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View Full Version : Afraid of Masters Swimming



Joash
February 17th, 2010, 06:58 PM
I want to work on improving my swimming to hopefully do a triathlon. I am really a lousy swimmer. I'm always the slowest person in the pool. My endurance is fine from running etc., but my strokes/form are terrible.

Everyone says masters swimming programs are the best workouts, but I don't want to go near one because I would lag behind even the oldest, most out of shape members.

What should I do?

That Guy
February 18th, 2010, 09:58 AM
Train and get faster!

aquageek
February 18th, 2010, 10:00 AM
What should I do?

Go to a Master's workout. Who cares if you are the slowest, and you probably won't be.

makesense
February 18th, 2010, 10:01 AM
Jump in with us, swim what you can, get regular, you may do a meet or you may not, learn from the pros as well as those of us struggling to keep up, everyone will enjoy that you are there, you will soon feel in better shape.

I bet you that someone else will join after you, asking for your input about their swimming hurdles.

Of course, there is more to all this Masters stuff than swimming. You will meet new folks, have some new fun, participate in parties and be part of an enthusiastic group.

Even if you don't get around to swimming at a meet, you will enjoy volunteering as a timer or for any of the other needs for a meet.

By the way, you might be surprised at the range of swimmers at a Masters meet. Age spans a remarkably wide spectrum. Some folks have surprisingly broken bodies but push on anyway (eg, I was told due to extensive damage from a motorcycle accident long ago that I would have a 35% lifelong disability. So what I say, I joined Masters last July. Sure, I will never be a top swimmer, few are. Always struggling, but it has been worth it.).

Dive in. Have fun.

jessicafk11
February 18th, 2010, 10:38 AM
I feel like one of the faster people at the pool I usually swim at when I swim alone but when I join the masters group I try to work out with occassionally I am clearly one of the slowest there. No one cares. Everyone does what they can of the workout (I rarely finish the entire thing) without concerning themselves with who is faster or who finished first. We are all there for different reasons and although we swim the same workout and consider ourselves a group, we are still all swimming to meet our individual goals. Relax and don't worry about it, Masters Swimming is fun and a lot of people who are really fast now did not start out that way. Go try a practice and have a good time, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

gobears
February 18th, 2010, 10:51 AM
Approach the coach and let him or her know you are interested in Masters Swimming. Communicate your skill-level and see if that program looks like it offers newer swimmers stroke instruction and the opportunity to swim what you can and slowly work up to a full practice. You might also check out the YMCA--some have lap swim programs that aren't necessarily tailored for competition and are perfect for newbies. I always tell my new swimmers they will improve more quickly than they expect. And they always do. Just don't be intimidated!!!

craig68
February 18th, 2010, 11:12 AM
That's like saying you are afraid to join the A/V Club or the Marching Band in High School because you think the members are too cool and intimidating. The vast majority of Masters swimmers would LOVE to have more company in workouts and at meets, and increase our membership locally and nationally. Nobody cares about your speed. Seriously. Jump in and make some friends! They will be glad to have you join them!

__steve__
February 18th, 2010, 11:15 AM
I want to work on improving my swimming to hopefully do a triathlon. I am really a lousy swimmer. I'm always the slowest person in the pool. My endurance is fine from running etc., but my strokes/form are terrible.

Everyone says masters swimming programs are the best workouts, but I don't want to go near one because I would lag behind even the oldest, most out of shape members.

What should I do?This was the reason I did it. Now the only time I'm the slowest (or next to the slowest) is at meets for my age group. For now I hope

bamueller
February 18th, 2010, 11:21 AM
Everyone does what they can of the workout (I rarely finish the entire thing) without concerning themselves with who is faster or who finished first.

Everyone has different goals. I wasn't able to finish sets and workouts. I set myself some achievable goals and with each month, I noticed an improvement. I suggest you do the same. You won't be holding anyone back but yourself.

qbrain
February 18th, 2010, 11:36 AM
What should I do?

Face your fears and join a team. Half my team is triathletes, and a lot of those joined the team to get ready for a tri.

You won't be the slowest swimmer in the pool anymore if you get someone to help you with your stroke.

Bobinator
February 18th, 2010, 11:43 AM
What do you do in triathlons if you are the last out of the water? If you can live through that you can live through being last in a master's Swim practice.
Honestly I really couldn't tell you who the slowest swimmer is on my team. I'm not sure who does the entire distance of the repition, swims all the practice, wears fins, starts early or any of that. Who really cares anyway.
Why don't you go try a practice or two and see how it goes. If you hate it or can't keep up see if they will e-mail you their practices and then you can do them alone. You will be first every time!

