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Paul Smith
August 3rd, 2008, 12:26 PM
Coaching is good but hard to find. I took our masters group the other night, and everyone enjoyed the stroke correction/suggestions.

I poached this quote from Stud off the over thread I started about training...it caught my attention for several reasons.

First and foremost I will say there are some incredible coaches out there doing a LOT of great things...however based on Laura and I having swam with dozens of teams all over the country the reality is that these great coaches are the minority.

Sadly I think that this is most often not because the coach doesn't know how to coach...but rather they tend to be burned out and/or simply don't think most masters care about being coached.

I mentioned my own first hand experiance with this awhile back while swimming with Sun Devil masters a few years back. At that time one of the coaches was Attila Czene who was a two time Olympic medalist and one of the most incredible swimmers have ever scene...sadly however when he "coached" it consisted of showing up late, giving the workout and sitting in a chair catching a tan!

I had earlier in the season decided to swim the 200IM (at Coral Springs) and was not going to let this guy get paid to do nothing so I challenged him to help me out...and guess what, he was awesome. He went on to tell me that 99% of the time he attempted to "coach" masters swimmers they either A) ignored him or B) listened to him and then didn't try so he basically gave up.

I have since that time always asked the coach when visiting a team to watch my stroke and if they had any suggestions to please give them...which I have been happy to find out more than not are willing to do.

So I challenge swimmers and coaches to start talking more. If your paying dues and not geeting coached tell them how you feel about it.

If your a coach....don't take masters for granted...start coaching and if your consistent about you'll find your swimmers will love it.

gobears
August 3rd, 2008, 12:45 PM
Do you think this has to do with the fact that most coaches who do the master's groups are typically not the highest level coaches? Our local USA team has a "masters" program but it's coached by one of the age group coaches who,by then, is at the end of a long day of coaching. I'm sure he and the head coach consider his masters group of secondary importance. He pretty much writes a practice on the board and then sits there answering questions when necessary. And, this team has a reputation for not being great at technique work in the first place so the masters team sure isn't going to get much.

Having coached a lap swim class at the YMCA, I find that most of my swimmers want stroke instruction but there are so many different levels of swimmer with such different goals it's difficult to give as much as you'd like to each swimmer. We only have 2-3 out of around 30 regulars that actually want to "train" to compete. The rest just want a good aerobic work-out or to de-stress from their day.

I'll admit that, having been coached in high-school and college by some truly great coaches, I'm somewhat skeptical about taking many pointers I get from some of the more novice coaches running masters programs. I've also been guilty of just wanting to get in and get my work-out done.

I wonder just how many true competitive masters teams there are around the U.S. By that I mean masters teams that are coached by someone who is actually really focused on that group and regularly training that group for competition. I'm guessing there aren't all that many...

SwimStud
August 3rd, 2008, 01:23 PM
We have our coach who is involved with the kids team but he is not the head coach. He writes up the workouts and will help with strokes which has been good. I've just helped from the pool on the nights he's not there, but I actually do enjoy coaching from deck, esp. if folks are receptive.

It just happened there was no guard there when I was going to coach from the water, but after 4 others arrived I was leery about not being on deck "guarding" so I got out and started to do some stroke analysis--ok I don't know a great deal but I can tell if someone is crossing over and fishtailing etc, so I gave tips /drill to work on that--the groups said they enjoyed that analysis.

I'll even say stuff to others in the lanes while I'm swimming; not b/c I think I know best but maybe I can help with somehthing easy like "think forwards not up" on fly. I can't swim fly either but I can share the tips at least. I always say, I'm not trying to embarrass or be critical in a negative way, and least with a truthfull positive like "Your kick is so strong, if you can get the arms," or "You are strong enough to do 200 fly, I've seen you, but if you can go forwards more not up, you might go faster easier..."
I think the fact that they know I compete (or try to ) gives me some cred for helping out, and I don't care if they do or don't try it. I guess some masters coaches may feel a little gun shy etc. with being demanding with adults especially in a fledgling group.

