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Thread: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

  1. #1
    Very Active Member magick17's Avatar
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    Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    I am a member of a long established masters team, although we have been relatively quiet until the past 18 months.

    Problem:
    We are getting more and more adults who cannot swim. They want to compete in triathlons and they can barely swim 25 yards,and we are currently set up is meters. This is drawing our coaches attention and they seem to have found a cheaper way to get an adult swim lesson. Stroke development and general help are not an issue; this is almost complete lack of swimming skills.

    Question:

    How does your club/team advertise swimming and divide or set a limit on the skills a swimmer needs to have to complete a masters workout?
    Where is this knowledge obtained?
    What is your teams limit?


    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Very Active Member magick17's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    Also, I'm not just a nosey, bossy member. I'm the team coordinator as our coach is the head coach of the USA team and has enough on her plate!!!

  3. #3
    raced the 200 fly couldbebetterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    At one time my local workout group required you to be able to complete 200 yards freestyle as a minimum, but its not currently showing on their website.

    Another local team states that their workouts are generally 1 hour in length and are approx 1200 to 3600 yards depending on ability. So by reading that, people should know the standard expected of them before they join.
    30something and way too young for my times

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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    If someone can swim 25 yards, I'll let them try.
    If they will not put their face in the water, I suggest swim lessons.
    On their first visit, I'll spend time during warm-up with them, but then they have to attempt the workout. I scale it back and have them do 1/2 of what others are doing (50 if the set is 100s). And, I encourage them to skip some repeats, but stay out of the way. I explain that they have to circle swim and be aware of lane mates.
    Some have been successful. Attitude is a big determiner if they will fit in with the group. It seems to be self-selection.
    If they are demanding of attention, I tell them this isn't private lessons but tell them how to sign up for private lessons. It seems to work.

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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by magick17 View Post
    ...This is drawing our coaches attention and they seem to have found a cheaper way to get an adult swim lesson...
    I doubt that club membership is cheaper than lessons. The last masters club I belonged to was about $500 a year, whereas lessons are about $60 for 8 lessons in this city.
    It's more likely that they are reading online triathlon forums in which someone advises them to join a masters club to improve their swimming. What the people giving this advice don't seem to realize is that most clubs are set up for people who already know all the skills. In my personal experience, people who don't come from a swim racing background get very little benefit from a masters swim club.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member philoswimmer's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    Our team requires that swimmers be able to swim four lengths of the 25 yard pool (not sure if that has to be continuous). The coaches also offer one-on-one coaching for extra fees on the weekends.

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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    http://www.sundevilmasters.org/learn_to_swim.html

    (not speaking officially for my masters club; just my observations as a member)

    we don't turn anyone away (masters should be inclusive!), but i agree with betsy--it's the coaches' job to assess new swimmers's skills and suggest workout modifications/groups for them

    depending on your team's resources (coach and pool time), you could also offer separate tri workouts and/or adult learn to swim groups (our learn to swim program has been very successful, not only for teaching beginner swimmers, but also um, as a revenue generator for our club . web page lists expected skill levels

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    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    If you want to grow Masters participation, you have to be less selective, more inclusive, and have patience.

    If you want to keep things the way they are, set limits, turn people away, and just do your own thing.


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    Very Active Member magick17's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by chowsh View Post
    http://www.sundevilmasters.org/learn_to_swim.html

    (not speaking officially for my masters club; just my observations as a member)

    we don't turn anyone away (masters should be inclusive!), but i agree with betsy--it's the coaches' job to assess new swimmers's skills and suggest workout modifications/groups for them

    depending on your team's resources (coach and pool time), you could also offer separate tri workouts and/or adult learn to swim groups (our learn to swim program has been very successful, not only for teaching beginner swimmers, but also um, as a revenue generator for our club . web page lists expected skill levels
    What are those skills, that are listed?

  10. #10
    Very Active Member magick17's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbird Alum View Post
    If you want to grow Masters participation, you have to be less selective, more inclusive, and have patience.

    If you want to keep things the way they are, set limits, turn people away, and just do your own thing.
    Yeah, that came off a little cold.
    We have never set any limits but I guess we are getting some swimmers who CANNOT swim and coach and I wondered if we should have a simple statement saying you should be able to complete 25 yards or what else do others say on the website, etc.
    it's almost a safety issue, now these swimmers are just trials..which is good also.


