Swim Fitness Articles
Why Join Masters?
- Coaches. A coach will help motivate you, teach you, manage the practice and lanespace, give you feedback, and help you get results. Usually they are quite knowlegable and have decades of combined experience in the sport as a coach and as a competitor. Most coaches do it because they love the sport and like helping people, not for financial gain or ego. They are truly some of the most special people on the planet, quirks and all.
- Pools. You'll usually have access to good pools with paceclocks, laneropes, correct chemical levels, backstroke flags, stripes on the bottom, and training equipment such as pull-buoys, kickboards, and paddles. The pools will be a regulation length like 25 yards or 50 meters. There's not a wave of water rebounding off the walls. Temperatures will be conducive to swimming for exercise, so you won't overheat when swimming hard. The lanes are wide enough to circle swim or otherwise share a lane.
- Focus. The other people in the pool will have similar goals. No kids doing cannonballs in your lane, no romantic couples smooching in front of the turning +, no floaters, people aren't standing around talking and interrupting you between repeats. Nobody's pestering you asking if you can teach them the butterfly or a flipturn or asking if you are training for the Olympics or on a swim team. If you have kids, they won't be pestering you for money for Cokes or whining that they want to do something or asking you to watch while they go off the diving board. This time is for you.
- Attitudes. You're there to exercise and swim and so are the other people. You don't have to look good in a swimsuit or with wet hair. This isn't dress-up time. The best swimmers aren't the ones in the prettiest swimsuit. As long as you don't interfere with somebody else's workout, your teammates don't really care how slow you are, if your flipturns are ugly or non-existant, or if you can't do butterfly.
- Etiquette. The other people in your lane are probably cognizant of basic pool etiquette. If not, you can get the coach to enlighten them. You won't have slower people pushing off just as you come in to the wall, standing in the way, or otherwise interfereing with your workout.
- Schedules. You'll be on a limited schedule, but you're pretty much assured that you'll be able to swim during those times. Compare that to going to the health club and finding that there is one person in each lane swimming right down the middle and refusing to share a lane. Or maybe you got there first and there's a 15-minute limit on each lane and somebody's waiting and won't just share a lane with you when you offer.
- Cameraderie. You'll be with teammates who also want to get in a productive workout and get faster. They keep it interesting and instead of being a drudgery, your workout will go fast. If you get tired and start to falter, they will help motivate you to keep going. You may form lifelong friendships with terrific people you wouldn't get to meet otherwise.
- Fun and Good Health. It's not just "black line, boring" over and over. It's fun! It's easier to stick with something that is fun. If you consistently make it to practice, you can reap tremendous health benefits. "Fun" is something that we all define differently. For some, it's the sheer joy of being in the water. Others enjoy the sense of accomplishment in setting goals, working for them, and achieving them. Others enjoy lively banter with teammates and coaches. It's all there. Swimming is a magnificent sport for all ages and abilities.
- Extras. With your USMS membership you'll get a subscription to a magazine with interesting articles and news. You'll have the opportunity to go to meets, which are way funner than any meet you went to as a kiddo -- especially if you can go to a travel meet like Zones with a bunch of teammates. Your family and friends will brag about you behind your back and admire your efforts.
- Bang for your Buck. Yes, there are fees to join a team, fees to register with USMS, and monthly training fees. They are usually pretty reasonable especially when you consider what you could have spent the money on. Many teams will let you give it a week or so free to see if it "works" for you. If you're paying $50 to join a team, $32 for USMS, and $50 a month that works out to about $700 a year. If you make 3 workouts a week for 40 weeks out of the year, that's still under $6 a workout. Think about how much much money you could have spent in 3 hours a week at the mall, working out with a personal trainer, going to Happy Hour, or other entertainment options. If you're spending less money for a health club membership but not going regularly or not enjoying it, it's not cheaper. If you're reaping the benefits of a Masters team you'll consider it money well spent.
Ready to join Masters Swiming? Just click here to join online and save a copy for your club as confirmation.
If you'd rather fill out a paper form and pay by check, simply click here to download a pdf of the LMSC registration, fill it out and return it with the specified fees via US mail to:
North Texas Masters Swimming Registrar
2300 Coit Road, Suite 400
Plano, TX 75075
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