Sadly the Y board, kids coaching team and parent lobby are not too interested in having masters secure any time at the Y, so masters will be ending in Sep. Even 1 night a week in with the kids would be beneficial.

That said there are a few coaches that are helping triathletes and the like one is an Olympic trialist from the 50's--I've changed my stoke totally and love the new one he showed us. He has years of swim wisdom and can put it into 2 or 3 words that connect with me as a swimmer so I get exactly what he means. I'm going to try to at least catch up with him in the non-coaches season. He great and tells me to "just keep asking me questions!"

dorothyrde
August 3rd, 2008, 01:32 PM
I do think that Master's can be initimidating for some of the younger coaches. Last fall we had a couple of UofI swimmers coach, and they were very withdrawn at first. It took us conveying to them our needs, and then they were quite good. Alas, my time has been limited, so I had to stop doing those workouts in January, so not sure how it has gone since then.

smontanaro
August 3rd, 2008, 01:46 PM
Many teams have swimmers with a wide range of abilities. My experience is that coaches naturally focus on the swimmers who need the most help. When I want help I ask for it and have never been turned down, though it is nice when coaches notice something and just tell me about it.

Skip

elise526
August 3rd, 2008, 02:23 PM
Yikes! This thread is depressing me! Eight years ago, I started coaching a masters group. I had just become a mother, had stopped working, and wanted to do some kind of work. One of my friends asked me to coach a masters group at the local Y. I agreed and have been doing it on a volunteer basis since mid-2000. For a few years, it was the only "job" I had, so I devoted a great deal of energy to it.

I swam in college albeit DIV III, so I can't say that I am as much an "expert" as others might be, but I try to be very attentive to stroke technique and teach the group drills. I've even videotaped from time to time. I attended the Auburn Masters Swim Clinic in 2001 and learned state-of-the art stroke drills from David Marsh and Rowdy to bring back to the class. After I attended the clinic, I sent other masters swimmers in the other years to pick up any new drills and come back to the class to share.

When we aren't doing drills, we are getting in timed swims and interval/ speed work. Regardless of whether folks are going to meets, I even got my triathletes doing our 4,000 yard practices. I do have different levels, some folks do the 4,000 yard stuff, others do 2000.

Many of my swimmers are new to masters but I've gotten many to become better swimmers and have gotten some to swim in meets. One of my swimmers could only swim a half length of the pool when she started and ended up being able to do a half-ironman triathlon. Another swimmer of mine just recently did his first meet at age 60! My goal is to help people develop a love for swimming and competing in swimming whatever their age, background, or level of swimming.

I know there are plenty of passionate masters swim coaches out there so my best advice is to be selective and pick a team with a coach that really cares!

Donna
August 3rd, 2008, 02:57 PM
After having to swim outdoors last summer and trying to get ready for LC Nationals in 87-90 degree water I searched out the kids team in town that was swimming in the evenings at a COLD indoor pool. They had an extra lane available and the coach even put together workouts for us (myself and another competitive masters swimmer).

I liked the workouts so much and had such great results at Nat's that I made the switch permenantly. It is great to actually get coaching now, drills are designed to work on the things I need to work on. My kick was nonexistant. Now I can do a 200 with a kick the whole time. My sprints have finally dropped where they had been stagnant for 3 years.

Coaching really makes such a difference. My first masters coach was in the pool with us most of the time so he just provided a workout for us. My second one was ok but had kind of lost his motivation for a while. I usually will give tips to the newer swimmers when they ask for it.

Current coach knows the goals of all his swimmers who are serious about reaching them. He challenges us and there are times I have to wear fins to keep up to the kids. This week he is giving me workouts for my taper while he is at Junior Nationals this week with 3 of our kids. He asked me to provide my schedule of events, travel times and he will provide my warmups and warmdowns as well. This is just good coaching!

