Q: How do I encourage my novice Masters swimmers to participate in their first swim meet?
A: Swim meets can be very intimidating to both the novice and the experienced meet swimmer. While the majority of USMS members choose not to compete, those who do compete do so for a variety of reasons: the thrill of competition, the need to measure athletic prowess or fitness level, the catalyst that keeps them in the pool training, or the fun they have at swim meets with their teammates and friends.
Before encouraging a swimmer who has shown no interest in swimming in meets to try his first meet, a coach should teach the basics--starts, turns and finishes--and explain the rules. Make this part of your weekly routine. Get the swimmer comfortable performing everything he will need to do the day of the event. Once the swimmer has mastered these basic skills, then you can approach him with the idea of trying a swim meet.
A progression of low pressure preparation for swim meets may include:
Hosting a swim for time during a scheduled practice where the novice can start from a push from in the water, dive from the side of the pool, or dive off the blocks. (All backstroke starts are from in the water.) The coach should explain and follow swim meet protocol for starts by blowing three short whistles and one long whistle to ready the swimmer. Have teammates cheer for the novice at both ends and sides of the pool.Introducing relays during practice with each foursome consisting of a fast, less-than-fast, not-so-fast, and novice swimmer with as close a finish as you can organize. Cheering by teammates should be made mandatory.Inviting the novice to observe a swim meet. Not everyone that swims in meets swims fast.Hosting an intersquad meet. Include 25s in the order of events as well as 100s for relays.Hosting a duel meet with another local Masters program. Earlier this summer, the Richmond Plunge Masters challenged the Cal Aquatic Masters to a duel in the pool. The event created a welcoming atmosphere for both the novice and accomplished meet swimmer and a positive team building opportunity.Finding a local one-day meet that offers 25s and/or 50s. Arrange for a post swim meet gathering. Promoting the event as a social gathering with a little bit of swimming can help erase or reduce the anxiety many newbies fear.Locating a swim meet where your swimmers can carpool. If possible, rent a bus and travel to the meet as a group. I'm sure your swimmers will quickly realize how much fun the ride back home in a bus can be.
Your job as a Masters swim coach is to keep your athletes in the water swimming for a lifetime. Don't push so hard the swimmer abandons the sport. Making swimming the funnest sport should be your priority along with safety. The more fun your swimmers are having, the more fun you'll have coaching.
Updated September 18th, 2014 at 09:47 AM by Bill Brenner
I haven't been blogging much and have been swimming rather sporadically. I was pretty regular at practice until mid-July. My son had two multiple day swim meets (including TAGS which is a big deal here) and then I went on vacation in the UP of Michigan where the closet pool was over an hour away. I did get in Lake Superior a few times. The temperature in the low 60s prevented any long swims. I decided to come to the meet despite suboptimal preparation. In order, to get here I moved my treatment from Wednesday to Tuesday, worked half day on Wednesday and then flew out on Wednesday afternoon. I started my 2 week cycle of oral chemo on Wednesday night so my timing is not great for the meet but that's life. I'm staying with friends in Bethesda so drove to the pool this am. Seeing the traffic at 6:30 am going toward DC reminded me of one the reasons that we moved 9 years ago.
I had an inauspicious start to my meet as I couldn't get into my new suit. I wasn't planning on getting a new suit and ordered one at the last minute so had it delivered to my friend's house. I ordered an A3 suit (I with someone who wears this kind of suit so I thought I would give it a try). I ordered one size larger than what the sizing chart said and still couldn't get in it. It seemed like a really nice suit so I was a little disappointed. I ended up wearing my 2 year old Tracer Lite which was fine. I swam 2 events. I was third in the 200 fly and second in the 800 free. My times were fairly slow but I would of had to be substantially faster to move up any places. I saw quite a few people I hadn't seen in awhile and watched my teammates doing their sprints (We have four men here and me and we figured out that I'll probably swim more meters in my events than the four combined). I'm looking forward to watching them swim some rocking relays. My day also ended on a slapping my hand against my forehead note as I walked out and saw that I had a parking ticket issued 6 minutes before I got to my car (15 minutes after the meter expired). I'll swim the 400 IM and 100 breast tomorrow and then have Saturday off. Good luck to everyone who is here.
Updated August 14th, 2014 at 08:50 PM by MaryR
3 X 100 2:00 1:45
4 X 50 1:00 :50
Three rounds. Round 1 left, rounds 2&3 right.
