Please contact us a few days before arriving at the pool. Only registered members are allowed on deck. We will have someone available to walk you to the pool deck and introduce you to the Masters coach and the Masters team.
FAST Information About United States Masters Swimming (USMS)
What is USMS Masters Swimming?
Very simply, Masters swimming is a successful blend of fitness and competitive swimming for adults. Anyone age 18 and over is welcome in any United States Masters Swimming club. (Only those 25 and older are eligible to participate in FINA World Masters meets). The objectives of Masters swimming are fun, fitness, friendship, and participation. Masters swimming is for everyone!
How does it differ from other swimming programs?
Masters swimming is based on regular, structured workouts using techniques of interval training similar to those used in successful fitness and competitive swim programs all over the world.
Who can join?
Anyone 18 years of age and over who has basic swimming ability and can comfortably swim a few lengths of the pool. It is NOT necessary to have previous experience in competitive swimming. Our FAST Masters are a diverse group with varying age, ability, fitness, talent, experience, and objectives.
What about competitive opportunities?
There are club and open meets, zone championships, national championships, and international championships. Competition is in five-year age groups, starting at age 19, with no upper age limit. Heats are generally seeded according to entry times for fun and fair competition between swimmers of similar ability. Results are sorted by age group and gender. The age groups for relays are in ten-year blocks. Masters swimming is oriented towards participation, and any registered USMS swimmer can enter a minimum number of events at even the National and International levels of competition without prerequisite qualifying times.
Does everyone have to compete?
Many Masters swimmers swim just to keep in shape. You may choose to measure your progress by the increased distances you swim, the time you take, the decreased rest you need, and your general feeling of well-being after a workout.
What about practice?
A coached workout is provided Monday through Thursday mornings and evenings and Saturday mornings. Masters also have pool privileges during any FAST USA Swimming (age group) workout, space permitting, including some morning practices. You must join FAST and be registered with USMS. Short-term visitors are welcomed if currently registered with USMS.
Please see the FAST Calendar on the homepage for practice times and locations.
What's Special about FAST Masters?
Our FAST Masters Coach is not only an experienced coach but also a former elite competitor. She truly enjoys helping our adult swimmers improve regardless of their age or ability. During workouts her attention is on coaching, not on swimming her own workout or away doing other team responsibilities. Along with the rest of the FAST coaching staff, our FAST Masters Coach has the certifications required by USA Swimming (CPR, First Aid Safety Training, Coach Education, and a background screen). FAST also sends our coaches to an annual coach professional clinic run by the American Swim Coach Association (ASCA) for ongoing education. Practices are always supervised for safety.
The Wilkerson-Greines Pool (WGAC) is a great training facility. During FAST practices it is completely dedicated to competitive swimming for a motivating environment free of distractions. Pool temperatures are maintained for swimmers who prefer cooler water to allow strenuous activity without overheating. The pool is configured for Long Course (50 meters) during April through August for the type of conditioning needed for long course meets held during the summer. Water depth allows use of starting blocks so our swimmers can practice racing starts. Standard lane ropes, guttering, backstroke flags, and pool markings allow swimmers to learn turns and minimize interference from other lanes. The pool also has a weight room and some other "dryland" equipment that can be used during Masters practices. Swimmers can use kick boards, pull-buoys, fins, paddles from common equipment bins or purchase their own from a "Swim Store" operated once a week by a FAST volunteer.
At FAST, Masters can also enjoy supervised pool privileges at other times outside their coached practices, subject to lane space availability. For example, there will be some lanes available mornings October through February when the USA Swimming Senior I group is swimming 2-a-day practices; there may also be a lane available Friday evenings during FAST practice. Coach Lisa provides a "clipboard" workout for these times.
While providing professional coaching, our team is run administratively by volunteers to keep costs low. We have monthly billing including credit card options and use our website and team email extensively to communicate, along with a bulletin board at the pool. New swimmer signups are done with the help of volunteers. The team volunteers also organize annual awards and holiday banquets, membership drives, team outings such as watching the Fort Worth hockey team or Rangers baseball games where both adults and kids may attend.
Individuals may visit our pool on "tryouts" nights where we have a volunteer present to assist you. You are advised to contact us a day ahead to confirm schedules, and you should check our FAST Calendar for the evenings designated for tryouts. Groups MUST call ahead. Check with our "pool parent" volunteer when you arrive before going on deck.
Why is FAST better than public lap swim?
You can contrast our program with the situation at other area pools. Typically during "lap swim" you will still have interference from recreational splashers who will encroach on your lane. Without a coach organizing your practice you will either have to wait for an empty lane or deal with another individual who doesn't know lane etiquette. Water temperatures are typically too hot for a serious workout. Lane ropes are usually substandard and without guttering it can get wavy. Most will not have pace clocks or backstroke flags. Water depth is too shallow and starting blocks cannot be used for liability reasons. The pool markings (stripe on bottom, turning mark on the wall) will be either nonexistent or nonstandard, making it difficult to do flipturns for a continuous swim. Pool lengths are generally short or nonstandard, and some pools will have ladders and other navigation hazards protruding into the swimming lane. Generally kickboards, pullbuoys, paddles, fins, training snorkels are not available and may not even be allowed.