Many Houstonians are very athletic and want a landscape design plan that reflects their passions for sports. Such a plan would include, among other things, a multi-purpose backyard sports court and a lap swimming pool. Whereas a sports court can be customized to provide exercise for any number of individual and team sports, a pool dedicated exclusively to high-speed swimming gives the family a specialize form of exercise that only water can give to the body.
The key to building a lap swimming pool is to understand how the swimmer actually moves through the pool. In recreational pools people really do not swim hard. They dive, swim underwater for brief periods of time, tread water, float and tan, or simply stand in the shallow end and splash around.
Serious swimmers want a more challenging athletic experience that will push the limits of the body. However, pushing the limits of the body the right way requires an equal amount of focus be paid to swimmer safety. The athlete must be able to swim at top speeds with clear visibility to the end of the pool, then flip and turn to complete the lap.
A lap swimming pool must therefore have steps built away from the end where the swimmer does the flip. An impact with steps can cause a very serious upper body or head injury, so the steps have to be built away from where the swimmer makes contact with the pool edge. There are several different ways that we can do this to give the swimmer two safe ends to strive toward without the hazard of underwater obstructions in the swimming lane itself.
Steps can be built at the corners of one end away from the main course(s), or they can build a separate shallow section parallel to the main, deeper swimming area. This will let the swimmer use both ends of the pool to do flips.
Lighting installation is also different in a lap swimming pool. Lights are not used at the ends of the pool. This would create a blinding glare and cause the swimmer to misjudge distance.
Lights have to be placed at calculated intervals along the side of the pool. This creates enough visibility to swim at night without the hazard of either direct or reflective glare.
As far as the location of a lap swimming pool, virtually anywhere in the yard can be an ideal spot. These pools typically feature a very long, linear design and as such will compliment both traditional and contemporary landscape designs. They can be located just behind a house, adjacent to a sports court, or even to the side of house.
Additionally, custom hardscapes and custom garden designs can be built around the pool, making it a focal point of blended aesthetic and highly specialized function. Seating areas can be created both along the sides of the pool, or they can be created partly set back in the vegetation of a surrounding garden to create drama and vantage points for spectators watching the swimmers perform their laps.