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APRIL 2015

April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month and we're excited about all the great programs around the country that are teaching adults to swim. Read on for more about this initiative, now in its second year.

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
The Five Ps of Meet Preparation

Coaches Bob Jennings and Connie Greb on how to help swimmers prep for meets

Men's butterfly 2014 summer nationals


During big events such as the upcoming 2015 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship, many swimmers will be showing off how hard they've worked all winter. And although it's the swimmers doing the swimming, coaches, you can play an integral role in helping your swimmers have a great time--both in and out of the pool. Below are some areas where a little guidance from a coach can make a big impact on a swimmer's meet experience.  


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Gimme a Break!

Terry "Speed" Heggy offers techniques for active recovery during races and workouts

Open Water, swimming, swimmers, race, 1v1, Tropical Splash

Everybody knows that rest and recovery are essential components of an effective training program. But have you ever thought about how to rest and recover during a workout, or even a race? You should--it will definitely help your training and race performance.


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What is Your Club Doing for ALTS Month?
Does your facility have an adult learn-to-swim program?
ALTS 2015

Wow! The nation is really paying attention to our call for adults to learn to swim in April! It's exciting to see new swimmers taking the plunge, becoming safer in the water, 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!


It might be surprising to learn that 37 percent of American adults can't swim the length of a standard swimming pool. What's worse, 8-10 people drown every day in the U.S. Last year the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation launched the April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign. And word is getting around.

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. (See Bill Brenner's helpful column below for detailed instructions). 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. Grant applications are due by July 24.


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. 


Please also check out our upcoming Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Courses. During these specially designed day-long courses, you can learn how to teach other adults to swim and pass along the joy of a sport that can literally save a life in the short term and confer a lifetime of benefits in the long term! There's more information about the course online along with a schedule of upcoming classes.


USMS National Coaches Clinic

Learn from our best USMS coaches! Nashville, Tenn., Jun. 5-7


The Coaches Committee presents an exciting learning and networking experience for Masters swim coaches. The USMS National Coaches Clinic is specifically tailored for Masters coaches and presented by award-winning USMS coaches. The three-day weekend will include stroke technique workshops, classroom presentations--including a  Levels 1 & 2 Coach Certification class--and multiple opportunities to network and learn from each other. Online registration is now open. 



Open Water and Long Distance National Championship Series
A fun schedule of open water racing is around the corner
open water, 4 swimmers

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:

  • June 13: 6-9-Mile National Championship (10K) Lake Del Valle, Calif. - Register Online
  • June 14: 1-Mile National Championship, Lake Del Valle, Calif. - Register Online
  • June 20: 9+ Mile National Championship (9.3 miles) Morse Reservoir, Noblesville, Ind. - Register Online
  • June 27:  2-Mile Cable National Championship, Foster Lake, Sweet Home, Ore. - Register Online
  • Aug. 29: 1-3-Mile National Championship, (1.55 miles) Lake George, N.Y. - Register Online
  • Sept. 12: 3-6 Mile National Championship, Lake Michigan, Chicago, Ill. - SOLD OUT

5K and 10K ePostals

The 5K and 10K ePostal season is coming up fast! Coaches: use these events to build team camaraderie and offer your swimmers a taste of national level competition without leaving the comfort of your home pool. Hosted this year by Central Oregon Masters, the 5K and 10K ePostals must be swum between May 15 and September 15 in any 50-meter pool. All swims must be completed by September 15 and submitted online by September 25 to be eligible for competition.


Remake Your Workouts to Motivate Your Swimmers

Use the Check-Off Challenge as a carrot ... or a stick

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 2015 Check-Off Challenge, hosted by Tennessee Aquatics Masters, 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 2015, you can create a fun and motivating challenge for your swimmers during regular workouts without any special equipment or travel time. Join the fun!


