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Thread: USMS Planning Committee wants your help.

  1. #41
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    Why should distance swimmers have to pick between an 800 and a 1500? If you look at the length of time it takes to run say the 50 free event compared to say the 1500 or 800 which do you think takes more time??? The answer may surprise some .
    Distance swimmers are not the 'poor cousins' of swimming. They have talents and ability to compete in these longer events due to more slow twitch fibres.
    If distance swimmers have to pick one, then sprint and middle distance swimmers should also have to do the same. (Imagine the uproar if there was a choice between the 50 and 100m freestyle).
    Masters is about Fun Fitness and Friendship. It is about watching a 90 year old swim the 800m in the World Championships and get out unassisted, full of life and ready for the next event.
    It is also about watching 5 90-94 year old men, from all around the globe at the World Championships, dive from the blocks and race the 50 free.
    Masters is part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
    Training for a goal, no matter what the distance or stroke is what masters strive to achieve. Why make them choose?

  2. #42
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    Swim whatever you like

    Let swimmers swim any three events they want 1500, 800, 50 free, whatever!!! How is it fair that a distance swimmer has to wait three or four days to get to the 400 or 500 meter free while all the sprinters get their races in during the convenient days. Why not just set a three event maximum so we cut down on the swimmers that do "filler" events because they are there and save the nationals for three events a swimmer really wants to do? We get stuck with extra nights of hotel stays. Either the crowds aren't there yet, or they've already left. We're away from home and business at an added expense of several hundred dollars because our events take more time.

    Distance swimmers should be allowed to do both distance events. If everyone was allowed to swim just three events, the meet could be over in two, maybe three days at the most and no one would be put out financially. How would sprinters feel if their events were set up, let's say the 50 free on opening day, let's say a Wednesday, then the 100 free would be run as the last event on Sunday? Seems fair to me! ...and about time!

  3. #43
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    Another reason it would be over in 2-3 days is a good many of us wouldn't come if you limit it to 3 events.

  4. #44
    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Boo Hoo. I guess the extra time in the water numbs the minds of some distance swimmers.

    This is not a thing between distance and sprint swimmers, even though some are lazy enough to make it seem that way. The reason for allowing (or not) swimmers to enter more than one distance event is mostly a business decision, made by the meet host. If distance swimmers were to demand to pay entry fees based on yardage covered, or time in the water, I suppose more hosts would be amenable to having all distance meets, where you wouldn't have to put up with those pesky sprinters.

    And don't even think about trying to compare the relative times of entire events, unless you are talking about equal numbers of heats.

    Since this seems to be generally about the national meets, why not propose that the format be lengthened or shortened, or even put the distance events all on the middle days? I'll tell you why the last won't fly. And most sprinters would love to have it happen. The meet hosts have to deal with staffing and timing events every day, and the first and last are the toughest to run, because they are usually on a weekday, or a Sunday. People do not want to work on those days typically. Many National championships are started off with the two long events so that the meet host may work out any bugs in the system (timing, processing, posting, announcing, etc.) before the stress of the "sprint" days compacts the events to minutes between events, rather than hours.

    So quit whining unless you are willing to give up the subsidy you are getting from the sprinters. They would be happy to pay 10 cents per yard/meter as an entry fee. Would you?
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine, not those of U.S. Masters Swimming. But maybe they should be.

  5. #45
    Active Member hammerheadcm's Avatar
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    Michael,please, please, don't start a discussion that would encourage race directors to charge by the yard or meter. it's been a secret pleasure that even though I can't sprint I at least get 20, 40 or 66 laps for my $5 and the sprinters only get 2 or 4 laps.

  6. #46
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    Hi Betsy: We have a great, not so little any more, group of college Masters' swimmers at Western Michigan University. I think they have about 30. About six of those swimmers will not be able to swim in our state championships because they are only 18, though they could swim in meters meet, short or long. The MAC conference schools have been dropping swimming,particularly men's programs. Is it time, soon, to pick up the slack and allow 18 year olds to swim in our short course yards competition?

