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abc
February 19th, 2008, 11:16 AM
I was just wondering if anyone out there knows of masters swimmers who donít compete and that have achieved Top Ten Times, American Records, World Records, etc. in practice. I know that stories have circulated around about swimmers like Mark Spitz who have done this (although I think he did compete :)). I was just wondering if there are similar stories in the masters ranks. It seems to me that it would be highly probable in masters swimming because so many of its members do not actually swim at meets. Therefore, I would think there are people out there who achieve these (unofficial) times during a practice session and are relatively unknown. If youíve got a story to share, please do.

geochuck
February 19th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Just wondering how do you get an official time if you don't compete? There are lots of masters who do not compete.

ourswimmer
February 19th, 2008, 12:13 PM
I don't know about national or world records, but I have made the top ten in a few events in several years since I resumed swimming in 1995, and throughout those years I have worked out with people in my age group or older who could swim faster than I can but who rarely or never went to competitions. I can also think of several people who do primarily or exclusively open water racing but who would be very highly ranked in pool events if they did them (and are when they do).

Blackbeard's Peg
February 19th, 2008, 01:06 PM
I used to swim with a guy who won the 400IM (and something else) at NCAA Div III champs at some point in the 90s. He pretty much refused to compete as a masters swimmer, though he was still pretty quick.

-jeff

art_z
February 19th, 2008, 01:13 PM
I'll do a meet every few years, though I train 12 months out of the year, and have had a smattering of entries in top 10, including 1 this year.

I seem to get much more satisfaction out of a good hard practice, than a meet.

abc
February 19th, 2008, 02:25 PM
This is interesting. I wonder what the Top Ten would look like if everyone competed.

born2fly
February 19th, 2008, 02:46 PM
I compete mostly in USS meets and my times there would have ranked me in top 10 and would have set a few Ohio records. However, I do not really know the process of getting times approved from USS meets to be recognized in the masters listing. My guess is there would be forms to fill out and all that and probably to much of a hassel to do. If it was as simple as sending hytek meet results to them, then I could do that.

greg

Chris Stevenson
February 19th, 2008, 03:40 PM
If it was as simple as sending hytek meet results to them, then I could do that.

Ummm...it really is that simple, usually. Send them to your Top Ten Recorder.

If the pool is not in the database then the length will have to be verified. That only has to be done once. If the pool uses a movable bulkhead then it has to be measured after a session, but only in 3 lanes. The meet director should take care of it, you shouldn't have to. (All this applies to USMS meets too, you just don't usually have to worry about it.)

robbieA
February 19th, 2008, 04:06 PM
the real question is why dont they compete???

Mostly it is becuase they still view swim meets as those endless ordeals that we all went through as age groupers or as the high pressure world of big time college/national swimming. Either way it left a bad taste and they walked away.

I think we call them workout swimmers. Folks who can drop 10 X100 faster than all get out but will never show at a meet.

art_z
February 19th, 2008, 04:27 PM
the real question is why dont they compete???

Mostly it is becuase they still view swim meets as those endless ordeals that we all went through as age groupers or as the high pressure world of big time college/national swimming. Either way it left a bad taste and they walked away.

I think we call them workout swimmers. Folks who can drop 10 X100 faster than all get out but will never show at a meet.

this is my pretty much my take. for me to spend a whole weekend for a competition, when I got 3 kids involved in their own activities, plus job, wife, other things going on, is just too much hassle.

the other aspect was as a kid/college student, swimming was the one big factor in my life. I'd spend months training for some big end of season meet with little or no chance for distraction, there really wasn't anything else as important in my life (and I was an only child).

Now all it takes is work getting crazy the week before championships, a kid getting sick or having their own sporting even or dance recital come up. This has happened to me more than once, and I just got tired of the frustration of trying to train and taper for a meet, only to have it all fall apart last minute because of other priorities out of my control.

Blackbeard's Peg
February 19th, 2008, 04:58 PM
this is my pretty much my take. for me to spend a whole weekend for a competition, when I got 3 kids involved in their own activities, plus job, wife, other things going on, is just too much hassle.


Thats why I'll probably have to retire from competition at some point.

Kurt Dickson
February 19th, 2008, 05:05 PM
This is interesting. I wonder what the Top Ten would look like if everyone competed.

It would look very different. That is why we cannot get too full of ourselves. Nobody on this forum can say "I'm a fast swimmer" without adding the caveat, "for an old guy/girl."

