View Full Version : Do you train with the age-groupers?
12-02-2002, 08:26 AM
How many of you Masters swimmers train with the age-groupers?
I imagine that it would depend on the standard of your age-group squads. Obviously if you're still one of the younger Masters (like me ;) ) it's easier fitting in with the age-group swimmers (I've known most of them since they were tiny!)
I still consider myself to be an age-grouper ( :angel: ) but I'm the oldest by about 8 years!
Do you have separate training sessions?
12-02-2002, 09:50 AM
Oh my - give me a bit of time to prepare a reply!!
12-02-2002, 11:56 AM
Similar situation for me too Chris. There are a few of us though (all blokes unfortunately), and I have the added complication of having taught and coached many of our age-groupers over the years.
It is pretty difficult to consider myself a masters swimmer even though I'm 10+ years older than most of them. It's also not a perfect situation when you have motivated older swimmers training with kids who are there only because their parents drag them along. I think we would benefit from having a lane to ourselves, with programs specialised for our needs.
However, separate masters training sessions would no doubt mean losing water time (I would happily train twice a day still), so not a good thing. My former coach was actually training with his top swimmers 3 or 4 mornings per week, and kicking our ass most of the time.
More and more of my Club's masters swimmers are swimming with the age-groupers. Some consider themselves part of the Senior squad not Masters. I guy is 54. My view is that if there is room, they can cope with the work and get on with everyone I have no problems. Some of the 15 year olds don't like training behind masters swimmers and it spurs them on to work harder. Masters swimmers are also a calming influence and set good training practice for others to follow.
12-02-2002, 07:44 PM
I agree with everything that has been said thus far. I'm lucky in that at Cambricdge we have a competitive 'senior' squad, which includes a few masters and a few 17-20 year olds as well, so I don't feel too old (or young!). Some sessions however, the lanes get mixed up between squads and often we can end up swimming with kids form the national squad etc. This is good becasue it means there's a good pace in the lane and also it means that the kids will do the whole session on the correct repeat times ;) There is definitley no reason not to mix the squads if everyone is swimming at the same pace.
Our masters squad is much more aimed at the adult fitness swimmer; most members not competing and swimming 1-2 times per week.
I find it more off-putting in competitions, particualrly when the counties etc are a single age-group HDW format, as I tend to swim with kids 10 years younger than me :eek: It's getting better as I get faster though :p
22-02-2002, 12:38 PM
I have done alot of training with age groupers and also trained with Masters sessions. One difference is that I have to watch my language with the kids!!! The other difference is that most Master swimmers are there because they want to be there. The attitude to training is so different. I've trained with two clubs as a Master and both opened my eyes wider!
At one club the kids were so quiet, so withdrawn, crying in changing rooms, and scared. They were kids trying to cope with a coach not knowing which way she will turn. Sometimes nice, sometimes horrible. I could not cope! I left and the coach knew why. I walked on poolside to many early morning sessions and nothing was said, not a hello, nothing. In the end the coach was calling me by the wrong name. After correcting her many times I gave up and just ignored her unless she got it right. I've watched and listened to children get told off for something they didn't do. I've listened to a coach demoralize a whole squad. I've walked on poolside early in the morning and found 2 coaches there with blocks. I thought wonderful, start practice, 2 coaches, this session is going to be good! Only to be disappointed yet again. It was a terrible session, no starts, just moaning and shouting for no reason. Both coaches hardly moved from one edge of the pool. What is going on? As an adult I knew it was wrong and also knew that they had no idea about what I (and I suspect every other swimmer in that pool) wanted to do. Something had to be said - but as parents - who really knows what goes on when kids are dropped of at pools at 5.30am? As adults we are there to see it and hear it. Masters swimmers, as in this situation, tend to 'keep their noses clean' otherwise so to not jeapodize their training. In some circumstances Masters are only 'invited' to train with Age Groupers. We just fit in quietly. As parents, your children are dropped off and picked up later. At least as adults we are capable of knowing some of the things we require and what is right and wrong.
Later that year at another club I would be greeted with a 'Hello,Flower!'. It amused me to think I could be anything like a flower at 5.20am but it made me smile ready for my warm-up and swim. I was in the right mood, I was wanted, someone was interested in me, I responded positively. This coach knew my goals and we worked together to get them. When I thought I couldn't do anymore he reminded me of the goal. It was some of the hardest work I have ever done but great fun! I was keeping up and going past age groupers. They loved the 'banter' in the lane. I would like to think that I was a good example to them!
Just had great weekend at the Isle of Wight Masters! Many many thanks to the Isle of Wight clubs for a well organised and fun time!!
23-02-2002, 04:02 PM
I really miss swimming with Masters. A year ago the structure of the club was changed and Masters were no longer allowed to swim with the age groupers. I am 20, not a master but swim along mainly kids aged 16 and below. I used to really look up to the masters that swam with us. Some were better than us and those that werent would still swim and enjoy themselves. I had so much respect for those that would swim in the same lanes as the 10 year olds and wouldnt bat an eyelid.
The atmosphere was so different. 5.30am is a shock to the system, not many people are b:) at that time but having a complete mixture of ages and attitudes really lightened up the atmosphere, it also made the younger swimmers more respectful and grown up. I loved it when we had to swim fly, all you would hear was moans from the masters!
They never 'got in the way' considering at 5.30am theres never really enough swimers in the pool to get in the way for, I really miss those years, the banter, the laughs, I will always admire those that have the courage to swim with youngsters, and at the same time get laughed at by the parents hanging on poolside, I bet really they are jealous that they dont have the confidence to get in themselves.
20-10-2003, 02:15 PM
One thing about my club (St. Ives, Cambs) is the fact that if one can keep up with the age groupers, one can join their sessions.
Everybody swims the same sets and for a couple, that for various reasons, this is the short term goal.
You are treated no differently whether you are 15 or 50+.
Good point is more swim time, Bad point is bigger subs but there are more sessions!
20-10-2003, 06:43 PM
Masters swimmers are also a calming influence and set good training practice for others to follow.
I actually really quite liked training when Tim (head coach) was on the poolside for us lot. Reason being largely was that he left me alone. Unless I being a real pain, which I can be. Most of our age groupers put me completely to shame when it comes to swimming sets. Having him standing there with his slightly sarcy, "well what do you expect me to do with that" expression was actually a mixture of relief and enough of a disapointment to deliver a boot up the backside without a word ever being said!
Now we have a new, young coach, and it seems he is dead keen. Its a funny balance you need to strike with masters swimmers between improvement and not being irritating. We don't have mums and dads to tell us off for not listening or trying hard enough! He's not doing a bad job though, especially given he's only been looking after us for a few weeks.
We do train with age groupers some times, which I find really satisfying, though sometimes a bit much. I'm not still trying to chase an olympic dream, and sometimes I find the competiveness a bit too much to handle. So its a relief that we also get what are pretty much our own sessions. Its a little complicated because anyone over the age of 14/15 can join our squads, but actually thats just fine, because those in our squads at that age are usually there to learn, having not had much of a part in competitive swimming in the past...
Originally posted by Chris
but I'm the oldest by about 8 years!
Err..I don't think you are sweetie!
21-10-2003, 06:45 AM
In our club master's have their own sessions but any of them whi want to and can make the times can swim with any of the other squads.
21-10-2003, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by Kaci
Err..I don't think you are sweetie!
OK, I'm not now. Bootie's the OAP of the lane!!!
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