I am looking forward to seeing the major time drops again at Nationals this year.

I really like being back in the type of team environment I remember from back when I was a kid. It makes me feel young again. Who says 46 is old....

The Fortress
August 3rd, 2008, 07:34 PM
Sadly I think that this is most often not because the coach doesn't know how to coach...but rather they tend to be burned out and/or simply don't think most masters care about being coached.

Perhaps most masters coaches are stuck in the rut you posited on the other thread? Perhaps they are focused on getting the yardage in on the "right" short rest intervals so everyone can get a "workout?"

Quite a few people on my team compete -- in meets, OW events and triathlons -- so our coach is aware we care. We do get some well thought out, innovative workouts.

I know some have had great experiences working out with USA teams. I think that's fabulous, but personally I wouldn't want to even if I could. I enjoy working out with people who are more my age with masters aches and pains. And if we're all chatting about our next meet or event, so much the better.

geochuck
August 3rd, 2008, 07:50 PM
Most master coaches live in the past. They have not kept up with technique changes. Then the head coach slips some kid in as a coach who he/she coached with incorrect technique.

A lot of master coaches refer to workout plans that someone else has posted on the internet for sale or free. The going rate is $29.99 for the ready made workout plans. Now they just have to copy a workout and hand everyone the workout planned by someone else.

A lot of the master coaches do not coach, - they do know how to copy workouts from someone elses little plan book. Some don't even write them out they just copy and paste from a PDF.

Some are OK, I guess I have yet to meet one.

I may get lucky in two of weeks and meet a couple in Oregon at the masters meet.

elise526
August 3rd, 2008, 07:54 PM
Most master coaches live in the past. They have not kept up with technique changes. Then the head coach slips some kid in as a coach who he/she coached with incorrect technique.

A lot of master coaches refer to workout plans that someone else has posted on the internet for sale or free. The going rate is $29.99 for the ready made workout plans. Now they just have to copy a workout and hand everyone the workout planned by someone else.

A lot of the master coaches do not coach, - they do know how to copy workouts from someone elses little plan book. Some don't even write them out they just copy and paste from a PDF.

Some are OK, I guess I have yet to meet one.

I may get lucky in two of weeks and meet a couple in Oregon at the masters meet.


If you are ever in the area, swim with Tom Healey who coaches Auburn Masters. I doubt you will be disappointed.

The Fortress
August 3rd, 2008, 07:57 PM
Gee, George, how many different masters teams have you practiced with in the US?

geochuck
August 3rd, 2008, 08:21 PM
I cannot wait to meet some good coaches and thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
If you are ever in the area, swim with Tom Healey who coaches Auburn Masters. I doubt you will be disappointed.

geochuck
August 3rd, 2008, 08:22 PM
Gee, George, how many different masters teams have you practiced with in the US? Non I have only met Canadian so called Master Coaches. From what I have heard they do have some good ones in the USA. As I say I am going to meet some good Coaches in Gresham in a couple of weeks. I cannot wait.

chaos
August 3rd, 2008, 08:27 PM
great thread.

the club i swim with has quite a variety of swimmers with different goals.
most will "modify" the coaches workout to their liking; some will only swim freestyle, some will never lose the pull buoy. my observation is that swimmers who were the more succcessful collegiate of the group are also the least likely to take any technique instruction even if the years have left them looking like Quasimodo in the pool.

elise526
August 3rd, 2008, 08:37 PM
great thread.

the club i swim with has quite a variety of swimmers with different goals.
most will "modify" the coaches workout to their liking; some will only swim freestyle, some will never lose the pull buoy. my observation is that swimmers who were the more succcessful collegiate of the group are also the least likely to take any technique instruction even if the years have left them looking like Quasimodo in the pool.

It pays for all folks to be open-minded. Skip Kenney has no competitive swimming background. Guess the swimmers on his team are able to get over the fact that he did not swim in college or the Olympic Trials.