1 X 200 kick 5:00
6 X 50 kick--build-- 1:15
12 X 50 choice 1:15
8 X 150 2:30
3&4: middle 50 fast
5&6: last 50 fast
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
Swim/SCY @ Sewy Masters
I did a little on my own before the official hour practice started:
10 x 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ :40
4 x (25 scull + 25 free w/paddles)
8 x 50, 1st 25 stroke @ :50
1 x 50 EZ
6 x 25 @ :45, 1/1 length SDK
1 x 50 EZ
6 x 25 @ :45 1/2 SDK
1x 50 EZ
3 x (6 x 50), #6 always fast @ 1:00
R1 = kick
R2 = stroke
R3 = stroke, but that I did dolphin kick w/fins
1 x 50 EZ
3 x (6 x 25) @ :35, #6 always fast
R1 = kick
R2 = stroke, did fly w/fins @ 100 pace
R3 = stroke, but I did dolphin kick w/fins @ 100 pace
1 x 50 EZ
1 x 50 AFAP
-- dismal effort here for me
1 x 100 EZ
I was pretty tired again tonight. I've been going at it hard for almost 6 weeks and I need a recovery week. I plan on resting hard at the beach next week! I could use some R&R. My right shoulder was bothering me on fly tonight, which it hadn't previously, so that could use some R&R too. Looking forward to seeing how friends do at nationals!
Updated August 18th, 2014 at 10:31 AM by The Fortress
Only six of us today. Perfect time for drill day
500 mix up
~ 40 min of backstroke drills and swims
-- mostly body position and catch drills
4 x through
100 swim @ 1:30 moderate
2 x 75 pull @ 1:15 (1 EZ/ 1 fast)
3 x 50 kick @ 1:20 descend to fast
4 x 25 sprint @ 40
--went backstroke on round three
2600 + drills
gotta love drill day!
500 swim with snorkel
500 flutter kick with snorkel and board
15 x 25 on 0:40 as 12.5 fast, flip mid-pool, and 12.5 recovery kick on back
8 starts from block, odds were relay style
300 drill with fins
4 X 100 2:00 1:45
1 X 200 3:30 --
Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right
2 x ( 4 X 50 1:15--choice
2 x 100 kick 2:30
1 X 100 swim 2:00
6 x 50 kick--fast-- 1:20
5 x 200 IM 4:00
10 x 100 2:00
#9/10: swim down
Well, it's been almost a week since my last swim. I have gotten in 2 two miles runs in the meantime. I have been able to set up some OW swims for the team in the area for the end of the month with the pool being closed for maintenance. Got in tonight for Masters, with inspiration from a Kiefer workout:
200 Free/200 Back/100 kick/200 pull
4 x 50 Fr even split on :50
2 x 225 on 3:30 (100 DPS, 100 Build, :05 rest, 25 sprint)
4 x 50 on :55 (decrease stroke count 1->4) 29,27,25,24
2 x 200 on 3:15 (did IM)
100 easy kick
2 x 125 on 1:55 (50 DPS, 50 build, :05 rest, 25 sprint)
8 x 50 on :50 (alt pull and kick by 50)
200 loosen and out
(Masters/Rec/3000 yds/65 min)
Small turn out tonight as many of our swimmers have had or are about to enter into tri competitions. I am looking forward to some more folks joining us for some lake swims.
Glad to have the full training group and our coach back from Worlds. Kind of a mixed bag of stuff to kick off the week.
100 IM kick on back
100 IM drill
100 IM swim
8 x 25
-odds free build
-evens stroke build
2 x's through
4 x 100 pull @ 1:30 descend
200 swim fast @ 3:00
8 x 25 @ 40
-3 strokes hard cruise the rest
--went IM order
2 x's through
200 IM fast @ 3:15
100 IM EZ @ 2:00
8 x 25 @ 40
-odds free fist drill
-evens back soldier drill
4 x 150 r/20 done as 50 Kick/50 pull/50 swim
went IM order
50 EZ and out to pick up our oldest
Monday: Swim/SCY @ Sewickley Masters
2 x 50 scull
4 x 25 burst + cruise
1 x 400
-- I did this kick w/fins. Geez, it's along way!
1 x 50 EZ
8 x 50 @ :50
1 x 50 EZ
2 x 200 @ 2:45
-- I did these up tempo kick w/fins
1 x 50 EZ
6 x 50 @ :50
-- I tried to do this as odds fast breast, but had no fast gear at all
1 x 50 EZ
3 x 100 @ 1:25
-- I did this up tempo kick w/fins
1 x 50 EZ
8 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45
-- did these fly w/fins
Mostly an aerobic workout. My right shoulder was hurting on breaststroke turns.
cable twist w/yoga ball, 30 x 3 x 8 each side
explosive leg extensions, 105 x 3 x 15
good mornings, 85 x 4 x 8
HS hi row, 150 x 1 x 6, 155 x 3 x 6
kneeling ab crunches, 160 x 4 x 8
standing calf, 115 x 3 x 8
back squats, 70 x 1 x 6, 80 x 3 x 6
face pulls, 60 x 4 x 25
Swim @ North Park
This was a disaster. I got in 1100 meters and the lifeguards heard thunder. It was still pretty clear, so I was bummed. Had to head home. Geez, it's hard to get in a workout in the summer ... I can't wait until Pitt reopens Aug. 25! I was planning on swimming at Sewickley tomorrow night. I may go to adult swim in the am too if there is any threat of thunder.
