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pwolf66
September 2nd, 2008, 04:27 PM
All,

I'm thinking about attending convention in three weeks. My reasons are several but most important is that I want to become more involved in USMS and I figure the best way to find out how/what/when/where is to attend convention.

Does this make sense? Would it be worthwhile?

Paul

Anthony Thompson
September 2nd, 2008, 04:38 PM
People generally get involved with masters at the local level with their "club" or LMSC.

I think everyone within USMS can gain a lot from attending national USMS (United States Aquatics Sports) convention. First, you see how masters fits with the 4 other parts of the USAS within our national governing body.

To play an active role, you need to be a "voting delegate" and need to see if your LMSC has any unfilled delegate slots. Otherwise, you can petition the USMS President for an "at large" delegate slot.

Other are some who attend convention as "non-voting" delegates as well. I assume you might have looked at the fees to register on the USMS website under Annual Convention ?

Hope you decide to come and become for involved with USMS.

Doug Adamavich
September 2nd, 2008, 04:52 PM
My quick response is to go, if for no other reason to learn about how USMS functions.

That said, I would encourage you to work more on the local (LMSC) level because you will have more of an impact there. Use Convention to make contacts and to learn how other, successful teams/clubs/LMSCs work. Then, work with your local organization in conjunction with the teams that comprise your LMSC. That will enable you to make a positive difference more quickly than at the National level.

IMHO, there are only a few really healthy LMSCs out there. If USMS had more LMSCs like Pacific, PNA, COMSA, and Florida we would be in much better shape as an organization.

scyfreestyler
September 2nd, 2008, 05:03 PM
Be sure to wear a Team Hottub T shirt.

The Fortress
September 2nd, 2008, 05:27 PM
Yeah, and represent the east coast Potomac Valley, which Doug left off his LMSC list!

Doug Adamavich
September 2nd, 2008, 05:30 PM
Yeah, and represent Potomac Valley, which Doug left off his LMSC list!

I thought that *everybody* knew the Potomac Valley were one of the big Mac Daddies of USMS...

mermaid
September 2nd, 2008, 10:21 PM
I'll be there - as a first time, voting delegate representing Allegheny Mountain. Can't wait to see you all!

ALM
September 2nd, 2008, 11:05 PM
Paul,

Yes, it would be worthwhile, even if you're not a voting delegate. And you'll have a blast! It is always a lot of fun.

Anna Lea

Michael Heather
September 3rd, 2008, 12:37 AM
Paul,

Did you know that you are a namesake of an Olympic swimmer? I learned to swim Butterfly (in 1966) from Paul Wolf, a member of the 1936 team in Berlin.

Chris Stevenson
September 3rd, 2008, 09:46 AM
Hey Paul, go for it, I hope to see you there. Last year one of the first people I saw was Mark Gill with beer in hand (he claims he was in charge of the hospitality room).

Check out the convention info page to see what you'd be getting into

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/

As far as getting involved at the local level, I notice that Jeff Roddin sure wears a lot of hats in your LMSC, I'm sure he would appreciate your willingness to help. (Just don't believe him when he tells you how easy the Registrar's job is...)

pwolf66
September 3rd, 2008, 10:29 AM
(Just don't believe him when he tells you how easy the Registrar's job is...)

I was in the military. When someone say's 'this is an easy job' I duck and cover.

Doug Adamavich
September 3rd, 2008, 10:32 AM
Hey Paul, go for it, I hope to see you there. Last year one of the first people I saw was Mark Gill with beer in hand (he claims he was in charge of the hospitality room).

HA, that would be Victor Bueller (sp?) and he is the Master of the Hospitality Suite. Since Hotlanta is close to FL, I think this year's Hospitality Suite will be one for the ages.

Hint, go there to grab a bite to eat in between sessions. You will get some good food and it is complimentary. There is nothing like a good ham sandwich and a cold beer after 90 minutes of meetings...

BTW, Hospitality is a good place to chat with your newfound friends. The networking is good and you learn a lot there from your fellow delegates. And after the alcohol flows, the conversations get even better.

You will have a good time...

pwolf66
September 3rd, 2008, 01:08 PM
Paul,

Did you know that you are a namesake of an Olympic swimmer? I learned to swim Butterfly (in 1966) from Paul Wolf, a member of the 1936 team in Berlin.

Yeah, when I got back in swimming last year and tried to find out info on my swimming past (because I was stupid about 10 years ago (well more stupider than usual) and threw out EVERYTHING swimming related that I had, record books, ribbons, medals, plaques, trophies, everything) Paul Wolf kept coming up in swimming related Google searches but as I am pretty sure I didn't swim on '36, that wasn't me.

BillS
September 3rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
Yeah, when I got back in swimming last year and tried to find out info on my swimming past (because I was stupid about 10 years ago (well more stupider than usual) and threw out EVERYTHING swimming related that I had, record books, ribbons, medals, plaques, trophies, everything) Paul Wolf kept coming up in swimming related Google searches but as I am pretty sure I didn't swim on '36, that wasn't me.

Perhaps you were an alternate on the '36 Olympic team, but just don't recall it?

ande
September 3rd, 2008, 04:54 PM
I have never had any interest in being involved in USMS politics and
have avoided it for 20 years

Doug Adamavich
September 3rd, 2008, 05:36 PM
I have never had any interest in being involved in USMS politics and have avoided it for 20 years

What Convention is useful for though is to get a sense of where the organization is going. This can affect your team/club/LMSC and as a leader, one should be aware of what's going on at the National level.

That said, my focus is on my LMSC and the myriad of challenges that we face. My opinion is that leaders should focus on their LMSC first and get them in good shape before spending time on National-level issues. That said, one can learn a lot from successful LMSCs at Convention and apply those locally.

It is a mixed bag for sure. As with any organization there are egos, politics, and pettiness. However, there are also some great people who bring great ideas and experience to the event. Remember that any organization is comprised of human beings, who are flawed creatures by nature. Take the good with the bad and roll with it, that is reality IMHO.

FlyQueen
September 3rd, 2008, 09:31 PM
Paul, I will be there, and really do you need another reason??? Oh and I'll be celebrating my birthday there ... :party2:

pwolf66
September 3rd, 2008, 10:47 PM
I just ran the numbers and it doesn't look good. I was really excited about attending but apparently reality has set in. I just can't swing the $1000 it will cost and the three days off from work. :cry: :cry: :cry:

Just have to get involved in the PV LMSC and see what happens next year.

matysekj
September 3rd, 2008, 11:40 PM
I understand the vacation issue, but as for cost -- doesn't your LMSC pay for it's delegates travel and hotel fees?

Rob Copeland
September 3rd, 2008, 11:40 PM
I have never had any interest in being involved in USMS politics and have avoided it for 20 yearsI have no interest in getting involved in USMS politics, either. However, I am intensely interested in giving back to the sport that has meant so much to me and my family. And while I have had my moments, I am truly thankful and blessed to have been able to volunteer my support to this great organization at the club, local and national levels for over 25 years.

Rob Copeland
September 3rd, 2008, 11:49 PM
Oh and I'll be celebrating my birthday there ... :party2:Me too and I think it's on the same day:bouncing: I'll see if I can get our House of Delegates to sing Happy Birthday to you.

mermaid
September 3rd, 2008, 11:59 PM
I have no interest in getting involved in USMS politics, either. However, I am intensely interested in giving back to the sport that has meant so much to me and my family. And while I have had my moments, I am truly thankful and blessed to have been able to volunteer my support to this great organization at the club, local and national levels for over 25 years.

Rob - thanks for your response!

Ande - as a frequent user of the forums, contributor, and self-proclaimed "hero" to the sport - don't you want to be a little more supportive of the organization? isn't it possible for you to rise above the "riff-raff"?

pwolf66
September 4th, 2008, 07:22 AM
I understand the vacation issue, but as for cost -- doesn't your LMSC pay for it's delegates travel and hotel fees?

Yes but I have to become an official LMSC delegate first. This was going to be completely on my dime. But it turns out all I have available is :2cents:

swimshark
September 4th, 2008, 07:49 AM
IMHO, there are only a few really healthy LMSCs out there. If USMS had more LMSCs like Pacific, PNA, COMSA, and Florida we would be in much better shape as an organization.

Ahem... and OMS!

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2008, 08:36 AM
Just have to get involved in the PV LMSC and see what happens next year.

That's pretty much what I did, though I had no thought at all about the convention. I echo Rob's sentiments about giving back. It is easy to just swim and forget about all the effort that is needed to make it happen.

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2008, 08:43 AM
Ande - as a frequent user of the forums, contributor, and self-proclaimed "hero" to the sport - don't you want to be a little more supportive of the organization? isn't it possible for you to rise above the "riff-raff"?