    In years past, an argument not to allow the 19-25 age group was to protect USA Swimming (so they wouldn't lose swimmers). I thinking we are missing an opportunity to encourage enthusiastic participation of swimmers in Masters, particularly if they no longer have a varsity team to swim on. Also, there are many former high school swimmers who would not have swum on a team in college, but Masters Swimming meets (shorter, more like dual meet time commitments) and practices, meet their needs.

    I truly do not believe that we would be stepping on any USA Swimming programs and would allow more swimmers to get started in our great Masters programs! Thanks for your consideration. Jennifer Parks (p.s. I have a student right now in my Lifeguarding and Swim Fitness classes who works out, can't swim in the summer because of his job, who would have liked to participate in our State Meet, as well as other meets...he's only 18! Will he still be interested next fall?)

  7. #47
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    I agree with you. Masters back in the 1970's lock up the 19 to 24 age group and started with 25 years . People like myself quit after 2 years of Community College Swimming. So, I end up out of the sport for over 20 years. Actually, USA swimming loses a lot of the slower or late starting swimmers by 18 years old. And like you stated not everyone fits into the 4 year college program.

  8. #48
    Very Active Member Alicat's Avatar
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    Smile idea for long range planning

    How about starting a monthly or quarterly national magizine kinda like Splash or Swimming World/Techniques? --Am I dating myself I am not sure if Swimming World is still published...
    Anyway, it could have a the Master's swimming foucs and people could just develop it to what they want.
    Ali

  9. #49
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Alicat –

    A wonderful suggestion, and for your information such a magazine already exists; Swim, “The World’s foremost authority on adult swimming”. And the best part is that it is free with membership in USMS! Or, available from the publisher for $19.95 per year.

    Sorry to sound like and info-mercial!

  10. #50
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    While it is true that SWIM Magazine, as Rob Copeland states, covers technique, it is also true that SWIM magazine misses the Mark on a number of issues. As the "Life" or "LOOK" magazine of Masters Swimming, some issues never get covered. Alicat brings up an interesting issue.

    If we had our own magazine, it would be a forum where we could see how our fellow masters review...equipment...and run their own tests, set the criteria on technical suits, goggles, snack bars, and other swim related issues. We could do reviews on pools where we train...and discuss the best possible training regimen. Let's face it...some swimmers aren't independently wealthy and have to think economically about meets to enter, equipment to buy, and best workouts for limited time availability around family and work schedules. I'd like to see a discussion about the migration away from pool swims toward open water swims...Safety issues when they're run in bad weather...who tracks to make sure that everyone who enters the water exits....best courses...strategies, etc. (While interest in the 1500/1650 is dying, 5K & 10 K swims seem to be growing in popularity. Endurance swims are in, just not in the pool! Certainly, a topic of interest!)

    Then, there's performance enhancing substances. While USA Swimming (2000) and Fitness Swimmer addressed the issue of substance use (Fitness Swimmer March/April 1999, The Creatine Scoop by Martha Capwell Fox, pp 18 & 19...two top Masters discuss their Creatine use), SWIM, despite being asked, does not address the issues. Yet, if the editors of SWIM are truly journalists, they should be telling us not only the workout regimen used by the successful swimmers, but also talk about diet...including the use of Andro, HGH, Creatine, and how these have helped or hurt swimmers. For those who achieved success with the substances, do they still use them? Why or why not? Even include information on whether best swims occur with or without technical suits, etc. We have a number of results forums, but our own Master Magazine may be a better forum for addressing the harder issues.

  11. #51
    Very Active Member breastroker's Avatar
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    You just do not understand the legal issues, it is very difficult to post or print usefull information on Sports Medicine. Any print articles on HGH, steroids etc would be bogged down with attorneys forever.

    There have been many reviews of pools we train in, in my humble opinion way too many.

