coaches

NE-LMSC Scholarships for 2018 National Coaches Clinic

The National Coaches Clinic (NCC) is a USMS sponsored event bringing in some of the most experienced and knowledgeable swim coaching resources for a 3-day seminar geared towards Masters swimmers. The clinic provides traditional classroom presentations, opportunities to build community with other coaches and an in water session to further practice skills. This year's Clinic will be held in College Park, MD from October 19-21.

The NE-LMSC is committed to supporting the professional development of its coaches and we hope that many will be able to attend the NCC in this and in coming years. Any NE-LMSC coach who successfully completes the 2018 USMS NCC will receive a $100 scholarship reimbursement.

In addition to the above $100 scholarship three NE-LMSC coaches will receive an additional $400 stipend reimbursement to support travel expenses. In an effort to provide ongoing transfer of knowledge from the clinic each of these three coaches will be required to write one article for the NE-LMSC website/newsletter and host one swimmer or coach clinic prior to March 2019 pertaining to the information shared at the NCC. The travel stipend reimbursement will not be provided until these two actions have been completed.

The NE-LMSC coaches chair, Crystie McGrail, will support these coaches receiving financial reimbursement in completing their required clinics and newsletter articles.

Coaches interested in applying for the travel stipend reimbursement can submit an email to NEcoaches@usms.org including the following by midnight on June 22nd (deadline extended!)

  1. A short bio and background of their current coaching endeavors

  2. Why they would like to attend the 2018 National Coaches Clinic and what information they hope to bring back to share with others

A panel of three representatives from the NE-LMSC board will review applications and select the candidates for the travel reimbursement.

Please direct any questions to Coaches Chair, Crystie McGrail.

Additional NCC Info here

NE LMSC Presents 2018 Service Awards at Championship Meet

Contributed by Tara Mack, GBM & Awards & Recognition Chair

BOSTON, MA -- The New England LMSC proudly presented several awards to outstanding members during the 2018 NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet.


Coach of the Year:  Dan Rogacki

 Dan Rogacki with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Dan Rogacki with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Welcoming, Enthusiastic, Big Heart, Record Keeper, Funny, Remarkable

Dan’s team all commented on his record keeping as well as making each of them a handmade birthday card, and they shared how Dan has built a loving, supportive team that feels more like a family of which they are all grateful to be a part. 

 

 


Distinguished Service Award:  Rick Osterberg

Outstanding Service to Masters Swimming & NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet Director

Rick has been the SCY Championship Meet Director for over 15 years and has repeatedly demonstrated outstanding service to Masters Swimming on many levels and is consistently promotes Masters Swimming at the Club, NE LMSC, and National levels.

Nominators and supporters repeatedly discussed Rick as demonstrating excellence with respect to his role as the NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet Director in addition to the following: best meet director, supportive, encouraging, thoughtful, quality, dedicated, caring, supportive, running the best meet, great music, great announcer, above and beyond, kind, friendly, fun! 


Appreciation Award: David Graham

 David Graham with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

David Graham with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Encouragement, Support, Volunteerism, Humor, and an All-Inclusive Spirit

David’s supporters all recognized the tireless efforts he engages in to promote all kinds of swimming events, from pool to open water. He was thanked for a variety of reasons, including for being a personal kayaker in the Kingdom swim, and received accolades for his outreach in all avenues of swimming. A true supporter of the sport!

 


Appreciation Award: Joel Feldmann

Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Kindness, Love of the Sport and Others

Joel’s nominators mentioned repeatedly that Joel not only encourages everyone on the team, she calls them if they miss a practice to see if they are okay. She is nurturing and strong, and that has proven to be quite an amazing combination.


Lifetime Appreciation Award:  Priscilla Davis

 A few of our officials at the SCY Championship meet

A few of our officials at the SCY Championship meet

Over 40 years of Service, Laughter, Encouragement, Kindness, and Commitment

Priscilla Davis's team of 13 active officials does a masterful job of tirelessly running our Masters swim meets throughout the year. Each championship meet (WPI and Harvard), they spend 20-25 hours on their feet officiating. They also officiate at all our mini meets throughout the year. Not only that, they are professional, good humored and obviously love what they do. New England is blessed to have such an experienced and friendly group of officials running our meets.