I was happy with a 3rd place at World's a few years ago knowing there are probably 20 people my age in the Bay area alone that could beat me like a bad monkey in the 200 Back if they had any motivation to find one of their skanky old suits, battle California traffic, and drag their sorry, bloated a** down to Stanford.:bighug:

The Fortress
February 19th, 2008, 05:47 PM
the real question is why dont they compete???

Mostly it is becuase they still view swim meets as those endless ordeals that we all went through as age groupers or as the high pressure world of big time college/national swimming. Either way it left a bad taste and they walked away.

Nah, not the most likely reason. Taking 10-20 years off gets rid of this burnout problem usually. What art z said is right. It's a huge headache just planning meet logistics with life/family etc. I've experienced the same frustration as art. My training always gets thrown off. That's why I don't taper too much or go to too many meets.

I'm sure there are many swimmers who could dominate, but don't compete. There are others who do compete, but not much. There are others who only swim a few events and could be ranked in others. Definitely better not to get too obsessed with rankings, as Kurt observes.

Surfsalterpath
February 19th, 2008, 06:04 PM
i would not be close to the top ten

i swim pretty hard m-fri w/ about 4-8 people and no coach

we did a few meets in the late 90's and they were fun

but not as much fun as surfing

so my weekends are designated to catch the swell!:bolt:

phdude
February 19th, 2008, 11:37 PM
I used to swim with a guy who won the 400IM (and something else) at NCAA Div III champs at some point in the 90s. He pretty much refused to compete as a masters swimmer, though he was still pretty quick.

-jeff


The D3 record holder is an alumnus from CMU; he still gets in the pool once in a blue moon. I make it a point not to do IM those days such as not to elicit laughs.

Treebox
February 20th, 2008, 09:31 AM
the real question is why dont they compete???

Mostly it is becuase they still view swim meets as those endless ordeals that we all went through as age groupers or as the high pressure world of big time college/national swimming. Either way it left a bad taste and they walked away.

I think we call them workout swimmers. Folks who can drop 10 X100 faster than all get out but will never show at a meet.

I'm a proud workout swimmer. It's not that meets left a bad taste in my mouth, its more a matter of them being painfully boring. I'd much rather gauge my progress by doing a set of 10 x 200's.

Marriage, kids in sports, home improvement projects, etc pretty much dictate that if I don't swim first thing in the morning, its not going to happen.

I try to swim in 2-3 open water events per season, otherwise it is gut-check sets and peer pressure with the group I work out with.

geochuck
February 20th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Master swim meets are very long. I wish we could have duel meets. Now this is something I would like to happen.

We had duel meets at least once a week and even twice a week. They were sometimes tri meets.

aquageek
February 20th, 2008, 11:18 AM
Geochuck - I don't know what USMS meets you've been to lately, but, other than Nationals, I have yet to see a USMS meet session that lasts more than a few hours. I've even been to meets that go so quickly they put in 10-15 minute unschedule breaks between events to give us some rest.

SwimStud
February 20th, 2008, 11:24 AM
I wonder how many masters swimmers that don't compete hit the golf course for 18, make that 19, each Sunday...

Nothing wrong with working out only...still good for you and a good example for your kids.

slknight
February 20th, 2008, 11:31 AM
Geochuck - I don't know what USMS meets you've been to lately, but, other than Nationals, I have yet to see a USMS meet session that lasts more than a few hours. I've even been to meets that go so quickly they put in 10-15 minute unschedule breaks between events to give us some rest.

Not so true here. Look at the timeline for our championship meet in December. I know the Saturday session started late for some reason, so it ran even later than this:
http://www.greatbaymasters.org/07BUsession.htm


I wonder how many masters swimmers that don't compete hit the golf course for 18, make that 19, each Sunday...


And who cares if they do? I don't play golf, but there are lots of things I'd rather do than sit at a pool all day. BTDT for too many years as a youth.

knelson
February 20th, 2008, 11:38 AM
If I don't want to be at a meet for hours I just enter only events in the first half of the meet. There's nothing that says you've got to stick around till the bitter end.

geochuck
February 20th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Geochuck - I don't know what USMS meets you've been to lately, but, other than Nationals, I have yet to see a USMS meet session that lasts more than a few hours. I've even been to meets that go so quickly they put in 10-15 minute unschedule breaks between events to give us some rest.
Last meet I attended 2007 as a spectator took 3 days and It was not a pretty sight. I admit it was in Canada. I went I stayed an hour each day said "Hi" to people I had not seen since 1956 and left. Gave them Team Pictures from the past.

pwolf66
February 20th, 2008, 11:45 AM
Not so true here. Look at the timeline for our championship meet in December. I know the Saturday session started late for some reason, so it ran even later than this:
http://www.greatbaymasters.org/07BUsession.htm


Using that meet (or any NE championship meet) as a standard is not realistic. Turnout for those meets is EXTREMELY high. Much higher than the 'average' for similar meets and congrats for that :cheerleader:. I swim quite a few local meets in the Wash DC area and most take about 3-4 hours to complete the events.

