Why Masters Swimming?
More and more of us realize that regular exercise contributes to good physical and mental health, whatever our age. Swimming is one of the safest and best ways to exercise. It doesn’t abuse the joints with sudden shocks and pounding and benefits the cardiovascular system, reduces cholesterol and positively influences muscle tone, endurance and emotional well-being. Besides, it’s fun! Masters swimming provides excellent opportunities to exercise with others, to improve swimming skills and stamina, and to enjoy doing it.
Masters swimming prime credo is fitness. Masters swimming means wanting to be fit, having the pleasure of being with other swimmers sharing these interests while doing it, and for some, releasing those competitive juices from time to time. Masters Swimming encourages competition for swimmers of all abilities who like to challenge themselves and others at swim meets. Thus, by being a member of a Masters swim club there is an opportunity not only for fitness, but to meet and make new friends, to compete and to travel.
Who Are Masters Swimmers?
Women and men, young and old:
If you are 18, you are old enough to join. Even if you are over 90, you can continue to be an important and active member of Masters Swimming 7,500 swimmers nation-wide.
Swimmers at all levels of ability:
Your wanting to swim is what matters. How fast or slow you swim may or may not be important to you. Most of your fellow swimmers are more interested in you as a person. Most will be trying to enhance their swimming with improved skills, strength, and stamina.
Swimmers in health or rehabilitation:
It is better to enjoy good health whenever you swim, but you don’t have to be 100% fit or free of ailments to swim. Swimming has helped many feel better while still hampered, to partially recover from ailments or even fully regain their health. The process of swimming smoothes the rough spots of less than perfect health even when it is not able to cure what is wrong.
Swimmers alone or together:
While most of Masters Swimming involves group activities on a fairly regular basis, this is not the only way. Some choose to swim by themselves most or all of the time and only occasionally participate in Masters’ activities. That is fine too.
Swimmers living everywhere:
Most areas have Masters Swimming now. To get information about what is going on in your area, contact the Masters Swimming Association of British Columbia (MSABC): firstname.lastname@example.org
What Do Masters Swimmers Do?
These are some of the activities. Which you choose is strictly up to you.
Anywhere from a few to a pool full of Masters swimmers get together on a scheduled basis to exercise and train together. Many workouts have coaches, who tell the swimmers what to swim and help with stroke technique and sustain enthusiasm. Some Masters groups piggyback on age-group, high school or other workout groups. Other Masters swimmers work out by themselves. This may be due to choice or the fact that they cannot make the scheduled times offered. However with more workout groups forming throughout the province more opportunities to join a group are becoming possible. Many individual swimmers get together with a friend or two and rely on workouts posted by their Masters club.
Clubs occasionally get together to race. In most meets you will swim with others of about your own speed, regardless of their age and sometimes sex. This means you may compete with the opposite sex, and with both older and younger swimmers. Results, however, are determined by five year age groups and sex. At national and international meets men and women swim in separate heats categorized in five year age groups. Meets not only provide personal challenges but provide the chance to socialize with other swimmers from various clubs and to exchange ideas on swimming or whatever. Meets last from a few hours to a day or more. You may sign yourself up only for the race(s) in which you wish to compete. You are in complete control over how many and what events you wish to swim. Other forms of competition include fax meets and open water swims.
They are designed as structured sessions to improve stroke technique and speed. They range in scope from the informal affairs with local experts to multi-day events run by professionals. With just a slight change in coaching perspective dramatic results may be obtained. Some clinics will also deal with nutrition, fitness, physiology and psychology particularly as they relate to swimming. Clinics can be surprisingly informative.
Most take place after a swim session. For instance, combine a swim meet with a social activity such as a get together after the meet. Other social activities involving the swim club might include BBQs, pot luck suppers, social dances or other sports activities such as bowling, skiing and the like.
Why Have A Masters Swim Club?
Unless you are fortunate enough to be living close to a community centre that runs activities you like, you are missing out on a lot of the benefits available through Masters. Clubs may choose to run as few or as many activities as they like. Without a Masters Swim club, many activities just couldn’t be had. You may look for other non-Masters organizations that can offer you some of these activities, but the other groups are usually not focused on Masters swimming themes of swimming fitness, technique, sociability and competition geared to adults. You are usually better off with a Masters Swim club enjoying the things that it can provide. Align yourself with Masters who are the swimming experts.
The objectives of Masters Swimming are Fun, Fitness and Participation. Some of the club’s activities might be:
- General fitness
- Swimming technique
- Faster swimming
- Swimming stamina
- Workout programs
- Occasional clinics
- Swim meets and open water swims
- Triathlon support
- Team camaraderie
- Group sociability