APPRECIATION AWARD 2018: NE LMSC OFFICIALS

The following officials were also recognized for their outstanding and tireless commitment to provide us all with the best meet experiences while maintaining the professionalism of the sport:

Priscilla Davis

Mary Anne Lustgraaf

Bob Fredette

Jack Kurkul

Ed GardnerBob Menck

Ken Galica

Lisa Black Shouldko

Betsy Russell

Sue Hoey

Cam Townsend

Steve Davidson

Steve McAlarney


Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Award: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau

 Paul Goudreau and Lyn Duncan

Paul Goudreau and Lyn Duncan

 Lyn Dyncan and Maura Twomey

Lyn Dyncan and Maura Twomey

Frank Wuest invited us to live our best lives. He invited us to embrace the sport of swimming as a vehicle to get involved, to participate, to shine, and to be a part of an incredibly special community as well as to stay fit and active in the pursuit of the negative split! Frank’s passion for the sport was contagious. He was a fast swimmer and he was a committed cheerleader for us all as a collective as well as for all of us individually. With a glint in his eye, and a pace clock in his head, he encouraged us all to go for it! Frank truly represented all that the word community stands for and he did it with grace, ease, humor, love, camaraderie, and at times a little cajoling.

In conjunction with his wife Lyn Duncan, and on behalf of the NELMSC, as the Awards and Recognition Chair, I am honored to announce the 2018 recipients of the Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Awards: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau

Thank you, Frank for continuing to remind us what the most important thing is and always will be: Each other.

NE Coaches Attend Para Athlete Clinic at Adaptive Sports New England

Contributed by Crystie McGrail GBM & NE LMSC Coaches Chair

 Back: Joe Walsh (President Adaptive Sports New England), Todd Whitford (GBM), Cindy Regnante (Unattached), Eileen Craffey (NEM-TNT), Eileen Glovsky (NEM-CRM)  Front: Anna Johannes (Swim Coach, Adaptive Sports New England), Laura Dennison (NE LMSC Para-Athlete Chair & NEM-CRM)  Not pictured: Crystie McGrail (NE LMSC Coaches Chair, GBM)

Back: Joe Walsh (President Adaptive Sports New England), Todd Whitford (GBM), Cindy Regnante (Unattached), Eileen Craffey (NEM-TNT), Eileen Glovsky (NEM-CRM)

Front: Anna Johannes (Swim Coach, Adaptive Sports New England), Laura Dennison (NE LMSC Para-Athlete Chair & NEM-CRM)

Not pictured: Crystie McGrail (NE LMSC Coaches Chair, GBM)

QUINCY, MA -- Five coaches trekked to the Quincy YMCA to observe an Adaptive Sports New England Para swim workout on Sunday, March 25th. Para athletes have a disability (mobility, visual, or cognitive impairment) that can create additional intricacies for coaches crafting an effective swim workout Laura Dennison, NE LMSC's Para Athlete Chair and member of Charles River Masters, spearheaded this observation initiative.

Some of the guidance to help coaches integrate para swimmers into Masters workouts includes:

1)     Communication is key to building a strong athlete-coach understanding of possibilities and effective adaptations for inclusion.

2)     Patience is important to learning how differently-abled bodies can move through the water effectively. 

3)     Creating the space for a para athlete to be included in your workouts is essential.

4)     Focus on time, not distance, to help keep multi-ability lanes in sync.

5)     Focus on what will create forward propulsion for the para swimmer, and release the goal of an "ideal" stroke technique.

For additional para swimming resources, see the USA Paralympics website.

USMS to Deliver Free Stroke Clinic in Rhode Island

 Bill Brenner

Bill Brenner

LINCOLN, RI -- USMS COO and Education Director Bill Brenner will lead a free stroke clinic at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) Flanagan Campus on Saturday, September 30, 2017. This clinic is coming to New England as a result of our LMSC winning the USMS Early Renewal contest in November and December 2016.

The clinic is free (no cost) to current USMS members and prospective USMS members age 18 and up.* Registration is limited to 36 swimmers in the water and up to 12 coaches who wish to gain practical experience working on-deck with Bill. Check-in is from 8:30-9:00 AM, and the clinic runs from 9:00 AM to noon. There will be an optional post-clinic lunch at a nearby restaurant (possibly Ladder 133 Sports Bar & Grill).

