View RSS Feed

Questions from Coaches

Education Director Bill Brenner answers your questions

  1. The difference between Club Finder and Places To Swim

    by , April 13th, 2018 at 05:07 PM (Questions from Coaches)
    What is the difference between Club Finder and Places to Swim on the new USMS website?

    The Club Finder feature on the recently redesigned website is a tool for swimmers searching for U.S. Masters Swimming–registered clubs and workout groups. It’s a searchable database that helps potential members find Masters programs and current members looking to swim in a Masters program.

    Information on Club Finder must be populated by the coach or club contact (which you can do here). This helps ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is being presented to our visitors and members. Channeling current and potential members to registered USMS Masters programs serves the member, club, and USMS well.

    In the future, all club and workout group information with be captured or edited during the registration or renewal process.

    The Places to Swim database is now a USMS member benefit that can be accessed through your My USMS account. Historically, this listing has helped our members find an aquatic facility to swim at when traveling or relocating to a new area. (I use it to research aquatic facilities and potential new USMS clubs.)

    However, most of these listings don’t have a Masters program. Many that list a Masters program either have discontinued the program or have adult programming that is not registered with USMS. Often, the information in this database is not accurate and therefore not a very reliable resource for our members or potential members. Additions and edits are the responsibility of the facility or club contact and may now only be done by a current USMS member.

    Places to Swim doesn’t do enough to promote our coaches and registered clubs and workout groups. Why would USMS send potential new members to a facility without a registered USMS club or workout group? Why would USMS send a potential member to an unregistered Masters program?

    USMS must support our clubs and coaches, not facilities without our programming. USMS must support the lifeblood of our organization that provides the most important element, a coached Masters program.

    It’s a simple but meaningful value proposition. Clubs, workout groups, and members paying a membership fee to USMS means USMS returning benefits such as a searchable Club Finder database that channels members to their programs.

    If you are coaching or swimming at a facility without a registered club, please contact me for help getting your program registered and listed on Club Finder.

    Updated April 19th, 2018 at 05:04 PM by Bill Brenner

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. Do I need to let any USMS member swim in my program?

    by , November 15th, 2015 at 01:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: If I register a USMS club or workout group, do I need to let any USMS registered member swim at my facility and in my program?

    A: Registering a USMS club or workout group does not mandate access to your facility or require you to allow participation in your Masters swimming program. For example, many private clubs, YMCAs, and Jewish Community Centers hosting USMS programs have strict membership requirements and restrict access to their facilities to members only. Guest memberships and drop-in day memberships are at the discretion of the club. Other examples of facilities hosting USMS programs that may have restricted or limited access are military installations and college campuses.

    If you have access restrictions, please note them on your Places to Swim listing to eliminate confusion. If your facility allows for potential new members to visit the facility on a trial basis, note this on your listing as well.

    Even if your facility has restricted access, you can't keep nonmembers of your facility from affiliating their individual USMS membership with your USMS club or workout group. Once again, you are not obligated to grant access to these USMS members.

    Updated December 21st, 2015 at 03:57 PM by Bill Brenner

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  3. Listing your ALTS program on the USMS Website

    by , April 15th, 2015 at 01:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: Can I list my Adult Learn-to-Swim (ALTS) program on the USMS website?

    A: Yes. USMS strongly encourages you to list your ALTS program as a community resource for adults researching swimming lesson options. Individuals will be able to search your listing by geography and proximity to your program's zip code.

    To add your program, visit the USMS.org website's Places to Swim page and click on the region on the map where your program is located. This will direct you to a listing of pools your Local Masters Swimming Committee. Make a note of the LMSC you'll be affiliated with, as the LMSC is the local organizing subsidiary of USMS.

    Click the Add a Place to Swim link on the lefthand side; this will take you to a page where you can enter the information about your ALTS program.