But yes, that time can be spent doing other things. For me, I love to complete and I also love to watch others swim. Plus I get to socialize with others and meet new folks. But then again, it's too cold to golf so who knows what I'll do when the weather starts getting warmer.

Paul

SwimStud
February 20th, 2008, 11:45 AM
And who cares if they do? I don't play golf, but there are lots of things I'd rather do than sit at a pool all day. BTDT for too many years as a youth.
:bow:

I certainly don't care who does what with their time. It's why I made the comment. You needed to read the second part of my post too.

art_z
February 20th, 2008, 01:15 PM
There's nothing that says you've got to stick around till the bitter end.

the relay coordinator would probably think otherwise :p

blainesapprentice
February 20th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Using that meet (or any NE championship meet) as a standard is not realistic. Turnout for those meets is EXTREMELY high. Much higher than the 'average' for similar meets and congrats for that :cheerleader:. I swim quite a few local meets in the Wash DC area and most take about 3-4 hours to complete the events.

But yes, that time can be spent doing other things. For me, I love to complete and I also love to watch others swim. Plus I get to socialize with others and meet new folks. But then again, it's too cold to golf so who knows what I'll do when the weather starts getting warmer.

Paul

The only masters meet i've been too was in Maryland, and it went incredibly fast--so fast that I ended up scratching two of my events because I hadn't anticipated it going by so quickly, and I was still tanked from my previous races. I think we were out of the pool area by like noon both days and the meet started at 9 i think. It's really nice that the meets are so fast because then if you had to travel to the meet (I traveled 4.5 hours for that meet) we were able to do things in the city the rest of the day (i.e. shopping and dining). Compared to college duel meets--that one masters meet was at least an hour in length shorter than any of the duel meets I've been to.

SwimStud
February 20th, 2008, 01:33 PM
I ended up scratching two of my events because I hadn't anticipated it going by so quickly, and I was still tanked from my previous races.

Proof there that Masters > College swimmers. :bump:

5 events in 2.5 hours is an average USMS meet in CT!

blainesapprentice
February 20th, 2008, 01:37 PM
Proof there that Masters > College swimmers. :bump:



How many events do u sign up for during a session? We'd have to compare.

and excuse me but in hmm...5 days....I am going to no longer be a college swimmer, but only a masters swimmer...we're on the same side!

funkyfish
February 20th, 2008, 01:38 PM
The meets I've been to have been pretty short (2hrs max), but they've been small local meets. Usually we've been able to let the kids swim in either an adjacent pool or in an area that's not being used, so they like it. I too like competition and unless I'm racing someone else I don't push as hard, especially with practice. Meets give me a periodic deadline to meet, so I know I should go swim, lift, whatever and do so with some intensity.
:weightlifter:

SwimStud
February 20th, 2008, 01:42 PM
How many events do u sign up for during a session? We'd have to compare.

and excuse me but in hmm...5 days....I am going to no longer be a college swimmer, but only a masters swimmer...we're on the same side!


Hehe Ok you get a pass...

Last April I did a CT State meet... all 6 of us turned up I won all my events. I also lost them all!

However pulling my PB on 200 BR then maybe within 5 mins doing the 100 IM...I think I saw Jesus smiling at me in a tunnel of light...but it was someone on deck laughing.

blainesapprentice
February 20th, 2008, 01:48 PM
Hehe Ok you get a pass...

Last April I did a CT State meet... all 6 of us turned up I won all my events. I also lost them all!

However pulling my PB on 200 BR then maybe within 5 mins doing the 100 IM...I think I saw Jesus smiling at me in a tunnel of light...but it was someone on deck laughing.

