View Full Version : Converting lap swimmers to Masters swimmers?

February 3rd, 2016, 10:15 AM
Hello - I am working to develop a Masters program at the Y pool where my kids and I swim. I have worked with the Aquatics director and we have a time slot and a coach. I am excited about this opportunity as there aren't a lot of programs nearby. I have read and reread the PDF of "starting a masters program."

Our issues:
1. Time slot. The current practice is scheduled from 12-1 to catch lunchtime swimmers and the lap swimmers that are usually there in the morning anyway. Because of USS club practice and HS practice the pool is packed in the evenings and busy in the early morning. There are lap swimmers in the pool from 11-1 so the hope is to convert those folks.

2. Convincing lap swimmers that masters swimming is different. I feel like this is one of our biggest issues. The lap swimmers who are there cannot see the benefit of working with a coach. Like their thinking is "why pay for something I can do solo?" I L-O-V-E swimming with a group of like-minded adults so this is hard for me to wrap my head around. Once I started training with a group it was what I wanted to do most times in the pool. Suffering together is fun. ;)

3. Cost. There is a membership fee to belong to the Y and this type of class is an added cost. The Y director has kept the member cost down but the coach still has to get paid. I get that the other fitness classes (aerobics, spin, yoga, etc) are included but the precedent for paying for aquatics lessons/swim team is already there - swim lessons are not included with membership.

Of these three issues I really feel like #2 is the biggest block. At our pool I think there are two main types of lap swimmers: the ones who think masters swimming is not for the casual swimmer who has no plan to compete (i.e. masters is only for "fast" people) and those that like to swim but don't want to follow a plan. The people who already have an interest in Masters will seek out a program. How do we catch the folks we already have?

We have updated the Y's website with information, emails have been sent to members and also to the parents of the club kids. Any help and guidance is appreciated!

j cook
February 16th, 2016, 08:11 PM
Provide self directed workouts to lap swimmers and allow them to participate with the team at events. Use current Masters scheduled time as coached swims. Have a few clinics at other times and for other demographics currently not participating. Encourage lap swimmers that coached swims provide feedback on stroke and training. Get to know your lap swimmers, treat them like family, help them improve-a few are bound to convert.

I'm not a coach but I see we are not filling our team with swimmers either. The retired people are not coming out at 5am. The lunch crew is the lunch crew. The evening crew is the evening crew. Some of the tri people think people say our current workouts won't benefit them much and some of them are right. But there are more that could be recruited.