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There are exciting things happening for coaches inside USMS. Don't hit the delete key!

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
Club and Coach Services Becomes Education Services
Shift signals new programs and opportunities ahead
Need to Know
Have you heard? Club and Coach Services is now Education Services. This exciting new development means lots more educational opportunities ahead for coaches. Over the next several months, we'll be rolling out new programs and course offerings for coaches and those who'd like to become USMS coaches. These offerings will include adult learn-to-swim instructor certification as well as additional USMS coach certification options. Watch this space for important new developments as we continue to provide our coaches with opportunities for professional growth. By investing in our coaches, we are investing in our members.
Climbing the Ladder
Coach Matthew Edde says distance ladder sets are for everyone

For many swimmers, distance sets can be dull as they seem to go on, and on, and on. For others though, a continuous swim can be manageable or even pleasurable. Regardless of your interest in long distance and tolerance for swimming long sets, ladder sets can be highly beneficial for all swimmers.


 Continue reading >>>

Building Your Program
Utah LMSC seeks new members through clinic recruitment program
upward trend
There are lots of ways to build a USMS program, and we recently heard of a very promising-sounding plan from the Utah LMSC that could work in other parts of the country, too. In January, the LMSC plans to host a clinic that will be free to all members and cost $45 for nonmembers. That fee just so happens to correlate exactly to the cost of an annual membership in the Utah LMSC, so any nonmembers who sign up for the clinic will automatically be made members of the LMSC. Sounds like a great plan to us. What other innovative strategies has your club or LMSC used to attract and retain members? We want to know so we can better share that information with other clubs around the country. Contact Education Services.
Reduced Registration Fees
Help your members save some green!
For your members still registering with USMS for 2014, starting Sept. 1 the fee payable to USMS is reduced from $35 to $25 (plus any LMSC fees). This is called an "End-of-Year" registration. The member's registration will expire on Dec. 31, 2014 with everyone else. A new membership product is also being offered, the "Year-Plus" membership. With this new product, the prospective member can choose to register for the remainder of 2014 (for an additional $10 discount), plus prepay for a full-year 2015 membership.
Last Call for Convention Coaches
Going to Jacksonville next month?
on-deck coaching
If you're already planning to go to the 2014 USAS Convention in Jacksonville, Fla., next month, why not sign up to be an on-deck coach at one or more of the organized workouts that will be running during the meeting? You'll get a free T-shirt, and you'll have an opportunity to work with some some amazing swimmers from around the country. There are a variety of options available: distance, middle distance, stroke, sprint or fitness workouts, or stroke and open water drill clinics. Sign up today
Want to work at USMS?
We're seeking a web/software developer
silver-keyboard.jpg, typing
Do you have PHP and MySQL programming experience? Are you experienced with JavaScript and JQuery? Are you a Masters swimmer or triathlete, or do you have any competitive swimming background? Do you live in the Sarasota area or are you willing to relocate to Sarasota? If you answered "yes" to these questions, please apply online.

New Staff Blogs
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes at U.S. Masters Swimming? Three new staff blogs on our USMS Discussion Forums may interest you.


Executive Director Rob Butcher's blog, "From the Executive Director: U.S. Masters Swimming's Journey," explores USMS's evolution, strategic plan, and goals. Subscribe to this blog to keep updated on the business side of USMS and how Rob's passion for the sport and leadership are changing our "best kept secret" status.


Communications and Publications Director Laura Hamel explores our subculture and the impact swimming has on our lives in her "SWIMMER Editorials" blog. Topics range from camaraderie to burnout and touch on a variety of cultural, historical, and scientific aspects of our sport. Subscribe to this blog and you'll enjoy sharing her insights with the swimmers and nonswimmers in your life, as well as stay current on what's happening with our flagship publication, SWIMMER magazine.