Good good, thanks for letting me slide this time. I had signed up for 4 events each day, with a few back to back to back and had thought that there would be enough ppl and enough heats in between that I would be fine. Let's also keep in mind that it was during my 21st birthday weekend. Actually, I think I only scratched 1 event, the 100fly and I was very upset that I had to scratch it, I really wanted to see how well I could do, but I was dead.

jim clemmons
February 20th, 2008, 02:19 PM
Wow, in the Bay Area (Northern Cal) most of our "typical" meets run 5 to 7 hours. Start at 9am and end up between 2 and 4pm. You can get 5 events in with plenty of rest between them. :D

Kurt Dickson
February 20th, 2008, 02:30 PM
I agree with aquageek, most meets don't last that long. When you are swimming 9 events, three to four hours sessions are not that long. I believe there are two groups of masters that do not compete. There are the self-actualized types who have nothing left to prove or do not care about competition anymore. Then there are the chickensh*ts who are afraid to compete. Within this group are 2 subgroups--c.s. because they have not put in x amount of yardage in preparation and c.s because they truly suck (both of which are simply afraid of perceived failure).

The only reason I compete is so I can do the mile, 1000, 400 I.M and 6 other events in one weekend in order to claim the coveted 3 dollar cooler Arizona state high-point award from WalMart. To each his own I guess.:wave:

scyfreestyler
February 20th, 2008, 03:43 PM
I agree with aquageek, most meets don't last that long. When you are swimming 9 events, three to four hours sessions are not that long. I believe there are two groups of masters that do not compete. There are the self-actualized types who have nothing left to prove or do not care about competition anymore. Then there are the chickensh*ts who are afraid to compete. Within this group are 2 subgroups--c.s. because they have not put in x amount of yardage in preparation and c.s because they truly suck.

The only reason I compete is so I can do the mile, 1000, 400 I.M and 6 other events in one weekend in order to claim the coveted 3 dollar cooler Arizona state high-point award from WalMart. To each his own I guess.:wave:

Wow, you really have a way with people. :notworthy: USMS should secure your expertise to encourage new membership and more particiaption in competitions.

aztimm
February 20th, 2008, 03:49 PM
My team probably has a good 150 to 175 active swimmers, who show up with some regularity at workouts. Of those, I'd estimate only 30-40 really do any meets (at least one a year). When we hosted nationals a few years ago, the coach gave his sob story and got more to compete for that. For a typical nationals (that isn't local) there's about 10-15 who travel to compete.

Many of our very fast swimmers are triathlon only guys/gals. We had a practice last year (Paul Smith was there) and I'd swear one lane was doing 10 x 100 SCY repeats on 1:05. Gals included in that. I'm sure some of these really fast folks would break records, but they just don't want to do meets, or don't have the time for them.

Personally, I swim as part of an overall plan to keep healthy. I also run and lift weights. Meets are typically on weekends, which interfers with getting in runs and lifting. I also love to travel and am quite often out of town when meets are happening. It is easy to say you'll arrive and leave early, but when the coach asks you to help with timing and/or compete in a relay, it is hard to say no, so a meet usually means full days for me.

david.margrave
February 20th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Wow, you really have a way with people. :notworthy: USMS should secure your expertise to encourage new membership and more particiaption in competitions.

Don't sweat it, he's just got a bit of a cynical streak, targeting himself as often as others.

Kurt Dickson
February 20th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Wow, you really have a way with people. :notworthy: USMS should secure your expertise to encourage new membership and more particiaption in competitions.

Thanks. They already asked...I told them I had crap to do.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.":whiteflag:

Allen Stark
February 20th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Kurt,I heard someone at a seminar say"ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,but it will piss you off first."
I love meets.If I didn't go to meets I'd probably swim 1500 3xwk and be in OK shape.Meets give me a focus and a reason to push myself. I almost never get bored at meets.I'm either getting psyched,visiting with friends(old or just met),watching others swim,or lying around reading and relaxing.
It seems a bit of a cop out to decide not to go to a meet for a couple of hours because you are afraid you can't say no to the coach.Which is the bigger let down,not going or not swimming relays.
If you haven't been to a meet,find one and go,they're fun:cheerleader:.

Sam Perry
February 20th, 2008, 10:18 PM
...Then there are the chickensh*ts who are afraid to compete. Within this group are 2 subgroups--c.s. because they have not put in x amount of yardage in preparation and c.s because they truly suck (both of which are simply afraid of perceived failure)...

I think I may resemble that remark. :mooning:

JMiller
February 20th, 2008, 10:18 PM
:bow:

I certainly don't care who does what with their time. It's why I made the comment. You needed to read the second part of my post too.

