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U.S. Masters Swimmers have various goals and it is our goal to best equip you with information and tools to coach each of our members to success. U.S. Masters Swimming has also unveiled some exciting new online tools, so be sure to educate yourself and pass the word onto your athletes.

Swimming for Life!
Your friends at U.S. Masters Swimming

Drills for Thrills:
10-Kick Single Arm Freestyle

by Kris Houchens
The 10-Kick Single Arm Freestyle Drill is appropriate for all swimmers of any age, ability and experience levels. This drill is based around the concept of the freestyle arm cycle and is performed by keeping one arm at your side while pulling with the other arm. Swimmers should breathe to the to the side opposite of the pulling arm. 

After pushing off the wall the drill is initiated by taking 10 kicks on right side with the right arm extended in the streamline position. The left arm (non-pulling arm) remains at the swimmer's side. After completing 10 kicks the swimmer should begin the pull with his or her right arm and rotate the left hip down to the bottom of the pool, thus bringing the right hip up towards the water's surface. The swimmer then must recover his or her right arm back to the streamline position while the swimmer again rotates his or her hips bringing the left hip to the surface and pushing the right hip toward the bottom of the pool. At this time, the swimmer may take a breath to his or her left side and then return the head back to a neutral position before starting the next 10 kicks. Repeat the drill on the opposite side.

Things to remember:
  • Swimmers should maintain a constant flutter kick, especially during the breath
  • The rotation of the hips should be even on both the pulling and non-pulling side, often the non-pulling side is not rotated enough
  • Fins are a good solution to help novice swimmers during this drill

Adding 10 kicks to this drill provides an opportunity for swimmers to lengthen their strokes, which allows them to focus on the complete rotation of the hips. If swimmers try to complete this drill too quickly the stroke tends to flatten out, therefore missing the importance of the hip rotation. Each swimmer may only complete three to five arm strokes per 25 yards.

The 10-Kick Single Arm Freestyle Drill helps swimmers understand the relationship between the arm and the hips within the freestyle stroke.

Kris is the Head Coach of IndySwim Fit.  Kris is the 2007 U.S. Masters Swimming Coach of the Year Award recipient and was one of seven featured coaches at this year's SwimFest'09.

Team Unity. Team Spirit. Team Suit.

Click here to read about the benefits of a team suit and how you can create your very own look.

Coaching Multi-sport Athletes
by Sue Sotir; Minute Man Masters

Triathletes come to your practice and want to focus on freestyle (only), can't understand why one or two practices isn't enough and sometimes even bring along a workout their tri coach has given them. So what's the deal?

Coach Sue provides some key corrections to focus on to keep your triathletes engaged and improving... Read more

Encourage Your Swimmers to FLOG Themselves...
U.S. Masters Swimming continues to bring you new member benefits. The newest U.S. Masters Swimming member benefit was developed to make tracking daily, weekly and monthly workouts better, easier and more convenient. FLOGS (Online Fitness Logs) were released on Monday are are accessible through your MY USMS account. Click here for complete instructions for setting up a MY USMS account and flogging your workouts.

Encourage your swimmers to FLOG their workouts. FLOGS not only have the ability to track swiming workouts, but also make it easy to enter walking, running, weight training, yoga and other types of workouts. FLOGGING will allow your swimmers to chart their own progress, understand periodization and taper and see their effort and commitment on "paper."

Do your swimmers participate in Go The Distance? The U.S. Masters Swimming FLOGS will now make it easy for anyone and everyone to participate; FLOGS are now synched with the Go The Distance program.

Read more about FLOGS on the homepage this week.

Call for On-deck Coaches

The USMS Coaches Committee, through the On-Deck Coaching Program, offers on-deck coaching assistance for swimmers during warm-ups at USMS National Championship Events and at the annual United States Aquatic Sports (USAS) Convention. Coaches monitor the sprint lanes during the early morning warm-ups at USMS Nationals, giving swimmers start commands and timing sprints or pace repeats if requested. All participating coaches are given a special USMS Coaches T-shirt, great for being recognized on deck.

Click here for On-Deck Coaching in Indy online registration. 
Click here for more information about the program.

A link to the above online registration and a PDF with expectations for coaches can be found there. If you have questions, feel free to direct them to Chris Colburn at

We're always looking for coaches! You don't need to volunteer all five days. Just pick a day or days when you can help and sign up! Those of you who volunteer will receive more details via email before you arrive at the meet.

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Open Water Coaching from Preparation to Pep Talk

by Randy Nutt:
swim shop
An experienced open water swimmer and event coordinator shares a few tips for coaching open water swimmers.  From preparation to pep talk, Randy shares the importance of confidence and comfort in open water conditions.

Packing the lanes, visiting the race course, knowing the signals and pumping 'em up are all part of coaching open water swimmers...
Read more

Online Club Management:
Text Alerts

by swim shop

Everyone uses a cell phone. We talk on the phone in the mall.  We text at our childrens' soccer games. We use bluetooth ear pieces as we drive. It is part of our culture. 82% of Americans own a cell phone and carry it everywhere. 80% of Americans are sending and receiving text messages and Club Assistant is a part of the trend.

Thunder and lightning have forced your pool to be closed down just a half hour before Masters practice. You email swimmers the urgent notice, but it's unlikely they will get the email in time. With a Club Assistant account, you can send text messages to the cell phones of your members, who will surely appreciate the important announcement.

The pool heater is broken and the water temperature has taken a dive to a chilly 70  degrees! Some of your swimmers long for the opportunity to train in cool temps, while most would appreciate advance notice so they can skip practice.  Quickly send a text alert to your members' cell phones from your Club Assistant account, keeping everyone aware of the last minute news.

You are running late to a staff meeting that you organized. Text your coaches and support staff a last minute change of meeting schedule. Just a few quick clicks in your Club Assistant account and your staff will be informed of the new meeting time via text alert.

Your Club Assistant account stores cell phone numbers and lists of who would like to receive text alerts sent to their cell phones. Within minutes you can send club announcement by text message to the cell phones of your members and staff.  Call Club Assistant at 1-800-SWIM-638 to learn more about setting up this easy and convenient communication tool.

Call the friendly and knowledgeable Club Assistant staff at
1-800-SWIM-638 for help setting up your next event.

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Calendar Update:

With many events quickly approaching we have provided the working calendar through August so that you can help your team to plan its goals, business and travel schedule.

Article ideas for November/December issue of USMS SWIMMER due to USMS Editor-in-Chief, Laura Hamel (

Last call for Delegate-at-Large appointments due in writing to President (Rob Copeland; and Secretary (Meg Smath;

USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award nomination due to Recognition and Awards Chair (Sally Dillon;

USMS Club of the Year Award nominations due to Recognition and Awards Chair (Sally Dillon;

Received entry deadline for the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming National Championship; Indianapolis, Ind.

Proposed Rules, Open Water/Long Distance, Zone and Legislation amendments due to respective committee chairs (Rules: Kathy; Open Water/Long /distance: Marcia; Legislation: Sean; Zone: Julie

Final cut-off date for requesting Delegate-at-Large spots for convention

Coach of the Year selected

Deadline for swimmers to be registered in order to receive September/October issue of USMS SWIMMER

President appoints Delegates-at-Large for 2009 convention

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

Deadline for USAS convention early registration

Bids for fitness events due to Fitness Committee Chair (Marcia Anziano;

Bids for 2011 Long Course, Short Course and Open Water/Long Distance National Championships due to committee chairs (Championship: Mark; Open Water/Long Distance: Marcia

2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship; Indianapolis, Ind.

Approximate mailing date for September/October issue of USMS SWIMMER

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"
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