Open Water: Winter Workouts for Summer Success

News from the Deck
For Masters Coaches, By Masters Coaches,
About Masters Coaches

...presented by U.S. Masters Swimming
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Numerous U.S. Masters Swimming events are quickly approaching and membership is growing, so the news and information provided below is more vital now than ever before.  Please communicate any business of interest to your staff, your athletes and your volunteers and let us know how News from the Deck can further assist you in developing and operating a successful U.S. Masters Swimming program. 

Swimming for Life!
Your friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
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to learn more about this free opportunity available for any U.S. Masters Swimming coach!

SwimFest'09 is also certified by USA Triathlon.  If you attend as a coach you will earn 7.5 credits towards your USA Triathlon Coaching Certification.

Corporate Sponsor Page for Your Meet Programs
The corporate sponsor appreciation page is now available for download and each meet director is encouraged to include this page in meet programs and other event information packets.  Two versions of the corporate sponsor page are available: one in full color and one in black and white. 

Click here to find the link to the corporate sponsor page.


If you intend to bid on the 2011 SC or LC National Championship meet bids are due 08/01/08 to the Championship Committee.  So gather facility information, rally volunteers and discuss options with pool directors now! Bids will be awarded at the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Convention.

Keeping Athletes Engaged at Every Level
Ashley Gangloff Interviews Coach David Marsh

David Marsh, Olympic coach, multiple NCAA Coach of the Year award winner, current CEO of SwimMAC Carolina and avid Masters Swimming supporter offers his experience and advice about how to set up a successful practice, how to coach a broad variety of skill levels, and how to keep swimming fun.  David outlines six elements that can take a coach from good to great and that will keep Masters swimmers coming back to the pool... Read more

Let's Make a Deal
by Mel Goldstein, Club & Coach Services Coordinator

To recruit new members to your program tap into local resources such as local swim shops, running, triathlon and bike shops.  Create and print flyers to be posted on local shops' bulletin boards or in their front window or ask to place your flyer in each shopping bag that they give to their customers. 

Did you know that U.S. Masters Swimming members purchase more than 100,000 pairs of athletic shoes each year?  What does this mean? Let's Make a Deal! 

Offer local swim shops, running, triathlon and bike shops space on your website or in your newsletter in return for a discount on merchandise for your members.  Forming local partnerships is an easy way to keep a pulse on local events and activities (aka: recruiting opportunities) as well as broaden your network of fitness professionals and advocates in your local area.

Click here for a complete explanation of the 2006 Report on Demographic and Consumption Behaviors of U.S. Masters Swimming Members among other survey results.  Surveys can serve as an important tool in acquiring new partnerships and sponsorships in your local community.

Hello! Hey! Hi!
Tip of the Month presented by the U.S. Masters Swimming Coaches Committee
Swimmers on lane lineThough a simple concept, we often forget the basics of successful teambuilding.  Make a commitment to say hello to everyone in each workout session.  Not only will you improve your ability to remember each swimmers name, but you will also help each member of your program to feel like he or she is part of the "team."  Remember, it takes everyone to make a team.

John Grzeszczak

Head Coach; Team Gold Masters
14-year Masters coach veteran
2008 U.S. Masters Swimming FINA World Championships Staff Coach; Perth, Australia

Calendar Update: February/March

Nomination period for U.S. Masters Swimming officers.  Positions to be elected are: President, VP National Operations, VP Local Operations, VP Member Services, VP Community Services, Sectretary, and Treasurer

Call for USMS Service Award nominations and USMS Club of the Year sent to LMSCs from USMS Recognition and Award Chair

Deadline for Newsletter Inserts to Douglas Murphy Communications for the May/Jun issue of USMS Swimmer Magazine

Postmark entry deadline for 2009 SC Nationals

All registrations received by today will be included in the mailing of the May/June issue of USMS Swimmer Magazine.

Received entry date deadline for SC Nationals

On Deck department calendar entries due to USMS Calendar of Events Editor for July/August issue of USMS Swimmer Magazine

First call for requests for Delegate-at-large appointment-due in writing to President (Rob Copeland; and Secretary (Meg Smath;

Approximate mailing date for May/June issue of USMS Swimmer

Deadline for submission of information to be included in the spring issue of Streamlines... from the National Office

Other deadlines this month
Article ideas for Sept/Oct issue of USMS Swimmer due to USMS Editor (Bill Volckening;

Bilateral Breathing for Open Water Swimming
by Sara McLarty

We all know the importance of teaching swimmers to bilateral breathe in the pool. Smooth, even strokes. Balance in the water. Uniform development of muscles. The list goes on and on!

When discussing open water swimming, there are even more reasons to teach and encourage bilateral breathing. Many events follow the shore-line, go point-to-point, have lots of waves, or are held in windy conditions. In these situations, a swimmer who is comfortable breathing on both sides of their body has a choice to breathe away from the waves and the wind, or towards shore to see where they are going.

The same principle applies to crowded events when swimmers find themselves stroke-for-stroke with another athlete for a long distance. Being able to breathe 'away' from the splash of the other swimmer is a huge advantage. These are some scenarios I describe to new swimmers, or stubborn ones, to encourage practice on their 'weak' breathing side.

I have also found a few simple solutions for athletes that struggle with a clean breath on one side of their stroke. First, I recommend better neck flexibility. One side is always tighter, as a result of nightly sleeping positions, so stretching before swimming is the solution. Second, I recommend starting the breath earlier. If the swimmer is reporting that they cannot get a decent breath on their weak side, the cause might be turning their head to the side too late. When the opposite arm is extended forward in the water, start to turn the head. Finally, I look underwater at the arm-pull during a weak-side-breath. Most athletes will have a straight arm or a dropped elbow, causing their upper-body and head to sink in the water. This can be detrimental to getting a good breath of air. Work on proper arm position through the pull, especially during a breath.

Sara McLarty is a U.S. Masters Swimming coach, a USA Triathlon coach, and a National Champion triathlete.  Sara currently trains and coaches in Clairmont, Florida at the USA Triathlon National Training Center. 

Online Meet Registration
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Let Club Assistant manage your online registration!
  • Save time, money and stress!  Less paper and administration work.
  • Try Club Assistant's U.S. Masters Swimming member verification option: U.S. Masters Swimming members signing up for your meet online are verified prior to meet registration saving you the headache of collecting copies of ID cards
  • No more trips to the bank with piles of personal checks, swimmers cgraph for club assistantan pay for your meet online with a credit card.
  • Create accounting reports, meet rosters, psych sheets, and demographic charts from your Club Assistant account at any time
  • Export entries in Standard Data Interface Format (SDIF) from Club Assistant into any meet management software
  • Contact Club Assistant by phone or email to request Online Meet Registration services

Questions? Call Club Assistant at 888-794-6638 or email us at

Open Water: Winter Workouts for Summer Success
About U.S. Masters Swimming
U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1971, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes adult health, fitness and wellness through aquatics.  It does so by partnering with more than 1,000 adult swim clubs across the country that offer swim/fitness programs, promoting information via a bimonthly member magazine and, and sanctioning and promoting pool, open water and virtual competitions.  Nearly 50,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.

About "News from the Deck"
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all U.S. Masters Swimming coaches to subscribe to "News from the Deck", however if you would rather not receive this update, please do not click the unsubscribe button, as that will remove you from all other U.S. Masters Swimming National Office mailings.  Rather, please click on the "Update Profile/Email Address" link at the bottom of this email. Here you can select to discontinue your "News from the Deck" service.

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