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USMS Information

What is U.S. Masters Swimming?

USMS is a national membership-operated nonprofit organization that provides membership benefits to nearly 60,000 Masters swimmers across the country. These benefits include insurance, SWIMMER magazine, sanctioned events and many others. USMS and its 52 Local Masters Swimming Committees (LMSCs) provide direct support to more than 1,500 Masters Swimming clubs and workout groups. Structure and organization of USMS programs vary and are driven by factors such as pool availability, instructor or coach availability, community support, and finances. The majority of locations offering Masters Swimming programs have coaches on deck. Coaches write workouts and provide feedback and instruction.
 

Do I have to compete to be a Masters swimmer?

No. When organized adult swimming started to become popular in the 1960s and 70s—the early years of USMS—the intent was that adults would swim to stay in shape. But early organizers knew that some adults would want to compete, so it is offered. About 25 percent of our nearly 60,000 members enter pool or open water competitions. The greater percentage of USMS members does not compete.
 

I'm not fast enough (or in shape enough) to be a Masters swimmer...

This is something a lot of Masters coaches hear. However, most Masters coaches and swimmers don’t care how fast you are. In nearly every program, there are others of similar ability, or those who started where you are and have improved. Don't let your perceived ability or lack thereof, hold you back. Although it’s important to have a physical examination before starting any exercise routine, you don’t need to be in shape to start Masters swimming—Masters swimming will help you get there.
 

I'm a triathlete—why should I join USMS?

Many triathletes, including world-class triathletes Jarrod ShoemakerGwen Jorgensen, and Sara McLarty, join USMS programs because training with swimmers is the best way to improve the swim portion of the tri. Masters coaches provide technique instruction and interval training with a group. USMS membership also grants access to the triathlete-specific workouts posted regularly in the members-only Forums at usms.org. In addition, SWIMMER magazine and STREAMLINES e-newsletters have technique and training tips in each issue.