Education Manager Position Open at USMS
Want to work for USMS?
USMS seeks an education manager to administer our Adult Learn-to-Swim instructor certification program and the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation. This full-time position is based in our Sarasota, Fla. headquarters office. We encourage anyone with a passion for Masters Swimming, exceptional organizational skills, and an aptitude for organizing and analyzing data to apply. Read more about the position and find instructions for how to apply online
Fundraising Opportunities

Special Advertorial: Coaches and clubs can fundraise with these USMS partner programs

P2Life, SwimOutlet combined logo

SwimOutlet.com'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 SwimOutlet.com (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.


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High Performance Camp

Apply today for limited seats in this high-level camp

High Performance Camp, We've Got Spirit

The 2015 High Performance Camp is now accepting applications! Scheduled for August 22-27 in Greensboro, N.C., the camp is limited to a small number of dedicated Masters swimmers who are committed to advancing their skills and performance. You'll 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. Additional information and application available online.

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

The Coach Asks: I have always been under the impression that when only a mixed relay is offered for a particular distance and stroke, then a swimmer can swim one relay but it can be either a mixed relay or a single-gender relay. So one could swim a valid men's 200 free relay during the mixed 200 free relay event on the program, as long as the men's 200 free relay isn't also a separate event. Is that correct?


Answer: No. If only a mixed relay is offered at a meet, a single-gender relay cannot compete during that event for an official time. For example, a men's 200 free relay competing during a 200 mixed free relay would be disqualified for the following reasons:

  1. A mixed relay is defined in the rules as follows, "Mixed relays shall consist of two men and two women who may swim in any order." (101.7.3G)   
  2. The mixed free relay is a separate event from the single-gender free relays. (102.5 and 102.9.8)
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: Can I list my Adult Learn-to-Swim (ALTS) program on the USMS website?


A: Yes. USMS strongly encourages you to list your ALTS program as a community resource for adults researching swimming lesson options. Individuals will be able to search your listing by geography and proximity to your program's zip code.


To add your program, visit the USMS.org website's Places to Swim page and click on the region on the map where your program is located. This will direct you to a listing of pools your Local Masters Swimming Committee. Make a note of the LMSC you'll be affiliated with, as the LMSC is the local organizing subsidiary of USMS.


Click the Add a Place to Swim link on the lefthand side; this will take you to a page where you can enter the information about your ALTS program.

  • Your name and email address must be entered in the first two fields, but this information will not be published. The USMS database administrator needs your contact information if there are questions about your listing. Only the contact information you enter in the Contact Information or Miscellaneous fields will be published with your listing.
  • Use the drop-down feature to find and select your LMSC.
  • In the optional fields for USMS Club Name and USMS Club Abbreviation, enter your club's information as it appears in your official USMS club registration.  
  • If you have a registered USMS program listed on the Places to Swim page, you may add a separate listing for your ALTS program. Separate listings may be entered for multiple locations offering your ALTS program.
  • In the LapSwim/Workout Times or Miscellaneous fields, enter the times when you'll be offering swim lessons.
  • If you have a website, enter the link in the Website field.
  • In the Map URL field, enter a link for your facility's location. Use an online map service such as Google Maps or Yahoo Maps to generate this URL.
  • In the Miscellaneous field, you can add up to 255 characters worth of specific information about your ALTS program, such as:
    • Instructors and their credentials. If the instructors are USMS-certified ALTS instructors or hold other certifications, list this information. If instructors have special talents, such as working with fearful swimmers, add it to the instructor's bio.
    • Lesson schedule.
    • Cost.
    • Invitation. Invite the new student to call and speak with you or a representative of your program. Many adults need to know they will be learning from somebody who exhibits empathy, trustworthiness, and friendliness. You may want to also consider offering the option for potential students to meet with the instructor prior to scheduling their first lesson; this may help fearful students feel more comfortable.

Once all the fields are filled in, click the "submit new listing" button. Your information will be sent to the USMS database administrator for review. After the review process, which normally takes less than 24 hours, your listing will appear on the Places to Swim page. If you need to change or update any of your information, click on the "Modify" link located below your listing. 


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. See the full list of class dates and locations on our Coach Certification Schedule page.
Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Schedule
Upcoming ALTS Instructor 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.

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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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