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See below for important information regarding rule changes and lots of other happenings within USMS. 

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
Interpretation of Rule 101.5.2, Freestyle in IM and Medley Relay
Notice to all USMS members from the USMS Rules Committee, Sept. 10, 2015
  1. FINA originally issued an interpretation for officiating the freestyle portion of the IM and medley relay on June 1, 1997.
  2. FINA issued an additional interpretation of the freestyle portion of the IM and medley relay, specifically regarding backstroke, on August 23, 2015.
  3. USMS will follow both interpretations as published by FINA and subsequently published by USA Swimming on September 8, 2015.
USA Swimming has provided additional information regarding this emergency notice, including a series of FAQs. The USMS rule reference number and text of the rule are the same as USA-S. Please read the rest of the notice online. If you have additional questions please contact the USMS Rules Committee.

Horizontal Pushing Progressions
Chris Ritter on helping swimmers develop whole body strength through push-ups
Dive, streamline, underwater, swimmer, swimming
To properly perform a push-up, you must keep complete tension throughout your body. There aren't many exercises that require this tension. This type of movement isn't just about developing the chest or upper body strength-it's also about learning to integrate your whole body into a movement and accessing strength through whole-body tension. When you learn to activate your whole body at that level, you'll become more streamlined and faster in the water.
How Do Your Swimmers Feel About Swimming?
Understanding motivation and perception
Happy swimmer
We've asked the University of Kansas Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab to help us gather insight into our members' swimming experiences. They've put together a very brief survey that we hope you'll encourage your swimmers to participate in. You love swimming, so do we, let's study it together! All responses are anonymous. Some of the results will be aggregated and presented at the USMS Annual Meeting in a few weeks.
Club Registration Begins October 1
Register early to make sure your swimmers can find your program
silver-keyboard.jpg, typing
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 2016 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

Two Membership Options Available for New Members
New swimmers arriving on deck this fall? Tell them about their options.
Join Renew Button
For your members still registering with USMS for 2015, beginning Sept. 1 the fee payable to USMS has been reduced from $37 to $25 (plus any LMSC fees). This is called an "End-of-Year" registration. (This registration will expire on Dec. 31, 2015 with everyone else who registered for 2015.) 

USMS also offers a "Year-Plus" membership where prospective members can choose to register for the remainder of 2015 for $15 plus pre-pay for a full-year 2016 membership ($39 plus their local LMSC fee).

More information and links to individual registration are online. 
3000/6000 ePostal Season Has Arrived!
A fun competition for your swimmers or just a great workout--your choice!
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 this year by Davis Aquatic Masters, 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. 
Few Spots Remain in USA Swimming's Fantasy Camp
Get faster with the greats!
USA Swimming Fantasy Performance Camp logo
This camp, scheduled for October 16-18, brings swimmers age 19+ from all over the country to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to live, eat, and train like a national team athlete. Attendees this year will swim with, and learn from, some of swimming's greatest athletes including Olympians Cullen Jones, Rowdy Gaines, Jason Lezak, Debbie Meyer, and Olympic coach Todd Schmitz.

The cost is $2,500 and a portion of all registration fees will go to support the USA Swimming Foundation. The fee does not include travel to/from Colorado Springs. Only a few spots remain, so contact Nicole Wilson below if you want to take advantage of this great opportunity!
Got questions? Please direct Adult Performance Camp inquiries to Nicole Wilson via email  or by phone at 719-866-3583.

What Rule is THAT?!
Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, answers your questions
The Coach Asks: I'm not entirely clear on the new interpretation for the freestyle leg of the IM and medley relay. During a forward flip turn, it is good form to push off on your back, then rotate to your front as you do your dolphin or flutter kicks. This would still be allowed as long as you don't dolphin kick more than 15 meters, right? All the dolphin kicks would have to be toward the breast, right? But the push-off on your back is OK, right?
Answer: No, the push off on the back is no longer OK. Note that this interpretation is only for the freestyle leg of the IM (any distance) and the medley relay (any distance), and the rules do not allow backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly on that leg of either event. Backstroke is defined in USMS 101.4.2 as "shall push off on the back" and is therefore not allowed during the freestyle leg of the IM and medley relay because that is a clear definition of backstroke. This applies to the breast-to-free turn and the subsequent freestyle turns on that leg of the IM/medley relay. In an actual freestyle event, one can leave the wall on the back after the turn and rotate to the front, because freestyle by itself is defined as "swim in any style". However, in USMS 101.5.2 (freestyle stroke rule), after the statement "swim in any style", it also states "except that in a medley relay or individual medley event, freestyle means any style other than butterfly, breaststroke, or backstroke." 

The FINA/USA-S/USMS interpretations require that official(s) see the style of backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly for a sufficient distance to call a DQ (FINA interpretation June 1, 1997,"When a swimmer has traveled a sufficient distance that the official can with certainty judge that the competitor is swimming in the style of butterfly, breaststroke or backstroke, then a disqualification is appropriate."). The latest FINA interpretation (August 23, 2015) specifically addresses leaving the wall on the back during the freestyle leg of the IM/medley relay, "According to (FINA) SW 9.1 each of the strokes must cover one quarter (1/4) of the distance. Being on the back when leaving the wall for the freestyle portion of the medley is covering more than one quarter of the distance in the style of backstroke and is, therefore, a disqualification. Backstroke swimming is only defined as being on the back." 

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: Is the ASCA World Clinic a good educational opportunity for a Masters coach?

A: Yes. The American Swimming Coaches Association hosts an annual conference providing educational opportunities for swim coaches. The six-day format includes certification courses--the USMS Masters Coach Certification Levels 1 and 2 course being one of them--keynote speeches, and presentations from the leading authorities of swimming from around the world.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic swim team coaches David Marsh and Bob Bowman, along with U.S. National Team Coach Frank Busch, highlighted a group of 25-plus exceptional presenters at the 2015 World Clinic. Many, if not most, of the presentations were of universal value to any swimming coach working within the age-group, high school, college, or Masters ranks. The registration cost for the 2015 clinic was $450.

During the 2015 ASCA World Clinic, USMS coaches Chad Durieux (Rose Bowl Masters), Jillian Wilkins (Central Florida Y Masters), and Rich Axtell (Minuteman Masters) delivered Masters-specific presentations on the following topics:
  • Learning the differences in training Masters
  • Growing with triathletes
  • Getting a team of adults to travel
  • Generating revenue from Masters meets
  • Creating one diverse pool
  • Hosting a clinic for Masters swimmers
What I enjoy most about attending the clinic is the ability to network with other coaches. Any coach, regardless of status, can engage in conversation with any of the other coaches at the clinic. Every coach, including the Olympic coaches, are easily approachable and willing to talk and listen. It's a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and fellowship with others and recharge the coaching battery. I leave the clinic anxious to try new workouts, drills, and the latest swim gear with my swimmers and other coaches I meet.

The ASCA World Clinic includes an exhibit hall with swimming-specific vendors. Many offer hands-on demonstrations, and most have samples of the products they sell. Several bulletin boards are displayed throughout the venue with job postings, creative workouts, and ideas to help you become a better coach and program leader.

The 2016 clinic will be in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the week after Labor Day. Consider adding it to your calendar. 

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

ALTS Instructor Certification Schedule
Upcoming ALTS Instructor Certification Classes
Our innovative, one-day Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Course begins with several hours of classroom training in how to approach the various types of adult nonswimmers you might 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 of 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.
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