I think Ande's advice has been helpful to many, there are many ways to contribute.

As far as USMS politics...well, last year was only my first convention but from what I could tell, they were rank amateurs compared to the maneuverings and general bitchiness that occur at university faculty meetings.

Last year's convention, by way of contrast, was surprisingly efficient for the most part.

jpheather
September 4th, 2008, 09:21 AM
IMHO, there are only a few really healthy LMSCs out there. If USMS had more LMSCs like Pacific, PNA, COMSA, and Florida we would be in much better shape as an organization.

Southern Pacific registrations are up over 500 from last year, and looking at the list of meets submitted to the Events Database, we submitted more than any other LMSC. We've got 6 open water events this year, which is up from last year. I think we can be categorized as thriving.

Michael Heather
September 4th, 2008, 09:40 AM
I have never had any interest in being involved in USMS politics and
have avoided it for 20 years

That is an interesting outlook, and almost entirely without merit, since USMS is a corporation doing it's annual buisiness at the convention. Any time there are hundreds of people together, there is the possibility of disagreement over issues. I would hardly call their discussions politics.

Since politics are not a part of USMS, we are left with the statement that you are not interested in being involved in USMS, which is also not accurate, since you swim a lot and have posted and replied so many times on these DFs, and have quite a following, apparently.

So I am left with the possibility that you wrote in code, really wanting to go to the convention and participate in a meaningful way? That is terrific!

pwolf66
September 4th, 2008, 10:26 AM
That's pretty much what I did, though I had no thought at all about the convention. I echo Rob's sentiments about giving back. It is easy to just swim and forget about all the effort that is needed to make it happen.

Well, as a swim parent, it's quite a lot harder to ignore all the volunteer work that is required :wine:

Blackbeard's Peg
September 4th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Just have to get involved in the PV LMSC and see what happens next year.

good idea

pwolf66
September 4th, 2008, 10:59 AM
good idea

Be careful what you ask for :thhbbb:

Doug Adamavich
September 4th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Get involved at the local leve first, that is where you will be able to make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time. Use Convention as a learning experience and a means to meet others who are in the swimming community. Over time, apply what you have learned from Convention, your work experience, education, and other volunteer experiences. Then, after you have helped your LMSC get better, consider if you wish to get involved at the National level.

That is my advice and it is guaranteed or your money back ;-)

See you in Hotlanta?

FlyQueen
September 4th, 2008, 05:09 PM
Me too and I think it's on the same day:bouncing: I'll see if I can get our House of Delegates to sing Happy Birthday to you.

I remember a promise last year of adult beverages ... only reason I'm coming back ;)

SwimStud
September 4th, 2008, 05:25 PM
good idea


Be careful what you ask for :thhbbb:

You might get him turning up in to the PV LMSC "big-wig" meeting in his B-70... :banana: :censor: :bolt:

Doug Adamavich
September 4th, 2008, 05:27 PM
I remember a promise last year of adult beverages ... only reason I'm coming back ;)

I am sure Victor will have the Hospitality Suite well-stocked with adult beverages...

chowmi
September 4th, 2008, 05:41 PM
I understand the vacation issue, but as for cost -- doesn't your LMSC pay for it's delegates travel and hotel fees?

Our LMSC pays the way for the voiting delegates, which I think is a function of how many registered members are in your LMSC. So out of about 8 LMSC officers, 2 or 3 take a turn each year.

I fully agree voting delegates should have their way paid - as long as they provide a written report including recommended actionable steps, and present their report at the next LMSC meeting, and understand they are expected to have a significant role in following through on recommendations.

Paul - you will find there are many areas to volunteer in your LMSC, and different levels of involvement. Even with kids and a demanding full time job, you can make a modest commitment - but be making a huge contribution.

Doug Adamavich
September 4th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Our LMSC pays the way for the voiting delegates, which I think is a function of how many registered members are in your LMSC. So out of about 8 LMSC officers, 2 or 3 take a turn each year.

I think that is the way most LMSCs do it. Rotating your delegates is a good idea although not all LMSCs do so for a variety of reasons. Also, some delegates are automatics since they sit on certain committees or hold selected positions within USMS. That can also alter the composition of the delegation.


I fully agree voting delegates should have their way paid - as long as they provide a written report including recommended actionable steps, and present their report at the next LMSC meeting, and understand they are expected to have a significant role in following through on recommendations.

That would be great...in a perfect world. Accountability to one's paying customers (ex. members) is one area where I see problems. If the same people go every year, they develop a sense of entitlement. They see Convention as a paid vacation where they get to pretend they are important for a few days. Once the plane lands...nothing, same ol' same ol' until next year. To get the most value out of Convention, one must work to create value for the LMSC (and by extension its members) that sent you. Just sayin'....


Paul - you will find there are many areas to volunteer in your LMSC, and different levels of involvement. Even with kids and a demanding full time job, you can make a modest commitment - but be making a huge contribution.

Michelle makes an excellent point, if everybody at all levels of USMS did a little bit, our organization would improve MASSIVELY. There is so much talent out there because the membership profile of the average masters swimmer is off the charts. We don't necessarily need heroic accomplishments by a few people, what masters swimming needs is the latent talent and passion of its current members. What will take us to the next level is increased grass-roots involvement and work on the local level. Convention can help this by sharing knowledge between leaders and getting people talking. Amazing things happen when this takes place.

Its a slow show
September 4th, 2008, 07:48 PM
I see that the convention is having the Master's International Swimming Hall of Fame induction. Do you know who the inductees are??? THX

Paul Smith
September 4th, 2008, 08:22 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here....but has anyone published and agenda and when can we get people on this forum who are attending to actually share with us their opinions/likely votes on the key issues?

Doug, your the President of my LMSC so I'd very much like to hear your thoughts/likely vote on:

1) Holding nationals outside of US boundaries
2) Scoring at nationals (club vs. regional team)
3) How best to market/grow USMS

jim thornton
September 4th, 2008, 08:30 PM
In defense of Ande, who I personally think has done an incredibly good job encouraging swimming, I do think there are personality types that thrive in settings like the convention, and personality types that greet such gatherings with the same enthusiasm they would when getting hair balls caught in the throat.

I had the good fortune to attend last year's convention, and I must say it wasn't really my cup of hair ball tea. The delegates are incredibly enthusiastic and do a wonderful, obviously committed job. But I often had a sense that there were issues behind the issues that required some kind of insider understanding to fully comprehend. Case-in-point: some masters group in southern Illinois or Missouri or similarly remote location that wanted permission to move back to its former association with the Ozark zone.

To me, it seemed a reasonable request. Why fall under the purview of Chicago-area bureacracy when all the meets these folks swam in were much, much closer across the border in the Ozark region. Anyhow, there was a big brouhaha about this, or at least it seemed this way to me, reminiscent of the American Colonies attempting to get out from under the thumb of King George. I never really did understand what the argument was all about, and still don't--other than a vague sense of control-freakish turf war bureacracy.

Anyhow, permission to secede to the Ozarks was voted in by a slim margin, after much hand wringing and objections by what seemed to me the more entrenched members of the politburo.

Maybe this is what Ande hopes to avoid--just a baffling sense that what seems to be going on, and what is really going on, are destined always to be at least a little different is such settings-- perhaps an inevitable consequence of well-meaning human beings who make the mistake of forming committees, subcomittees, super commitees, and adding to all this parliamentarianism and tabling rights and maybe, just maybe, the slightest snifter of Franz Kafka bafflement were he to write about swimming organization.

In summation: they also serve who encourage their fellows to swim for health, be this through USMS, YMCA Masters, FINA, or without any governing body whatsoever.

matysekj
September 4th, 2008, 08:37 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here....but has anyone published and agenda

Yes, the complete pre-convention delegate packet, including rule change proposals and meeting schedules is available at http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/

mbmg3282
September 4th, 2008, 08:39 PM
I think these are the folks being inducted -

Maria Lenk (BRA/USA) - Honor Swimmer
Jim McConica (USA) - Honor Swimmer
Russell Hafferkamp (USA) - Honor Water Polo Player
Willy van Rysel (GBR) - Honor Swimmer

And how about this for a name to learn to spell when he was a kid -
Ibone Belausteguigoitia (MEX) - Honor Diver

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2008, 08:56 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here....but has anyone published and agenda and when can we get people on this forum who are attending to actually share with us their opinions/likely votes on the key issues?

Doug, your the President of my LMSC so I'd very much like to hear your thoughts/likely vote on:

1) Holding nationals outside of US boundaries
2) Scoring at nationals (club vs. regional team)
3) How best to market/grow USMS

Go to:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/

and scroll down to the bottom. Click on any link or report you wish to see; you might be interested in "Proposed changes to USMS Rules and Legislation."

