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Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
Semi-Submerged Backstroke

In over your head yet? Coach Hermine Terhost can help


Backstroke is a mystery to so many swimmers, even ones who swim it well. I hear things like:

  • "Backstroke and I are getting a divorce"
  • "I hate Backstroke"
  • "Anything but backstroke"
  • "It's so tiring, hard, and stressful"

But you can take away all the pain, confusion, and discomfort with one simple sentence. Backstroke, just like the other three strokes, requires breathing in the rhythm of the head in and out of the water.  


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'Chute! What a Drag!

A sprint training set by Coach Kerry O'Brien

Training with a parachute forces you to focus on swimming with power arm stroking and power kicking, two elements of fast sprinting. 


If you don't have a coach helping you, start this set from whatever end necessary to get the best look at the pace clock for accurate sprint times. Be sure you've had a full warm-up prior to starting this high-intensity sprint set. 


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April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month
New initiative to keep adults safe in and around the water

USMS and its charitable arm, the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, have declared the month of April as "Adult Learn-to-Swim Month." State governors in Washington, Nebraska, and Indiana have already issued declarations in support


Stay tuned for more exciting information about this new awareness campaign as it unfolds.
2014 Online Coaches Announced!
Access workouts in seven specialty areas
USMS is proud to provide handpicked coaches who will be writing workouts in seven different specialties and posting them in the USMS Discussion Forums.
Whether you're a new swimmer, an open water swimmer, or a sprinter, you can find a workout tailored to you online. Access to these workouts is part of your USMS member benefits. Enjoy!
  • Wendy Neely: Basic Training Workouts
  • Sara McLarty: Triathlon Training Workouts
  • Andrew Le Vasseur: High Intensity Workouts
  • Rich Axtell: Open Water Workouts
  • Laurie Hug: Stroke and IM Workouts
  • Danielle Newton: Expectant Mother Workouts
  • Scott Hoftiezer: High Volume Workouts
Tech Suit Fitting Guide
Special Advertorial by the Professionals at The Swim Team Store

We get up early, work hard all season, put in the yardage, book our tickets, pay our meet fees, and schedule our "vacation" around swim meets. With varying degrees of confidence, we're committed and we're ready to go fast. When it comes time to put some serious cash down on a new technical suit, it almost feels like all that preparation hinges on the right suit choice at the checkout line.


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Did You Get Caught on Camera?
2012 and 2013 Nationals images available 
If you've attended any National Championships in the past year, there may be some excellent images of your swims available for purchase, directly from the photographers, Peter Bick  (Summer 2012 and Spring 2013) and Mike Lewis (Summer 2013).
2014 Ransom J. Arthur Award
Nomination deadline is March 15!
All Star
The Capt. Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award is USMS's most prestigious award. Named for the founder of Masters Swimming, the award is presented annually to a USMS volunteer who embodies Dr. Arthur's spirit and vision and who contributes at the highest level to advance the objective of Masters swimming. 

For nomination materials and information about past recipients, visit the USMS Awards page. Nominations due March 15, 2014.
Rules Clarification
Separated hands in breaststroke and butterfly touches
On January 20, 2014, the FINA Technical Swimming Committee issued a clarification regarding the interpretation of the new rules about separated hands at the touch for breaststroke (USMS article 101.2.4) and butterfly (USMS articles 101.3.4 and 101.3.5). The updated interpretation will apply to USMS competition immediately and replaces the USMS interpretation issued September 25, 2013. USA Swimming has also published the new interpretation. The 2014 USMS Rule Book is now online.

This Aquatic Life
Where did you put your Get Wet sticker?
The January-February issue of SWIMMER magazine included a special gift to our members, a Get Wet sticker! We asked our Facebook followers to send us pictures of where they put the sticker and we got a lot of great pictures of the backs of cars with Get Wet proudly displayed alongside 26.2, 70.3, and 140.6 decals. Sue Welker of Naperville, Ill., however, got her dog in on the action instead. Everybody knows labs love to swim! Where did you put your sticker? Send us an image to or post it to our Facebook thread

Have a great image and a story to go with it? Send it to
Seen on our Facebook Page
In late January, Canadian Masters swimmer Jaring Timmerman became the first person to compete in the 105-109 Masters swimming age group. He set world records in the 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle at the Catherine Kerr Short Course Meters Pentathlon in Winnipeg. Nearly 100 people commented on the post, with most expressing amazement at Timmerman's accomplishment. Angie L. Taylor wrote, "OK! That's just plain INSPIRING!" We agree. Check out what else they wrote and join the conversation. 
About U.S. Masters Swimming
U.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. Nearly 60,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all USMS members to subscribe to STREAMLINES, a monthly publication. However, if you'd rather not receive this update, please do not click the "SafeUnsubscribe" link, as that will remove you from all other USMS National Office mailings. Rather, click on the "Update Profile/Email Address" link to manage your subscriptions to U.S. Masters Swimming electronic communications.
1-Hour Swim Deadline Extended
Squirrely weather closes pools nationwide

If you missed your opportunity to complete the Speedo USMS 1-Hour Postal Swim this January due to the Polar Vortex or another bizarre weather phenomenon, you've got a second chance to get your swim in. The Long Distance Committee has voted to extend the deadline. You now have until February 10 to complete your swim and submit your results. All results must be received by February 10, and swimmers may not "age-up" during this grace period. Visit the event page for more details and to submit your results.

2.4-Mile Open Water Nat'l Championship 
Registration now open!
The first of six Open Water National Championship events in 2014 is set to be held in Chattanooga, Tenn., on May 17. Hosted by The Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers (COWS) and Outdoor Chattanooga, the 1.2-mile, two-loop course in the Tennessee River promises to be a great event in the heart of one of America's best cities. Don't miss all the action. Online registration is now open, or paper entries are available.

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