Q: Why should I attend the USMS Clinic Course for Coaches?
A: Frankly, the demand from adults seeking stroke development clinics far outweighs the supply of clinics provided by well-trained coaches with stroke technique skills. USMS developed the Clinic Course for Coaches (CCC) to increase the supply of Masters coaches who desire the pathway and skills necessary to host a successful clinic. This course provides coaches with a proven method to build a more efficient stroke through a series of progressive drills isolating specific body mechanics.
Many Masters coaches have strong stroke correction skills which serve them well during swim practice or a private lesson. However, the objective of a stroke development clinic is to provide a group of swimmers, of all ability levels, stroke improvement that is measurable both subjectively and objectively and is sustainable.
Masters coaches attending the CCC receive:
A classroom presentation that includes:
Instructions to conceptualize, plan and implement a successful clinic.A detailed timeline for the clinic delivery leading up to and during the clinicA proven instructional method delivered through a specific series of drills and skills that isolate specific body mechanics and progressively builds a more efficient stroke.Narrated drill videos (available to the coach after the course.)
On deck experience during a stroke development clinic including:
Watching a mentor coach deliver the clinic as instructed in the classroom and course textbookFeedback from mentor coachesPractical experience with actual Masters swimmers
So, if you want to learn how to put on a clinic and what to do during a clinic, you should consider attending one of the CCC listed here.
Q: I attended this year's USMS convention in Kansas City, Mo. During the coaches committee meeting, you asked the Masters coaches to encourage their LMSCs to sponsor an official stroke development clinic. How can I help bring a clinic to my LMSC?
A: Stroke development clinics are a very popular resource for Masters swimmers and coaches. USMS Education Services conducts the 2- to 3-hour clinic in conjunction with the Masters Coach Certification courses. Exit surveys from the Coach Certification courses have indicated a large demand from coaches for more on-deck educational opportunities. Masters swimmers, particularly those who swim without an experienced coach, attend the stroke clinic looking for help improving technique, learning a new stroke, increasing stroke efficiency, and speed.
The USMS Masters Coach Certification Course is typically held on a Saturday. At the request of the LMSC, USMS Education Services will provide instructors to conduct the stroke clinic the following day. Any designated USMS certified Masters coach who would like to be on deck for the clinic may do so free of charge. If the coach would rather participate from in the water, he is required to pay the same nominal fee the swimmers in the clinic are charged.
The LMSC must fulfill two requirements:
The LMSC must be willing to offer some level of scholarship assistance for the coaches registered within the LMSC to attend the USMS Masters Coach Certification Course offered that weekend.The LMSC is responsible for securing the pool for the stroke clinic and pay for the pool rental, if necessary. Pool time is sometimes donated by a local club or workout group in many LMSCs.
Benefits of the stroke development clinic include:
Continuing education for Masters coachesTeaching Masters coaches how to conduct a stroke clinicNetworking opportunity for coaches to meet other local Masters coachesRecruiting and retaining membersAdding value to USMS/LMSC membershipIntroducing Masters coaches and swimmers to new training techniquesInviting lap swimmers to experience the social benefits of Masters swimming and the benefit of having a coach on deckImproving swimmers' technique and efficiencyLearning new drillsLearning how to use swim equipment properly and creativelyHearing a different voice explain the "how" and the "why" of stroke correction and changes
Please contact your LMSC leadership and ask them to consider sponsoring a USMS stroke development clinic. Make your request as soon as possible so the LMSC may consider your request and budget accordingly. The Masters Coach Certification Course schedule is posted online. Any questions or concerns from your LMSC may be addressed to my office.
Working together, we can continue to improve the Masters swimming coaching profession and create enhanced benefits for our coaches and athletes.