As far as my vote/opinion so far (may change as I think about things), and forgive my bluntness in places:

1. I have no problem with it, I think such bids should be considered on their own merits not shot down out of hand. A silly proposal IMO.

2. Not the burning issue with me as it seems to be out west. I tend to vote to spread the wealth and recognition. I prefer the old size-based scoring, irregardless of club/regional; I would rather help small/medium clubs grow by whatever means necessary, if a banner helps them (and some testified to this last year) that's great.

I have to admit I got a little tired of PM posturing on this issue last year. Whatever we decide would be fine by me, I just hope we don't spend a lot of time & energy on it and hear more threats along the lines of "you'd be sorry if PM decided to be a super team" (I really wouldn't).

3. Is growth for its own sake a good thing? Increasing championship and zone bids is a bigger issue for me than growth. Getting USMS members more interested in competition/meets -- making meets more enticing to the occasional competitor -- is also a bigger issue for me.

But if I had to answer, I'd pretty much go with using OW swimming as a hook for triathletes and former competitive swimmers. I have a number of tri-friends and, even though swimming is the least important discipline, they all TALK a lot about improving in the water.

Some former competitive swimmers prefer OW races a lot compared to pool races. My wife is one of these. She does not train very often and gets depressed by her pool times, but doesn't care about OW times (which are often meaningless b/c of the strong dependence on conditions) and feels a sense of accomplishment just in finishing a 1- or 2-mile race (or whatever).

I wish cable swims were more common because they represent a good transition between pool swimming and "true" open water swims. Swimmers and triathletes who have trouble swimming straight, or get a little nervous in the open water, draw some comfort from the cable.

I could live without the elitism of the "true" OW swimmers, the channel-swimmers and the like, who clearly hold triathletes wetsuit-wearers with contempt even while grudgingly allowing them to compete. Read the the OW Committee report to see what I'm talking about. Not exactly a welcoming attitude conducive to growth, IMO.

Paul Smith
September 4th, 2008, 09:16 PM
Yes, the complete pre-convention delegate packet, including rule change proposals and meeting schedules is available at http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/

Forgive my ADD....but would love is there was some way to get this dialed down to a very simple format that could be posted in the form of a poll here on the forums. I have already said many times that I have no interest in going to a convention again based on how it is currently organized (and am sure they would't want me to be there either!) but would certainly like to see people here on the DF have a "voice".

Sandy Yaygo
September 4th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I see that the convention is having the Master's International Swimming Hall of Fame induction. Do you know who the inductees are??? THX

Could be anyone as long as they don't have any Breast strokers. They drink too much and talk too loud.

Doug Adamavich
September 5th, 2008, 10:39 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here....but has anyone published and agenda and when can we get people on this forum who are attending to actually share with us their opinions/likely votes on the key issues?

Doug, your the President of my LMSC so I'd very much like to hear your thoughts/likely vote on:

Oh oh, somebody asked for my opinion. Well since you asked, let me share my thoughts on the three issues you identified...


1) Holding nationals outside of US boundaries

I think the rule proposal to ban hosting national meets outside the US is needless. If a proposal has merit, let it be considered on those and not some restrictive rule. Plus, Mark Gill has taken the initiative to put together a bid in PR, which he considers to be a great venue for this event. This behavior is what we need to encourage, thinking outside the box and taking action rather than waiting for bids to come in. And if PR wins 2010 LCM Nationals and the event bombs, no biggie, we will just keep that in mind for the future.


2) Scoring at nationals (club vs. regional team)

I think R31 is much better written than the proposed change last year. Based upon all the angst and rancor over scoring at Nationals last year, I would be inclined to support this change. It would enable Clubs like AZ, COMSA, PNA, Oregon, NC, NEMS, and similar teams to compete against each other while Walnut Creek, TOC, FLAQ, DAMM, and others compete against like teams. I think this would enable us to move forward on this issue and not be distracted by it. Nationals is great and the team aspect of it is wonderful, but larger issues deserve more attention. Which is my segue into...


3) How best to market/grow USMS

Big question, here is my little answer:

Make membership in USMS compelling for ALL members. Our leaders, hence our focus, has been on competitive swimming. This is not the same as our membership, which is more social and fitness motivated. If we can get more discounts with companies (ex. Hertz, Liberty Mutual, and more) like a Chamber of Commerce or professional organization does, that will help our cause. Being able to swim in meets is great, but saving hundreds of buck$ a year on services that I already use is even better.

There is much more about marketing that I could write about but the main thing is to make membership valuable to its members. Adding value can take many forms, more than I can identify right now.

aquageek
September 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I propose that we triple membership dues for new USMS members for the 6 months following the Olympics, and then if they quit in that time period, send them a bill for another $500. That would discourage the current lane congestion issues. I propose USAS insititute similar measures but go one step further - if a new member's parent mentions "my child could be the next Michael Phelps" at any time, they have to pay an immediate $1000 to the registrar.

Doug Adamavich
September 5th, 2008, 11:19 AM
I had the good fortune to attend last year's convention, and I must say it wasn't really my cup of hair ball tea. The delegates are incredibly enthusiastic and do a wonderful, obviously committed job. But I often had a sense that there were issues behind the issues that required some kind of insider understanding to fully comprehend. Case-in-point: some masters group in southern Illinois or Missouri or similarly remote location that wanted permission to move back to its former association with the Ozark zone.

Yeah, there is a lot of inside baseball that goes on. Alas, it happens in any group with power.


To me, it seemed a reasonable request. Why fall under the purview of Chicago-area bureacracy when all the meets these folks swam in were much, much closer across the border in the Ozark region. Anyhow, there was a big brouhaha about this, or at least it seemed this way to me, reminiscent of the American Colonies attempting to get out from under the thumb of King George. I never really did understand what the argument was all about, and still don't--other than a vague sense of control-freakish turf war bureacracy.

Agreed, lots of time wasted but people got to feel important ;-) This happens and is to be expected, you see it within companies, churches, civic organizations, political organizations, and professional societies. Put a bunch of (smart, committed) human beings together who disagree on mattes and you get...conflict. At least there were no sharp objects in the room at the time.


Anyhow, permission to secede to the Ozarks was voted in by a slim margin, after much hand wringing and objections by what seemed to me the more entrenched members of the politburo.

And at the end of the day, this did not affect 99.9% of the membership of USMS. Everybody had a drink afterwards and forgot about it within a couple of hours. Ah, deliberative bodies...


Maybe this is what Ande hopes to avoid--just a baffling sense that what seems to be going on, and what is really going on, are destined always to be at least a little different is such settings-- perhaps an inevitable consequence of well-meaning human beings who make the mistake of forming committees, subcomittees, super commitees, and adding to all this parliamentarianism and tabling rights and maybe, just maybe, the slightest snifter of Franz Kafka bafflement were he to write about swimming organization.

In summation: they also serve who encourage their fellows to swim for health, be this through USMS, YMCA Masters, FINA, or without any governing body whatsoever.

Circling back to a previous posting, you can be much more effective on the local level if you get involved there. The "challenges" of Convention are much larger than those at the LSMC level. Focus on the little things close to home you can change and get your (organization's) house in order. Then sustain this over time and improve it. Only at that time should you seriously consider getting involved in USMS on a National level. Otherwise, go there, learn, meet people, and have a good time. After all, this is not life or death.

jim clemmons
September 5th, 2008, 12:51 PM
I think these are the folks being inducted -

Maria Lenk (BRA/USA) - Honor Swimmer
Jim McConica (USA) - Honor Swimmer
Russell Hafferkamp (USA) - Honor Water Polo Player
Willy van Rysel (GBR) - Honor Swimmer

And how about this for a name to learn to spell when he was a kid -
Ibone Belausteguigoitia (MEX) - Honor Diver

Bob Strand (USA) - Honor Swimmer as well.

Its a slow show
September 9th, 2008, 12:21 PM
Anybody have some suggestions for good restaurants in Atlanta during the convention???

jim clemmons
September 9th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Just a head's up that all of the convention attendees that don't post under their real name on the forum, will be required to list your posting name under your real name on your name tag. That way we'll be certain to :bump: into each other.

Doug Adamavich
September 9th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Anybody have some suggestions for good restaurants in Atlanta during the convention???

I heard that a former professional wrestler opened up a drive-through chittlins (sp?) stand somewhere in Atlanta. Dunno about those southern folk, they eat some wierd stuff...

Okra
Collard greens
Grits

swimshark
September 9th, 2008, 03:10 PM
Anybody have some suggestions for good restaurants in Atlanta during the convention???

For a taste of history (that will stick with your gut for a while) you have to take in the Varsity. There is one right near the GA Tech campus.

