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One meterologically-attuned rodent in Pennsylvania may have told us we're getting an extra six weeks of winter this year, but we're holding out hope for a spring thaw soon. In the meanwhile, check out all the great information below to help you build your Masters program. And stay warm!

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
Establishing the Line
Coach Cokie Lepinski offer tips to help your swimmers get those hips up

As coaches, we all know the importance of minimizing resistance in swimming. But translating to your swimmers the many details that go into that simple statement is not always so simple! For example, let's take a look at one area where a swimmer can minimize resistance-by establishing a clean, horizontal line in the water. The horizontal line is a foundation for all four strokes, yet we see many of our swimmers with feet positioned very deeply in the water and hips that fall below the water line. You wince as you watch them swim, knowing how much energy they are expending as they swim uphill lap after lap.


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Maximizing Open Water Sighting Efficiency
Coach Stuart McDougal shares tips for coaches working with open water swimmers
open water, swimmer, buoy

Coaches: open water season is approaching and with it the need to help your swimmers learn the basics of sighting. One of the easiest ways to improve your swimmers' open water performance is by improving their ability to sight on a course. However, sighting well and swimming straighter in open water are often mistaken with sighting forward more frequently and having the target in complete focus. Locking in on a target frequently may be calming and comforting because the swimmer feels he is swimming a straighter and shorter path, but it can come at a big expense.


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On-Deck Coaches, Officials Needed at Spring Nationals 
Coach swimmers in need and get some perks at Nats
on-deck coaching
Registration for the 2015 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship to be held in San Antonio, Texas, April 23-26 is now open, and we need YOU! Apply to be an on-deck coach or meet official and get a front row seat to all the action while helping out your fellow USMS members, coaches, and swimmers. On-deck coaches are given a special T-shirt for their participation and are a huge help to swimmers traveling to the meet without their own coach. Slots are filling fast, so sign up today if you want to participate. Applications for assigned officials are due by March 15.

Please also let your swimmers know that registration is now open for the meet. All entries must be received by midnight PDT on March 23. Early-bird swimmers who submit their registration prior to midnight PST on March 2 will save $10 off the meet surcharge. Late entries will not be accepted

We have negotiated reduced rates with several local hotels. See all your options for accommodations online, and make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure the best deals and room availability. We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio for some super fast swimming!

April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month
Annual initiative to teach adults to swim is right around the corner
To those of us in USMS--avid swimmers, and many of whom have always known how to swim--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 in 2014, and we're looking forward to an even bigger response in 2015. 

If you want to help, it's easy! Start by finding out if your swimming facility offers adult learn-to-swim lessons. If it doesn't, ask the manager to consider adding lessons. If your facility does offer lessons, make sure that information is listed alongside your Masters program entry in the Places to Swim database. 

If you'd like to establish and run a learn-to-swim program, you can apply for a $5,000 grant from the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation to get that program off the ground. Applications for the next grant cycle will open soon.

Perhaps the easiest way to help is by donating to the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, which you can do anytime online. SSLF is a donor-funded charitable organization, and 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes to provide swimming lessons for adults around the country. 

Social Media and Sponsorship Conference for Swim Clubs
Learn the ins and outs of social media at this swim-specific conference
social media
USA Swimming is hosting its first annual #SWIMBIZ social media and sponsorship conference for clubs. #SwimBiz will focus on growing participation, increasing revenue, and improving events. The course will emphasize social media, advertising, branding, communications, sponsorship, and local promotions for clubs. USMS clubs are invited to attend the conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 29 through 31. Cost is $100 per person. There's lots more information online. Hope to see you there! 
What Rule is THAT?!
Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, answers your questions

The Coach Asks: At our last meet, swimmers were allowed to enter "(choice) 200 free" on the entry form. The meet information stated, "200 Choice (events 18-19): You may swim the 200 Free, Breast, Back or Fly. Declare 200 Free, Breast, Back or Fly by start of meet." One of my swimmers swam the 200 fly, but his time appears in the results as a 200 free time. What are the rules on this?


Answer: There is no such event as "200 Choice" (see 102.5 for the list of events that can be offered at a meet). A person is allowed to swim in any style during a freestyle event (101.5.2), but no matter what style is swum, it can only count as a freestyle time (103.18.2). For the time to count for a butterfly time, the swimmer had to enter the 200 butterfly. If you see an entry form like that again, contact and inform the meet director that the entry choice on the entry form must appear as "Event 18-19: 200 (choose one stroke) __:__.__ Free, __:__.__ Breast, __:__.__ Back, or __:__.__ Fly", forcing the swimmer to enter an event that is listed in 102.5. 


All rule references are from the 2015 USMS Rule Book. For any questions about competition rules in Part 1, contact Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair.

Questions from Coaches
Bill Brenner, Education Director, answers your questions

Q: I'm hiring a new head Masters coach at our aquatic facility. Do you have any suggestions for writing a job description?


A: The successful hiring of a Masters coach requires first understanding the needs of your program. You also must attract the best pool of candidates who fit those needs. You could hire a coach with a pedigree of outstanding accomplishments and a successful coaching background, but if he or she doesn't see eye-to-eye with your program's mission, vision, and willingness to meet the needs of your swimmers, problems could arise.


I've put together a template to help you create a job description you can use to advertise for a coach. Once your job description is complete, post it to online job listing sites. USMS members can place the information on the usms.org forums on the Coaching Positions Available thread


Questions about growing your club, managing club business, or becoming a better coach? Education 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

Want to become a better coach? Then get certified and up-to-speed on the latest coaching techniques. Our Education Department offers certification classes for coaches who want to become Level 1, 2, or 3 certified in various cities all over the country. Below is a small sample of classes being offered later this month. See the full list of class dates and locations on our  Coach Certification Schedule page. 


Level 1 & 2: Feb. 21, 2015 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Register online

Level 3 (Leve 2 a prerequisite) Feb. 22, 2015 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Register online

Stroke Development Clinic: Feb. 22, 2015 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - Register online


ALTS Instructor Certification Schedule
Upcoming Coach Certification Classes

In conjunction with our April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month initiative, USMS has recently launched the Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Course. This innovative, one-day course begins with several hours of classroom training in how to approach the various types of adult nonswimmers you may come across while offering lessons. After talking theory in the classroom, all attendees have an opportunity to practice what they've just learned in the pool. At the conclusion of the class, you'll be a certified USMS ALTS instructor, ready to help people who come to you for swimming lessons.


More information about the course is available online along with a schedule for upcoming classes around the country. Please check the schedule frequently, as we're constantly adding new dates and locations.


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, usms.org; 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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