The Fortress
August 3rd, 2008, 09:38 PM
my observation is that swimmers who were the more succcessful collegiate of the group are also the least likely to take any technique instruction even if the years have left them looking like Quasimodo in the pool.

Know it alls!

hofffam
August 3rd, 2008, 09:43 PM
Coaching can make a huge difference. But I find much more disappointing the poor quality of age group coaches. This is more important than Masters - since as Paul says Masters isn't real swimming.

Some of the age group coaches in my city - and with so-called clubs of excellence - have been just ridiculous. They coast on the reputation of the club and rely on competition between swimmers.

elise526
August 3rd, 2008, 09:50 PM
Coaching can make a huge difference. But I find much more disappointing the poor quality of age group coaches. This is more important than Masters - since as Paul says Masters isn't real swimming.

Some of the age group coaches in my city - and with so-called clubs of excellence - have been just ridiculous. They coast on the reputation of the club and rely on competition between swimmers.

That is sad and I too have seen it happen. Usually a dissatisfied parent will start working on a young, good coach to create a breakaway team when it gets to the point you are talking about.

I do think though that Masters is very important to some folks and it is very important that they have a coach to guide them. Many adults come from other sports and are no longer able to compete in those sports due to injuries. They still want to compete in something but do not have the first clue about how to train to compete in swimming. This is where a good masters coach can really help out.

That Guy
August 3rd, 2008, 10:23 PM
great thread.

the club i swim with has quite a variety of swimmers with different goals.
most will "modify" the coaches workout to their liking; some will only swim freestyle, some will never lose the pull buoy. my observation is that swimmers who were the more succcessful collegiate of the group are also the least likely to take any technique instruction even if the years have left them looking like Quasimodo in the pool.

Show them some video of their wretched technique. Once they regain consciousness and pry themselves out of the fetal position, they should be more amenable to suggestions.

LindsayNB
August 3rd, 2008, 10:38 PM
I only have a bit of coaching experience but it was enough to make me appreciate the challenges of coaching a group of swimmers of varying skill levels, varying conditioning, and varying goals and motivation levels.

It's easy to expect the coach to come in and supply all the positive energy and motivation and get everyone over their tiring stressful day or early morning blahs but I've observed that the coaches usually respond well to enthusiasm and positive feedback from their swimmers as well, it's not a one way street. If you have no goals for yourself or haven't told your coach what your goals are and asked for help achieving them it is hard for them to help you. I think ideally the coach/swimmer relationship is a partnership where you both work together on mutually agreed on goals. If a coach gives you a tip that helps you be sure to let them know it helped and that your enthused about the improvement, that way they are much more likely to give you the next tip. I think many swimmers often neglect the little things that would make coaching them more rewarding.

knelson
August 4th, 2008, 01:18 PM
He went on to tell me that 99% of the time he attempted to "coach" masters swimmers they either A) ignored him or B) listened to him and then didn't try so he basically gave up.

Obviously the first one is a tough one for a coach. However, I wonder a little about the second one. Since Czene was such a great swimmer he might have expecting too much. He's probably the kind of swimmer who can get technique advice from a coach and immediately incorporate it into his swimming. This isn't so easy for most people and is probably a key element separating great swimmers from not so great swimmers.

Lightning
August 4th, 2008, 02:42 PM
I've been through several coaches now, who are also the age-group coach, and they seem to be hesitant to give feedback to adults but much more comfortable giving it to the kids. I keep asking...and it is always helpful when the do give it.
Is this hesitancy with adults typical?

Ken Classen
August 4th, 2008, 04:26 PM
Just some thoughts and a little :soapbox: from a veteran masters coach.

Tonight I'm attending a mandatory coaches meeting, lead by our twenty something aquatics director. In the past year I've done CPR certification (hey nothing wrong with that), a mandatory safety meeting where I learned a code purple on the internal radio system is to have security escort out a irate member etc. All this in addition to the actual coaching. All by the way I put in 40 hours plus at the day job, and I would like to do a little swimming myself.

