US Masters Swimming
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MAY 2014

Congratulations to all the swimmers who competed at the 2014 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship earlier this month. And huge kudos to the great coaches who helped them get there!

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
In Water Cross-Training: Underwater Hockey
Coach Matthew Edde continues his series on innovative in-water cross-training
Underwater hockey might sound ridiculous, but it's a real sport that is played with the same basic rules as hockey. It's fun, fast-paced, and requires a tremendous amount of lung strength. Underwater hockey coaches might use the following workout to train their players. As a swim coach, you can use this workout to help improve your swimmers' lung capacity and provide a little more diversity in your workouts. 

 Continue reading >>>
Triathlon Start Strategies
Open water and triathlon starts can be scary; help your swimmers cope
For some triathletes, the most daunting part of the race is the first 30 seconds. After floating in place among as many as 2,000 other swimmers (in the case of an in-water Ironman start), the silence is abruptly broken by the starter's call and so begins the flailing of elbows and feet. Swimmers spar and jockey for position while churning along at their top speed. It's an emotionally and physically exhausting experience, and most swimmers will hit a wall of fatigue after a mere 100 meters of this melee. All good intentions and training for perfect technique have already gone by the wayside!

Continue reading >>>
Fun in the Sun at Spring Nationals
Fast and fun times in and out of the pool in Santa Clara-don't miss this video!

2014 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship
2014 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship
Thank you to everyone who came out to the 2014 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship earlier this month. We had nearly 2,250 swimmers participating, including 12 Olympians. National records tumbled like a house of cards--in all, 46 individual and eight relay records fell over the four days of racing under the California sun. All meet results are now available on the Spring Nationals landing page where you can view:
Club scores are also available online and are split up by

Many thanks as well to all the great coaches who volunteered to assist swimmers during the event as our USMS On-Deck Coaches. Your generosity made the meet better for everyone!

Whom Do YOU Know?
Recognize the volunteers who make USMS work

Each year U.S. Masters Swimming recognizes the extraordinary efforts of our members beyond the water's edge. USMS's success is a result of the amazing contributions of our talented and dedicated volunteers. Help us identify initiative and performance by nominating people you know who fulfill the ideals of the following awards. Deadline for nominations is July 1, please review the submission instructions for each award and help recognize an amazing volunteer.

  • Speedo USMS Coach of the Year
  • Dot Donnelly Service Award
  • Kerry O'Brien Coaching Award
  • Club of the Year Award
  • June Krauser Communications Award
  • Fitness Award
  • Open Water Service Award

Let us know who deserves to be recognized!

Open Water and Long Distance Season is Open
Long distance events are straight ahead!
Open Water
This weekend, the open water National Championship series kicks off with a 2.4-mile swim in the Tennessee River. There are six other events still to come, and registration is open for most of them. Click the links below to sign up, and remind your swimmers not to miss these great open water swimming venues and events!
  • 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 2014 5K and 10K ePostal season is also underway! (Yes, that's an e in front of the word Postal, an update to reflect the new online submission requirements for these events.) Help your swimmers find pool time and a counter to complete the 5K and 10K ePostal events this year. The swims must be completed in any 50-meter pool between May 15 and September 15. All entries are due by September 25. This is a great way to take part in a National Championship without actually traveling to a meet or open water event.
2014 ASCA World Clinic
Registration now open

The 2014 ASCA World Clinic will be held Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 14 in Jacksonville, Fla. This annual event features elite coaches and exciting international speakers who can teach you how to improve your coaching skills. The complete program schedule and online registration is now available. 

Bidding Open for 2016 Long Distance National Championships
Apply to make your event a National Championship

Want to host an ePostal or open water National Championship long distance event in 2016? The bidding process is open to events that have run successfully for three years in a row before bidding. Hosting a national championship provides lots of national exposure, which can help your event grow substantially. Bidding information is available on the Long Distance Championship page at Bids are due July 15. Selection will be based on the overall suitability of the bid received, and in the case of open water, the committee will also be considering the area in which the event is to be held, safety, and the annual event schedule as a whole. For more information and detailed instructions, check out the Championship Bid Information page. Applications for both ePostal and open water events can be completed online. Apply today!

