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View Full Version : Does your team have a "pre-team"?



orca1946
October 13th, 2014, 11:00 AM
On our masters team , we have a pre-team to aid swimmers that are new to team swimming & all 4 strokes. We have them learn the correct strokes & the associated drills that they will use when they move up to the regular team practices. This seems to help a lot of new swimmers into the world of masters team swimming. They meet twice a week for how ever long it takes till the asst. coach says they are ready to move into the workouts of the "seasoned" swimmers.
Do other teams have this to aid new masters swimmers work their way on the team without the fear of getting run over or not knowing drills?

jwc
October 13th, 2014, 11:21 AM
I wish we did! I really like the masters swimming club that I belong to, but just started swimming a year ago and got frustrated with trying to modify or keep up with the seasoned swimmers. I have been swimming on my own and using workouts that I find here, but that is a great idea to bring those of us in that need some extra help.

SLOmmafan
October 15th, 2014, 02:35 PM
Unfortunately I think a lot of teams look at master's as the red-headed step child of their youth/age group program. They are much more interested in teaching an 8 year old then a 48 year old. And I understand that for mixed teams, age group is the bread and butter.

orca1946
October 16th, 2014, 11:32 AM
By all means bring this concept to the coaches. We have the newbies start with basic competitive swimming strokes & the drills they will use in the reg team. They meet 2 times per week for an hour. The "coach" does not have to be the reg coach, but a swimmer that has been on the team that can teach what they will need to know & use.

amj119
October 16th, 2014, 03:46 PM
No, we do not. We do have a wide array of abilities on our team. Working with the YMCA, we have beginner adult swim lessons, so if someone is really uncomfortable in the water, or needs a couple "easier" lessons before starting, they always have that option. We are very open to all abilities on our team.

orca1946
October 17th, 2014, 11:57 AM
Am119 - do you have a masters team? -

DeniseMW
October 17th, 2014, 12:31 PM
I wish more of the master's had pre-team. I think it would have made it easier for me, personally, and I know a lot of adult swimmers have more enthusiasm than confidence and skill.

Dan Kornblatt
October 17th, 2014, 01:41 PM
I wish more of the master's had pre-team. I think it would have made it easier for me, personally, and I know a lot of adult swimmers have more enthusiasm than confidence and skill.

This is an excellent point and a great way to get more people into Masters. At the Minnetonka, MN Masters we have started a "Masters Light" program for an hour twice a week. As others have said the goal is to raise proficiency to the point where the regular practices are doable. Can you imagine taking new skiers directly to the black diamond trails? The workouts have a larger percentage of drills and technique work but still have at least one main set each session for aerobic conditioning. We are currently trying to get a third day per week set up for this group.

knelson
October 17th, 2014, 05:14 PM
I think it's a great idea, but I have a feeling most programs just don't have the pool time or resources to make it happen.

orca1946
October 17th, 2014, 05:49 PM
Dan - good for you guys. i think this will allow many more to start masters without the fear of not fitting in.

DeniseMW
October 19th, 2014, 01:27 PM
When I mention the word masters, people look at me like, "oh, you have to swim like Phelps for that. What are you doing there?" Then I have to explain it means adults, but they're still put off, so I think any club that can even book one lane for one hour a week for a pre-masters would benefit by bringing in a lot more members and making it clear it's not just for young, buff speedsters.

flystorms
October 21st, 2014, 11:16 AM
I love, love, love this idea for so many reasons. We recently had our head coach quit so we're looking for a new one. I'd love to get with whomever our new coach will be (and our board) to think about this idea once s/he settles in a bit. We had quite a few swimmers in our group who fit this category and honestly, coach spent so much time on them and so little time on the "seasoned" swimmers that we never felt like we were getting any gains or tweaks to our skills. This would be a win-win for both types of swimmers. Love it!

orca1946
October 21st, 2014, 03:12 PM
Kari - it sounds as if YOU might be a good person to get others started off into the world of team dynamics & strokes & drills. Think about it or recommend someone else that you think will do this.

flystorms
October 22nd, 2014, 07:40 PM
Thank you for the vote of confidence, Orca! :) I'm actually going to Albuquerque to get the level 1/2 cert this weekend. I love this sport, love teaching, and I love the energy that comes from great Team cohesion. Lots of ideas bubbling in my head for our Team so I can't wait to have a new head coach come in.

