Lane swimming in a pool is great for training for doesn’t help when coming to race day. In the open water when in a race or swimming in a pack you need to be aware of the changing environments such as the start and turning buoys.
Many swimmers new to open water panic when faced with legs, elbows and the hustle and bustle that can sometimes occur during stages of a race. You can get over some of these potential problems by practicing swimming in confined environments, so you can ensure that when you face these conditions you know a little of what to expect.
Drills: Try one session of swimming at your pool during especially busy times or alternatively and more realistic, gather a small group of say between 3-5 swimmers, practising swimming together closely bunched and trying to overtake each other. This is a great way to gain experience in congested water out. This is good practise for when you are in the waves and you need to slightly change the timing/ rhythm of your stroke to be in time with the waves.