    Long distance swimming has also been covered many many times. You just might not have seen it recently if you are new to the magazine.

    I think just about every issue you have pointed out has been covered in past issues. Just there is so much information all fighting for publication.

    I have every Swim magazine ever published, going back before it was Swim Swim magazine. There was a rival magazine published a few years ago, very commercial but great articles. They also had the same problems of being timely, and only able to fit so many articles in each magazine.

    It would be different if you could go online and read every article ever printed in the magazine. Swimming World is there now with the premium service and CDs of past issues.

  12. #52
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    Breaststroker,

    Your points are valid. When it's all said and done, the only pools of any real importance are the ones that are local... and all of the rest is true. But the subjects themselves weren't important. My point really comes down to this...and this may be personal...I just want a hard, to the point publication that will bypass the candy coating and tell us what works. Tell me about experiments in the workout that failed. Tell me what succeeded. If you're doing Creatine, how much does it take for it to work? Are there side affects? If you've got heart problems, will it kill you in the process of making you faster? Maybe just publish or re-publish medical journal articles. As it stands, I don't even crack open the SWIM Magazine when I get it in the mail any longer.

    Every Masters Swimmer has a story...some of them are epic. Some have had great NCAA histories, or Olympic histories, while others have never had that background, yet slip unheralded and unmentioned into the national top ten. All by itself, that presents one of your issues...there are thousands of stories waiting to be told. Does the average Master see former olympians, read about their workouts, and become inspired, or...do they become inspired when someone who has never been there before ranks number 8 or 10 in the country in their age group because they've done something unique in their workouts? I would think a magazine of our own would do that. If our dues already go to support SWIM, why not publish our own Magazine. We would write it and edit...and have the printing and distribution managed/outsourced. I just thought Alicat's idea wasn't bad.

  13. #53
    Bigger than a breadbox mattson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by stealthtrainer
    As it stands, I don't even crack open the SWIM Magazine when I get it in the mail any longer.
    ...
    Does the average Master see former olympians, read about their workouts, and become inspired, or...do they become inspired when someone who has never been there before ranks number 8 or 10 in the country in their age group because they've done something unique in their workouts?
    I've got to agree with Wayne. In the last 6 months, they have covered the stories you are asking about: many different ages, backgrounds, and training styles.

    (Then again, you have people like "He Who Shall Not Be Named", who blasted Swim magazine for having "fluff" pieces that he didn't care about. And not enough on late-blooming V02Max. )

    You asked for "a hard, to the point publication that will bypass the candy coating and tell us what works". Have you been reading this forum? There are almost as many different "what works" as there are swimmers, a lot of them contradictory.

  14. #54
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    I'm new to this forum but reading the different postings many people "don't feel ready to join a team" much less compete. I think the focus should be on getting people to make the initial commitment to join. From there many of the other things should take care of themselves. I would love a lap only pool that didn't have to be set it's temp at 86 degrees to accomodate swim lessons and water aerobics (no offense to either) but until there is more revenue in lap swimming,we are always going to have second rate facilities. I work in a health club and until I can show my genral manager why he should cater to a small percentage of members ($$) I'm going to get left over times and difficult conditions.

  15. #55
    Very Active Member Conniekat8's Avatar
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    Originally posted by coach guy
    I'm new to this forum but reading the different postings many people "don't feel ready to join a team" much less compete. I think the focus should be on getting people to make the initial commitment to join. From there many of the other things should take care of themselves. I would love a lap only pool that didn't have to be set it's temp at 86 degrees to accomodate swim lessons and water aerobics (no offense to either) but until there is more revenue in lap swimming,we are always going to have second rate facilities. I work in a health club and until I can show my genral manager why he should cater to a small percentage of members ($$) I'm going to get left over times and difficult conditions.
    How do you suggest to reach the non-USMS members? Most people become members when they join a team.
    majority of the people who get the swim magazine have already joined one team or another.

