Clinic Course for Coaches

U.S. Masters Swimming Clinic Course for Coaches

The USMS Clinic Course for Coaches, offered by USMS Education Services, instructs the Masters coach how to conceptualize, organize and deliver a stroke development clinic (SDC). The course is offered to USMS certified Masters coaches who have successfully completed Level 1, or higher, of the USMS Masters coach certification. Current USMS registration is required. The course consists of both a classroom and on-deck component.  The registration for the clinic course is limited to 12 coaches per class.

In the classroom, the course instructors will teach the Masters coach how to structure a SDC based on the type of clinic, length of time of the clinic, swimming pool configuration, lane space availability, and number of swimmers attending. The Masters coach will be instructed how to deliver a drill/swim progression for each of the four competitive strokes. The purpose of the drill/swim progression is to help swimmers of all abilities improve stroke technique during the clinic and the ability to self improve beyond the clinic into the future.

The on-deck portion of the class is delivered immediately after the classroom portion or the following day during a USMS Stroke Development Clinic. This gives the Masters coach the real-time experience of practicing the skills learned in the classroom while under the guidance of the SDC course instructors.

The combination of classroom and practical instruction is a formidable method to achieving the core objective of the clinic course: Provide Masters coaches the skills and resources necessary to host a successful stroke development clinic.

 Benefits of this course to Masters coaches:

  • Increase the coaches’ skill level of stroke development and stroke technique improvement
  • Professional advancement opportunities
  • Revenue generation from clinics, new member recruitment and member retention
  • Becoming a resource to others who want to engage the services of a trained stroke clinician

The fee to attend the SDC course is $50. USMS designated Masters coaches receive a $10 discount during the online registration process.

SDC Course Outline

Chapter 1 -- Objectives and benefits

  • Objectives of this course
  • Benefits of this course to Masters coaches
  • Benefits of classroom and on-deck training for the Masters coach

Chapter 2 -- Working with adults

  • Teaching adults to teach themselves
  • The “Why” is just as important as the “How”
  • Repetition is the key to successful transformation
  • Overcoming learning obstacles
  • Seeing is believing -- pictures and videos

Chapter 3 -- Types of stroke clinics and the benefits of each

  • Freestyle only
  • All four competitive strokes
  • Open-water skills
  • Starts & turns

Chapter 4 -- Hosting a SDC

  • Who is your customer?
  • What is the purpose of the clinic?
  • Recommended pool space and water characteristics
  • Student:coach ratio
  • Scheduling -- choosing a date and location
  • Aquatics facility arrangements and agreements
  • Registration
  • Timeline of SDC planning and preparation
  • Volunteers

Chapter 5 -- Marketing the SDC

  • Website
  • Flyers and distribution
  • Community partners

Chapter 6 -- SDC Delivery

  • Addressing the objectives of each stroke to the clinic participant
  • Teaching drills and skills
  • Shaping your vessel
  • Buoyancy versus center of gravity
  • Timing of the breath, arms and legs propulsion
  • Path of air exchange
  • Importance of streamlining
  • The use of fins to create good body position
  • The use of hand paddles, buoys and kickboards

Chapter 7 -- Competitive strokes – teaching proper technique for each stroke with the introduction of specific drills for each stroke

  • Body position
  • Timing – the relationship between head, arms, core and legs
  • Rotation
  • Breath and its timing
  • Arm mechanics for propulsion and recovery
  • Kick mechanics for propulsion and balance

Chapter 8 -- Videotaping

  • Importance
  • Equipment and software
  • Above- and below-water video angles and framing
  • Analysis
  • Methods of delivery to student swimmer


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