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APRIL 2014

Spring Nationals. Open water season. The 5K and 10K postal series. There are a lot of big events coming up in the next month at USMS. Read all about them and other opportunities below, and don't forget to tell your swimmers!

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
Transition Weaker Swimmers to Full-Time Members

Coach Doug Green of South Coast Masters explains how his club uses its pre-Masters program to increase and maintain membership rates all year long

Like many Masters swim clubs, our South Coast Masters faces a yearly exodus-usually beginning in October-of members at the end of triathlon season. To better explain: we train two local women's teams and our own triathlon club beginning in early March through the end of September. These groups swell our club membership numbers by about 80 swimmers. In the past, when the last workout was completed, we have simply said, "Goodbye and we'll see you next spring." 


 Continue reading >>>
April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month
Does your facility have an adult learn-to-swim program?

Wow! The nation is really paying attention to our call for adults to learn to swim in April! It's exciting to see adults taking the plunge for the first time, making themselves water safe, and passing along good water habits to their children. A big thank you to everyone who has helped us spread the message and the multitude of USMS members who are volunteering at local learn-to-swim programs around the country. Without you, we wouldn't be able to bring the important issue of adult drowning to light--while doing something constructive about it!


To those who are skilled swimmers, it may be surprising to learn that 37 percent of American adults can't swim the length of a standard swimming pool. What's worse, 10 people--8 of whom are adults or young adults--drown every day. USMS and our charitable arm, the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, wants to change these figures, and so we launched the April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign. And word is getting around.


April 1 brought the first of several big events tied to this campaign, and we are thrilled that Purdue University President and former Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, jumped into the pool to help promote the April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign and the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation.


Coaches, if you want to help, it's easy! If you already offer adult learn-to-swim lessons at your facility, make sure that information is listed alongside your Masters program entry in the Places to Swim database. If you don't offer lessons, consider adding them. To help you get a new learn-to-swim program off the ground, you can apply for a $5,000 grant from the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation. Applications for grants are due by July 15.


You can also donate (and challenge your swimmers to join you in contributing) to the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation. SSLF is a donor-funded charitable organization, and 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes to provide swimming lessons for adults around the country. You can read more about the program in the May-June issue of SWIMMER.

 Continue reading >>>
Open Water and Long Distance Season Coming Up Fast
Open water season opens in four weeks--don't miss out!

Open water season will be upon us quickly, and registration is now open for the USMS Open Water National Championship series. We hope to see you at some or all (!) of the great events listed below:

  • May 17, 2.4 miles. Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tenn. REGISTER
  • June 7, 1 mile. Lake Berryessa, Lake Berryessa, Calif. REGISTER
  • July 26, 10 miles. Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata, Minn. REGISTRATION OPENING SOON
  • Aug. 3, 5K. Elk Lake, Bend, Ore. REGISTER
  • Aug. 16, 2-Mile Cable. Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, N.Y. REGISTER
  • Aug. 23, 10K. Lake George, Hague, N.Y. REGISTER

The Speedo-USMS 5K/10K Postal National Championship gets underway on May 15


The 5K and 10K postal season is coming up fast! Want a taste of national level competition without leaving the comfort of your home pool? Then these two postal swims are for you! Hosted this year by Rogue Valley Masters, the 5K and 10K postals must be swum between May 15 and September 15 in any 50-meter pool. See how fast you can swim these two long distances and find out how you stack up to other swimmers in your age group across the country. Registration will open on May 15. All swims must be submitted online by September 25 to be eligible for competition. 

Apply for the USMS High Performance Camp Today!
Want to take your swimming to the next level?

If you or any of your swimmers are ready to take the leap to the next level, then it's time to sign up for summer camp! The USMS High Performance Camp is offered to Masters swimmers in conjunction with the Triangle Sports Commission and the Greensboro Aquatic Center and is limited to a small number of dedicated Masters swimmers committed to advancing their skills and performance.


During the camp, participating swimmers will 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. The camp emphasizes testing and education, and pool time is dedicated to technique improvement rather than conditioning. The focus is quality, not quantity!


The added benefit to coaches who participate as swimmers in the High Performance Camps is you'll likely pick up new ways to educate your swimmers once you've returned from camp. Why not supercharge your coaching expertise by learning directly from some of the greats?


Applications to attend the camp are due by May 23. (You'll be notified of your acceptance by June 6.) Questions? Contact Faryn Roy for more information or read about it on the High Performance Camp page. Seats are limited, so apply today!

Fundraising Opportunities
Special Advertorial: Coaches and clubs can fundraise with these USMS partner programs's newest fundraising tool for swim clubs, the  SwimOutlet Team Store, enables clubs to set up their own online stores in minutes. You'll be able to feature products from (e.g. USMS branded products, Arena, FINIS, Nike, Speedo, TYR, and many more), and earn 8-10% cash back or store credit on all orders referred through your store.