On any given night I have former NCAA - D1swimmers to the beginning triatlete and everything in between. And many a night a potential member will come strolling onto the deck to “ask about joining the masters swimming program” Those new swimmers can be really enjoyable but they are a time suck. Many of the basics, the folks on this board would take for granted they don't know; “On the top” - “interval” - “10x100” - “yes the pool is 25 yards long so a 100 is four lengths of the pool”

Most masters sessions are structured towards fitness, mid to long distance training as the that's what that majority of paying members (which usually include a substantial triathlete group) want. Those of you who are frequent competitors in 50's and 100's and attend national events are in the minority when looking at overall due paying team memberships. And those dues are important, they start going down and watch how quickly the aquatics director takes away a lane or two, kills a session or cans a coach.

I have argued within our own program that what we really need to do is set expectations (be transparent) on what a masters workout is and isn't. In reality it is a structured workout program, like spin, step class. Stroke tips and one on one time is at best icing on the cake. Our team schedules regular swim clinics, pre-meet sessions etc., to compensate however those are actually lightly attended.

My experience tells me, and to put it nicely, masters swimmers are training fee sensitive. Know they don't have a problem trying to buy a Blue Seventy or be the first to get there hands on a LZR, but an increase in training fees, to maybe put two coaches on deck, they cry bloody murder.

How many of you are willing to pay for regular private coaching or go to something like Swimlabs (http://www.swimlabs.com)?

Many masters coaches are volunteers.

How many masters coaches in the United States can do this as there full time job? That don't have income coming in from another source such as; another job, age group/collegiate coaching, a significant other, pension, trust fund, lotto winner etc. I'm guessing no more then 30 in the entire U.S.

gobears
August 4th, 2008, 04:39 PM
I have argued within our own program that what we really need to do is set expectations (be transparent) on what a masters workout is and isn't. In reality it is a structured workout program, like spin, step class. Stroke tips and one on one time is at best icing on the cake. Our team schedules regular swim clinics, pre-meet sessions etc., to compensate however those are actually lightly attended.


This kind of program is what they've set up at my Y. It really is a "lap swim class" as opposed to a master's group. And I haven't seen that there are that many true "masters teams" out there. I live in what should be one of the more swimming-friendly states and I can think of only two teams that seem to really be active "masters swim teams" as opposed to swimming fitness classes. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to find anything in a less swimming-friendly state.

Paul Smith
August 4th, 2008, 05:15 PM
Ken, I understand yet on the other hand I have seen success stories that lead me to believe that given a "taste" of what it is like to have an outstanding coach/team masters swimmers will indeed pay more for the experience.

I'll give a few examples:
- Brophy Masters; Mark Rankin can manage a workout like few coaches I have ever seen. Even with 3 different groups and at times 50+ swimmers he manages the send off's, calls times, gives people a hard time for slacking (me) and most important he starts almost every workout with something as simple as an update on things like upcoming meets, acknowledges swimmers who just competed, talks about open water swims, they have monthly socials, on & on.

- Utah Masters; great group...love Priscilla!

-Nova; Michael does an outstanding job and it shows at meets when they ramp up.

- I would make an attempt to catch a workout with Tiffany at Boulder Masters anytime she was on deck...highly technical, up on current training/drills.

- Jerry at UCLA masters....I have no idea how he stays so motivated with all the workouts he manages

- Although I have not worked out with Walnut Creek when Kerry is on deck I have trained there and its exceptional

- Brian with the Manatee's who I no longer get to swim with but had some great workouts

There are good coaches out there, there are marginal coaches out there....my concern is that good coaches often take masters for granted and that marginal coaches get hired in the first place.

Brian Stack
August 4th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Ken, I understand yet on the other hand I have seen success stories that lead me to believe that given a "taste" of what it is like to have an outstanding coach/team masters swimmers will indeed pay more for the experience.