The goal of the clinic is to help swimmers improve stroke technique and teach drills that will enable continued stroke refinement. All four strokes will be evaluated and corrected. Swimmers are not required to swim all strokes and may work on only those strokes they choose. All swimmers should bring goggles, fins, paddles and a towel -- fins are necessary to facilitate drills.

USMS_Logo_tm_400x289.jpg

To register as a swimmer or on-deck coach, email Douglas Sayles at NEchair@usms.org or call (401) 633-5756.

Because the number or participants is limited, we ask that (barring emergency) everyone who registers show up.

 

*Prospective USMS members may participate in the clinic by signing a no-cost USMS trial/guest membership form onsite. Former USMS members whose memberships have lapsed must renew to participate in this clinic.

Masters Coaching Position Available in Brookline, MA

Seeking Masters Swim Team Coach

What: The City of Brookline is seeking a masters swim team coach to effectively design and administer workouts to US Masters swimmers. The position comes with competitive pay and excellent working conditions.

Where: Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center, 60 Tappan Street, Brookline, MA 02445, (617) 713-5435

When: Practices are Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 6:15 – 7:30am

Requirements:

  • At least one season coaching competitive swim team: age group, club, or USMS
  • Prefer experience coaching or teaching adults.
  • Minimum age: 21 years old

Contact Deb Cohen at dcohen@brooklinema.gov or call (617) 713-5434

Becoming a Team

Contributed by Todd Whitford, Great Bay Masters Coach

As USMS members, we are all part of a team, club, or workout group: a group of people who get together, jump in a pool, and swim endless laps together. We probably know the names of the coaches and the people in our lanes, and we might even know the names of most of the rest of our teammates. But are we really members of a "team"?

In November at the USMS National Coaches Clinic in San Mateo, CA, the attendees of the clinic were treated to a presentation by longtime coach Ron "Sickie" Marcikic, of the San Diego Swim Masters, about team building. As a coach for over 30 years in all levels or swimming, Sickie has a lot of experience in how to build a team from a bunch of swimmers into a cohesive whole, and shared some ideas with us.

As he went through his presentation, a common theme stood out: the coaches are the main drivers in team dynamics. We are the ones who set the tone, work with the board or other governing body to set organizational goals, help the swimmers set their goals, and generally be the leaders of the team as a whole. It is within our power to shape, or at least guide, our organizations to become something that we are proud of and that are fun to be a part of.

So how can we, as coaches and swimmers, help to build the "team" mindset? It starts with building camaraderie in the pool and on the deck. Get to know the people you swim with: their names, a little about them, what kind of people they are in and out of the pool. Then take that idea and move it out of the pool. Do something as a team that isn't a workout or a meet.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Going out to eat or for drinks
  • A picnic
  • Beach day!
  • Volunteer work
  • Other sporting activities such as fun runs, bike or triathlons
  • Camping

Bonding as a group in the workout pool and outside it will translate into an increased feeling of being a team, rather than just a group of people who all happen to swim together. You may be surprised at the results!  

How to Make Your Freestyle More Propulsive

Contributed by Bill Paine, Tech Masters (MIT)

For years, I have observed that many swim articles that turn the spotlight towards freestyle "technique" leave me with an unclear picture of what the "latest and greatest" contemporary wisdom is for this stroke. Especially the pulling motion! It seems that when anyone writes about the physics part of the stroke or other technical mechanics, things just get confusing. Then there are the videos. Sometimes they are shot so that all you see are blurry side-views that really don’t show you the actual arm pull. I’ve concluded, with regard to freestyle, that the pulling motion is one of swimming’s best-kept secrets.  

In November 2016, 4-time Olympian and noted author, Sheila Taormina, delivered an enthusiastic, laughter infused, and extremely insightful presentation to 150 coaches at the National Coaches Clinic held in beautiful San Mateo, CA. Taormina confessed that this was her first time talking about the stroke to a group of masters' coaches.  

Taormina’s session was called “Beyond Mechanics: Coaching a Propulsive Freestyle Stroke” and focused on the power generated from what happens underwater. For this article, I’d like to zero in on the arm entry and pulling motion. Of course, I have come to realize that it is much easier to demonstrate these mechanics on deck with my swimmers from Tech Masters (MIT), but for today, I’ll do my best to describe some key areas that Taormina highlighted, and offer my own words and descriptions to help you get started on improving your technique. And just so visualizing this is a bit easier, try to think of lying on your belly on the pool deck, and think of all the small tiles underneath you as if they were lines on a piece of graph paper.    