Doug Adamavich
September 9th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Anybody have some suggestions for good restaurants in Atlanta during the convention???

How about a place that has good (REAL) southern-style fried chicken and cornbread? Nothing like crispy fried chicken, moist cornbread, and fresh green beans...mmmmmmmmmmm good!

Oh, and a good beer (read that, GOOD beer!) to wash it all down with ;-)

Qualifier, this all has to be within stumbling distance of the hotel...

Rob Copeland
September 9th, 2008, 03:28 PM
Doug,

I haven’t eaten there, but I’ve had people recommend Pittypat's Porch. http://www.pittypatsrestaurant.com It is within stumbling distance of the hotel.

Or checkout http://www.atlanta.net/dining/ Downtown is usually within walking distance, Midtown, Atlantic Station, and Buckhead are all a short cab ride away.

Or http://atlanta.diningguide.com/ Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead.

Doug Adamavich
September 9th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Doug,

I haven’t eaten there, but I’ve had people recommend Pittypat's Porch. http://www.pittypatsrestaurant.com It is within stumbling distance of the hotel.

Or checkout http://www.atlanta.net/dining/ Downtown is usually within walking distance, Midtown, Atlantic Station, and Buckhead are all a short cab ride away.

Or http://atlanta.diningguide.com/ Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead.

THAT is what I am talking about!

OK, but how about the REALLY important news that everybody needs to know.

What room will the Hospitality Suite for Convention?

Enquiring minds want to know...

elise526
September 9th, 2008, 04:49 PM
Anybody have some suggestions for good restaurants in Atlanta during the convention???

For the ultimate experience in Southern belle delicacies, try the Swan Coach House Restaurant.

http://www.swancoachhouse.com/dailymenu.9.2008.pdf

P.S. Good drinks (Georgia Peach and Mint Julep) and the French Silk Swan (dessert) is simply out of this world.

breastroker
September 9th, 2008, 09:38 PM
To Michael Heather, I didn't know you swam butterfly. It seemed you were turning into a pretty good breaststroker there.:cheerleader:

ALM
September 9th, 2008, 09:52 PM
Anybody have some suggestions for good restaurants in Atlanta during the convention???

If you're attending as a delegate, good luck finding time to go out. For most people the schedule is so packed that it's hard to get out of the hotel. I've been in more than one committee meeting where we had lunches delivered so we could keep working. :whiteflag:

breastroker
September 9th, 2008, 09:54 PM
The biggest change in conventions over the last dozen years is this forum.

Many times some real hate and vitriol were expressed over issues in the forums. Heads cleared and reason prevailed and the actual motions on the floor of the House of Delegates went very smoothly.

The hardest thing was to get the USMS leadership tricked, cajoled etc into responding to the forum discussions. But EVERONE felt better when the leadership did respond and the issues were laid open.

This really should be under Convention. Every year I usuall start the ball rolling. If you look at 2004, 2005 and 2006 you can get a feel for past issues that were discussed heatedly and then responsibly.

This year other than elections there isn't really any devisive issues.

But hey, Paul can always start one!

Hopefully the Masters can get Phelps again for our infamous skit for the Ransom Arthur award. He was in it a couple of years ago, all grins. He certainly is swimmer of the year again. maybe we can get Troy and Brendan in the Hospitality suite and NOT GET KICKED OUT this year. Yeh right:frustrated: And the races MUST be brought back. I will donate a $10 spot if it is money they need. Didn't Troy and Brendan participate in the races? Maybe we can get Phelps there too. We can affect even the best.

breastroker
September 9th, 2008, 10:03 PM
Anna Lea

Hey we all spend way too much time in the meetings, so having social time even if late is so important. I go to every meeting I can from the morning start until the last committee meetings (except for finance). The finance members should have catered food and booze, they work way too long and hard!!!

I never get a car, there is no time for the sites. I just need good food and drink within stumbling ( I mean walking) distance. Cincy had the best Scottish restaurant were you could get good food and 7 single malt Scots wiskey for something like $20. Our group went there 2 nights in a row, that has never happened before or after. And the answer is YES!

ALM
September 9th, 2008, 10:06 PM
maybe we can get Troy and Brendan in the Hospitality suite and NOT GET KICKED OUT this year. Yeh right:frustrated: And the races MUST be brought back. I will donate a $10 spot if it is money they need. Didn't Troy and Brendan participate in the races? Maybe we can get Phelps there too. We can affect even the best.

Yes, I held Brendan's sport coat so he could participate in the races. It was funny how the two young guys fumbled around a lot more than the Masters did while trying to "prepare their equipment" at the start of the race.... And I don't think either of them won their heat.

WPSWIMS
September 9th, 2008, 10:26 PM
You must try the Varsity (we called it the greasy V) near Georgia Tech and taste real southern grease! It is a good walk from Peachtree Center.
If you have a weak digestive system you can take MARTA to Buckhead/Lenox.
There are many excellent restaurants in that area. The best steak in Atlanta can be had at Bones. There is a good fish reastaurant down the street called Kryma (sp). Dante Down the Hatch (fondue) is a classic and is across from Lenox. All these places can be reached via MARTA.
Midtown and Virginia HIghlands have some neat neighborhood restaurants.
If you like shopping, go to Lenox, Phipps, and Perimeter (Checkers is also a good fish restaurant). I use to live in Sandy Springs. Wish I could go to convention but my Atlanta friends are coming to Denver that week to enjoy the aspen in the Colorado mountains.

SwimRobin
September 9th, 2008, 11:01 PM
Don't forget about Rowdy - if I remember correctly, everyone got really loud when he participated in the races! That may have been when we all got into trouble!

Chris Stevenson
September 14th, 2008, 07:20 PM
Worth reading, IMO:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/actionplan.pdf

Any comments?

pwolf66
September 14th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Worth reading, IMO:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/actionplan.pdf

Any comments?


Very, very, very interesting. It's a big plan but there are a lot of very valid points made and there seems to be a framework for how to get from A to B.

Paul Smith
September 14th, 2008, 11:21 PM
The outline looks very favorable, however the real power and the area most in need of reform is the committee format that basically runs USMS and has kept it from advancing for many years.

The Executive Director is mainly a figurehead and although he may wish to advance changes in the system without being given power to make changes this may all end up being a great document with little "power" to make any of it come true.

michaelmoore
September 15th, 2008, 12:54 AM
Paul, I think you are trolling again.

The HOD made a change in governance a three year ago. We now have an very active Board of Directors and an expanded executive committee. We have recently hired a dynamic executive director.

As a result of that change there have been challenges for all of us. The Board of Directors has to learn to give strategic direction and not micromanage. The Executive Committee has to learn to communicate and to give direction and management.

We have had an organization that has done extremely well with its volunteer base. All of the committee chairs have years of experience and we have prospered.

One challenge over the next few years will be how to get everyone working on the same page. This, of course, is the challenge of leadership and communication. I expect the executive committee, Board of Directors, the executive director, staff and committee chairs to work together.

While we have done very well in the past, but I believe that better days are ahead of us.


michael

Michael Heather
September 15th, 2008, 02:05 AM
... the real power and the area most in need of reform is the committee format that basically runs USMS and has kept it from advancing for many years.

This statement makes me wonder how you arrived at your conclusion? And what kind of advances do you think have been restrained?

Paul Smith
September 15th, 2008, 12:09 PM
This statement makes me wonder how you arrived at your conclusion? And what kind of advances do you think have been restrained?

Attending convention, being on two different committee's, talking with the dozens of high profile coaches who have stopped going in frustration at how things have been run...seeing more teams pulling out of USMS (such as DAM & Sun Devil) because they don't see the value and they are self insuring.

As for what has been restrained I would suggest a better description as being "immobilized" by endless discussion/debate and point to the enter wish list that the Executive Director has created...case in point team scoring...this has been a point of contention since the rules were changed after Tempe years ago.

Michael....trolling? Me? So tell me what if any "real" power the new Director has? I may be wrong but don't all of these proposals have to go into committee and then voted on in general assembly? Or are the committee's tasked with creating proposed solutions which are then presented to the executive committee and voted on by them....with the Director having final say?

michaelmoore
September 15th, 2008, 12:23 PM
.seeing more teams pulling out of USMS (such as DAM & Sun Devil) because they don't see the value and they are self insuring.


Unless you know something I do not know, I think you meant DAMM not DAM



So tell me what if any "real" power the new Director has?

What do you define as "real' power.


michael

Paul Smith
September 15th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Unless you know something I do not know, I think you meant DAMM not DAM




What do you define as "real' power.


michael

Since were talking about Bobby I'll stick with Dam!