    • Your name and email address must be entered in the first two fields, but this information will not be published. The USMS database administrator needs your contact information if there are questions about your listing. Only the contact information you enter in the Contact Information or Miscellaneous fields will be published with your listing.
    • Use the drop-down feature to find and select your LMSC.
    • In the optional fields for USMS Club Name and USMS Club Abbreviation, enter your club's information as it appears in your official USMS club registration.
    • If you have a registered USMS program listed on the Places to Swim page, you may add a separate listing for your ALTS program. Separate listings may be entered for multiple locations offering your ALTS program.
    • In the LapSwim/Workout Times or Miscellaneous fields, enter the times when you'll be offering swim lessons.
    • If you have a website, enter the link in the Website field.
    • In the Map URL field, enter a link for your facility's location. Use an online map service such as Google Maps or Yahoo Maps to generate this URL.
    • In the Miscellaneous field, you can add up to 255 characters worth of specific information about your ALTS program, such as:
      • Instructors and their credentials. If the instructors are USMS-certified ALTS instructors or hold other certifications, list this information. If instructors have special talents, such as working with fearful swimmers, add it to the instructor's bio.
      • Lesson schedule.
      • Cost.
      • Invitation. Invite the new student to call and speak with you or a representative of your program. Many adults need to know they will be learning from somebody who exhibits empathy, trustworthiness, and friendliness. You may want to also consider offering the option for potential students to meet with the instructor prior to scheduling their first lesson; this may help fearful students feel more comfortable.

    Once all the fields are filled in, click the "submit new listing" button. Your information will be sent to the USMS database administrator for review. After the review process, which normally takes less than 24 hours, your listing will appear on the Places to Swim page. If you need to change or update any of your information, click on the "Modify" link located below your listing.

    Updated June 12th, 2015 at 03:24 PM by Editor

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  4. Getting your Masters program listed on Places to Swim

    by , December 15th, 2014 at 01:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: Will my program automatically be added to Places to Swim on the usms.org website when I register a new club?

    A: No. The Places to Swim database is organized by facility and a request for each facility must be made by a club or facility contact. If your program uses multiple facilities, you'll want multiple entries.

    To submit or modify a listing:

    • Go to the Places to Swim web page
    • Enter the city and state or zip code of your location
    • Add a new listing by clicking on the link under the map
    • Modify your listing by clicking on the link under your current information

    Places to Swim is one of the most visited pages at usms.org. Viewers looking for pools with Masters programs include:

    • New swimmers
    • Swimmers relocating to a new area
    • Swimmers looking for pool or club options
    • Traveling swimmers
    • Triathletes and open water enthusiasts
    • Adults interested in taking swimming lessons

    Places to Swim should serve as a marketing tool for attracting new members to your pool and Masters program. Highlight your strengths and include the following information in your listing:

    • Location. Add the specific street address that viewers can input into their GPS devices.
    • Club name. List the club name registered with USMS.
    • Workout times. If times vary, refer to your program's website listed below.
    • Contact. Coach's name, credentials, phone number, and email address. Or, the pool contact information.
    • Website. If your program has a website, list it here for more information.
    • Miscellaneous info. This can include fee information, though I recommend referring to the website for your current fee structure. If you offer an adult learn-to-swim program, mention it here. Also, list the types of athletes your program welcomes.
      1. New swimmers (if you offer free trial memberships, list the information)
      2. Swimmers of all abilities
      3. Fitness swimmers
      4. Competitive swimmers
      5. Triathletes
      6. Open water swimmers
      7. Social group swimmers (list typical social activities)
      8. Visitors (include drop-in fee information and required USMS membership notice)


    Below each listing is the date the information was added or last modified. I recommend updating the listing as soon as new information is available or every six months if the information is the same. Why update if there are no changes? You want the modification date to be relatively current so the viewer knows that the listing is more likely to be accurate.

    In the future, USMS will be adding more features to the Places to Swim webpage to provide enhanced information for our clubs, coaches, instructors, and new and current members.

    Updated March 18th, 2015 at 11:56 AM by Bill Brenner

    Categories
    Uncategorized