funkyfish
February 18th, 2010, 11:53 AM
I'd be curious to find out what you are basing this fear on. Have you had a bad experience with a master's team in the past? If there's nothing specifically generating the fear, then you should find a team and at least talk to some of the swimmers and the coach. As stated above, most teams are more than happy to add another swimmer. Also, joining a team will give you the opportunity to get advice on how to swim more proficiently. It will never hurt to investigate. Worse case scenario: The team and coach in general are jerks and only want to work with highly talented swimmers. In that case, you find out that you don't want to swim with them. I'd be surprised if anything bad happens. Good luck.
:banana:

DocG
February 18th, 2010, 12:21 PM
A couple of points:

You're ultimately competing against only yourself, just keep improving with age!
As you train, you'll be motivated by those older swimmers who can swim better than you now, and you'll get personal satisfaction as you eventually start beating some of them.
Pace yourself and keep getting a little better with age, you will eventually be world champion, you only have to outlast everyone else!:bliss:

swimshark
February 18th, 2010, 03:25 PM
You'll never get faster if you don't try :)

I practice with an age group team. I am 39 they are teenagers. I am usually the slowest person in the practice. Yes, it's an ego bruise but I'm not there to compete against them. I'm there to get coaching, get in a good workout and enjoy myself. So go, have fun and get faster.

orca1946
February 18th, 2010, 05:08 PM
Hey ! Jump in wit us & maybe you will find triathletes that are in the same boat/pool. Most teams welcome new swimmers even if you are slow now , you will get much better.

Swimmy
February 18th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Find a team in your area! I swam for years on my own, and I was nervous about joining a team. I am not fast either, but I have gotten better since swimming with the team. My team welcomes all levels of swimming ability. I have met the greatest people swimming on a team. Many teams will let you try out a few workouts to see how you like it.

Swimmy
President
Terrapin Masters Swim Club
www.terrapinmasters.org

aztimm
February 18th, 2010, 06:29 PM
I'm not sure why masters swimming has this concept of being elite swimmers, maybe the use of, "master," in the name. I get asked this quite a bit, and I thought the same thing too.

But I thought much of the same, that I wasn't good enough, and many other things. For my first masters workout, I did swim in the slowest lane, but within a month I was a few lanes over. Right now, I'm in one of the faster lanes with the group I swim with, and I couldn't imagine swimming this much on my own.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
February 18th, 2010, 08:02 PM
Today I was talking to a coach of more than likely, THE LARGEST masters swimming organization in the world.

He told me his favorite thing about swim coaching is working with brand new non-swimmers who stroll into their program.
After 30 years in the masters swimming business, this is the only thing that gives him a rush of love for the sport.
(and he was an Olympic swimmer!)

Take the plunge :)

fritznh
February 18th, 2010, 08:02 PM
I want to work on improving my swimming to hopefully do a triathlon. I am really a lousy swimmer. I'm always the slowest person in the pool. My endurance is fine from running etc., but my strokes/form are terrible.

Everyone says masters swimming programs are the best workouts, but I don't want to go near one because I would lag behind even the oldest, most out of shape members.

What should I do?

I started swimming again after twenty years off, and I've found that masters is in general a very laid back and welcoming environment. It is far different from swimming in college. Instead, you can compete at meets if you want, or just go for the exercise and to improve your technique. About a third of our team are training for triathlon events, a third go to meets and a third swim for exercise.

You may start out not being the fastest, but you will pick up improvements in technique quickly and you'll be rolling along in no time. Where you will find the biggest improvement in longer distance swim events like the triathlon is in efficiency, and you'll improve that rapidly with a structured practice on a team.

So go for it! Best of luck...

gigi
February 18th, 2010, 10:48 PM
Go ahead and do it - you know you want to or you wouldn't have posted, no? And the best way not to get better at something is to not do it -OR the best way to get better at something is to do it..
So just do it already!

And like so many things - the first year is the best because you see such incredible improvement!

Have fun on your masters team!

Muppet
February 18th, 2010, 11:20 PM
I want to work on improving my swimming to hopefully do a triathlon. I am really a lousy swimmer. I'm always the slowest person in the pool. My endurance is fine from running etc., but my strokes/form are terrible.

Everyone says masters swimming programs are the best workouts, but I don't want to go near one because I would lag behind even the oldest, most out of shape members.

What should I do?

Sounds like you're more concerned about the technique aspect than the training aspect of swimming. A Masters program may be good place to seek out someone to work with you one-on-one. A lot of coaches will also do private lessons and clinics. More personalized attention may help you achieve the results you are looking for.

If you find a masters program where the coach ends up being more of a workout scribe than a hands-on technique-teacher, ask one of your lanemates or another person in the pool for some help. Most of us are happy to lend our expertise. Don't expect a full-on private lesson, but a simple "hey Joe, i couldn't help but notice you are really awesome at flip turns... do you think you could spend a few minutes showing me the basics?" could go a long way. This is also a great way to meet some of the other swimmers in your program, and for some of those who may have a bit more speed and many years of experience to share their wealth.

orca1946
February 20th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Master does not mean we have Mastered it ! We are just not all kids anymore !
I'm 64 & still love to swim