Thought that I had sort of described what I meant by real power in the question I asked about committee's...Do committee's and/or the general assembly decide what is passed as far as legislation? Does the ED have the ability to make any decisions without committee approval? Does he have veto power? Or does he mostly try and set an agenda and then work behind the scenes to try and get things passed?

By the way...glad to see you haning out around here more!

Rob Copeland
September 15th, 2008, 02:54 PM
The Executive Director is mainly a figurehead...To Mr. stirs the pot with a keyboard,

I’m not sure if you had the opportunity to meet Rob Butcher at nationals, but if you did, you would realize that he is not a figure head. While we may not be the most nimble organization, we are most definitely changing. If you read Rob’s vision statement you will notice we are moving rapidly to a new and improved USMS. Next week, we’ll find out if our House of Delegates supports the board and Rob in making these improvements a reality.

Doug Adamavich
September 15th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Thought that I had sort of described what I meant by real power in the question I asked about committee's...Do committee's and/or the general assembly decide what is passed as far as legislation? Does the ED have the ability to make any decisions without committee approval? Does he have veto power? Or does he mostly try and set an agenda and then work behind the scenes to try and get things passed?

I think Rob Butcher "gets it" from my conversations with him. He has an impressive background in sports marketing which can be applied to USMS. I am confident that he will get the support he needs to move us forward, he certainly has mine!

Paul Smith
September 15th, 2008, 04:46 PM
To Mr. stirs the pot with a keyboard,

I’m not sure if you had the opportunity to meet Rob Butcher at nationals, but if you did, you would realize that he is not a figure head. While we may not be the most nimble organization, we are most definitely changing. If you read Rob’s vision statement you will notice we are moving rapidly to a new and improved USMS. Next week, we’ll find out if our House of Delegates supports the board and Rob in making these improvements a reality.

I'll take that "stirs the pot" thing as a compliment!

I did briefly meet Rob and he seems like a nice guy (needs to switch out the Comminhs style speedo brief for a real suit)....which has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm asking/suggesting...and no one is answering.

For the VERY large group of readers/posters on these forums I'd love for someone to give a shot at explaining the process that takes place at USMS to try and incorporate ANY of the great things Rob put out in the "mission statement"?

Start with the basic (I consider ridiculous) format that certain types of legislation can only be introduced every other year...?

So some of these great ideas will get tossed into a committee with (tell me again how many members make up each committee) a bunch of generally well intentioned folks who will trade emails/conference calls (maybe meet at nationals) leading up to September 2009 when (again correct me if I'm wrong) they will present a proposal (say team scoring, or holding nationals anywhere except Puerto Rico...preferably Northern Cal) which the entire "body" then votes on...and if it doesn't pass we wait two more years.

Again this is not about people not caring and working hard...its about a system that has outgrown itself and now "turns" like the titanic (IMHO).

I wish the ED all the best and hope he is able to get some of these ideas into play. I will continue on my path of getting Michael & Michael-s blood pressure as high as possible and working my butt off to get more people training and competing thru my network of friends/teammates.

aquageek
September 15th, 2008, 04:49 PM
Why don't you become involved instead of taking pot shots? Organizations don't change overnight, things take time. Butcher seems genuine and quite motivated (even if I don't see him at the 5:30 am session!).

Paul Smith
September 15th, 2008, 05:01 PM
Why don't you become involved instead of taking pot shots? Organizations don't change overnight, things take time. Butcher seems genuine and quite motivated (even if I don't see him at the 5:30 am session!).

A) As I said this has nothing to do with any one person...so quit trying to twist this into a personal attack...the system is the problem and lots of people have tried to change it in the past...and if you talk to anyone who has been involved at the convention/committee level and left you'd probably hear them say the same things I am.

B) I've never not been involved, however I have to interest in being on the inside anymore (I was on both the championship and marketing committee's for a period of time). My (selfish) contribution and something I'm proud of is in working with small groups of friends to rally/blackmail/bribe/drag people to meets...both during my time in Colorado and now in Arizona (which we had some pretty good results in Austin and Portland).

And your excuse?

Doug Adamavich
September 15th, 2008, 05:41 PM
A) ...the system is the problem and lots of people have tried to change it in the past...and if you talk to anyone who has been involved at the convention/committee level and left you'd probably hear them say the same things I am.

I will echo Paul's comments, Convention is good to attend so one can learn what is going on at a National level. As far as getting things done though...temper your expectations. One can get a lot more done on the local/LMSC level IMHO, which is where the focus and energy should be on. There is a lot to learn at Convention, especially from successful LMSCs/Teams/Clubs, that can be applied locally.

I have chosen not to participate on any USMS committees despite repeated requests. Until my LMSC gets better, I will focus my efforts on Arizona whilst observing USMS from afar.


B) I've never not been involved, however I have to interest in being on the inside anymore (I was on both the championship and marketing committee's for a period of time). My (selfish) contribution and something I'm proud of is in working with small groups of friends to rally/blackmail/bribe/drag people to meets...both during my time in Colorado and now in Arizona (which we had some pretty good results in Austin and Portland).

Paul has led by example here in AZ when it comes to getting people more involved in meets. Greater involvement in meets creates a virtuous circle of increased participation, more fun, greater social opportunities, and so forth. This was done locally without the direction of anybody, Paul took the initiative on this one. I wish more of my Board members had the same drive and determination as him!

From where I stand, the local level is where the action is and where a big difference can be made. Small actions over time by a few individuals will yield noticable results here. On the National level, you might get frustrated though...

aquageek
September 15th, 2008, 06:05 PM
And your excuse?

I will admit that was an unfair pot shot on my part, apolgies.

I have no excuse, working on giving a beatdown to Fort at present.

Paul Smith
September 15th, 2008, 09:53 PM
I will admit that was an unfair pot shot on my part, apolgies.

I have no excuse, working on giving a beatdown to Fort at present.

Don't start getting all mushy on me...

And Fort is always (along with Perry & Commings) in need of a beatdown.

scyfreestyler
September 15th, 2008, 11:12 PM
And Fort is always (along with Perry & Commings) in need of a beatdown.

If only you two were capable of providing said beatdown(s). :rofl:

The Fortress
September 15th, 2008, 11:18 PM
If only you two were capable of providing said beatdown(s). :rofl:

And who says I can be beat down, eh? You wish!

I'm with Smith, I'd rather badger people into coming to meets. Or do something at the local level. Committees and inertia and handwringing = :bed:

I will say I pretty much agree with Chris Stevenson's points a couple pages back. Although he probably deserves a beat down too.

Chris Stevenson
September 16th, 2008, 09:04 AM
Chris Stevenson...probably deserves a beat down too.

The gridge beers that I will win at the GMUP meet next month will taste all the sweeter.

(Amazing how trash talk can even permeate pretty much any thread on this forum.)

Rob Copeland
September 16th, 2008, 09:40 AM
I'll take that "stirs the pot" thing as a compliment!
Good, that’s how it was meant.


do something at the local level. Committees and inertia and handwringing = :bed: As the current chief handwringer, I believe that it takes people working at all levels to make this work. We need members to encourage (or in some cases brow beat) friends to participate, we need people to lead and to coach clubs, we need people working in the LMSC’s and we need people working at the national and international levels.

This started out and a Convention thread and for some strange reason has morphed somewhat. So to briefly get back to the convention… A number of threads have pointed out that there are many ways to reach swimmers. I see that great minds think alike; which is why this year’s convention theme is “Membership – It’s up to us.” By membership, I don’t just mean adding more members, mean providing our members with more products and services, giving our clubs tools to grow, and yes increasing our membership base. The “it’s up to us” reflects the fact that this can’t be done by 250 people meeting for 4 days at a convention, but takes everyone who is interested in supporting Masters Swimming; be it by encouraging friends to participate, or volunteering to help at a meet, within your club, at the LMSC or national level. It may be as simple as replying to a “Hi, I’m a new swimmer in Scranton” post, with information to help the newbie.

Betsy
September 16th, 2008, 10:38 AM
To Paul
I understand why you find some things at the convention frustrating. We all do at some point. I know many swimmers, other than you, who are involved but cannot tolerate the bureaucracy. However, I'd like to take advantage of your experience and observations. I headed a task force several years ago that reorganized the Ex Committee and the Board of Directors and that anticipated an Ex Director. Things are not working as they should yet, but we have made progress and we are still trying. I would appreciate any comments/suggestions from you or anyone else on how we (the administration of USMS) can work more efficiently. Obviously, a big part of progress is to allow the Ex Dir the freedom to lead and to take action. You (and others) can contact me privately at ColoniesDirector AT usms DOT org.
Betsy Durrant

Chris Stevenson
September 16th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Committees and administration and Robert's Rules are not for everyone.

