Of Interest to Coaches

Pacific’s coaches are our greatest resource. They are the leaders and inspiration for our members. Through their extraordinary efforts, day in and day out, they propel Masters beyond simply being a lap swimming program for adults.

Pacific Masters coaches are a rich resource for the many facets of coaching adults, organizing and managing clubs, current techniques and trends and other information that will help their fellow coaches. The articles linked here can aid coaches and swimmers in their continuing growth.

Spring Nationals

By Shari Cruse

Spring Nationals will be held in June this year.  Last year I worked as an on-deck coach at Spring Nationals and it was an absolutely wonderful experience.  I met many wonderful coaches and had the opportunity to work with swimmers from all over the country.  The swimmers are so excited and very grateful for your help, and you will see some great swims.  Not just top times, which are exciting, but also heartwarming swims from our eldest swimmers and wonderful displays of team spirit during relays.  This year there will also be the excitement of the Olympic Trials in the same city!

The USMS Clubs and Coaches Committee has asked me to pass on the following three wonderful opportunities for coaches:
  1. If you will be at Spring Nationals in Indy, please sign up to cover a shift for "On-Deck Coaching" during warm ups. Your job is to help keep warm ups organized and answer questions that swimmers may have. It's fun, you get some food after, and there is a super cool BRIGHT yellow shirt in it for you! Sign up here.
  2. The National Coaches Clinic will be held October 18-20 in Houston at the Airport Marriott. This is a fantastic learning event for coaches with speakers, networking, and pool time. More information will be coming. Keep an eye on this page for details as they are released.

Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results

By Carol Nip, V.P. Clubs & Coaches, Pacific Masters Swimming

As a coach and swimmer, I know that struggles will come up again and again. An important lesson I learned throughout January is that no matter how tough the obstacle might be, it can be overcome with the right mindset and the help of a few key elements.

In recognizing this, I hope to offer some insight and advice for those who may be struggling with getting over their own challenges.

My struggle stopped me in my tracks. Literally, I felt paralyzed and spiraled into a cave, avoiding commitment, people and added responsibilities. Avoidance is a difficult thing for a coach to do - to hide from the necessary tasks of our work. Beneath the exterior, I struggled to get over the gloom. During this time, I discovered 15 ways to get over my hurdles, listed below. As a result, the winter of my soul has passed, and I now see brighter days ahead.

15 Ways to Get Over Your Struggles

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  1. Push Through
  2. Practice acceptance
  3. Exercise to release endorphins
  4. Decommit to things you don't have to do now, or ever
  5. Meditate, pray
  6. Practice gratitude
  7. Succeed in something you’ve avoided because you think it’s too hard
  8. Listen to an inspirational talk: Warren Buffet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h89uOvUDVO4
  9. Write nonstop for 10:00 about your hump, what-when-why-how
  10. Get this app: Think Up. Listen to affirmations.
  11. Do a Juice Fast
  12. Unload on a listener who offers no judgment - friend, counselor
  13. Do something really kind for someone, repeat kindness again
  14. Play with a child for an hour
  15. Listen to uplifting music

Making Walnut Creek Masters Thrive

By Melanie Bowden

When Kerry O’Brien was hired to coach Walnut Creek Masters (WCM) he was asked, “How long do you see yourself doing this?” Kerry responded, “Five years.” Not even close! Over his 30 years at Walnut Creek, Kerry ingrained these three values into Walnut Creek Masters unique culture.

Encourage Creativity

WCM appreciates when coaches have a creative mindset. For example. during the pandemic, WCM began having a live band at practices twice a week. He started Creeker University where coaches designed four-week classes on whatever subject they wanted.

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Community Building
Some ways WCM builds community include:
  • A once-a-month Breakfast Club Get Together.
  • Two workouts a week held at Rossmoor Senior Community.
  • Co-op babysitting for young parents at a morning workout.
  • Competitive communities with Davis Aquatic Masters and two East Coast teams.
  • Flexible workout times with multiple workouts daily.
  • A reduced fee for college students that covers all summer and winter and spring breaks.
  • A close relationship with an age-group youth team.