Continue reading >>>
Remake Your Workouts to Motivate Swimmers
Use the Check-Off Challenge to motivate your swimmers

Coaches: if you're looking for a fun and inclusive way to motivate your swimmers to try new events, then the Check-Off Challenge is for you! The 2014 Check-Off Challenge, hosted by Masters of South Texas, is designed to encourage swimmers to swim 18 events in a pool and complete one open water swim during the calendar year. Whether swimming an event for the first time or striving to achieve a personal best, this is a fun challenge for swimmers of all ability levels. Because these events may be swum in practice or in meets, in yards or meters, at any time during 2014, you can create a fun and motivating challenge for your swimmers during regular workouts without any special equipment or travel time. Join the fun!

What Rule is THAT?!
Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, answers your questions

Q: Some of my swimmers have encountered difficulties at Nationals with swimwear, tape, confusion over which club they represent, and rules they didn't know about. What rules do swimmers need to be aware of for this Nationals?


A: 1. Only swimsuits that meet FINA specifications can be worn in competition; only one suit in one or two pieces (the two pieces cannot overlap each other), all textile, no fasteners except for a waist tie, not above or past the shoulder nor below the knee for women and not above the navel nor below the knee for men.


USMS rules do not allow for modesty wear; no brief, sports bra, or jock strap under the competition suit. (102.12.1) If the suit has a FINA stamp on the back (not all suits that meet FINA specifications have FINA stamps), it is legal except for 3 models of Arena Powerskin Carbon-Pro suits that, even with the FINA stamp, became illegal just days before the 2013 USMS Spring Nationals due to a change in production.


A swimmer who has had an Arena Powerskin Carbon-Pro suit for over a year should check the FINA stamp number on the back of the suit; illegal stamp numbers are AR220993 (female), AR220994 (female), and AR141364 (men). If a swimmer is concerned that a FINA stamp dated 2009 or 2010 might not still be legal, show the suit to the referee to be sure.


2. Tape on the body is prohibited unless approved by the referee. Kinesio tape is not allowed under any circumstances.


3. Prevent errors in club affiliation at Nationals as stipulated in 104.5.4A(3) by checking each swimmer's club affiliation next to the swimmer's name in the heat sheet, on the event card received at registration, and by checking the club's roster in the meet program for accuracy before the meet begins. If there is an error in club affiliation, notify the meet host immediately and show the swimmer's current USMS membership card. An error in club affiliation must be corrected BEFORE the swimmer competes at Nationals. After competing, it is too late for the swimmer to correct errors in club affiliation or become unattached.


If a valid club transfer is completed prior to the start of Nationals and the swimmer entered Nationals as a member of the previous club, the swimmer can correct the club affiliation prior to arriving at nationals by contacting USMS.


4. New rules: For turns and finishes in breaststroke and butterfly, the hands must be separated at the touch (101.2.4, 101.3.4, and 101.3.5). For illustrations of legal and illegal touches, see the notice dated 1/24/14 on the Rule Book page of the USMS website.


All rule references are from the 2014 USMS Rule Book. For any questions about competition rules in Part 1, contact Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair.
Questions from Coaches
Bill Brenner, Club and Coach Services Director, answers your questions

Q:  Does USMS have a Level 4 Masters coach certification class?


A:  The USMS Coaches Committee has developed criteria for awarding Masters coaches a "USMS Level 4 Certified Masters Coach" designation. This designation will not be earned by taking a class, but by fulfilling a list of requirements that reflect the values of U. S. Masters Swimming in the areas of:


  1. Contribution
  2. Achievement
  3. Growth & Retention
  4. Leadership
  5. Education

The prerequisites for applying for Level 4 certification are:

  1. Must be a USMS Level 3 Certified Masters Coach 
  2. Must have at least five years of Masters coaching experience
  3. Must hold current certification for: CPR, First Aid, AED, and Water Safety for Swim Coaches (or a Lifeguard Certificate)
  4. Must earn a minimum of 650 total points from the categories listed in the application for certification

Coaches interested in applying for the Level 4 certification must register online and submit their completed application between July 1 and July 15, 2014. The registration fee is $50 ($40 for USMS recognized coaches). Online registration and application submission will only be open during this time period. Registration links will be posted on the website and in future editions of STREAMLINES for Coaches.


A review panel selected by the USMS Coaches Committee will review each application and notify applicants of the status of their application by August 1, 2014. If deficiencies exist, applicants may correct these deficiencies by August 15, 2014. Coaches receiving the USMS Level 4 certified Masters coach designation will be recognized at the U.S. Aquatic Sports convention this September in Jacksonville, Fla.


If the applicant cannot correct the deficiencies by the deadline, the applicant can resubmit his or her application (at no additional fee) during the next submission period scheduled in the spring of 2015.


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