I have only been to one convention, last year's. With that limited base of experience, but having dealt with similar organizational structures my entire professional life, I found last USMS convention pretty efficient while allowing people to be heard. The one committee I am on (Records & Tabulations) is very efficiently run.

I also enjoy working with my fellow LMSC officers at the local level and can see why some may view that as more rewarding.

Certainly there are "power hungry" people (for lack of a better word), longish debate about topics that some view as trivial (but others clearly do not), and other stumbling blocks, and patience is often required to get progress. That is inherent in any large organization that is not a dictatorship. If such things drive away most good-intentioned people, then who is left?

Bottom line, it takes a lot of work at the local and national level to run USMS smoothly and give value to its members. This is a sport I love and have participated in for most of my life, and I want to give back to it. I can understand why some people find participation at the national level frustrating or pointless, but it is not helpful to have a negative attitude about it. Constructive criticism is of course always welcome, though, and there can be a fine line between the two.

It is not necessary to be on a national committee or attend Convention to have an impact at the national level. Do you know who your delegates are? Have you looked over the convention agenda to see if there is something that particularly concerns or affects you? Talk to your delegates, and others from your LMSC who are on the national committees.

aquageek
September 16th, 2008, 01:21 PM
It's one thing to be a great teammate and encouraging but that is vastly different from going on the inside and doing the unpleasant work of cmte's and the minutiae of service. The way to make change is to get involved, get on the cmtes. It's hard work and often thankless but that is where you can make the biggest difference.

gull
September 16th, 2008, 01:41 PM
It's one thing to be a great teammate and encouraging but that is vastly different from going on the inside and doing the unpleasant work of cmte's and the minutiae of service. The way to make change is to get involved, get on the cmtes. It's hard work and often thankless but that is where you can make the biggest difference.

What have you done with the Geek? I am notifying the authorities.

Doug Adamavich
September 16th, 2008, 01:55 PM
It's one thing to be a great teammate and encouraging but that is vastly different from going on the inside and doing the unpleasant work of cmte's and the minutiae of service. The way to make change is to get involved, get on the cmtes. It's hard work and often thankless but that is where you can make the biggest difference.

I respectfully disagree, anything on the National level is going to take a LONG time and proceed at a slow pace. Some good ideas may come up during the course of the year and at Convention, just don't hold your breath when it comes to implementing anything.

Now on the local level, you can make a lot of changes in a fraction of the time. LMSC boards are smaller than USMS committees and meet more frequently. Local is where the action is and where changes can be put to the test. Plus, there is a great need to focus on the grass roots of swimming in order to sustain the National organization. If teams are whitering on the vine, pools are closing, and swimmers not registering *in your local community* don't expect a USMS committee to do much about it. Take action locally and devote 95% of your available energy to your LMSC, it will yield much more than serving on a USMS committee.

This is my approach and don't expect anybody to agree with it. However, both my strategy and tactics come from personal experience and observation. YMMV so proceed accordingly ;-)

aquageek
September 16th, 2008, 02:02 PM
I'm pretty sure we are saying the same thing about pace of change, locally versus nationally. Personally, I do believe a commit at the national level is generally a bigger deal and requires more dedication, and patience.

Paul Smith
September 16th, 2008, 02:11 PM
I respectfully disagree, anything on the National level is going to take a LONG time and proceed at a slow pace. Some good ideas may come up during the course of the year and at Convention, just don't hold your breath when it comes to implementing anything.

Now on the local level, you can make a lot of changes in a fraction of the time. LMSC boards are smaller than USMS committees and meet more frequently. Local is where the action is and where changes can be put to the test. Plus, there is a great need to focus on the grass roots of swimming in order to sustain the National organization. If teams are whitering on the vine, pools are closing, and swimmers not registering *in your local community* don't expect a USMS committee to do much about it. Take action locally and devote 95% of your available energy to your LMSC, it will yield much more than serving on a USMS committee.

This is my approach and don't expect anybody to agree with it. However, both my strategy and tactics come from personal experience and observation. YMMV so proceed accordingly ;-)

Well stated Doug. Bottom line is the people who make up the organizational framework of USMS come from "local" clubs and if we don't recruit and develop people at that level first we won't have anyone to draw on to be part of committee's.

Generally speaking, if you remove competition from the discussion what does USMS do which impacts masters swimming on the local level? I don't mean this as a criticism but a legitimate question? There is the new club mentoring program which I think will be very helpful if coaches take advantage of it (Doug tapped into it for AZ right out of the gate).

The insurance situation would seem to be one of the more challenging things to be addressed, as I noted earlier one of the main reasons that people are members of USMS is that a local club requires it to cover their insurance needs. However a number of teams have self insured and found it to be more cost effective so a problem then is created for USMS as teams like Sun Devil and Dallas with very large numbers of swimmers are no longer requiring membership....only the handful of swimmers who compete register.

From my discussions with a number of coaches across the country most feel that when you take away the insurance benefit the big question becomes what does USMS provide them at the local level to make their business more profitable? Remember, as much as USMS prides itself on the voluntarism of its members the bottom line is the bottom line and that means clubs grow or die...or drift along in no mans land and turn coaches over frequently...or don't have coaches. USMS can grow if it remembers this and if it indeed can move from a "bottom up" management system to a "top down". UMHO of course!

Chris Stevenson
September 16th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Paul and Doug,

I applaud getting involved at the local level and it sounds as if your LMSC and its swimmers are well served by your efforts.

In his Vision & Action Plan, Butcher points to the coach as the single most important person in the member experience and it is hard to argue. How much more local can you get than for the LMSC to support good coaching for everyone who wants it? All you have to do is look at the many views of Ande's advice/blog threads to see that there is a lot of hunger for such information, and I don't think it comes only from those who want to compete.

But negative comments towards the national organization do a great disservice to many people like Rob Copeland, Mark Gill, Mary Beth Windrath and many many others who put in A LOT of time and whose efforts that directly benefit all USMS members. You act as if your LMSC is not beholden at all to USMS and it just isn't true. (And if USMS can and should serve you better, help make it happen.)

Do you like USMS Swimmer magazine? This web site and the fora? Online registration? Top ten lists? The list goes on and it isn't just about competition. What's more, I really like the way Butcher writes in his document about how USMS can better serve ALL of its members (not just habitual competitors), and good energetic people are needed to make it happen, acting at many scales not just the local.

Fine if you don't have the patience or mentality to contribute at the national level but don't denigrate the efforts of those who do by statements like "there are some good ideas that get implemented at glacial speed" (forgive the paraphrase, but that is the essence of the two of your comments).

Paul Smith
September 16th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Paul and Doug,

I applaud getting involved at the local level and it sounds as if your LMSC and its swimmers are well served by your efforts.

In his Vision & Action Plan, Butcher points to the coach as the single most important person in the member experience and it is hard to argue. How much more local can you get than for the LMSC to support good coaching for everyone who wants it? All you have to do is look at the many views of Ande's advice/blog threads to see that there is a lot of hunger for such information, and I don't think it comes only from those who want to compete.

But negative comments towards the national organization do a great disservice to many people like Rob Copeland, Mark Gill, Mary Beth Windrath and many many others who put in A LOT of time and whose efforts that directly benefit all USMS members. You act as if your LMSC is not beholden at all to USMS and it just isn't true. (And if USMS can and should serve you better, help make it happen.)

Do you like USMS Swimmer magazine? This web site and the fora? Online registration? Top ten lists? The list goes on and it isn't just about competition. What's more, I really like the way Butcher writes in his document about how USMS can better serve ALL of its members (not just habitual competitors), and good energetic people are needed to make it happen, acting at many scales not just the local.

Fine if you don't have the patience or mentality to contribute at the national level but don't denigrate the efforts of those who do by statements like "there are some good ideas that get implemented at glacial speed" (forgive the paraphrase, but that is the essence of the two of your comments).


Chris, I have been very careful to be critical of the organization and the process and not the people so I take a bit of offense at your suggestion that I'm merely making "negative comments" and "doing a disservice" with my posts.

The bottom line is that I pay to be a part of this organization and just as in any "service" industry I believe my dues allow me to be critical of the "product" which gets delivered if it isn't what I think it should/could be. And simply saying things like "get involved" if you don't like it is a cope out...so I should shut up and take what I'm given if I'm not going to join in the process? In other words if you don't like the food you're served at a restaurant go back in the kitchen and make it yourself?

Not quite sure what your talking about with regard to an LMSC not being beholden to USMS...other than the (mainly) competitive benefits you cite what (other than a nice mission statement from the ED) is USMS providing the 90% of its membership? I challenge you to show me that the majority of those people would not forgo a USMS membership if it was not required by the club or facility they train at.

Finally you use the word "denigrate" when I describe a process that I have participated in...interesting. So what have I described inaccurately?

