Level 1 Coach Certification Reading Assignment
The following information, including the links and attachments, must be read and studied before attending the classroom session of the Level 1 coach certification. The Level 1 test, which is given during the classroom session, includes questions from this information, but it might not be covered during the classroom session.
PART 1: Introduction to U.S. Masters Swimming
- We value HEALTH AND FITNESS, constantly challenging ourselves to achieve in competition and in accomplishing our own goals.
- We value RESPECT for our teammates, competitors, coaches, employees, and volunteers.
- We value FUN, enjoying camaraderie with our fellow swimmers and embracing swimming as a joyful and satisfying avocation.
- We value LEARNING through coaching, programs, and communication.
- We value EXCELLENCE in safety, education, innovation, performance, leadership, and the provision of services and programs.
Code of Conduct
Importance of U.S. Masters Swimming Annual Membership
Role of a U.S. Masters Swimming Coach
What Is an LMSC?
What Is the Difference Between a Club, a Workout Group and a Regional Club?
- Swim clubs are groups of Masters swimmers organized for the purpose of training, fitness, and enjoyment of swimming. Members may work out in one or more pool facilities, usually under the direction of a coach.
- A workout group is a subset of a regional club. More than likely, a regional club has individual programs swimming in several pool locations. Workout groups help define who swims where within the LMSC. Some LMSCs host pool championships where the workout groups all compete against each other.
- An example of a regional club is New England Masters. The New England LMSC region encompasses the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts. There are many local Masters workout groups located throughout New England in the various states and then there is the regional club NEM. NEM has members from all over this region registered either directly as a member of NEM or registered as a member of one of the many workout groups under New England Masters.
USMS Gold Club Designation
USMS Gold Clubs set the standard for providing members with the best Masters Swimming experience possible. This starts with a dedicated, USMS-certified coach on deck. On-deck coaches help swimmers reach their goals by providing technique instruction, structured workouts, encouragement, and ample opportunity to participate in both fun and fitness-based events and competitive events if desired.
Gold Clubs are identified in the USMS Club Finder with priority placement and insignia to let members and potential members know that your club is ready to help them meet their swimming goals. Other benefits include additional marketing support from the National Office, discounts on education courses, and full insurance coverage for USMS approved activities.
Benefits and Responsibilities of USMS Gold Clubs
Benefits of becoming a USMS Gold Club include the following:
- Gold Club insignia for display on club’s website or Facebook page
- Priority placement in the USMS Club Finder and Gold Club insignia
- Google ads created for your club
- 20 percent off USMS education courses, including coach and ALTS certification
- Full insurance coverage for club, coach, and all swimmers for all approved activities
To achieve and maintain an annual Gold Club designation, a club must meet the following:
- Require USMS membership
- Offer a free trial (from 1 workout to 30 days) to potential members
- Have a USMS-certified coach
- Provide accurate club information for your USMS Club Finder listing
- Display USMS logo with registration link on the club's website and/or Facebook page
- Participate in Try Masters Swimming Week
- Participate in one Fitness Series event
Obtaining Gold Club Designation
If your club meets these requirements and you'd like it to be identified as a USMS Gold Club, ask your club contact to update your club information with USMS.
What if I'm not sure I can meet one or more of these requirements, but I want my club to be a Gold Club?
If you’re not sure you meet the requirements or have questions about how to meet them, please email club and coach services or call 941-256-8767 for assistance.
Note: This designation is for registered USMS programs that are providing service at a local pool or dedicated open water venue.
PART 2: Basic Business Practices
- YMCA, JCC, or other membership-based centers
- Private health clubs
- Park and recreation facilities
- University campuses including college club teams
- School district facilities
- Age group club partnerships
- Retirement communities
- Wellness centers
Forms of Communication
- A brief description of what your program offers. An example might be, “We offer an aquatic fitness program for adults who choose to swim as a form of exercise to live a healthier lifestyle. We welcome adult swimmers with all ability levels to participate in our positive and uplifting environment helping you meet the needs of your swimming goals. We make swimming FUN!” Consider including the USMS promotional videos on your website to attract more swimmers and triathletes.
- Practice times and location.
- Program fees and registration instructions.
- Coach(es) biography.
- Calendar of events: fitness events, swim meets, clinics, and social and volunteer activities.
- News articles, pictures, and videos.
- Links to usms.org and your LMSC's website.
- Flyers and brochures at your pool, surrounding pools, and local retail merchants.
- Have a presence at local age group swim meets, triathlons, and community health fairs.
- Contact the health editor of your local newspaper or magazine. They may have an interest in publishing a human interest story related to your program.
- Consider speaking about the health benefits of swimming and the value your Masters program brings to the community at local service organizations’ meetings or events. These local service organizations may include the Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Lions Club, The American Legion, Masonic Temple, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Another speaking opportunity may be at the faith-based organizations in your community.
USMS Marketing Resources
PART 3: Safety and Risk Management
Factors to Consider
- Are the chemical levels or the water quality safe for swimming?
- Who is responsible for clearing the pool or canceling an open water practice if weather conditions are unsafe?
- Safe lane etiquette should be practiced to reduce contact and collisions. This includes the restricted use of equipment, such as hand paddles, when deemed a contact hazard.
- Are they set correctly?
- No diving in shallow water or when lanes are occupied.
- Currents, waves, wind, water quality, and presence of marine life must be evaluated for safety.