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How can I help bring a stroke clinic to my LMSC?

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by , October 15th, 2015 at 01:00 AM (1401 Views)
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 coaches
  • Teaching Masters coaches how to conduct a stroke clinic
  • Networking opportunity for coaches to meet other local Masters coaches
  • Recruiting and retaining members
  • Adding value to USMS/LMSC membership
  • Introducing Masters coaches and swimmers to new training techniques
  • Inviting lap swimmers to experience the social benefits of Masters swimming and the benefit of having a coach on deck
  • Improving swimmers' technique and efficiency
  • Learning new drills
  • Learning how to use swim equipment properly and creatively
  • Hearing 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.

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