I ended up canceling my trip to Tucson. Had airplane disasters. My brother is there now, so I am going to re-attempt another trip in September. This time, I think I'm fly straight to Phoenix and drive.
100 flutter kick warmup
8 x 50 on 0:90 as 25 free - flip -VK - 25 free
200 fr with 2 - beat
6 x 50 drill on 1:00 (with short fins and snorkel) as 25 HUDKF / 25 easy
300 of drills, back, and breast
8 x 50 one arm free on 0:90
25 each armbreathe every one arm stroke to opposite side
300 drill with fins
4 x 150 2:45
6 X 100 1:45
5 X 100 kick 2:30
Build 2nd 50 to fast
3 X (3 X 100 2:15
Choice. Alternate build-fast-easy
1 X 100 moderate 2:00
1 X 200 negative split 3:30
Five times through.
Descend 200's 1-5
WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy
2 X 200 3:30
4 X 100 1:50
2 X 100 kick 2:30
4 X 50 kick-descend- 1:15
2 X 100 kick 2:30
1 x 100 swim
16 X 50 1:10
13-16: 1 of each
6 x 150 pull 2:30
1-3: last 50 fast
4-6: last 100 fast
WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy
4 x thru:
200-150-100-50; first time IM twitch, 2nd time swim (breath control & speedplay), 3rd time pull, 4th time swim
300 breast/free by 50's
Neck & shoulders super achy this morning. I suppose it's from putting shelf liners on & unpacking my entire kitchen (again). Fortunately, as I write this at noon, I am feeling MUCH better
7 x 50 on 1:30 free
1 - 3: 25 fast / 25 easy4 - 7: 12.5 easy / 12.5 fast + turn + 12.5 fast / 12.5 easy
10 x 25 on 0:30 free
aggressive push and breakout / easy to wall22 - 25'sshoulder little loose
12 x 25 flutter kick on 0:50
~10m AFAP / ~15m easy
Lay in sun for 5 min
Swim/LCM & SCY @ Lebo
10 x (25 fast kick + 25 EZ)
6 x 50 DPS free w/paddles @ :20 RI
6 x (50 fast dolphin kick on back + 50 EZ) @ 2:00
16 x 50
odds = breast @ 100 pace @ 1:00
evens = EZ @ 1:30
10 x 25 kick on back w/breaststroke fins
Swam with Teen Fort at the Lebo pool. We had a blissful hour of adult only swim in long course, then they switched it over to SCY.
Taking today off as I'm flying to Tucson. Dreading the long journey. But I have packed a few good books!
Friday was my day off from competition and I had a good night of sleep and a nice big breakfast. I had team mates swimming so headed to the pool to watch and cheer them on. My kids and a group of adults went to six flags for the day. They said it was extremely crowded but they had fun despite only managing a few rides due to the lines of people. After six flags my family I met up for dinner and we had a nice relaxing evening.
Saturday night I went to sleep very quickly but woke around 3am with butterflies in my stomach and thinking about my upcoming race. I laid in bed til about 6:30am before getting up for breakfast. My swim was scheduled for 3:00pm so headed over around noon for a warmup. After getting to the pool and warming up I had about an hour before I swam. One of my team mates was 9 heats before me so I got to see him swim another great swim and then got myself mentally ready. I felt really good in the warmup and felt good about how I was going to swim the race.
My my game plan was to swim a smooth but strong first 100, build the middle 200 and finish strong with strong legs the last 100. When I dove in I felt great and stuck to my game plan well. At 300 I was at least 2 body lengths clear of everyone else and at 350 I felt like I was again at least 2 body lengths clear. Coming down the final 50 I felt strong and when I hit wall for a moment I thought I had own only to see that the guy to my right had somehow caught me. I honestly could not believe that I had lost. I did not die and I was so far ahead how had I lost but i had.
After the warm down I started to feel better but this one is going to hurt for sometime. I am proud of getting silver but gold was right there. If only I had bilateral breathed I would have seen him coming. I can't change what happened and this will inspire me to go again.