    Personally, I don't think a magazine is a way to reach those people.
    -Connie
    I'd rather be swimming http://www.mastersmvnswim.org/

  16. #56
    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    I agree with stealthtrainer--but we've had this discussion before. SWIM tries to appeal to the broad spectrum of Masters swimmers, since membership is very diverse. What is lacking is a resource for those Masters swimmers interested in training and competing. Even the texts (like Maglischo) are not written with the Masters swimmer in mind, since what works for age group or college swimmers may not be applicable to the older swimmer. That's not to say SWIM doesn't have good or interesting articles, but the focus of the magazine tends to be fairly broad (and there is fluff--not that there's anything wrong with that).

  17. #57
    Participating Member coach guy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Conniekat8
    How do you suggest to reach the non-USMS members? Most people become members when they join a team.
    majority of the people who get the swim magazine have already joined one team or another.

    Personally, I don't think a magazine is a way to reach those people.
    I don't either. I joined because I did an open water event and want to do more of them. A lot of people who contribute to these forums don't seem to be members because they don't feel they are good enough to be on a team. Personally I don't have ANY "swimmers" on the team I coach. They are almost all triathletes who want to become better swimmers. Some have developed into exceptional swimmers and all have improved thier swimming. I try to reach out to the recreational lap swimmers or the "lap counters" and show them what coaching can do for them.

  18. #58
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    Suggestions for meet timing

    My suggestion, as a masters swimmer who works out but seldom enters meets, is to address the length of meets. Many folks have families, kids with commitments, and to spend all day at a meet is simply too hard to do. Suggestions could include (1) offering multiple oportunities for the short events - i.e. why not start each meet with a round of a 50 in each stroke, the end each meet with the same, so swimmer have more flexibility in scheduling/i.e. if you can't spend a whole day, you could spend a morning (or afternoon), then also get to you kid's athletic/other event. Likewise, the distance events simply consume an inordinate amount of time - there is nothing more boring that sitting on the side while a meet runs 11 heats of the 500 free at an average of 10 minutes per heat-especially when the 500 free is set in the middle of the meet agenda. I'd suggest encouraging meets to either schedule distance events at the beginning, with a 30-45 minute warm up before the other event, at the end, or the night before as some meets do. Also, perhaps offer voluntary consolidation to 2 per lane, and let those distance swimmers heats run first. For Championship meets I would agree a "proper" agenda shuld be preserved, but for most meets, try to set a schedule/agenda that allows participants to limit the meet to a half day event. Also, I don't think most master care about gender seperation- I've been to too many masters meets where you see multiple instances of a heat with 4 men, then later a heat of 3 women swimming the same - all this adds up to a very long meet

  19. #59
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    This is a very important topic. Getting new members and reetaining existing members is very important for USMS. I wonder if USMS is now hitting a critical mass point where some reorganziatin is necessary to accommadate the needs of the members. Local grass roots organziatins are fine. They get much of the work necessary to get what needs to be done on a meet level - all the way to nationals. But the top of th eorganization can really get out the word about masters through national media, membership drives, and donation requests.

    Swimming is a very expensive sport. People argue with me and say all you need is a suit. But in reality for the organization, you need a pools, trained staff, and active leadership.

    Truly, I would like to see the organization spend less time and energy on meets and more time on getting the daily swimmer who does laps involved. If for no other reason than they are the members to provide money to build programs, expand meets (in time)., and grow a stable organization.

  20. #60
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    Hi Craig,
    Thank you for the suggestion. Coached workouts, whether the participants ever compete or not, seems to be the best way to build membership and serve present members. One of the things the Planning Committee and the Marketing Committee are working on is a brochure for facilities. This is something that a swimmer could take to or send to a facility to show the benefits of a Masters workout. I have not seen the draft, but I think it is close to completion. Another project we are undertaking is to outline how to approach a facility manager.
    Do you have any other specific suggestions?
    Betsy Durrant, USMS Planning Committee Chair

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