Let’s start with hand entry: 

The older and outdated method involved your hand landing in front of your head (fingers first), then tracking to a target that would be your centerline (think straight out in front of the center of your skull). The newer method suggests that your hand enters the water, fingers first, and moves forward and targets a spot that is in alignment with the width of your shoulders. As the arm is extended and the hand starts to "catch" water, the elbow pops up a bit, allowing the hand, wrist, forearm, and even other parts of the arm to become, in essence, a bigger paddle, thus giving you a bigger surface area, and for simpleminded folks (like myself), a bigger pull. Sometimes this is referred to as a "high elbow catch." This bigger "paddle" gets you more resistance and traction during the pull, which needs to move you forward down the lane. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the "hand" pull because the pulling motion is bigger, so think of it as an "arm" pull.   

As the hand/arm creates resistance and the pulling motion begins, the hand/arm starts to track in an outward direction. Remember the right arm tracks out toward the lane line on your right. The left arm tracks out to the lane line on your left. I sometimes tell my swimmers to think of the arm pull motion as being similar to a small "question mark." This is significant, because some coaches and swimmers like to think of the pulling motion as a straight arm pull, but Taormina thinks differently.  After the catch and the elbow popping up a bit, your hand should track outward toward the lane line. This can be between 4 and 8 inches, or about one to two hand-widths.      

Elbow position is key when learning this technique: 

As the pulling motion begins, the hand/arm tracks outward. Now, right around the time the arm crosses, let’s say, the chin line, the arm starts to track inward toward the body. For some swimmers, in the old stroke, your hand and arm would move towards your centerline, which would be the middle of your chest, and then push backwards. But with the new propulsive freestyle stroke described by Taormina, your arm tracks in toward your body but not nearly as far -- only to a line that would be equivalent to your shoulder line. I know this is confusing, so visualize this: draw an imaginary line that would go from your nipple (can I say nipple?) to your feet. The arm never crosses this boundary during the pulling motion.  

The last area of the pull to discuss is the "finish." For me, I used to tell my swimmers that your hand should pull as far back to where the coins would be in your pockets (if you were wearing slacks). This way, you would have big long finishing strokes, especially for distance swimmers. However, with the newer propulsive freestyle stroke, pretend you are wearing blue jeans, and put your fingers in that weird tiny pocket that is above the regular pocket. Taormina suggests that when your hand reaches this area, you end the pulling motion and finish phase. Next your hand exits the water and you begin the recovery stage.  

Of course, learning to have a propulsive freestyle stroke involves many items and details, i.e., moving body parts, rotation, kicking, an open mind, and more! If you are looking for more info, you might want to read Swim Speed Secrets for Swimmers and Triathletes by Sheila Taormina. Gaining a better picture and understanding of what is happening during the pulling motion can make a big difference in your freestyle. 

Last point:  

Getting advice from a 4-time Olympian as she unravels the mystery is a great start. And make no mistake – Sheila Taormina is letting the best kept secrets out of the bag!

NE-LMSC Coach Scholarship Winners present: Flip Turn Clinic #2

REGISTER

Join NE-LMSC Coaches Todd Whitford and Crystie McGrail for a flip turn clinic on Sunday, March 5th in Dover, NH.  

The clinic will be broken into two sections - Novice Flip Turns for those who don't consistently use flip turns in workouts and Advanced Flip Turns for those who are looking for feedback and a tune up for their flip turns. The Advanced section will also review and practice the backstroke to breaststroke cross-over flip turn.  

Registration is required for this event as spots are limited. Cost is the $7 pool drop in fee.  

Check-In for the clinic will begin at 8:30 AM and we will be in the water from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.  Immediately following the clinic participants are invited to join a one hour workout with Great Bay Masters Swimming Club from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. 

This clinic is brought to you as part of the NE-LMSC scholarship initiative to support New England coaches attending the USMS National Coaches Clinic this past fall.

Questions: necoaches@usms.org 

Competition Etiquette... "Competiquette"

Contributed by Crystie McGrail, NE-LMSC Coaches Chair

A few notes on the “lay of the land” for the racing waters we inhabit.