Coaching Characteristics
“I determine the three to four strengths that each coach brings to the table,” Kerry says. “We also look at the three to four things each coach is not strong at, do our best to be as honest as we can with each other, and let others work from their strengths.”

The coaches also strive to make new members feel welcome. “I’m glad you’re here,” is a statement all the coaches say. New members are encouraged to start slower, do less, and to take breathers which gives coaches the chance to talk to anyone new.

The Benefits of Attending a USMS Clinic Course for Coaches
A Coach’s Perspective

By Carol Nip, V.P. Clubs & Coaches, Pacific Masters Swimming 

A two-day USMS Stroke Development Clinic, also known as USMS Clinic Course for Coaches, was held recently at City College of San Francisco. If you missed it, don’t worry! Happily, the USMS Clinics and Courses will return in September 2023. Mark your calendars!

These Clinics are important tools in helping pool communities thrive. Through the comprehensive curricula, local committees can ensure that their coaches are well prepared to work with swimmers of all age groups and experience levels, allowing more people to enjoy the sport.

Here are six reasons why the USMS Clinic Course for Coaches are so valuable.

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1.  Coaches received guidance from two of the most knowledgeable and experienced mentors in the field, Bill Brennerand Mel Goldstein!

Bill Brenner is the Senior Director of Club and Coach Development at U.S. Masters Swimming.  Bill 's dedication to developing coaches has been instrumental in the success U.S. Masters Swimming. His engagement and expertise have yielded over 5,000 Masters Coaching Certifications.

Mel Goldstein, Past President of USMS, collaborated with Bill Mel in conducting the clinic. Mel is an esteemed figure in the Masters swimming. He has been recognized for his outstanding contributions, receiving the Ransom Arthur Award in 1997. Throughout his time as USMS President, Mel continuously dedicated himself to achieving the organization’s objectives.

2. Coaches get to interact to enhance knowledge through active coaching.

Coaches must stay relevant and up-to-date on the latest developments in their field. The USMS Clinic Course for Coaches provides coaches with the opportunity to review core knowledge, skill sets and learn new strategies and techniques to assure their continual improvement.

Clinics provide motivation and instill passion for coaches. Our field is ever evolving. It is important for coaches to take advantage of every opportunity to renew and refresh their skills. Investing in a USMS Clinic Course for Coaches can pay off in higher job satisfaction and improved performance.

Educational hands-on clinics, allow coaches to benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of their peers, learn from each other and gain valuable insight into the current best practices. A USMS Clinic Course for Coaches is an ideal environment for networking and making invaluable connections.

3. Coaches connect with peers who understand their unique position.

The Masters Swimming coaching community celebrates being part of a larger family. Each member has unique strengths and weaknesses. Pacific Masters Swimming coaches recognize that we must support one another, celebrate our successes and learn from our failures.

Coming together at a USMS Clinic Course for Coaches or any of the many other forums for coaching education and support, we promote excellence and create an environment where everyone thrives. Through community, we energize one another to reach our highest potential.

Pacific's recent clinic drew coaches from as far away as the Colorado and Delaware Valley LMSCs.  Community spirit, camaraderie and learning together was evident throughout the program.

4. Every Masters Swim Committee (LMSC) needs a thriving coaching community.

USMS’s Clinic for Coaches provides a platform to bridge the community and further develop coaching skills. Certification classes and instructional clinics with the most knowledgeable swim coaching professionals enhances coaches’ capacity to become the best mentors possible by providing the resources needed to develop community and promote success.

5. Pools need swimmers, swimmers need coaches, and coaches need inspiration.

Masters swim coaches need on-going inspiration to guide their swimmers, no matter their age, skill level or speed. The USMS Clinic Course for Coaches is the place to find that inspiration while accessing techniques, progressions, current practices and ideas that translate directly to their swimmers.

