Letter from WHAT Coaching Staff- 3/29/20

Hello WHAT Family;

On behalf of the entire WHAT Coaching staff, we hope everyone is healthy and safe. Over the past several days, a lot of news have been reported from the swimming world.

 First and foremost, the canceling of the Olympic Games in Japan will have an enormous ripple effect on the training and meet calendars for clubs all over the United States at the local and national level.  Many questions such as:

1) When will the Olympic Games be held and when will the United States Swimming Trials be conducted?

2) Will USA Swimming extend the qualification period for Olympic Trials?

3) Will USA Swimming have “different” qualification times for the new Olympic Trials dates?

The second important piece of news was emailed by USA Swimming (March 27th  ) regarding “ USA SWIMMING INSRANCE COVERAGE UPDATES” after swim coaches from around the country were questioning USA Swimming leadership about “virtual training” and how this was not covered under the current insurance. 

To our USA Swimming Member Clubs:

Our staff continues to work with our insurer on covered activities, and they have agreed to provide insurance for the following covered remote dryland activity.

Policy Purpose :  The USA Swimming Operational Risk Team has advocated for accommodations relative to Dry Land training to help club leadership and coaches maintain training regimens during periods of public facility closure. The key modification to the program is the addition of virtual dryland training included in the definition of ‘Covered Activities’ under the participant accident insurance program.

 Insurance applicability: The updated verbiage going into effect reads as follows (Bolding added for emphasis):


Covered activities include Virtual dryland training/instruction under the direct supervision of a USA Swimming member coach. The training must involve live online streaming/real-time instruction or training via the internet. The instructor should be able to communicate visually and verbally with the participants at all times during instruction. Coverage does not extend to recorded videos/sessions where there is no live or real-time interaction, and the recordings are accessible by someone other than your clients/members.


Required Protocol :

  • Members : Only registered USA Swimming members may participate in the training
  • Supervision ratio : The Coach/Instructor to athlete ratio shall be no greater than 1:8 (1 coach per 8 athletes)
  • Recommended exercise : Training shall consist primarily of body weight or light resistance exercises
  • Spatial limitations : Coach shall ensure the athlete is in an open space free from obstruction prior to training.
  • Content : All content must be professional in nature.
  • Timing of training : All video training must take place between the hours of 8:00 am – 8:00 pm and may not take place on a social media platform. (You may use Zoom, Google, Skype, etc.)
  • Parent/3rd party Adult involvement : If there is only one minor athlete and coach conducting the training, the minor’s legal guardian must be present and able to observe the training and video.
  • For any group setting, at least one other adult, in addition to the coach, must be present and able to view the video activity during the training session.
  • The parents should sign a release for at home dryland training.


Finally, the “burning” question all swim coaches are asking one another is when teams are starting their long course season.  Over the past week, I have spoken with coaches from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia and Florida.

WHAT Swimming planned on starting the 13 and Over swimmers the week of April 4th  and the 12 and Under swimmers the week of April 20th.   As each day passes and new information regarding social distancing is forwarded by the CDC, our “opening” goal dates may not become a reality.  Our coaching staff is working on alternate plans, such as:

1) Working with companies to try and attain additional “virtual training” insurance

2) Contacting strength and conditional location to inquire if their business insurance carries “virtual training” coverage.  We have contacted Coach Laura and we are very close to working out details to conduct remote workouts.

3) Katie is in contact with USA Swimming’s, Brendan Hansen, Director of Team Services, to provide guidance and support on a national platform  

4) Josh and Katie participated in a webinar with coaches from around the country to attain ideas and solutions from clubs in similar situations (which is everyone)!!!

We hope to have an update by mid-week!!!!

Stay safe!!!!