    Our team has grown 45%this year, and I want to keep it up. But keep everyone safe.
    Our overall club is small and we can't quite muster the resources for adult lessons, although that thought has been tossed around.

    I guess I just wondered what others did as far as their masters team.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member chowmi's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    http://www.damswim.com/pages/Swim_Basics_NEW

    There should be a clear checklist of what a swimmer is capable of to be on the mainstream masters team. If not, then a "swim basics" class or something to get them to the level to swim with a masters group.

    25 free?
    or a 200 continuous free?
    reading the clock?
    stroke requirement?

    The issue is how much lane space and coaching time is available to handle someone at the most beginner level of the spectrum. I remember a woman that started with DAMM and she could only do 9 lengths of the pool in the hour workout. But we had LANE SPACE and COACHING that accomodated her, WITHOUT disrupting attention to the other 6 lanes of swimmers. For a team with less space, this just won't work.

    For some teams, or some practices within a team, perhaps the 25 free rule would apply. But for others, that may be more of a lifeguard type requirement - to swim, say a continuous 200 free and be able to understand intervals.

    And practice to pratice - consider this: some workouts are your basic sets where a coach could dedicate more time to a beginner swimmer, like if everyone is doing 8 x 100's or 4 x 200's. However, we have sprint days or complex sets where the coach on deck is walking alongside and calling out intervals for every repeat. The entire practice may be doing the same interval, like challenge 75's on the 1:30 varying lengths sprint/stroke/other and a beginner would have no chance to do his/her own thing or get any special instruction.

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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    I asked my masters coach this question this morning because I wanted to give accurate info to people who ask me about swimming masters.

    In a nutshell, if the swimmer wants to do freestyle only workouts, they need to be able to do a continuous 100 or preferably 200 m. If they are interested in workouts that incorporate other strokes, they need to KNOW those strokes already in some rough form. He can accommodate the freestyle only/triathlete swimmer within the the workout.

    I find this question interesting, because I'm one of THOSE swimmers who couldn't swim at all two years ago. The program I swim with offered a developmental masters program which essentially gave those with little to no formal swimming instruction a workout format with instruction. I did that two days a week and swam one other day a week with the regular masters. I stayed out of their way and worked hard. After 4 months, I swam regular masters and I'm now in the second slowest lane, depending on attendance. I took private lessons to learn breast and fly.

    This worked for me (swimming with the regular masters) because I worked hard and didn't expect a lesson. I knew I was swimming with folks much better than me and I didn't want to annoy them. And there was lane space for me to not mess up others' swimming/intervals.

    My experience since then with newcomers to masters is like the OP--people that registered for a tri but then realized they need to swim, and want to get miracle lessons on the cheap. They also seem to give up soon and get frustrated.
    Last edited by swimdaily; May 26th, 2012 at 09:50 PM. Reason: clarifying my last paragraph

  13. #13
    Very Active Member arthur's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    A guy in my club had the opposite problem with a different masters team. They said he was too fast so he should join a different club. I think it was mostly because of a couple older men who had been in the fast lane for around 10 years and couldn't swim on the same intervals as him.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member Kevin in MD's Avatar
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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by magick17 View Post
    How does your club/team advertise swimming and divide or set a limit on the skills a swimmer needs to have to complete a masters workout?
    Where is this knowledge obtained?
    What is your teams limit?
    Thanks...
    Like others we say that the person needs to be able to swim 50 yards at a time.

    Also like others if we have the space I will take anyone at all. As long as they are patient and can work on their own while I get the main workout group going.

    Mid Summer and Early Fall are slower for us, so in those times I have had people come and start with basically no skill whatsoever. On the other hand 8 weeks ago I had a lady show up who I had to turn away.

    For us, there are adult swim lessons available for them.

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    Re: Teams: masters workout and adult swim lessons

    When I began masters 2 1/2 years ago, I had spoke with our coach on-deck the previous month; on my first day he was on deck and just observed me swim a 25 FR and put me in a lane with similar speed swimmers. We swam as much of the workout as we had time for. I could swim FR BR & BK "ok" but have greatly improved all of them under Jamie's tutalige (& continue to work on them and all the other aspects of this sport). I would think that a non swimmer would have difficulty just because, from what I've seen, swimming in a masters group presumes some knowledge of it. Stroke improvement is very different than basic "swim lessons". My
    However . . . I can probably ski better than you . . . and have likely climbed more 14'ers as well . . .

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