"You can't win Darth." Obi-Wan

"Negative you are. First your heart wins, losers there are not." ~Yoda~

ensignada
February 20th, 2008, 11:59 PM
When you are swimming 9 events, three to four hours sessions are not that long. Then there are the chickensh*ts who are afraid to compete. Within this group are 2 subgroups--c.s. because they have not put in x amount of yardage in preparation and c.s because they truly suck (both of which are simply afraid of perceived failure).

The only reason I compete is so I can do the mile, 1000, 400 I.M and 6 other events in one weekend in order to claim the coveted 3 dollar cooler Arizona state high-point award from WalMart. To each his own I guess

Be careful not to lean too far over the pool, Narcissus, or you might false start.

geochuck
February 21st, 2008, 12:04 AM
Kurt, Kurt, Kurt, be nice to your elders. They know not what they do, or the reason why they don't do it.

Kurt Dickson
February 21st, 2008, 06:27 AM
Be careful not to lean too far over the pool, Narcissus, or you might false start.

Wha??? Someone did not read my first post on this thread about all of us (including me) not being too full of ourselves and then quoting only half of what I wrote on the second post. I did mention that many (not me) are self-actualized and don't care about competition or have nothing left to prove. If there is something on the second post that is untrue please enlighten me (oversimplified, and too harsh, but I do not think too far from the truth). Please no more Yoda, I haven't graduated to that level of philosophy and find it difficult to understand. Admittedly I'm a bomb thrower on this forum but am generally a nice person...really. Narcissistic? I have a face only my mother would love. :smooch:


"So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know... "

Hoosier
February 21st, 2008, 08:20 AM
I'm a proud workout swimmer. It's not that meets left a bad taste in my mouth, its more a matter of them being painfully boring. I'd much rather gauge my progress by doing a set of 10 x 200's.

Marriage, kids in sports, home improvement projects, etc pretty much dictate that if I don't swim first thing in the morning, its not going to happen.

I try to swim in 2-3 open water events per season, otherwise it is gut-check sets and peer pressure with the group I work out with



AMEN!:notworthy:

knelson
February 21st, 2008, 10:28 AM
Then there are the chickensh*ts who are afraid to compete. Within this group are 2 subgroups--c.s. because they have not put in x amount of yardage in preparation and c.s because they truly suck (both of which are simply afraid of perceived failure)

OK, this wasn't real diplomatic, but I think I see where you're coming from. The first subgroup are accomplished swimmers who know--or at least think they haven't--put in the commitment in order to swim fast enough to avoid embarrassing themselves. The second subgroup has never swum competitvely and are nervous to make that leap. How many threads in this forum have been from novice swimmers asking whether they are good enough to compete? As Kurt said, both these groups are afraid of perceived failure and that's the main thing keeping them from competing.

aquageek
February 21st, 2008, 10:37 AM
I just don't get why anyone would join USMS, join a team, pay for a coach and then not compete. I'll admit meets can be boring but if you sit with friends, it can be a great mini vacation from work-a-day life. A meet is the test of your training and coaching. I can't think of a single other sport where you get coaching and then decide against real competition.

geochuck
February 21st, 2008, 11:07 AM
I joined the Winskill Otters, three years ago, paid $300.00 for the first quarter. I went to the first workout had a hot tub and watched the workout. The night was kool, one week later went to Mexico. The next year I called the secretay of the club and asked if I could use that money to start again. She said yes by all means. I went to the club social had a good time and won the door prize. We left for Mexico again.

I really prefer the hot tub over swimming. But don't get me wrong this is the start of a new age group for me this year I swim???

Rob Copeland
February 21st, 2008, 11:09 AM
I just don't get why anyone would join USMS, join a team, pay for a coach and then not compete....
I can't think of a single other sport where you get coaching and then decide against real competition.How about golf, tennis and water aerobics? Lots of people take up these and other sports for the physical exercise, camaraderie, and other benefits without ever intending to enter competitions. Many of these people pay to join a golf or tennis club and pay for coaching without ever feeling compelled to test their training or coaching in real competition.

Personally (and it shows from my times) the actual in the water part of swim meets is less important to me then the min-vacation and spending time with friends aspects. It is different with marathon swims, where completing the race is important to me. Maybe Iím a bit jaded from attend 40+ years of swim meets and way out of competition shape, but I get more satisfaction out of a workout of 100 100ís then I do out of racing a single 100.

And I know Iím different than many out there, but I join USMS first because I have to, and second to support an organization that provides the opportunities to the competitive and casual swimmer alike.

Rob Copeland
February 21st, 2008, 11:12 AM
I really prefer the hot tube...A hot tube of what??? :doh:

geochuck
February 21st, 2008, 11:18 AM
Rob you can tell I am moving up in age group. I use a lot of Ben Gay.

