View Full Version : How do I begin?

July 11th, 2002, 02:17 PM
I know how to swim, like any normal person; I grew up with a pool and I was always as fast as any person I would race across the pool. I don't know how to REALLY swim. I mean I know no proper strokes (breast, butterfly, and so forth), and I've never been around the swimming world. I have a bit of a bum knee that keeps me from running. (I had a track scholarship in college.) I was always athletic, but now I'm an out of shape, 33, stay-at-home mom, and I just want to learn how to swim properly, with the hopes of maybe getting into master's swimming someday. I really miss competition. How do I begin? Do I find a trainer, and if so HOW? Thanks a bunch!

Matt S
July 11th, 2002, 05:49 PM

Please see discussion thread "HELP...do I get in shape first" for inspiration.

Just find a local masters team, and join 'em for gosh sakes!! (There are links to dozens of them all over the country on this very site.) Need to learn the strokes? The coach can help you and should have a number of drills that will teach you how. Need to get in shape? Hey, just go to practice and do what you can; conditioning will happen on its own. Need some friends to keep you interested? That would be your teammates. Need a varied workout so it does not turn into same old/same old lap swimming? That's the coach's job. What if everyone will laugh at me or get impatient because I am so slow? See the discussion thread mentioned above.

Other options include adult learn to swim classes. (But, why bother when most of them will futz around with outdated stroke mechanics if you have a masters team around?) You could hire a personal coach, if you can find one. But, they are likely to be more expensive that simply joining the team.

It's not rocket science. Get your USMS card, and jump in.


Rob Copeland
July 11th, 2002, 06:01 PM
IUt looks like Matt covered most of what I was going to write. But since I already wrote most of it here are my 2 cents as well.

First to your questions of do you need a trainer. If by trainer you mean coach, by all means yes. The best way for swimmers to improve is to have a coach who can work with the swimmer / team. The best way to find a coach and masters swimming program is to look at the USMS web site – “Search USMS Places to Swim” at http://www.usms.org/placswim/search.php or by contacting Tracy Grilli at the USMS national office USMS@USMS.org or at (603) 537-0203. Also, there is a current discussion forum “HELP...Should I join or get in shape first?” that also talks about this.

You don’t say where you live, or I or one of the other repliers would probable be able to direct you to a specific program in your area.

But, the bottom line is you don’t need to be a “Master of Swimming” to be in Masters Swimming. The sooner you get involved the sooner you will improve. And, as you will see, there is more to Masters then just swimming. It is a great way for stay-at-home and work-all-day people to get together and enjoy the company of like-minded fun individuals.