I'll give a few examples:
- Brophy Masters; Mark Rankin can manage a workout like few coaches I have ever seen. Even with 3 different groups and at times 50+ swimmers he manages the send off's, calls times, gives people a hard time for slacking (me) and most important he starts almost every workout with something as simple as an update on things like upcoming meets, acknowledges swimmers who just competed, talks about open water swims, they have monthly socials, on & on.

- Utah Masters; great group...love Priscilla!

-Nova; Michael does an outstanding job and it shows at meets when they ramp up.

- I would make an attempt to catch a workout with Tiffany at Boulder Masters anytime she was on deck...highly technical, up on current training/drills.

- Jerry at UCLA masters....I have no idea how he stays so motivated with all the workouts he manages

- Although I have not worked out with Walnut Creek when Kerry is on deck I have trained there and its exceptional

- Brian with the Manatee's who I no longer get to swim with but had some great workouts

There are good coaches out there, there are marginal coaches out there....my concern is that good coaches often take masters for granted and that marginal coaches get hired in the first place.

Thanks for the kind words Paul, if I had known you liked abuse during practice I would have thrown you in with Carlos F. (proud to say he's one of ours). I know some of the coaches you mention and have been fortunate to swim in some of their practices. I'd like to add that there are lots of great Masters Coaches out there. I've met many over my term as President of the Masters Acquatic Coaches Assn. from all corners of the country and some from out of it! Most are highly motivated, and working everyday to get better.

I've met some of the un motivated types too, and my feeling is they should not be there.
Many age group teams run their Masters programs as revenue enhancement to help defray the costs of their primary programs.
I find that these are the programs who often put very young, barely trained coaches on deck, usually with a practice on a white board. Not a great environment for successful swimming. If these young coaches had a head coach who wanted to develop coaches he'd mentor these youngsters so they could be involved and productive.

Our club seems to be very different from Ken's group, they're always asking for stroke help, or Open Water strategies, or new breaststroke drills. We do a Back to the Basics Clinic Series monthly on one stroke, with a limit of 12 sign ups. We did one this past Saturday and had 18 participants and two volunteer helpers from the team. I don't know how we got those other six participants, but we never cancel for lack of interest.

Since you mentioned names, and George was looking for recommendations I though I'd give you my list of Great masters Coaches I have Swum With . . .
Starting with Mike C from your list, he's awesome, everyone should do at least one Collins practice in a lifetime, you'll never be the same. You can often find Mike on deck at the USMS Convention! Gerry at UCLA is as good on deck as he is in the water. I'm really lucky 'cause I get to swim with Walnut Creek Masters every day so Kerry O' is my coach, so's Mike Heany and Deb Santos Kerry's right hands.
My list continues with Emmett Hines in Houston (H2oustonswims.org) you don't even need to be in his practices, you can feel his dedication to coaching just by reading his articles, check the web site.
Bob Bruce at Central Oregon Masters learned at the feet of Doc Councilman, need I say more. There's Mel Goldstein at Indy, Stu Marvin at Ft Lauderdale, Ed Gendreau and Dave Grilli in New Hampshire, and many many more.
Find a good coach, if you don't have one in your program, make some noise about it. If you have a coach, help them out by being a model swimmer. Listen, practice with a purpose, and share your goals with your coach.
Remember it's a two way street.
And if all else fails, become a Coach!
BTW Smith, all is forgiven, if you should find yourself in Oakland you're welcome to drop in again, I'll share my breaststroke drills with ya! :woot:

Paul Smith
August 4th, 2008, 07:50 PM
Brian...I'll come back as soon as you get Mandy to step it up and get back into masters competition!

And by the way....speaking of good and not so good coaches I strongly encourage anyone who is in Indy or SF to avoid Mel & Scotty at ALL COSTS...they are very, very bad man!!

