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March 2013



We hope you and your swimmers are having a great springtime. See you on deck!

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming

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Need Members?
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by Kristina Henry, TCY Manta Rays

Grow you club the old fashioned way: word of mouth

Many swimmers, your writer included, have had an initial hesitation to join a Masters program; after all, this is a team for serious swimmers, right? Super speedy Type As who thrive on competition or weekend warriors hungry to improve their swimming technique for triathlons?


Nope-Masters is a big pool, with room for everyone. But sometimes that's hard to communicate to potential members. However, with a little help from USMS and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth networking, you can succeed in attracting new members to your program. Read more...  

2013 High Performance Camp
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Join us August 24-29  


If you're a coach who swims, you may want to consider attending the High Performance Camp. Much of the knowledge you gain about your own swimming will help you become a better coach. This outstanding camp is offered to Masters swimmers through the combined efforts of U.S. Masters Swimming, the Triangle Sports Commission, and the Greensboro Aquatic Center.


The camp is limited to a small number of dedicated Masters swimmers who are committed to advancing their skills and performance. You'll be taught and analyzed by outstanding USMS coaches and professionals in the fields of sports psychology, physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, technique, and resistance and flexibility training. Read more... 

2013 USMS Spring Nationals
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Spring Nationals, Indy Style
2013 Spring Nationals
Online registration for the 2013 USMS Spring Nationals is now under way and will close at Midnight on April 4. Don't be left out of this fantastic event, be sure to announce this to your swimmers and get them signed up today. More information can be found at the Championship webpage
On-Deck Coaching at Nationals
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Coaches needed in Indy
High Performance
Coaches, if you would like to volunteer as an On-Deck Coach at Spring Nationals nationals please sign up online. We have several spots available still but we are filling up fast! On deck coaches receive a nifty T-shirt and hospitality passes for the shifts they work. If you have any questions, please contact On-Deck Coaching Coordinator Scott Bay

2013 Long Distance National Championships
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Open Water Opportunity 

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Check out the Long Distance Calendar of Events for these and other great open water swims.

April 27: USMS 3-6 Mile Open Water Championship; Miromar Lakes, Fla. Online Entry

May 18: USMS 6-9 Mile Open Water Championship; Lake Mead, Las Vegas, Nev. Online Entry

June 9: USMS 1-Mile Open Water Championship; Lake Del Valle, Livermore, Calif.

And more...
2013 Pan American Masters Championships
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First time in the US for this international meet
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Online registration for the 2013 Pan American Masters Championships is now under way and will close at midnight on April 30. This will be the first time the US has hosted the biennial event. To be held in Sarasota, Fla., June 1-13, 2013, Pan Ams will include synchronized swimming, Masters swimming, and open water swimming. The event is expected to attract up to 2,000 swimmers from around the Western Hemisphere. More information is at Plan to attend this unique event!
On-Deck Coaching at Pan Ams
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Bilingual coaches needed for international event
Coaches, if you would like to volunteer as an On-Deck Coach at the Pan American National Championship, please contact Bill Brenner. We especially have a need for bilingual coaches. If you're traveling to Sarasota in June, please consider working a shift or two as an on-deck coach.

Call for Award Nominations
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Recognize your volunteers! 

All Star
USMS presents a number of awards annually to members who have excelled in various areas. The details and recipients of each type of award may be found on our Awards page. Send in your nominations today!

  • Speedo/USMS Coach of the Year Award
  • Dorothy Donnelly Service Award
  • Kerry O'Brien Coaching Award
  • June Krauser Communications Award
    And more... 
Questions from Coaches
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Bill Brenner, Club and Coach Services Director

Building relationships
Bill Brenner
Questions about growing your club, managing club business, or becoming a better coach? Club and Coach Services Director Bill Brenner has answers.

Q: How does my program build a relationship with elected and appointed political leaders in my community?

A: Establishing political clout within your community can serve your program well-especially in the events of reduced pool availability, pool renovation, and new pool projects.


Masters swimmers, unlike age group swimmers, have a political voice though their votes. In addition, adults contribute time, talents, and dollars to political campaigns. Although elected officials should fairly represent their constituency, often, the group with the loudest voice and deepest pockets gets the most attention.