Updated August 10th, 2014 at 10:51 AM by StewartACarroll
In 1968, the American Swimming Coaches Association was seeking ideas that would lead to growth. A survey went out to 2,000 swim coaches, asking for suggestions. Capt. Ransom Arthur, a Navy doctor, wrote back suggesting ASCA sponsor a committee of swimming for older ages. In the social upheaval of that time, the Vietnam War, and the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll culture, proposing that adults exercise for physical fitness and well-being was, at best, a fringe idea.
That suggestion to establish an adult swimming program was the beginning of Masters Swimming, and it was first proposed in a survey response.
Asking members, partners, and constituents for ideas on how to improve and grow is a business principle taught most business 101 classes. And for good reason—it works.
Masters Swimming continues to utilize surveys to check in with our members and volunteer leaders. In 2011, prior to writing our current USMS strategic plan, we surveyed our LMSC officers, committee chairs, and House of Delegates members. The collective feedback was paramount in assessing our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and in shaping our vision.
This spring, we conducted a survey of 2014 USMS members who registered with USMS for the first time. We wanted to learn from first-time members why they joined USMS, what they valued about USMS membership, and what benefits they believed would add more value to their membership.
We received 1,256 completed surveys, about an 11% response rate. We learned some interesting things about our new members:
33% had never been part of any organized team, and 34% swam on a club or summer league team as a child and/or a high school team.71% joined USMS because membership was required to swim in an activity such as a practice, clinic, or event, meaning 29% joined USMS by choice.Of that 29%, the most popular reasons given for joining were: “I swim for fitness and thought being a USMS member would improve my swimming experience,” and “I wanted to improve my triathlon and thought being a USMS member would help me,” and “My Masters Swimming coach encouraged (but did not require) me to become a USMS member.”The two most requested benefits—the ones new members believed would add more value to their USMS memberships—were more online technique videos and more stroke clinics.We left a blank field at the end of the survey, open for any comments or suggestions. An overwhelming number or respondents told us how much they liked the quality and content of SWIMMER magazine and the STREAMLINES eNewsletters.
All of this information is valuable to us. It lets us know what we’re doing well and where we can improve. But by far the most interesting result was not at all what we expected.
Prior to publishing the survey, a staffer suggested we ask a question about new members’ perceptions of USMS prior to becoming members. Several us spoke up, saying we already knew what they think: “The word Masters is intimidating,” and “USMS is for people who want to compete,” and “You have to be 40 or older to become a member.” We decided to include the perception question, believing the answers would fall across those preconceived notions.
And wouldn’t you know it, we were wrong.
It turns out, 58% of new members did not have any perception of USMS prior to joining. In fact, most had never heard of us. This is valuable information—we see it as an opportunity to market the USMS brand without having to focus so much on dispelling what we thought were still popular misconceptions about Masters Swimming.
Surveys will continue to be an important information-gathering tool. Should you happen to receive one from us, please know that your input is truly valuable and we take seriously all the feedback we receive. We pledge to continue to ask you how we’re doing, and how we can improve your member experience.
Updated August 10th, 2014 at 08:35 AM by Rob Butcher
HS hi row, 150 x 4 x 6
good mornings, 80 x 4 x 8
kneeling ab crunch, 160 x 4 x 8
knee tucks with feet on yoga ball, 3 x 10
hip abductor, 110 x 4 x 6
standing broad jumps, 10
various ab stuff w/Teen Fort
Swim/SCY @ Pitt
I swam a bit before coaching. Was pretty tired. My dryland sessions have been closer together than usual and I can feel it. I really want to get on a Wed & Sat schedule this fall. I did about 1500, mostly easy.
I'm in need of a recovery week and it looks like I'm going to get one. My stepfather, a wonderful man, died yesterday and I need to book out to Tucson to be with my mom for a few days. I'm not really sure if I'll have a chance to swim while I'm out there. But it appears like the Oro Valley Aquatic Center is nearby.
Going to try the adult only swim at the Lebo pool today. Hope it is turd free!
500 warmup (with fins and snorkel) of various
10 x 25 flutter kick on 1:00, fast to easy each
5 x 15 seconds vertical kick on 1:00, each as:
1 DK + 6 FK's + 2 DK's + 6 FK's + 3 DK's + 6 FK's + 4 DK's + 6FK's + 5 DK's + 6 FK's2 were done with streamlined arms
300 of drills and kicking with fins and without fins
Vertical kicking has really had an impact on my kicking ability. Transitioning from dolphin to flutter that way (trying to keep head above) might minimize any dead propulsive kick spots at UW - B/O parts