Education Director Bill Brenner has run a Q & A column in STREAMLINES for Coaches for several years. The questions cover a variety of topics in the club and coach development realm. Now they're all in one place: his "Questions From Coaches" blog. Coaches, you need to subscribe to this blog!
One Month Left for 5K and 10K ePostals
Here's another great way to build team camaraderie and challenge your swimmers
The 5K and 10K ePostals will remain open for another month, giving you lots of time to help your swimmers find pool time during which to complete these great fitness events. These two National Championship events can be completed in any 50M pool, making it convenient for your whole club to participate together. Many coaches dedicate a workout session or two specifically for swimmers looking to take part and have found it's a great way to build team spirit as swimmers count and cheer for each other. Full details are posted online and swimmers have until Sept. 15 to complete their 5K and 10K pool swims. The submission form will remain open until Sept. 25. Now get going!
There's Still Time to Check Out the Check-Off Challenge
Help your swimmers find the pool time to pursue this fun fitness event
Masters of South Texas

Looking for another fun challenge to offer your swimmers in the second half of the year? The Check-Off Challenge is just your ticket. Have your swimmers swim these 18 events in meets or practice prior to December 31 and check off all the blocks! With four-plus months left to go in 2014, there's still plenty of time to challenge your swimmers to expand their event horizons. Some coaches offer a new event every few weeks as a focus point of a practice or two, and there are lots of other ways to get creative in bringing this fun event into your program. See what you can dream up and watch your swimmers grow!

Take Speedo's Team Market Survey and Get a 25% Discount!
Help Speedo better understand your needs with this short survey 
SPEEDO, small, stacked

U.S. Masters Swimming sponsor Speedo is trying to understand the team market to better meet the needs of your swimmers, clubs, and the industry as a whole. They would like your input and would appreciate your taking a short 5 to 7 minute survey before Friday, Aug. 22.

The survey is anonymous and upon completion, you will receive a
25% discount off your next purchase through valid through the end of August.  

Invite your athletes, team managers, and other coaches to participate by forwarding this email to them. The survey will remain open until
Friday, Aug. 22, so click through now and help our sponsor better meet your needs!

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

The Coach Asks: Some of my swimmers have FINA-approved suits with FINA tag numbers dated 2009 or 2010, but we can't find the suits on the FINA-approved list of swimwear. How can we be sure that their suits are still legal?


Answer: When in doubt, show the suit to the meet referee and ask if it's legal. Swimsuits for Masters swimming competition in a pool are not required to have a FINA-approval tag, but they must comply with FINA and USMS swimsuit specifications: all textile materials, only one swimsuit in one or two pieces which shall not extend beyond the shoulders nor below the knees for women, and for men, shall not extend above the navel nor below the knees (102.12.1C). A waist tie is allowed for men and for a two-piece female suit. The suit must be nontransparent (102.12.1A).


Illegal swimwear seen at USMS national championship meets in the last year include: a zipper suit, a two-piece suit with metal or plastic rings on the straps of the bra top, a female suit with a plastic clip hooking the straps together in the back, a bra top under a female racing suit (only one suit may be worn, no modesty wear underneath the competition suit), a female Fastskin suit with a rubber-dot design on the chest (the rubber dots can be carefully scraped off to make the suit legal), a male Arena Powerskin Carbon-Pro suit with the FINA-approval tag number AR141364 that became illegal May 2010 due to a production problem (the illegal FINA-approval tag numbers for the female suits are AR220993 and AR220994), and Kinesio tape.


Kinesio tape is not allowed at all; all other tape is not allowed unless approved by the referee (102.12.1E). That includes tape on any part of the body, not just on the shoulders. Armbands and legbands are not considered part of the swimsuit and are not allowed (102.12.1B). 


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, Education Services Director, answers your questions
Q: How do I encourage my novice Masters swimmers to participate in their first swim meet?


A: Swim meets can be intimidating to both novice and experienced meet swimmers. Although many USMS members choose not to compete, those who do compete do so for a variety of reasons: the thrill of competition, the need to measure athletic prowess or fitness level, the catalyst that keeps them in the pool training, or the fun they have at swim meets with their teammates and friends.