New England does meets like no other. We have two of the biggest, fastest, bestest (that's a word, right?) championship meets every single year. On top of that, we have multitudes of fun mini meets of all styles and a slew of open water events for the truly crazy folks. 

With this many events it’s often evident that a few folks didn’t quite get the memo on the etiquette surrounding some of the rules and common practices of Masters competition. As such, I was enlisted to write a quick article sharing some of the taboo things that happen at swim meets. 

The most common issues surround the enigmatic meet warmup, and that is what this article will focus on.   

Just kidding! Let's help each other out!

WarmUp TaDas and TaDon’ts

 

NO DIVING  

There are only two instances when it is okay to dive in the pool during a competition - the first is when the starter beeps, signaling the beginning of your race (don’t miss that one; it’s important) and the second time is when the officials have opened specific lanes for sprints.  

Two key words in that sentence are officials and specific. If you are unsure if a lane is a sprint lane, ASK! They may look all official and scary in their pristine white shirts hovering about your lane like sharks… no wait, these are masters meets - they are likely lounging in a chair nearby chatting with other swimmers to catch up on the kids and family.  

 

SPRINT LANES are for sprinting

If you see a completely empty lane during a fairly busy warm up, it is safe to say that it’s probably not some Utopian turn of fate to allow you a perfect warm up - it’s a sprint lane. ASK an official if it’s a sprint lane and if it is - please don’t get in and start doing your normal laps. Sprint lanes only happen during the last 15-20 minutes of a warm up and are usually announced. 

A note about “sprinting”: The definition of sprinting is moving at full speed. Always respect that each individual's “full speed” is very different. You can do this by observing the lane you are going to sprint in to make sure that those before you have the opportunity to finish their sprint as they wish without being impeded. 

 

NO PADDLES 

Leave ‘em at home. No one wants to be whacked with your paddles in the middle of a frenetic warm up pool. Oh, and this is actually in the rulebook - no paddles.  

 

ON YOUR LEFT

Much like life, swimming depends on a lot of non-verbal communication. We can’t very well yell out “ON YOUR LEFT” underwater when passing someone like runners do (though most of us probably wish we could). Make sure you pick up the clues and follow the general rule of thumb that passing happens on the left (similar to driving).  

And don’t hang out in the middle of the lane. If you’re at the wall, stopping in the middle is always bad news; stay to the right if you are stopping.  

 

KNOW WHEN WARMUP ENDS

There is nothing worse than the highly responsible first heat of the meet standing cold and ready behind the blocks, waiting to race, while the officials or meet directors chase up and down the pool trying to clear that last person (or few people) out of the competition pool. Respect your fellow swimmers and clear the pool at the scheduled time. Don’t know what time it is? ASK.

Lastly…

BE FRIENDLY 

99.8% of masters swimmers are super friendly. Be one of them. Many of the notes above say “ASK” because at a Masters meet you will be instantly surrounded with some of the best people in the universe and they are extremely helpful. Don’t feel bad asking questions; it’s a great way to make new friends!  

Got questions, comments, or criticisms?  Track me down at a swim meet and tell me!  Or I guess you could email me: NEcoaches@usms.org

NE-LMSC Coach Scholarship Winners present: Flip Turn Clinic

REGISTER

Join NE-LMSC Coaches Todd Whitford and Crystie McGrail for a flip turn clinic on Sunday, February 12th in Dover, NH.  

The clinic will be broken into two sections- Novice Flip Turns for those who don't consistently use flip turns in workouts and Advanced Flip Turns for those who are looking for feedback and a tune up for their flip turns. The Advanced section will also review and practice the backstroke to breaststroke cross-over flip turn.  

Registration is required for this event as spots are limited. Cost is the $7 pool drop in fee.  

Check-In for the clinic will begin at 8:30 AM and we will be in the water from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.  Immediately following the clinic participants are invited to join a one hour workout with Great Bay Masters Swimming Club from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. 

If you don't get a spot in this clinic - don't worry - we will run it again on March 5th.  

This clinic is brought to you as part of the NE-LMSC scholarship initiative to support New England coaches attending the USMS National Coaches Clinic this past fall.

Questions: necoaches@usms.org