Going to Montréal?
USMS Worlds coaching staff announced

Swimmers headed to the 2014 FINA World Masters Championships in Montréal July 27 through Aug. 10 will be getting on deck coaching and support from the following USMS coaches:

  • Tim Waud, Oregon City, Ore.
  • Andrew LeVasseur, Denver, Colo.
  • Jennifer Catucci-Crowther, Alexandria, Va. 
  • Dean Hawks, Carmel, Ind.

Please direct any questions about the USMS coaching staff to Tim Waud.


If you want to swim, there's still time to register for this international meet. Registration will remain open until June 1. Hope to see you in Canada this summer!

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

Q: As an individual, can I submit a proposed rule change?   


A: No. Proposed rule changes can only be submitted by an LMSC, a USMS standing committee, the USMS Board of Directors, or the USMS Executive Committee (601.2.1). In even-numbered years, proposed rule changes for Part 1 and the Glossary are submitted to the Rules Committee, and proposed rule changes for Part 3 and the Glossary are submitted to the Long Distance Committee (601.4.1 and 601.4..2). This is an "emergency" year for Legislation (Organizing Principles, Parts 2, 4, 5, and 6), so only proposed changes deemed an emergency by that committee will be considered, and they will require a 90 percent vote to pass (601.4.6).   


Take your idea for a proposed rule change to your LMSC for an LMSC endorsement and submission by the LMSC to the Rules or Long Distance Committee. Proposed rule changes must show the section of the rule book as it will read if adopted, with new language underlined and deleted language shown with strikethroughs (601.2.2). The rationale for a proposed rule change is to be BRIEF. The proposed rule change must also show changes to other rules that would require changing in order to maintain consistency.


The Convention section of the Guide to Operations has complete instructions and a form for submitting proposed rule changes. Proposed rule changes are due July 10.


Both the USMS Rule Book and the Guide to Operations can be viewed or downloaded on 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: What do successful coaches do beyond writing a good workout?


A: Often, the Masters coach is the leader of the program and has sole responsibility of managing the day-to-day affairs both on and off the pool deck. If there are other people helping to manage the off-deck responsibilities of the program, list and define the roles and responsibilities of each position in a written document. Meetings with all coaches, club leaders, and program support staff should be scheduled often to insure the duties of each role are being carried out to the satisfaction of the entire group.


Once you have established what your role and responsibilities are as the coach, begin to list how you will fulfill those duties. Most successful Masters coaches across the country are responsible for the following:


Knowing your athletes. Do you know your athletes' names, goals, motivations, and outside interests? More importantly, talk to each swimmer during every practice.


Being supportive. Adults want to be treated with respect, and they want to have a positive experience during their time with you and your program. If they have a negative experience, they might not come back. Celebrate their accomplishments without pointing out their failures.


Embracing all swimmers. Adults choose to swim for a plethora of reasons and will show up with varying degrees of proficiency. Welcome swimmers of all ability levels and backgrounds.


Creating a seasonal plan. Keep a chart of all the events your athletes will be participating in during the year, including USMS ePostal events, pool competitions, open water swims, and triathlons. Write your workouts with the purpose of preparing your athletes for their scheduled events.


Planning events. Hosting events such as stroke and turn clinics, swim meets, virtual events, open water swims, and fundraisers provides opportunities to challenge and educate. Encourage 100 percent participation in each club-hosted activity, whether it's a meet or an off-site social.


Making swimming fun. As a Masters coach, you have the ability to make a positive impact on each swimmer you coach. Showing enthusiasm with words or gestures on deck is the first step in making swimming fun for your athletes. Smile, and you'll probably get one in return.   


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
Upcoming Coach Certification Classes
Level 1 and 2

Level 3 (Level 2 a prerequisite)          

Level 4 (Level 3 a prerequisite)

Stroke Development Clinics 

Quick Links and Resources for Coaches
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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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