A hot tube of what??? :doh:

SwimStud
February 21st, 2008, 11:20 AM
A hot tube of what??? :doh:

O_o

geochuck
February 21st, 2008, 11:23 AM
BenGay

ViveBene
February 21st, 2008, 11:33 AM
Considerably more ecumenical views on Masters swimmers were posted on this thread.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=9235

Regards, VB

geochuck
February 21st, 2008, 11:40 AM
Can you guess where I was while that thread was current. I did not even make a post.

Chuckie and I were packing our bags for our short 2 month the trip to Mexico


Considerably more ecumenical views on Masters swimmers were posted on this thread.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=9235

Regards, VB

aquageek
February 21st, 2008, 11:53 AM
How about golf, tennis and water aerobics? Lots of people take up these and other sports for the physical exercise, camaraderie, and other benefits without ever intending to enter competitions. Many of these people pay to join a golf or tennis club and pay for coaching without ever feeling compelled to test their training or coaching in real competition.

Unless you play by yourself, it is physically impossible to play golf or tennis and not compete. Golf is a competition every round, in your foursome. How can you play tennis and not compete? You may not be in a formal tourney but you play against others in every single outing.

knelson
February 21st, 2008, 11:54 AM
How about golf, tennis and water aerobics?

The first thing that crossed my mind was weight training. Lots of people pay lots of money to join health clubs, hire personal trainers, etc. with their only goal being to get in better shape. Very few people lifting weights at a club will ever enter a bodybuilding competition.

SwimStud
February 21st, 2008, 12:07 PM
The first thing that crossed my mind was weight training. Lots of people pay lots of money to join health clubs, hire personal trainers, etc. with their only goal being to get in better shape. Very few people lifting weights at a club will ever enter a bodybuilding competition.

C'mon Kirk...we all know that you compete in your bedroom mirror!
Show us your muscles!!

Rob Copeland
February 21st, 2008, 12:10 PM
Unless you play by yourself, it is physically impossible to play golf or tennis and not compete. Golf is a competition every round, in your foursome. How can you play tennis and not compete? You may not be in a formal tourney but you play against others in every single outing.Isn’t the same true for swimming, where in a workout you can compete against the clock, your fellow swimmers and your coach’s expectations?

To the same extent that a foursome of golfers is a competition, lane mates swimming a set in a workout is a competition. It’s just that we count seconds instead of strokes. But, I thought this thread was about “real competitions” like a swim meet, which would be more analogous to a tennis or golf tournament, rather than a just a couple of old guys just whacking around balls.

aquageek
February 21st, 2008, 12:11 PM
The first thing that crossed my mind was weight training. Lots of people pay lots of money to join health clubs, hire personal trainers, etc. with their only goal being to get in better shape. Very few people lifting weights at a club will ever enter a bodybuilding competition.

This is a good point, although I don't really consider weight lifting a sport as the highest level of competition in that arena is the drug fueled class.

But, if someone trained as hard in weights as we do in swimming (6+ hours a week), had a coach and a training group, I suspect there might be competitions to enter.

SwimStud
February 21st, 2008, 12:28 PM
This is a good point, although I don't really consider weight lifting a sport as the highest level of competition in that arena is the drug fueled class.

But, if someone trained as hard in weights as we do in swimming (6+ hours a week), had a coach and a training group, I suspect there might be competitions to enter.

There are regional competitions and a specific "natural" class..oddly the natural class is typically won by some significantly bigger, more ripped, bodybuilder than the rest of the field. They all test clean...

aquageek
February 21st, 2008, 12:32 PM
What does it say about a sport that has to have a "clean" division? What's next, the roll-start backstroke division for swimming?

aztimm
February 21st, 2008, 01:02 PM
I don't understand why it is so difficult to accept that not every masters swimmer will swim in a meet. There are a multitude of reasons/excuses, but forcing everyone to compete would simply eliminate a healthy percentage from particiapting at all.

Are there any concrete numbers as to:
* The total number of registered swimmers with USMS
* The total number of USMS swimmers who swim at least 1 meet a year
* The number who swims at 1 or more national events a year?

Looking back on my team's example, which I don't know if it is representative:
* ~ 175
* ~ 40, < 25%
* ~ 15, < 10%

I've heard of teams that force everyone to compete in meets. I would either find another team or swim outside of USMS all together if this were forced on me, as would the majority (75%) of my team's members.

