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vbirddogs
February 22nd, 2008, 10:43 AM
I coach a small group of masters swimmers and swim with them on a regular basis. The issue arose in our local administration that it is a legal liability for a masters coach to swim with their group. Does anyone know whether this is true or not? I've been to numerous masters practices in a variety of places and notice it's not uncommon for coaches to swim with the other adults in their group. I also remember the masters insurance stating that members were covered whether or not the coach was on the deck or in the pool. Can anyone shed some light on this issue? Feel free to email me your response.

SKO
February 22nd, 2008, 01:37 PM
There are a few issues at work here. I dunno about the masters insurance thing.
But if you are the only one there on deck then you're essentially the lifeguard so if you get in then theres no pool coverage in case someone were to get injured.

If you get paid to coach i've heard the argument that you're paid to coach not to swim/get your workout in. So some places discourage it for that reason.

Rob Copeland
February 22nd, 2008, 02:34 PM
From the USMS Local Masters Swimming Committee handbook:

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the USMS Insurance Program

11. Under “Insured Activities”, Practices, it states the activity must be under the direct supervision of a USMS member or USA Swimming certified coach. How do you define “direct supervision”?

“Direct Supervision” is defined as “line of sight”. The participants must be in the supervisor’s direct line of sight. This means the supervisor cannot be practicing with the group, in the office doing paper work, etc.

Redbird Alum
February 22nd, 2008, 03:02 PM
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the USMS Insurance Program

11. Under “Insured Activities”, Practices, it states the activity must be under the direct supervision of a USMS member or USA Swimming certified coach. How do you define “direct supervision”?


Rob -

Does this imply that any USMS member could be the supervisor? If so, the "coach" could swim with the group provided another "member" took over the supervision, correct?

meldyck
March 1st, 2008, 09:52 PM
Insurance issues aside, coaching from the water gives you a completely different perspective on the swimmers stroke mechanics. Some of these things are difficult to spot from the deck.

I have done both and I like coaching from the water best. Insurance was not an issue at either place I have coached master's swimming. The other point is that I tend to give 'animal' sets and, being the oldest swimmer in the group, didn't hear many complaints from the swimmers since I was completing those sets. (i.e. if grandpa coach over there can do it, I'm sure as hell not going to quit...)

orca1946
March 5th, 2008, 07:04 PM
I agree with Mel, some of the best views are from under water . That is where the pull is .

haffathot
April 4th, 2008, 03:47 PM
from a legal perspective, if the policy of masters is that a certified masters coach has a line of sight on (and is not practicing with) the swimmers, then not following such a policy invites liability should something happen. absent such a masters policy or any specific state or federal statute on point, then the operative inquiry into the liability issue would be proper supervision, and that would likely be satisfied by an on-duty lifeguard that is operating within the scope of his or her duty and within a proper ratio of patrons to lifeguard.

absent the legal question, I like to teach from the water and coach in and out of the water. being on deck accentuates one's authority and makes it easier for your swimmers to understand your direction. when you are on deck, it's apparent that you mean business. however, getting into the water occasionally allows you to properly demonstrate strokes and techniques, pace behind swimmers that are lagging, see underwater techniques being used by swimmers and that you would not otherwise be able to see, allows you the power to instantaneously correct strokes as the swimmer passes by, and it makes the swimmers understand that you are both wholly invested in the program and fully willing to do every set that you assign (proving that you are not a monster). plus, it creates comradery with the swimmers.

--Sean

swimnjim
July 24th, 2008, 01:35 PM
Swimming without on deck supervision is not against the law, but it does go against common sense. Swimming is a high risk activity, many people die during supervised swimming workouts each year from many causes ranging from shallow water black out to heart attack or stroke.:drown:

mjgold
September 22nd, 2008, 04:11 PM
My team has several coaches. A different one is on deck at each practice, and the others are in the water doing the workout themselves, but also helping those in the water. If I were the only coach for the team, I don't think I'd feel comfortable being in the water unless it was just to demonstrate something before getting out to supervise.

Typhoons Coach
October 6th, 2008, 12:02 PM
My team has several coaches. A different one is on deck at each practice, and the others are in the water doing the workout themselves, but also helping those in the water. If I were the only coach for the team, I don't think I'd feel comfortable being in the water unless it was just to demonstrate something before getting out to supervise.

I definitely agree with this post!