By the way...I have found that even the triathletes who I have coached have in general come around to doing some of the drill and stroke work I assign...there was a lot of skepticism and I'm sure some coaches would give up on the "attitude" but I found that if I continued to explain what the "purpose" of each workout(s)/set(s) were they usually came around.

Kurt Dickson
August 4th, 2008, 07:51 PM
Paul, I'm not sure why the dearth of good coaches surprises you. As has been mentioned, we are often willing to shell out $500 dollars for a race suit but when the coach thinks of raising the rates $5 dollars a month, everyone calls foul. Would you coach, teach, etc. for the paltry sums offered up?

The problem could be generalized to society as a whole. Step it up coaches? I say screw that...step it up human race.

Paul Smith
August 4th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Paul, I'm not sure why the dearth of good coaches surprises you. As has been mentioned, we are often willing to shell out $500 dollars for a race suit but when the coach thinks of raising the rates $5 dollars a month, everyone calls foul. Would you coach, teach, etc. for the paltry sums offered up?

The problem could be generalized to society as a whole. Step it up coaches? I say screw that...step it up human race.


Kurt... my point is actually not that there are so few coaches..but rather that there are very good coaches out there and many are not putting the effort in with masters. As I explained I do understand this...we can be a pain in the ass...however if we (the clients) ask for more from them I think people would be surprised.

PS; I actually coach as a volunteer
PSS; there is money to be made, but it ain't going to happen without the right person leading the way...

Brian Stack
August 4th, 2008, 08:05 PM
Brian...I'll come back as soon as you get Mandy to step it up and get back into masters competition!

And by the way....speaking of good and not so good coaches I strongly encourage anyone who is in Indy or SF to avoid Mel & Scotty at ALL COSTS...they are very, very bad man!!

By the way...I have found that even the triathletes who I have coached have in general come around to doing some of the drill and stroke work I assign...there was a lot of skepticism and I'm sure some coaches would give up on the "attitude" but I found that if I continued to explain what the "purpose" of each workout(s)/set(s) were they usually came around.
I forgot Scotty Williams at the "O" Club, he'll put you through it! Great motivator.
The triathletes just have to be convinced that if they learn how to do it right, it gets easier and their split will be faster!

Brian Stack
August 4th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Brian...I'll come back as soon as you get Mandy to step it up and get back into masters competition!
Hey, we were going to make that your job. She's a hard sell for sure, but she kicks a** in practice. She can make some of the big boys cry on a distance set.
We could use the points, with Carlos leaving us for Miami.

geochuck
August 4th, 2008, 08:53 PM
I paid $300 to swim with a masters club, that was for the first half of the season. I went to 2 workouts and that was it for me. They had a teen coach handling 4 lanes and the head coach handled 4 lanes. Printed workouts from some catalog. No stroke instruction. Needless to say I was not impressed. They did not return my money.

elise526
August 4th, 2008, 11:21 PM
I paid $300 to swim with a masters club, that was for the first half of the season. I went to 2 workouts and that was it for me. They had a teen coach handling 4 lanes and the head coach handled 4 lanes. Printed workouts from some catalog. No stroke instruction. Needless to say I was not impressed. They did not return my money.

George - I hope you are feeling much better. When you get back from Nationals, why don't you consider coaching?

Ken Classen
August 4th, 2008, 11:35 PM
PS; I actually coach as a volunteer
PSS; there is money to be made, but it ain't going to happen without the right person leading the way...

Well Paul, I have returned from our masters coaches meeting and we are planning to hire a substitute coach, $15 an hour, fill in once or twice a month, interested? :o

geochuck
August 5th, 2008, 12:19 AM
I do coach, one of my swimmers is swimming the English Channel in early September he lives in Belgium.

I have not brought up since 10 am.


George - I hope you are feeling much better. When you get back from Nationals, why don't you consider coaching?