Those swimmers who do swim in meets, at least on my team, are in the minority. I don't see anything wrong with that. Masters swimming should be open and inclusive to all, and some of the comments earlier on this thread produce just the opposite effect.

funkyfish
February 21st, 2008, 05:39 PM
There are regional competitions and a specific "natural" class..oddly the natural class is typically won by some significantly bigger, more ripped, bodybuilder than the rest of the field. They all test clean...

I used to compete in the NGA organization. For the most part the amateur competitors seemed to be on the up & up. I think the heaviest competitor weighed about 195. I competed around 172-180 over a 5 year span. That's not to say there weren't ways around the testing system, but a fella would have to be in really bad self esteem mode to juice up just to compete against non-juicers. There were some "professionals" who looked like they may have juiced in the past, but even they wouldn't get much above 220. Then there's the NPC, with the most juiciest, "genetically gifted" competitors around :rofl:

gull
February 21st, 2008, 06:58 PM
Personally (and it shows from my times) the actual in the water part of swim meets is less important to me then the mini-vacation and spending time with friends aspects.


What shows from your times, Rob, is that you're pretty darn fast--4:47.03 in the 400 at the Woodlands last summer, and a 4:38.53 the summer before at Worlds, both good enough for a fourth place finish.

Since I just moved up into your age group, I can only hope that you don't get really serious about competing.

jim clemmons
February 21st, 2008, 07:56 PM
What does it say about a sport that has to have a "clean" division?

Like part of the "clean and jerk"? Do they go hand in hand?

scyfreestyler
February 21st, 2008, 08:40 PM
Like part of the "clean and jerk"? Do they go hand in hand?

Quite often!

michaelmoore
March 2nd, 2008, 12:31 AM
Are there any concrete numbers as to:
* The total number of registered swimmers with USMS
* The total number of USMS swimmers who swim at least 1 meet a year
* The number who swims at 1 or more national events a year?



Total # of registered swimmers with USMS 2007 44,134

Total # of swimmers who swim in at least 1 meet a year - I would guess about 20% - I did a check of how many Pacific swimmers competed in at least one event (pool or open water) a few years ago and it was about 20%. We had about and still have about 10,000 swimmers, I dont think it would change much in a normal year. In 2006 we had Worlds in our LMSC - as i recall we had about 1,400 swimmers who competed in just Worlds so that would skew the results. Worlds had over 3,000 USMS Swimmer in the pool and over 5000 swimmers total.

New England Masters has about 1600 members and has about 800 swimmers who will compete at their scy meet. That is 50% of their LMSC competing.

The number who will compete at 1 or more nationals - I dont know of any one who has totaled that. But if you want a rough idea take the total of the SCY and LCM nationals and subtract 400. That would give you a rough number. SCY nationals varies from about 1500 to 2000 a 33% variability.

For those who want to compete, it is a lot of fun. I dont know if our Pacific's or USMS Championships can get much bigger than they are now. The meets are multiday meets that take up those days. If people dont want to compete that is fine, they wont make top ten times or any records - if you want a record you have to earn it and part of that is going to a meet.


michael

matysekj
March 2nd, 2008, 07:58 AM
Are there any concrete numbers as to:
* The total number of registered swimmers with USMS
* The total number of USMS swimmers who swim at least 1 meet a year
* The number who swims at 1 or more national events a year?

To add on to Michael's reply, here's some more numbers from our meet results database and nationals meet entry database:

In 2007, we had:
44,134 Members
8,680 Competed in any meet (19.67%)
2,122 Entered at least 1 Nationals (4.81%)

The number competing in any meet is based on our successfully identifying those swimmers as USMS members. There are several large meets from 2007 where the swimmer's registration numbers were not included in the meet results, so these swimmers have not been identified as members yet. As a result, the number of swimmers competing in any meet last year is actually somewhat higher than this. How much higher is anyone's guess - it looks like there are about 2,500 unidentified swimmers in there for the year, but most of them likely have already been identified in another meet during the year.

For nationals, here's the number of USMS members who have entered at least 1 nationals event over the years (2006 includes Worlds):
2002: 1,912
2003: 2,347
2004: 2,328
2005: 2,447
2006: 4,073
2007: 2,122

michaelmoore
March 2nd, 2008, 11:16 AM
For nationals, here's the number of USMS members who have entered at least 1 nationals event over the years (2006 includes Worlds):
2002: 1,912
2003: 2,347
2004: 2,328
2005: 2,447
2006: 4,073
2007: 2,122

Nice work, Jim. It would be interesting to know how many individual swimmers have competed at nationals during the five year period 2003-2007. It would be more interesting to note if you broke out how many only competed at worlds and not at any of the nationals. The five year figure is interesting as many swimmers compete in the first year they age up and dont train hard again for five years.