Coaches come away with a better understanding of how capture their team’s vision, energized for teaching and highly motivated to help every swimmer achieve their goals.

6. Every swimmer wants solid feedback from their coach.

Masters swimmers deserve experienced and knowledgeable guidance from their coach to reinforce proper technique, provide insight into areas of improvement and motivate them to wards reaching their goals and potential.

Providing words of insight, encouragement and stroke technique at the right times, coaches help adult masters swimmers make the most of every swim. A coach’s ongoing support makes it possible for swimmers to keep improving and succeeding in the pool. Whether they are an outspoken or quiet swimmer, everyone in the pool wants and needs to hear from their coach and be recognized. This feedback can make all the difference in a swimmer's performance, helping them reach the peak of their abilities. That is why coaches who give feedback are essential to adult Masters swimmers.

Put a Coaching Clinic on your must do list.
Ultimately, the USMS Clinic Course for Coaches is a special way for coaches to hone their skills and gain inspiration. For local committees, it’s an invaluable resource that will help foster a thriving swimming community. Coaches have the opportunity to stay ahead of the game as a successful leader in their field. Attending the clinic, coaches access new strategies and gain the confidence to take their coaching career to the next level.

Coaches Speak

We took the opportunity to let our coaches speak about the key roles they play in Masters Swimming.

Created and produced by videographer Dakota Lim at the 2022 LCM Championships, this video captures six Pacific Masters coaches as they describe what they do, the dynamics of their relationships with their swimmers, and where they derive their greatest satisfaction from coaching Masters.

Thanks to Dakota for giving us a coaches-eye view of their very special corner of our swimming world.

