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Did you travel to the ASCA Coaches Convention last week? Are you at the USAS Convention this week? If so, we hope you're getting a lot out of it and enjoying all the networking opportunities both events offer. There's a lot more to coaching Masters swimmers than just writing a workout! 

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
The Benefits of Off-Season Strength Training
Chris Ritter encourages swimmers to add strength training now for fast times next season
Muscle Swim, swimming, bicep

Now that long course season has ended, some swimmers will take a break from the pool. For some, this signals a chance to reset and take a mental break while others simply want to give their bodies some rest. If you take advantage of this natural break in the swimming season to increase your strength, it will pay off in big dividends as you start to race in the new year and into next year's short- and long-course seasons.


 Continue reading >>>
Angling for Faster Freestyle

Coach Matthew Edde with a quick tip on hand angles

Freestyle hip technique

Fan blades and propellers are slightly bent or angled so they can maximize the amount of air or water they're able to displace. The same holds true for a swimmer's stroke.


In practice, have your swimmers play around with the concept a bit. Instruct them to angle each hand during the catch and keep it angled throughout the pull. This means turning their pinkies down at a 20 to 45 degree angle. Their hands should now open to the inside of their bodies. It may take some practice, but they may find themselves moving quicker through the water with more ease.


Start them off with a few 25s or 50s to get started, and once they seem to get the gist, send them on a long smooth swim so they can begin to work the angled movement into their muscle memory.

  • Angling the hands too far will cause the water to slip right past the swimmers' hands
  • A small angle inward allows the swimmer to harness the water by creating a slipstream underneath the body
  • Instruct the swimmers to use their pectoral and oblique muscles to help take stress away from the shoulders
Club Registration Begins October 1
Register your club early to make sure your swimmers can find your program

Every club contact will receive an email with a renewal link in the first week of October that will allow the club to renew its membership online with a credit card.


It's important to have your club registered before November 1 because on that date, individual members can begin registering or renewing with USMS for the 2015 membership year. If your club is not registered, it will not appear in the pull-down lists and your members will not be able to register with you.


If your club cannot renew online, please contact your local registrar. Don't know who that is? Check out our online map.  

New Individual Registration Option Now Available
Tell your swimmers about this exciting new membership product
membership, join, renew, button
USMS is now offering 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. In addition, for your members still registering with USMS for 2014, since Sept. 1 the fee payable to USMS has been 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. 
3000/6000 ePostal Season Has Arrived
A fun competition for your swimmers or just a great workout--your choice!
Central Oregon Masters Aquatics Logo
The Speedo USMS 3000/6000-Yard ePostal National Championship opens on Sept. 15 and runs through Nov. 25 and can be done in any 25-yard or 25-meter pool. Hosted by Central Oregon Masters Aquatics, the event is easy to take part in; simply swim the distance and have a counter make note of your split times on the handy split sheet. Then, once you've dried off, you can submit your results and see how you stack up against the competition across the United States. It's a great way to get in a long workout while also getting a taste of some national-level competition. Coaches, why not set aside a couple of practice sessions to get your whole club involved? It's great for building camaraderie and provides a killer workout for participants. 
What Rule is THAT?!
Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, answers your questions

The Coach Asks: My swimmers routinely dive in the water to start practice. They prefer to get used to the water with immediate immersion, and they do so in a safe manner. Why must swimmers enter the water feet first at Nationals?


Answer: It's not just at Nationals. It's a general rule for all USMS sanctioned meets (102.4.2), and it's for the safety of all swimmers, just as the depth requirement for the use of starting blocks is for the safety of all swimmers (107.2.2A[3]). Teach your swimmers the rule by coaching them to enter the water feet first at all practices, to follow the instructions of the safety marshal or referee when reminded to enter feet first at meet warm ups, and to dive only when specifically allowed in warm-up, rather than habitually diving into meet warm-ups and apologizing when reminded by the safety marshal or referee.


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: What should I tell my swimmers who are preparing for an international meet?


A: Eliminating surprises when swimming in any event, especially international competition, can help alleviate stress and increase your chances of having a successful meet. Preparation should begin as soon as there is interest in a particular event, not after you arrive at the meet.

  1. Don't assume everyone speaks English. Learn basic questions and answers in the language of the country you're visiting.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the venue and potential weather conditions prior to arrival. This will help you pack accordingly.
  3. Make a written list of everything you'll need to pack. Plan and pack for worst-case scenarios. You should have more than one swimsuit and pair of goggles. Replacements of these items may not be available at the meet. Clear and tinted goggles should be packed for varying conditions.
  4. Plan your transportation from your lodgings to the venue. If you're using your own vehicle, know your parking options, the cost, and the distance to the venue.
  5. If you're traveling to a different time zone, try to arrive at the event early enough to adapt to the change.
  6. Visit the venue before the meet starts and find the toilets, lockers, and showers. 
  7. Locate a drinkable water source. If none is provided, know you'll need to bring your own. If you'll need to eat at the venue, know what your options are and, if necessary, bring your own food.
  8. Find a spot where you will be sitting during the meet. If no comfortable seating is provided, bring your own--portable chairs are inexpensive and easy to transport. 
  9. If the event is being held outdoors, find shade and protection from the elements.
  10. Have a plan for your warm-up. If you'll be competing in more than one pool, schedule your warm-ups to familiarize yourself with all pools. Note the temperature of each pool, the walls, flags, turns, starting blocks, markings on the pool bottom, water clarity and variations of pool depth. Practice every aspect of the events you are swimming in each of the pools. Starts, both dives off the blocks and backstroke, should only be practiced in designated start lanes. If the blocks are different from what you are accustomed to, ask a USMS On-Deck Coach (if available) for help. In most cases, start lanes are only open during warm-up periods in the competition pools.
  11. Study the timeline for your events. If the meet organizers don't provide one, calculate your own with the heat sheet or psych sheet. This can be tricky, so allow yourself a comfortable margin to get to the pool and your events early. No one is going to wait for you. Know how much warm-up you need. Often the warm-up pools are crowded and you'll need more time than usual to swim or kick the same amount of yardage. Generally, swim gear such as snorkels, hand paddles, and pull buoys are not allowed during warm-up.
  12. Pay attention to the progress of the day's events leading up to your swim. Many international meets require you to report to a marshaling area several heats before you're scheduled to swim. If you were issued credentials at registration, bring them with you. Also, bring your goggles, a towel, and a drink. Use the toilet before you report, as there's no telling how long you'll be waiting. If you need to leave the marshaling area, ask the marshaling personnel. A smile goes a long way when asking for help.
  13. Well before you get to the block, listen to the starters' instructions and translate if necessary. Know the procedure for when and where to exit the pool after your event. Ask a coach or teammate to record your finish time, as it may be difficult for you to see the scoreboard from the water at the end of your swim.
  14. Event results may be online or posted in a designated area. Often, results are not available for an hour or longer after the event is completed. Each event has a limited period during which a protest may be filed. If you were disqualified from an event and want to file a protest, immediately seek out the meet referee, a meet official, or a USMS coach (if available), and ask what procedure to follow.

Swimming at international meets can be a very rewarding experience if you're prepared to accept that not every meet is run like a USMS National Championship. Maintain a positive outlook and make the best of every challenge you face. Remember, in most cases, the conditions are the same for all competitors--it's your preparation and attitude that may differentiate you from your competition.


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. 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. 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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