03-22-2009
Jamwhite Jamwhite is offline
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Location: Duvall, WA
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Jamwhite
Default A question of etiquette

Today I had a somewhat embarassing problem, and I was curious if anyone had a clever way out of it.

When I got to the pool, there were no empty lanes. As I began my search for a lane partner, another kind swimmer called me over and offered his lane, which I happily accepted. We even joked about his pool-side clock which he offered to me let use. We swam together for about 20-minutes with me primarily doing my warm-up and drilling with fist-gloves.

While I was looking at the pool, I had noticed several things about my lane partner. He was a heavy user of hand pads, fins, and the kickboard, and he overreached on recovery on purpose (he actively stretched out to reach as far above the water as possible). While we swam together, I only watched him enough to make sure we did not collide.

At one point, we happen to have a break at the same time, and started chatting a little. He told me that he admired how dedicated I was to drilling and technique and said that he expected I would get really fast if I kept it up.

Here is the problem. I felt like I should pay him a complement as well, but I could not think up anything positive to say about his stroke. So I just resorted to being a swimming student, which is not hard actually :), thanking him, and telling him that I am stilling mastering proper technique.

Basically, I think the problem is that I have a few things that I look at in a person's stroke, unless I see them swimming well, I stop paying attention them afterwards. So I find it difficult to compliment people on their swimming. I was curious what, if any, suggestions people had in situations like this.
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Old 03-22-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I think the best plan is never to offer any unsolicited advice or criticism and if you are asked for advice or criticism concentrate on the positive aspects first. Most people, even Olympic athletes, have faults that could be rectified and it's a lot easier to see others' faults than your own.

Not everyone likes having faults pointed out, though.
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Old 03-22-2009
naj naj is offline
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
I think the best plan is never to offer any unsolicited advice or criticism and if you are asked for advice or criticism concentrate on the positive aspects first. Most people, even Olympic athletes, have faults that could be rectified and it's a lot easier to see others' faults than your own.

Not everyone likes having faults pointed out, though.
Good point Richardsk. However, I think there also is the element of how you approach the person. For instance, I would never offer up advice to someone I have never seen at the pool or spoken to. But yesterday when I was swimming, a man who overall has a decent technique, kept slapping his right recovery arm into the water rather than spearing it. I asked if I could point out something too him and he agreed. After I explained what I noticed he graciously accepted the advice. I also let him know the reason why I noticed is that the same thing had been pointed out too me.
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Old 03-23-2009
Lexi Lexi is offline
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Or you could ask him a question - most people find that even better than a compliment. "thanks, I am dedicated to drills. What drill has helped you the most?" or a question about one of his props.
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