ViveBene
August 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Well Paul, I have returned from our masters coaches meeting and we are planning to hire a substitute coach, $15 an hour, fill in once or twice a month, interested? :o

Maybe that's the problem.

mctrusty
August 5th, 2008, 11:34 AM
Just some thoughts and a little :soapbox: from a veteran masters coach.

Tonight I'm attending a mandatory coaches meeting, lead by our twenty something aquatics director. In the past year I've done CPR certification (hey nothing wrong with that), a mandatory safety meeting where I learned a code purple on the internal radio system is to have security escort out a irate member etc. All this in addition to the actual coaching. All by the way I put in 40 hours plus at the day job, and I would like to do a little swimming myself.

On any given night I have former NCAA - D1swimmers to the beginning triatlete and everything in between. And many a night a potential member will come strolling onto the deck to “ask about joining the masters swimming program” Those new swimmers can be really enjoyable but they are a time suck. Many of the basics, the folks on this board would take for granted they don't know; “On the top” - “interval” - “10x100” - “yes the pool is 25 yards long so a 100 is four lengths of the pool”

Most masters sessions are structured towards fitness, mid to long distance training as the that's what that majority of paying members (which usually include a substantial triathlete group) want. Those of you who are frequent competitors in 50's and 100's and attend national events are in the minority when looking at overall due paying team memberships. And those dues are important, they start going down and watch how quickly the aquatics director takes away a lane or two, kills a session or cans a coach.

I have argued within our own program that what we really need to do is set expectations (be transparent) on what a masters workout is and isn't. In reality it is a structured workout program, like spin, step class. Stroke tips and one on one time is at best icing on the cake. Our team schedules regular swim clinics, pre-meet sessions etc., to compensate however those are actually lightly attended.

My experience tells me, and to put it nicely, masters swimmers are training fee sensitive. Know they don't have a problem trying to buy a Blue Seventy or be the first to get there hands on a LZR, but an increase in training fees, to maybe put two coaches on deck, they cry bloody murder.

How many of you are willing to pay for regular private coaching or go to something like Swimlabs (http://www.swimlabs.com)?

Many masters coaches are volunteers.

How many masters coaches in the United States can do this as there full time job? That don't have income coming in from another source such as; another job, age group/collegiate coaching, a significant other, pension, trust fund, lotto winner etc. I'm guessing no more then 30 in the entire U.S.

Hey Ken,

I went to SwimLabs a couple of weeks ago and worked with Mike Mann. It was excellent for me. I've resolved to go there and check up on my strokes every month or two.

mctrusty
August 5th, 2008, 11:51 AM
- I would make an attempt to catch a workout with Tiffany at Boulder Masters anytime she was on deck...highly technical, up on current training/drills.


I like her workouts because she usually includes more IM work than other coaches. I'll have to pick her brain more often on technique.

pdjang
August 5th, 2008, 12:01 PM
I'm starting to believe that on-deck stroke technique correction is over-rated. I don't understand how a coach can accurately see what motions are made in the water from the deck given that they are at an offset angle and heading. While an observant coach can see gross motor movements and relative body position, I believe that it is almost impossible for an on deck coach to discern fine motor movements which may be critical for champions.

The reason for my belief is based on the principle of the index of refraction. This physics based principle states light rays change direction when they cross the interface from air to the material, an effect that is used in lenses and glasses. Secondly, light reflects partially from surfaces that have a refractive index different from that of their surroundings. (wikipedia). For an experiment and example of this principle, take a straight object (pencil) and insert it into a clear glass of water. The pencil will appear to bend.

This distortion has to have an impact on what an on-deck coach perceives; if true, it is improbable that the on-deck observer can accurately infer propulsive (or non-propulsive) motions.

Underwater examination may be the only accurate means of analyzing propulsive motions - which is unfortunately lacking (due either the availability of proper equipment or hydrophobic coaches) on a variety of levels (esp. masters swimming).

On the other hand, correction of gross motor motions and body position may be sufficient to improve performance given enough repetition (miles make champions).