Doug Adamavich
September 16th, 2008, 07:59 PM
But negative comments towards the national organization do a great disservice to many people like Rob Copeland, Mark Gill, Mary Beth Windrath and many many others who put in A LOT of time and whose efforts that directly benefit all USMS members.

If my comments strike some as negative, that is an inference that the reader draws, not what the writer is implying ;-)


You act as if your LMSC is not beholden at all to USMS and it just isn't true. (And if USMS can and should serve you better, help make it happen.)

I don't know where that came from but...

USMS is working with us on membership development. Ask Mel Goldstein how many years I have been pestering him about this. The answer is two years, a process I started in Dearborn as the then-Vice Chairman of our LMSC... The result is that he is coming to AZ to work with our teams and coaches.


Do you like USMS Swimmer magazine?

Its good for the most part. The recent publication delays though were not welcomed.


This web site and the fora?

Website needs a serious revamp IMHO. I am sure Mark G. and Jim M. are aware of this and are working on improving it. Slow updates really hamper timely posting of event listing (2-4 weeks is not cutting it).


Online registration?

Long overdue, very welcomed by our LMSC.


What's more, I really like the way Butcher writes in his document about how USMS can better serve ALL of its members (not just habitual competitors), and good energetic people are needed to make it happen, acting at many scales not just the local.

I think Rob Butcher is on the money in many ways, he will take us forward in many ways. Huge win in getting him as our ED, plus he is a fellow breaststroker!

What Paul and I are saying (correct me if I am wrong Paul) is that the vast majority of effort should be concentrated at the LMSC level. That is where one can make a difference in a short period of time. Plus, if our LMSCs/Teams/Clubs are healthy, doesn't it make USMS healthy? It is a matter of emphasis on where to place finite resources, I choose to devote mine to AZ LMSC. Others are free to choose otherwise, we are all adults and capable of deciding what is best for us. My opinion is that USMS is better served in the long-run if leaders focus on their LMSC first, then (once the LMSC is healthy and vibrant) turn their attention to the National level.


Fine if you don't have the patience or mentality to contribute at the national level but don't denigrate the efforts of those who do by statements like "there are some good ideas that get implemented at glacial speed" (forgive the paraphrase, but that is the essence of the two of your comments).

Speaking for myself, what I offer are my observations from attending Convention and being a part of USMS. I call it like I see it, regardless of who is involved or what others think. It is tough but fair, which is a key to being open with the membership of USMS. We are all individuals who are free to speak our minds and (respectfully) disagree on the issues that come before us. I choose to exercise that right when called for.

By the way, there are other people who share my opinions. Not that it matters but just sayin'...

Chris Stevenson
September 16th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Chris, I have been very careful to be critical of the organization and the process and not the people so I take a bit of offense at your suggestion that I'm merely making "negative comments" and "doing a disservice" with my posts.

The bottom line is that I pay to be a part of this organization and just as in any "service" industry I believe my dues allow me to be critical of the "product" which gets delivered if it isn't what I think it should/could be. And simply saying things like "get involved" if you don't like it is a cope out...so I should shut up and take what I'm given if I'm not going to join in the process from a different level? In other words if you don't like the food your served at a restaurant go back in the kitchen and make it yourself?

Not quite sure what your talking about with regard to an LMSC not being beholden to USMS...other than the (mainly) competitive benefits you cite what (other than a nice mission statement from the ED) is USMS providing the 90% of its membership? I challenge you to show me that the majority of those people would forgo a USMS membership if it was not required by the club of facility they train at.

Finally you use the word "denigrate" when I describe a process that I have participated in...interesting. So what have I described inaccurately?

Paul, I don't mean to give offense.

But I do think that criticizing the organization is tantamount to criticizing those who participate in it. Nothing is wrong with criticism, sure.

But what I am reacting to was the sense I get from both you of you that (a) USMS isn't serving its members and (b) serving at the national level is not worth the effort. The latter is a defeatist attitude: if USMS isn't serving its members then how will that change unless people are willing to make the effort for it to happen? I don't think it is a "cop-out" to say that.

The examples I used were: USMS Swimmer, the web site (and content like "Places to Swim" and the fora), online registration and Top Ten. All took vast effort to implement and maintain but only the last is overtly and completely geared to the competitive swimmer.

Chris Stevenson
September 16th, 2008, 08:31 PM
My opinion is that USMS is better served in the long-run if leaders focus on their LMSC first, then (once the LMSC is healthy and vibrant) turn their attention to the National level.

Doug, I guess ultimately where you and I disagree is the notion that these choices are mutually exclusive, or that they have to be done sequentially. In other words, I think it is possible to serve your LMSC by representing them at convention, participating in the national decision-making process, while at the same time serving at the local level.

I agree that if one's LMSC is "unhealthy" then there is lots of work to be done at the local level to fix that. Maybe USMS (as an organization) can even help with that... :)

Doug Adamavich
September 16th, 2008, 11:52 PM
Doug, I guess ultimately where you and I disagree is the notion that these choices are mutually exclusive, or that they have to be done sequentially. In other words, I think it is possible to serve your LMSC by representing them at convention, participating in the national decision-making process, while at the same time serving at the local level.

My choice is to focus on the LMSC almost exclusively because I see the ROI being much higher for our members and see the results sooner. From what I have seen and experienced, this is the better course of action for the LMSC that I represent and the members that comprise it. Trying to be active on both the National level and local level will mean neither will get the most/best effort. That is my take, others may disagree and I am OK with that.


I agree that if one's LMSC is "unhealthy" then there is lots of work to be done at the local level to fix that. Maybe USMS (as an organization) can even help with that... :)

USMS is helping our LMSC in several ways but making our LMSC strong and vibrant is our responsibility. We can't expect Mel, Tom, Mark, Rob, or anybody else to swoop in and fix our problems. Having some skilled mentors in our corner will help but ultimately, our LMSC needs to improve from within. Good things are happening, albeit at a slow pace. However, as many can testify, Arizona is heading in the right direction now.

If I was spending time on National committees, I doubt this would be the case...

Chris Stevenson
September 17th, 2008, 08:07 AM
My choice is to focus on the LMSC almost exclusively because I see the ROI being much higher for our members and see the results sooner...

I have no doubt that is true for you, and bravo to you for being so involved with your LMSC.

What I question is your blanket statement that national committees should consist only of swimmers from "healthy" LMSCs (whatever that means) and that swimmers from other LMSCs who serve on them are somehow neglecting their duty to their LMSC.

I have two posts in our LMSC (vice-chair and Records/Top Ten) and am on one national committee. It is only my first year but the work I do for the committee is very small compared to what I do for the LMSC and, far from hurting, what I learn from being involved at the national level generally helps me serve our members.

Our LMSC has many people who are heavily involved at the national level: Jim and Patty Miller, Betsy Durrant, and several others. I think our LMSC has benefited greatly from their experience, rather than suffered.

But since we weren't on your earlier short list, I suppose that we are an "unhealthy" LMSC and should call them back to the mothership... :)

Paul Smith
September 17th, 2008, 12:45 PM
But what I am reacting to was the sense I get from both you of you that (a) USMS isn't serving its members and (b) serving at the national level is not worth the effort. The latter is a defeatist attitude: if USMS isn't serving its members then how will that change unless people are willing to make the effort for it to happen? I don't think it is a "cop-out" to say that.

McDonalds provides "service" which I pay for, however so does Spencers Steak House...which one do you think provides better service? Yes there is a price attached to that better service but just like my choice to pay more to train with a better club/coach I would also be willing to pay more for a higher level of service with USMS. My point again being that I'm not and have never been content to sit back and settle for something I know can be improved.

The examples I used were: USMS Swimmer, the web site (and content like "Places to Swim" and the fora), online registration and Top Ten. All took vast effort to implement and maintain but only the last is overtly and completely geared to the competitive swimmer.[/QUOTE]

Not one of these things in my opinion would be of enough value to the vast majority of fitness swimmers that make up 90% of our membership...and as I suggested would probably not be members if it wasn't a requirement of the club/facility they swim at.

I'll repeat and earlier suggestion, increase the cost to be a sponsor but offer some exclusivity for that price....instead of having 3 or 4 retailers like Kast Away offer one slot...as part of that sponsorship package they would provide an annual coupon for new and returning registered members of USMS for "X" percentage off purchases.

Or how about a sponsorship with a nationwide health club such as 24 Hour fitness that has 25yd pools at many of their locations and fitness swimmers working out there...USMS members get initiation fee waived and their first month free for example.

How about a major reorganization of the Places to Swim link on the site and an effort to create a nationwide drop in fee for swimmers who are USMS members and traveling on bisness of vacation and want a place to swim? It is sort of in place but nothing formal and there are a LOT of people always looking for training.