And boy, I sure say "love" a lot huh? :)

Judester
October 28th, 2014, 11:32 AM
I love this idea! I have a lot of friends on MyFitnessPal who like to swim but are too afraid to join Masters. Some of them ask me a lot of questions about the Masters program and my local club and after I explain it to them, they look into joining Masters but end up backing out because their local club is so different from mine - e.g., their clubs are either too advanced, they require try-outs, or they're not coached at all.

orca1946
November 13th, 2014, 05:14 PM
Don't be shy - suggest this idea to your team, even if you run it. You don't need to be state or National champ, just a swimmers that can take the time to teach others the rules & turns & touches & all the little things that add up to feeling OK at a team practice.

splash4fun
November 16th, 2014, 05:46 PM
Don't be shy - suggest this idea to your team, even if you run it. You don't need to be state or National champ, just a swimmers that can take the time to teach others the rules & turns & touches & all the little things that add up to feeling OK at a team practice.

I see the Bernard Weinger JCC in Northbrook has a preMasters team. Wish there was one in the Evanston area.

Dan Kornblatt
November 16th, 2014, 08:05 PM
I see the Bernard Weinger JCC in Northbrook has a preMasters team. Wish there was one in the Evanston area.

If any of you are considering starting up a pre team or "Masters Light" program here is how I have structured ours at the Minnetonka Masters:

15 min of free swim to allow swimmers to get in the water and get going. Than I do app 15 -20 min of drills which can consist of swimming, pulling, or kicking drills or a combination of all three. Than I finish up with a "main set" of app 1000 yds. Of course I write different main sets for different abilities such as 50's for newer swimmers and 100's -200's for the stronger swimmers. If there is time let in the hour session I do a few minutes of any stroke other than free. After a few weeks of this I start to encourage any of the swimmers to take in one of the regular Masters swims to see what they are like.

orca1946
November 17th, 2014, 11:48 AM
Dan, that is a good operating set. We are into having all swimmers learn all 4 strokes for competition. We teach the drills that they will do on the team, turn rules, start rules & stroke tips. they must be able to swim 500 yards to start on the team. It is not a learn to swim basic course, it is a swim better for all 4 strokes pre-team.

DeniseMW
November 17th, 2014, 11:56 AM
It sounds like the team you swim on is geared for competition and I think that's a concept that scares away a lot of adults. Most adult swimmers never see themselves as competitors. It seems like if masters is true to its mission, to get more adults to swim, then setting standards before they're allowed on the team makes it even more daunting.

flystorms
November 17th, 2014, 07:05 PM
Dan, how often do you hold that Master's Light? Or do you hold it in conjunction with your regular workouts and just have a lane dedicated to this group? How many people do you usually get at these workouts and then get them to stay with the club?

Dan Kornblatt
November 19th, 2014, 12:20 PM
Dan, how often do you hold that Master's Light? Or do you hold it in conjunction with your regular workouts and just have a lane dedicated to this group? How many people do you usually get at these workouts and then get them to stay with the club?

I think it's important to hold the Masters Lite workouts at a different time than the regular sessions. It takes away the "fear factor" of getting in with seasoned and well conditioned swimmers and allows the coach to take more time with the new swimmer without ignoring the rest of the team. We swim the ML sessions MWF 7-8AM right after the regular session ends. I would prefer to hold them in the evening but the pool is booked till way too late for that. I do encourage the stronger ML swimmers to also attend any of the regular practices especially the Sat am one. Their fees allow for any ML swimmer to attend any of the regular swims. Sometimes we also get a few regular swimmers show up for the ML swim for various reasons. I keep them a few lanes away and give them their own sets.

orca1946
November 19th, 2014, 01:22 PM
Our team workouts are mon -wed -sun am. Pre team workouts are tue & thur.