One Big Happy Family

Want to learn how a masters program grew from a handful of members to over 500?

Read the article here, it is inspirational and instructive at the same time.


USAS Convention Wrap-up

If you want to get a good overview of what happened in Chicago at the 2009 USAS Convention, click here. A lot of things are going on at the National level of US Masters Swimming so read up and stay informed. Thanks to out delegates and for everybody who serves masters swimming at all levels!


Masters Moves Closer To Same Suit Ban As Elite

By no means is this the end of the whole swimsuit controversy, but it looks like some changes are afoot regarding masters swimwear. This article provides a helpful update...but certainly not the last one.

More on this to come so stay tuned.


Posting about Triathletes and Swimming

The following is a very interesting and timely article that was posted on the Southern California Aquatics blog last month. It discusses the importance of swimming training for triathletes, especially in light of some recent incidents. The takeaway is that triathletes need to become better swimmers for their own well-being and safety. Masters Swimming can help, but we all need to reach out to our triathlon friends and encourage them to workout with an adult aquatics program.

Here is the article...

Triathletes should be certified by the USMS or USA Swimming!

Triathlete death rates during the swim portion surpass those of marathon runners!

60% of triathletes are terrible swimmers. Most need fins and lessons.

My informal statistic reminds me of an eBay joke I once heard: 50% of the the junk on eBay is crap and the other 50% is fake crap!

I don't say that lightly: Their death rates during the swim portion of the triathlon are twice that of marathon runners.

In just three weeks or so we see these news stories:
August 2nd: Reuters: The chief executive officer of Deutsche Telekom Asia, Calvin Lee Wee Sing, died on Sunday after he got into difficulty during the swimming leg of the annual Singapore triathlon.

August 10:
(UPI) OSHKOSH, Wis., Aug. 10 -- Police in Winnebago County, Wis., say a 43-year-old woman died while competing in the swim portion of the Oshkosh Triathlon.

July 18:
Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal: In the past six weeks, a 54-year-old woman and - last Sunday - a 33-year-old man died during the swim portion of area triathlons, despite near-immediate efforts to rescue them...
Now, is this a red flag or what? From The Independent:
"... Now a study has revealed that the risk of dying in a triathlon, though low, is nearly double the risk of dying in a marathon. A study presented to the American College of Cardiology Conference showed there were 14 deaths among almost one million competitors, a rate of 1.5 per 100,000. A further four deaths occurred among non-officially recognised events.

If I want to swim next year in the Pier to Pier race from Hermosa to Manhattan Beach, I have to swim a 500-yard test without a wetsuit for a L.A. County lifeguard to validate that I am qualified to swim with the other 900-racers in the event.

500-yards is probably the average swim distance for a triathlon and if triathletes are dying at such a rate why can't the USTS hold a triathlete to the same standard that the L.A. County Lifeguards do? No one has ever died during the Pier-to-Pier event and it is a 2-mile swim, not a 500-meter warm-up.

The USAT and USMS co-marketing efforts are not enough, insurance companies should mandate that the USMS and/or USA Swimming certify triathletes as knowing how to swim before they race.

This certification can be accomplished by the triathlete competing in a sanction USMS/USA Swimming event and producing the results of their meet as a passport for competing in a triathlon.


The State of Masters Swimming

U.S. Masters Swimming's Rob Butcher joins SwimmingWorld.TV's Garrett McCaffrey at the 2009 USAS Convention to discuss the State of Masters Swimming. Watch and enjoy...

Good stuff all the way around!


Arizona Open Water Series - Event 3

On Saturday, 220 swimmers of all ages participated in the third round of the Arizona Open Water Series at Saguaro Lake. The course had changed to a 1000M loop and a new finish chute was installed along with stairs at the end of the course. However, the event proved just as popular as the earlier rounds.

There were multiple waves since this event featured both 2000M and 4000M distances along with wetsuit and non-wetsuit divisions. The weather was warm and the water was at 76F, in other words perfect conditions for swimming!

The entire crew at DCB Adventures put on a great event and everybody had a wonderful time. Results are listed online along with the remaining two event of the season.

If you are into open water swimming for any reason, be it triathlon preparation, competition, or just a change of pace, give this series a look.