Again, nice work.


michael

aztimm
March 2nd, 2008, 11:08 PM
To add on to Michael's reply, here's some more numbers from our meet results database and nationals meet entry database:

In 2007, we had:
44,134 Members
8,680 Competed in any meet (19.67%)
2,122 Entered at least 1 Nationals (4.81%)



Thanks for breaking that out. I definitely do not feel out of place now for not doing meets, and it sounds like my team fits the overall averages fairly closely.

I also still stand by my comments that USMS should be open and inclusive for all swimmers, regardless of if they do meets or not.

LindsayNB
March 2nd, 2008, 11:52 PM
It would be interesting to figure out how many people would swim time trials if you factored out all the inconvenience of attending meets. Say the time trials were held in regular workouts so no extra time commitment were involved and only some lanes were used so you could still get on with your workout. That would deliver the value of measuring your performance, although for people who thrive on head to head competition it would depend on whether you have someone on your team to compete against, although at smaller meets there is no guarantee of close competition either. For people who don't like competition it might be better than a meet. I wonder what other factors make people swim faster at meets and whether they could be simulated in a team time trial setup.

Does anyone swim with a team that does this? Do more people participate (voluntarily) than go to meets?

zegmal
March 3rd, 2008, 10:55 AM
Great idea to have time trial days in practice. Sort of mini races. I have three kids and my weekends are always booked.

aztimm
March 3rd, 2008, 11:05 AM
Does anyone swim with a team that does this? Do more people participate (voluntarily) than go to meets?

I don't understand what you mean by time trials. Almost every workout my team does is timed to some extent, everything is either on a total time interval (like 100's on 1:30) or a rest interval (such as 10 sec between sets). At least once a week we do more of a sprint day, such 200's on 6 min in the more distance lanes. Regardless of what we're doing, the clock is always on deck so you can get your time, and quite often (70%+) there's a coach also yelling out times as you come in.

We never have pads in the pool to get official times, no times are recorded for any records, or anything like that. I guess if you wanted, the coach would write down your times for you and give it to you afterwards, but I've never done that, and don't know anyone who has. We typically have 35-40 people at our workouts, and many days when we do fast sets it is quite easy to find someone to swim against, if that's what you're looking for.

From what it sounds, the people who do meets are usually the same all the time. From our morning group, there's about 8-10 people who always do meets, with little variation.

matysekj
March 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
Updated numbers (we got a lot of the unidentified swimmers from 2007 meets identified):

In 2007 there were:
44,134 Members
10,179 Competed in any meet (23.06%)
2,122 Registered for Nationals (4.81%)
2,091 Competed in Nationals (4.74%)

Those participating in any nationals/USMS-hosted Worlds meet in a given year are shown below. The first number is the total number of unique USMS members participating in either meet, followed by the number participating in each meet. The two meet totals don't add up to the total for that year due to the number of people participating in both meets.

2001: 908 (LC ONLY)
2002: 1,912 (1,092 SC, 985 LC)
2003: 2,437 (1,790 SC, 844 LC)
2004: 2,328 (1,551 SC, 1,069 LC)
2005: 2,447 (1,609 SC, 1,091 LC)
2006: 4,073 (1,260 SC, 3,204 Worlds)
2007: 2,122 (1,436 SC, 883 LC)

LindsayNB
March 3rd, 2008, 12:10 PM
I don't understand what you mean by time trials.

I am thinking of basically all the requirements for a time trial to get an official time, optionally with relaxation of things like pool measurements and certification of officials if you don't care about an official time. So you have exactly the same opportunity to get an accurate time as you do by going to a meet, without all the time and travel requirements.

I am trying to tease apart the various aspects of going to a meet to see which parts people want and which they can do without. Do people just want to get an accurate time under controlled conditions to measure their progress? Do they need a competitor to race or do they actually avoid that?

Clearly a lot of people don't go to meets due to the time and inconvenience, I am wondering if there is an alternate solution that meets most of the same requirements, or, alternately, identify why no other solution can substitute for racing in a meet. It's also clear that different people are looking for different things or value different aspects differently. The idea is not to replace meets but to find if there is a way to deliver something that will be valued by some significant portion of the large majority of swimmers that don't go to meets.