How about a sponsorship with Subway or Starbucks that give them rights to sell on sight for national meets and USMS members get some discount coupons as pat of new/rturning memberships.

Doug Adamavich
September 17th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Worth reading, IMO:

http://www.usms.org/admin/conv08/actionplan.pdf

Any comments?

Read it last night and was very impressed. Rob did an outstanding job on this document and I will forward it to my Board members to read. This is a solid action plan that will enable USMS to flourish in the years ahead.

The only weakness I see is with sponsors. For real value, there should be exclusivity for a given product/service. Having Agon and Blue Seventy join Speedo and Tyr is not the best move IMHO. Choose one and promote the heck out of them, that would be my suggestion. Also, I would rather have a bunch of smaller sponsors that offer a wide range of services. Maybe a combination like:

Delta
Best Western
Hertz (in place)
Liberty Mutual (in place)
Verizon
Subway
Land's End
LA Fitness
Starbucks
DirecTV
etc.

But back to the point, this was an outstanding document that will serve as an excellent starting point for taking action. I certainly hope that USMS supports Rob in his efforts because we need this if we are to remain relevant.

aquageek
September 17th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Personally, I only want two things from USMS - excellent meets and deals at online swimming stores. I can get hotel, rental car, insurance , airfare, etc deals from two alumni groups and two large companies that will beat anything USMS can put together.

Well, make it three things - a good discussion forum also.

pwolf66
September 17th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Personally, I only want two things from USMS - excellent meets and deals at online swimming stores. I can get hotel, rental car, insurance , airfare, etc deals from two alumni groups and two large companies that will beat anything USMS can put together.

Well, make it three things - a good discussion forum also.


Geek hits one of the major challenges. making discount deals worthwhile. I have other ways to beat Hertz's USMS discount, usually by a pretty good margin.

Doug Adamavich
September 17th, 2008, 01:25 PM
I can get hotel, rental car, insurance , airfare, etc deals from two alumni groups and two large companies that will beat anything USMS can put together.

Great, you are blessed! How about those (most?) of us who don't have similar benefits? What is preventing USMS from offering a similar suite of discounts/benefits to what other associations provide?

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have to choose between multiple discounts who are fighting for your business? With 45,000 wealthy, educated members, I reckon USMS could round up a few dozen top-notch, national companies that would be willing to give our members discounts.

...but maybe I am wrong.

aztimm
September 17th, 2008, 01:48 PM
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have to choose between multiple discounts who are fighting for your business? With 45,000 wealthy, educated members, I reckon USMS could round up a few dozen top-notch, national companies that would be willing to give our members discounts.


Doug--I think this would be great, but the discounts would have to be worthwhile for us to use them.

When I use a company discount for a hotel or rental car, I'll usually get asked by the clerk, "So you work for XXX. How do you like it there?" I think if they saw a USMS discount, they may strike up a similar conversation....and we may educate more people on who/what USMS is. Quite possibly, we may gain more membership from these clerks or other customers who overhear us.

The Fortress
September 17th, 2008, 04:59 PM
The gridge beers that I will win at the GMUP meet next month will taste all the sweeter.

(Amazing how trash talk can even permeate pretty much any thread on this forum.)

To date, my main contribution is to provide food, beer and shelter to traveling swimmers. However, I have yet to buy a beer for a lost gridge.

I officiate, coach and help with my kids' races and meets. I'll do more when I grow up. I appreciate those who do what they do and provide quality meets.

aquageek
September 17th, 2008, 05:07 PM
However, I have yet to buy a beer for a lost gridge.

Emphasis on yet.

aquageek
September 17th, 2008, 05:08 PM
Securing preferred rates for a rental car company is not very challenging and not much of a real benefit. Now, free shipping and 25% off at Kast-A-Way is a real benefit.

jroddin
September 18th, 2008, 07:43 AM
Fortress wrote:

However, I have yet to buy a beer for a lost gridge

Does this mean your swimming is going well or simply that you are a better negotiator than everybody else? :bolt:

The Fortress
September 18th, 2008, 09:19 AM
Fortress wrote:


Does this mean your swimming is going well or simply that you are a better negotiator than everybody else? :bolt:

Both!

Now, Roddin, don't test me, or I'll be forced to cheer for Stevenson in your next 400 IM showdown.

jroddin
September 18th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Chris and I have amicably decided we never care to race that event again! It would have been less painful if we simply had a boxing match on the side of the pool for 4-5 minutes...:laugh2:

pwolf66
September 18th, 2008, 11:21 AM
OOOOO, I'll produce that event for distribution!!!!

The Fortress
September 18th, 2008, 12:16 PM
OOOOO, I'll produce that event for distribution!!!!

Would it really last 4-5 minutes though? :bolt:

Julie Roddin
September 18th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Would it really last 4-5 minutes though? :bolt:

I don't know. The 400 IM would probably be more exciting than watching a boxing match between the two of you. Although, if the boxing match went the same way as the swim did, Chris would put a MAJOR hurting on you in the first 2 minutes. That could be interesting.

Regardless, the 400 IM or boxing match are probably not nearly as painful as the aquabike at SavageMan 1/2 IM ;)

matysekj
September 18th, 2008, 04:13 PM
...Chris would put a MAJOR hurting on you in the first 2 minutes. That could be interesting.

Wow, with friends like this...
:hijack:

Rob Copeland
September 18th, 2008, 04:16 PM
Now, how did we get to bantam weight boxing on a convention thread?:whiteflag::whiteflag:

Chris Stevenson
September 18th, 2008, 09:13 PM
Now, how did we get to bantam weight boxing on a convention thread?

You're right, Rob, enough thread hijacking. It's shameful.

Mr. President, Julie seems eager for a beatdown of her boyfriend -- we can only speculate on the reasons -- who will probably be in Atlanta. What are the proper channels to get this item on the Convention Agenda?

Further, although I am flattered to be considered, I nominate Jill Gellatly to administer the aforementioned beatdown. After seeing her glare at Jeff after he sprinted ahead to cut her off, then slowed down to box her in during an open water swim last summer, I believe she is able and willing to bring on the pain.

Qwerty
September 18th, 2008, 09:53 PM
I am missing something here. Why are people talking about the garage fridge (gridge)? Because it has the beer?


:dunno:

Doug Adamavich
September 19th, 2008, 04:13 PM
What I want to know is what Victor has in store for the Hospitality Suite. I reckon since Atlanta is only a few hours drive from where he lives, this edition will be off the chain.

Remember, this will be in Atlanta, where the Playas play...

Rob Copeland
September 19th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Doug,

Instead of being off the chain, this edition may be a bit on the leash. The hotel is being draconian about what can come into their facility and what needs to be brought through their catering service. More so than in prior years. so we may be imbibing on Mark Gill stories more than distilled and fermented beverages.

In the bright side, this is the nicest/largest hospitality we have ever had.

ALM
September 20th, 2008, 06:32 PM
For you convention first-timers, or those of you who haven't been, here's what really goes on:

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=79

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=80

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=81

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=82

jim clemmons
September 20th, 2008, 09:01 PM
For you convention first-timers, or those of you who haven't been, here's what really goes on:

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=79

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=80

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=81

http://forums.usms.org/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=82

Michael Heather, Skip (Frank)Thompson and...? :help:

Glider
September 20th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Gotta believe it's our pres...


Michael Heather, Skip (Frank)Thompson and...? :help:

jim clemmons
September 20th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Gotta believe it's our pres...

Yes, one of the four is Rob Copeland. I didn't have my glasses on.:blush:

And the bearded one...?:dunno:

michaelmoore
September 20th, 2008, 10:05 PM
The bearded one is Rich Burns and Mike Laux is the doctor.

michael

Michael Heather
September 20th, 2008, 10:16 PM
These photos are old news. And no, this is not what we mostly do at the convention. It is merely a way to communicate with the other members of the aquatics community that they understand. I have since resumed my hormone therapy.

Michael Leather
September 20th, 2008, 11:12 PM
I have since resumed my hormone therapy.

Testosterone, or estrogen?
:outtahere:
-
-
-

Doug Adamavich
September 22nd, 2008, 11:28 AM
Instead of being off the chain, this edition may be a bit on the leash. The hotel is being draconian about what can come into their facility and what needs to be brought through their catering service. More so than in prior years. so we may be imbibing on Mark Gill stories more than distilled and fermented beverages.

After several Mark Gill stories we may all need to imbibe some local Georgia White Lightning :->


In the bright side, this is the nicest/largest hospitality we have ever had.

Hmmm, this will be interesting...

I hope Victor can work his magic with the hotel. Maybe he can come to an arrangement that works for everybody. The hospitality room is a great place to network and learn, especially with a cold one.