Arizona to host 2011 US Masters Short Course Nationals

Big news out of Chicago, IL, Arizona is going to host the 2011 US Masters Short Course National Championships! The meet host will be Mesa Aquatics Club and the pool will be the recently renovated Kino Aquatics Center.

This is great news for our state and will give us an opportunity to showcase a great facility along with great Arizona hospitality. Swimmers from all over the country are already excited about coming back to our state after a successful 2003 Short Course Nationals at ASU.

2011 will be here sooner than you think so start making your preparations now. There will be several meets at Kino over the next year and a half so plan on attending and getting familiar with the venue. Stay tuned for more details but keep this event in mind for your upcoming training plans.

Special thanks to the City of Mesa and Mesa Aquatics Club for putting together a winning bid!


Successful Sun Lakes Swimmer at Senior Games

Between July 31 and Aug 5 over 350 of the nation’s top Sr. (50+) Swimmers met at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA to compete for the National Titles.

To Qualify for the National Meet a swimmer must compete in the Sate Meet and finish 1st or 2nd and / or meet the qualifying times established by the "National Games Association"

The AZ Qualification events are held throughout Metro Phoenix early March / late February every two years (even years, 2010, 2012, etc). State games are held yearly with the Nationals are held every two years (Odd years, 2009, 2011, etc.) at various locals throughout the USA. The next meet will be 2011, in Houston TX.

Events include Archery, Badminton, and Basketball... Sailing, Soccer, Water Polo. For a compete listing see http://www.seniorgames.org/

Sun Lakes Resident Ken McKinney represented AZ in the 70-74 age group swimming in three events and coming away with 1 gold (100 yd Free style and Personal record) and 2 silvers (50 yard free and 200 yard Free, personal record).

Now is the time to start training for the state events in 2010. If you do not want to compete...local organizers are always looking for volunteer. If you have expertise in a particular sport or just want to help call 602-274-7742


AZ Sr. Olympics
PO Box 33278
Phoenix, AZ
602 274 7742

National Sr. Games
Po Box 54892
New Orleans, LA

Way to go Ken!


USMS 3000/6000 Yard Postal

Starting tomorrow, you can enter the US Masters Swimming 3000 or 6000 Yard Postal Championship. Click here to go to the online registration form. Clemson Aquatic Team is the host for this event, good luck to all participants!

Oh, you can also swim this as a relay if you don't relish the though of swimming 3000 yards by yourself...

And if you prefer paper forms, you can download one by going here.


San Diego Harbor Sharkfest Swim

If you want an excuse to go out to San Diego and swim, here is one for you. The San Diego-Coronado Sharkfest(tm) will take place on October 25 and promises to be a fun event. The swim is one mile in San Diego harbor, you can get more details by clicking here. So give this event some consideration when making your open water plans for the fall. Good luck!



BEST Swim Club is hosting TWO Sixtathlons this fall at their pool! The first one is going to be on Sunday September 27th and will feature the shorter version of the event.

So what is a Sixtathlon you ask? You swim a 100 Free followed by a 50 of each stroke in IM order then finish it off with a 100 IM. The times are added up from all six events and the results calculated. There will be 5-10 minute breaks in between each event so you will have a chance to recover a little bit in between swims.

Of course, you can also choose not to swim all six events and just focus on a couple of races...

This should be a fun meet format, especially if this is your first swim meet. Come on out and swim in this fun and fast event!



Here is another butterfly drill to try, courtesy of GoSwim:

Try it out and see how it helps your stroke!


Swimnetwork.com Special: What Next?

By Dr. Chris Colburn

You've made it through Long Course Nationals (or not), and it's time to take a break, look back and look forward. This week, we'll look at what you can do to get ready for next season, whether that season starts next week or next year.

Take a Break

Even if you only swam one or two days at the Big Splash, you're likely ready for a break. If you swam four or five days at the meet, you've probably slept in for a few days already. Everyone can benefit from even a short break at the end of a competitive season. A hiatus from the pool gives both mind and body a chance to rejuvenate, to come back to the pool ready to jump into the next season. Many swimmers ask how long a break they should take. I typically give the same advice to all my swimmers: when you're ready to get back in the pool, you'll know. Some swimmers like to take a day, while others might stay away for a couple of months. Either way, the best time to return is when your mind and body tell you. I took off five days after Nationals, while some of my swimmers were back at it after two. If you're not willing to trust yourself on this, take a week off and see how you feel. The rest will do you some good.