Before encouraging swimmers who've shown no interest in competition to try their first meet, a coach should teach the basics--starts, turns, and finishes--and explain the rules. Make this part of your weekly routine. Get swimmers comfortable performing everything they'll need to do the day of the event. Once swimmers have mastered these basic skills, then you can approach them with the idea of trying a swim meet.


A progression of low pressure preparation for swim meets may include:

  • Hosting a swim for time during a scheduled practice where the novices can start from a push from in the water, dive from the side of the pool, or dive off the blocks. The coach should explain and follow swim meet protocol for starts by blowing a series of short whistles and a long whistle to ready the swimmer. Have teammates cheer for the novice at both ends and sides of the pool.
  • Introducing relays during practice with each foursome consisting of a fast, less-than-fast, not-so-fast, and novice swimmer with as close a finish as you can organize. Again, cheering by teammates makes this fun and effective.
  • Inviting novices to observe a swim meet. Not everyone that swims in meets swims fast.
  • Hosting an intersquad meet. Include 25s in the order of events as well as 100s for relays.
  • Hosting a dual meet with another local Masters program. Earlier this summer, the Richmond Plunge Masters challenged the Cal Aquatic Masters to a duel in the pool. The event created a welcoming atmosphere for both novices and accomplished meet swimmers and it was a positive team-building opportunity.
  • Finding a local one-day meet that offers 25s or 50s. Arrange for a post-swim meet gathering. Promoting the event as a social gathering with a little bit of swimming can help erase or reduce the anxiety many newbies experience.
  • Locating a swim meet where your swimmers can carpool. If possible, rent a bus and travel to the meet as a group. I'm sure your swimmers will quickly realize how much fun the ride back home on the bus can be.

Your job as a Masters swim coach is to keep your athletes in the water, swimming for a lifetime. Don't push so hard that the swimmer feels intimidated and abandons the sport. Making swimming the "funnest sport" should be your priority along with safety. The more fun your swimmers are having, the more fun you'll have coaching.


Questions about growing your club, managing club business, or becoming a better coach? Education Services Director Bill Brenner has answers.

Want to read past questions? Then check out Bill Brenner's Questions from Coaches blog, and see if he's already found solutions to your coaching quandaries. 
Coach Certification Schedule
Upcoming Coach Certification Classes

Level 1 and 2

Sept. 5, 2014 - McLean, Va. (Note: this is a Friday) - Online Registration

Sept. 6, 2014 - Pasadena, Calif. - Online Registration

Sept. 12, 2014 - Jacksonville, Fla. (at ASCA World Clinic) -  Online Registration

Sept. 27, 2014 - New York, N.Y. - Online Registration

Oct. 4, 2014 - Novato, Calif. - Online Registration

Oct. 11, 2014 - Detroit, Mich. - Online Registration

Oct. 18, 2014 - Seattle, Wash. -  Online Registration

Oct, 25, 2014 - Dayton, Ohio -  Online Registration

Oct. 25, 2014 - Albuquerque, N.M. - Online Registration

Nov. 1, 2014 - Maryville, Ill. (near St. Louis) -  Online Registration

Nov. 8, 2014 - Minneapolis, Minn. - Online Registration

Nov. 14, 2014 - Salt Lake City, Utah (Note: This is a Friday) - Online Registration

Nov. 22, 2014 - Lenexa, Kan. (Kansas City area) - Online Registration


Level 3 (Level 2 a prerequisite)       

Sept. 7, 2014 - Pasadena, Calif. - Online Registration

Sept. 17, 2014 - Jacksonville, Fla. - Online Registration

Sept. 28, 2014 - New York, N.Y. -  Online Registration

Nov. 15, 2014 - Salt Lake City, Utah - Online Registration

Dec. 6, 2014 - Novato, Calif. - Online Registration


Stroke Development Clinics

Oct. 5, 2014 - Novato, Calif. - Online Registration

Oct. 19, 2014 - Seattle, Wash. - Online Registration

Nov. 2, 2014 - Maryville, Ill. (near St. Louis) - Online Registration

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.
About STREAMLINES for Coaches
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all U.S. Masters Swimming coaches to subscribe to STREAMLINES for Coaches. 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.
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