Most programs don't have loud voices and deep pockets. If you do, that's great. If you don't, however, that shouldn't stop you from building relationships with your political leaders. Here are a few ideas on how to do that:

  • Invite an elected official to present a "Swimmer of the Month" award to one of your athletes. That adds up to 12 officials in 12 months.
  • Have an elected official be present at any grand opening or dedication events. This includes a new scoreboard, starting blocks, a pool renovation, anything. Get creative.
  • Recruit an elected official to be the announcer when your program hosts a community fundraiser event such as a wacky relay meet to raise money for a local charity or cause. Invite the local media to cover the event.
  • Recruit an elected official to hand out awards at your swim meet, open water event, and at your program's year-end awards banquet.  
  • The more your elected officials know about your program-the diversity, the health and wellness benefits it provides adults, and how vital an asset it is to the community-the more political clout you'll build. Politicians champion great causes. Masters swimming is GREAT!
What Rule is THAT?!
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Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair
Using the gutter for starts
Cathy Kasey


Q:  At one of the older pools we use for meets, the deck level ends about a foot before the edge of the water and drops down to a gutter that then extends to the edge of the water. The edge of the gutter is flush, vertically, with the front edge of the blocks. Swimmers who start from the edge of the pool would stand in the gutter, but officials won't let those swimmers use the gutter for starts at this pool. Is this correct?


A: No. Since the edge of the gutter is actually the edge of the pool and is wide enough for swimmers to stand on, the gutter in this case becomes part of the pool deck even though it is a step down from the rest of the deck. A swimmer who starts from the edge of the upper-level deck instead of the edge of the gutter would be the same as a swimmer on the block with both feet at the back of the block. At least one foot must be at the front of the block (101.1.1 and 103.8.5), and the front edge of the block must be "flush with the face of the end walls" (107.11.2).


In this case, in order to have one foot as far forward as the swimmers on the block, the swimmers who start on the deck would have to stand in the gutter. Requiring a swimmer to start from the edge of the upper deck, which is back from the actual edge of the pool, puts a swimmer who is deck-starting at an unfair disadvantage and also may put the swimmer at risk for hitting the feet on the gutter because of the extra distance between the edge of the water and the starting position. As long as swimmers can safely start from such a gutter that is at the edge of the water, swimmers who do deck starts should be allowed to start from the gutter.


All rule references are from the 2013 USMS Rule Book which can be viewed or downloaded here.  


For any questions about rules contact Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair  

Certification Opportunities
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Become a certified USMS coach
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The USMS Coaches Committee and Club and Coach Services have developed new curricula for Levels 1, 2 and 3 USMS Masters Coach Certification. The new courses are taught in classroom settings throughout the country. Participants receive a "Certificate of Participation" once they finish the class. If participants wish to become certified, they must join ASCA and deliver to ASCA the completed tests from the coursework and the application for USMS/ASCA Masters Coach Certification. ASCA will grade the tests, process the applications and deliver the certificates.   


Level I & II

April 7, 2013 Grinnell, Iowa - Online Registration 

April 20, 2013 Denver, Colo. - Online Registration  

April 27, 2013 Indianapolis, Ind. - Online Registration 

May 4, 2013 Boston, Mass. - Online Registration   

Sept. 6, 2013 New Orleans, La.

Sept. 11, 2013 Anaheim, Calif.  

Nov. 9, 2013 Chicago, Ill.    


Level III (Level II a prerequisite)      

March 23, 2013 Pasadena, Calif. - Online Registration 

April 21, 2013 Denver, Colo. - Online Registration

May 5, 2013 Boston, Mass. - Online Registration 

June 1, 2013 Alexandria, Va.

Sept. 11, 2013 Anaheim, Calif.

Oct. 12, 2013 Indianapolis, Ind.   

Nov. 10, 2013 Chicago, Ill.   


(Contact Bill Brenner for more information)

Visit the website to find the dates and locations of our certification courses in 2013.
Club and Coach Services
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Need help getting your club up and running?
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Club and Coach Services Director: Bill Brenner


Club and Coach Services Coordinator: Mel Goldstein 

Free marketing materials are available for USMS programs. Caps, stickers, brochures, etc. 

Small club? Just starting out? Don't have an advertising budget? We have created free templates that you can use to promote your program, your swim meets and your open water events.

Masters Coaching Opportunities
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Looking for a coach? Looking for a club?
Coaching on Deck
USMS maintains a discussion forum on to match up coaches and clubs. The Coaching Forum has several current threads posted; check back for frequently for updates. And remember, if you are hired in a position or you hire a coach, please update your posting to save time for others who follow you to this helpful forum.
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About Us
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About U.S. Masters Swimming
U.S. Masters SwimmingU.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country; promoting information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, STREAMLINES, and website,; and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water and virtual events and competitions. More than 55,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming. 

About STREAMLINES for Coaches
Coach talking U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all U.S. Masters Swimming coaches to subscribe to STREAMLINES for Coaches. However if you would rather not receive this update, please do not click the unsubscribe button, as that will remove you from all other USMS 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 STREAMLINES for Coaches service or sign up for the monthly members' newsletter, STREAMLINES, and/or STREAMLINES for Volunteers, a bimonthly publication.