Assess Your Progress

Maybe you did as well or better than you dreamed at the Big Meet. Did you meet your goals? If not, did you reach an intermediate milestone? It's important to look back on the meet and see what went well and what didn't. Hopefully, you'll be able to reflect on the conditions that contributed to your successes so you can repeat those in the future. It's equally important to analyze where you may not have performed as well as you had hoped. Careful attention to the less-than-stellar swims can also help you assess what worked last season. Now is the time for some introspection on the details of your training. Was your taper too long or too short? Did you do enough stroke, drills or sprinting? Regardless of your assessment, some careful reflection on all your swims will show you what you can work on next.

What You Can Work On, or Change is Good

Maybe you really hit your starts. Perhaps your walls need a little work. Possibly, that last 50 could have felt better with some more legs. Now is the time to decide what to work on for the coming season. Some swimmers may not desire many changes, while others will want to change their training to focus on their observations from the meet. In any case, the beginning of the season is the best time to implement changes, as it gives you time to incorporate them into your training long before you return to racing. Nevertheless, work with your coach (if you have one) to make the changes you need to reach the next level of your swimming journey.

Chris Colburn (aka DrCoachChris) is the head coach of Academy Bullets Masters in Aurora, Ill., and the Chair of the U.S. Masters Swimming Coaches Committee. He believes that a break between seasons is a good thing. Break time is a great opportunity to set goals and make positive changes for the coming year.

For more of Chris’ work and for more swimming, go to Swimnetwork.com.


Open Water Coaching from Preparation to Pep Talk

by Randy Nutt

The inherent variables in open water swimming present several opportunities for coaches to prepare their athletes to perform at high levels. Preparation, when done properly, will allow swimmers to be comfortable in any situation. When comfortable, energies can be spent on swimming fast and not expended on nonrace-related issues. Preparation and training should incorporate race-like conditions so that your swimmers are used to being in the anticipated situation and can respond with confidence.

Ideally, athletes should gain a lot of their open water experience in open water; however, given that most swimmers do the majority or all of their training in the pool, there are several things you can do to enhance race-like conditions in the pool.

Pack the Lanes
Have the swimmers train with multiple swimmers in each lane. This allows the swimmers to practice swimming in close proximity to others. An added benefit is learning proper drafting techniques. Training with elbows flying, additional turbulence in the lanes and small areas in which to navigate can teach swimmers to be at ease with these conditions.

Visit the Race Course
If possible, accompany your swimmers while visiting the race course in advance of the event to become familiar with the layout, landmarks and landscape. It is critical that the view the swimmers are becoming familiar with is the view from the course, not the view most swimmers get standing on the beach and looking out onto the course. In many cases, this requires the swimmers to enter the course for a practice swim. Once out on the course, the swimmers should be instructed to pay attention to the structures, including buildings, trees or other landmarks, along the course. Help the swimmers make some mental notes, including where the sun will be during the event since that may cause change in sightings.

Know the Signals
If you will be supporting from a boat or kayak, work on a couple of simple arm or hand signals that will act as motivation during the race. Depending on the length of the race, you may also want to develop signals for "snack," "water break," or other sorts of similar elements during the event.

Pump ‘Em Up
The pep talk from coach to swimmers should be to remind the athletes that the training has been done and is in the bank. Having confidence in the training that has been done will make the race less scary. Remind swimmers that they are prepared and now is the time to enjoy all of the hard word that has already been done.


Masters Open Water Swimmer Alex Kostich

The Morning Swim Show had a good feature on masters open water swimmer Alex Kostich. Click here to find out more...good stuff!


Fall Open Water Events

In September, the Open Water Series begins again with a stop at Saguaro Lake. In October the series visits Lake Pleasant with the series finale is in early November at Tempe Town Lake. All events offer both 2000M and 4000M distances along with separate waves for wetsuit and non-wetsuit wearing competitors. Go to the DCB Adventures website for more information.

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