Play Video

Publish Date Link Title
April 2023 https://conta.cc/3Gga3Ml What's in a Name?
February 2023 https://conta.cc/3Iz4nyL Baby Steps: New Clubs in our LMSC
January 2023 https://conta.cc/3Y1QlL7 What Shall it Be? Time to Stop Insanity!
December 2022 https://conta.cc/3jeqtwd A Look Back on What We've Achieved
October 2022 https://conta.cc/3TiP3cc A Pool for Peter, Nationals Clinic, Women in Coaching Masters, 2023 New Facilities
September 2022 https://conta.cc/3DLhmeI Women in Coaching Leadership Summit – October 15
August 2022 https://conta.cc/3RrSfAS You Get to be Mentored, USMS Levels 2 & 3 Certification
August 2022 https://conta.cc/3A1IRgt Donate Pool Time? Certification, Clinics, Clock
July 2022 https://conta.cc/3Prq445 USMS National Coaches Clinic, October 7-9, Las Vegas
June 2022 https://conta.cc/3OPXF7M Swim Across America, Leadership with Peter Guardagni, Education
June 2022 https://conta.cc/3b9c7t1 Nominations for USMS Awards – Clubs & Coaches
June 2022 https://conta.cc/3z9Y3cz Invitation to Coaches – On Deck with Dave Durden, CAL
March 2022 https://conta.cc/3sPVsB6 2022 Club Survey Findings #2 – You Don’t Want to Miss This
February 2022 https://conta.cc/3H1oktO 2022 Club Survey Findings & Coach Level 2 Certification
February 2022 https://conta.cc/3saAivJ OW Certification for Masters Coaches
January 2022 https://conta.cc/3FIEqbc How to Start Your Own Masters Swim Club
January 2022 https://conta.cc/3nloZ2e Exciting Opportunities to Grow Masters Swimming
December 2021 https://conta.cc/3m78OFj A Great Way to Start the New Year – Build Up Your Team
December 2021 https://conta.cc/3DL1HIw Coach & Team Volunteer Leadership Opportunity in March ‘22
November 2021 https://conta.cc/3DA3Qro Reaching Your Community Through Social Media & Digital Marketing
October 2021 https://conta.cc/3jqPUYC Abbie Fish Will Bring The Flip Turn & Coaches Tech Talk
September 2021 https://conta.cc/3zGdTZY Teri McKeever’s Talk to Our Masters Coaches, Webinar
July 2021 https://conta.cc/36WwN1M Design a Better Website for Your Club
July 2021 https://conta.cc/3wssHsy Post-lockdown Status of Clubs in our LMSC
June 2021 https://conta.cc/35ZKZGY Win a Pair of Smart Goggles – July 8 & USMS Mentor/Mentee Program
May 2021 https://conta.cc/3oQxfGV Coaching OW in Your Pool, Middle Age College Swimmer, USMS COTY Nominations
May 2021 https://conta.cc/3v7HFo6 Are Clubs and Coaches Ready for Competition?
May 2021 https://conta.cc/2Rn7pOf Coaches Only – May Update: ePostal Challenge, COTY, OW Clinics & Try Masters Swimming
March 2021 https://conta.cc/2OZ2GBH Kicking It With Abbie (corrected link)
March 2021 https://conta.cc/2P6Gbe1 Adult Learn to Swim & Your Club
February 2021 https://conta.cc/2ZPSflv The Current Status of Pacific Masters Swimming Clubs
February 2021 https://conta.cc/3aZe6MG Ain’t Nothing Like the Pure Thrill of Competition
January 2021 https://conta.cc/3aif2ez Best Ways to Coach Masters Swimmers
January 2021 https://conta.cc/3nU4CqA Coaches Want Community, Education and Ideas
January 2021 https://conta.cc/3b0nyRC Educational Themes for Coaches, 2021 - Brainstorm
November 2020 https://conta.cc/3nOgpH8 Panel Q&A: Open Water Swimming Through the Winter
November 2020 https://conta.cc/3kV1CcG Clinic: Open Water Swimming Through the Winter
November 2020 https://conta.cc/34RYNDD Annual Celebration & Meeting
October 2020 https://conta.cc/3jAVk1g This Year’s Special Pandemic Coaches Clinic
September 2020 https://conta.cc/3iR8ff9 Weathering COVID Pool Restrictions and Beyond
September 2020 https://conta.cc/3i9yIEk Coaches Clinic – Weathering COVID Pool Restrictions
August 2020 https://conta.cc/30WX65W Staying in Touch in the Middle of Social Distancing
August 2020 https://conta.cc/2Py6Z3w Look Inside for Ways to Connect during Social Distancing
May 2020 https://conta.cc/2B544LJ CoastSide Tiger Sharks, Coach Brad Pence and Open Water
May 2020 https://conta.cc/35S7fBE Healthy Daily Habits for Success as a Masters Coach
January 2017 https://conta.cc/3r1xJfl Happy New Year 2017, Level 4 Coaches Certification, Workout of the Week
September 2016 https://conta.cc/3xS4jnN USMS Coaches Clinic, Nov. 11-13, San Mateo, Level 2 Certification
June 2016 https://conta.cc/3xNuLPg USMS Coaches Clinic, Certification, Link to USMS Coaches Committee meeting notes
May 2016 https://conta.cc/3C3o7qW Mike Kazek, COTY, 2016 USMS Coaches Clinic, San Mateo
March 2016 https://conta.cc/3xOJSYY On Deck Coaches Needed at Spring Nationals, USMS Peer-to-Peer Calls
January 2016 https://conta.cc/3SqZqKi USMS Program Developer Seminar, Levels 1 & 2 Coaches Certification, Stroke Development Clinic
November 2015 https://conta.cc/3S8htFu 2015 Coaches Clinic, Job Openings for Coaches
October 2015 https://conta.cc/3DNNkH2 2015 Coaches Clinic, Lafayette, USMS Coaches Committee
June 2015 https://conta.cc/3f8ZeRr On-Deck Coaches at USMS LCM Nationals, November Coaching Clinic in Lafayette
March 2015 https://conta.cc/3UzBwOD USMS Peer-to-Peer Teleconference, 2015 USMS and Pacific Masters Coaching Clinics, June and November
November 2014 https://conta.cc/3Ra8sKP 2014 Coaches Swiminar, Lafayette