Fall Season Starts Soon – Make Sure You Are Ready!

The fall swim season begins this month. Now is the time to make sure that you are prepared for the  swim season and the beginning of competition.

Update your computer(s)        Computer with Windows

If your computers haven’t been connected to a network since the end of last swim season, now is the time to do an update. Get them out, power them on and connect them to your network. Go to the Windows Start Menu (or Cortana search bar in Windows 10) and search for Windows Update. Check for and install the updates. You may have to check after each update to make sure that there isn’t a subsequent one that needs to go in. There were a couple major Windows updates released this spring, so it could take a while to get fully up to date. Make sure you do this now! Don’t wait until the day of your first meet to do it.

Update your IST Software         TIMEWARE 3 Timing Screen

Go to https://www.istime.com/support/ and click on Software Updates on the left side. Click on the version number of the software that you want to update and SAVE THE FILE to your computer or a flash drive. Do not extract or unzip the file, just save it. Make sure that it saves as MWUPDATE.zip or TWUPDATE.zip and does not have any extra characters in the name – like a (1). If it does, it will not install properly. If it saves a MWUPDATE(1).zip, go to the folder, delete any copies of MWUPDATE.zip that you find, then try downloading it again.

Now open your IST software and go to Utilities / Update. Select the file that you downloaded and follow the instructions on the screen. You can check to see if you have the latest version by looking at the version number and date on the top of the MEETWARE, TIMEWARE or POLOWARE screen. The version and date should match what is listed on the website.

Check your Hardware            Computer Timing Interface box

Early in the season, get your hardware out and look it over. Do you see any corrosion? Did any wires get bent, broken, frayed or kinked? Do you see any slices or tears in the touchpads? Do you have all the chargers and power cords that you need?

If anything is missing, or you need to clean up corrosion on the metal pieces, go to www.istime.com and click on PRODUCTS. Under each product category you can purchase replacement parts for those items. Under Timing Equipment, we sell Contact Cleaning spray and DiElectric grease for cleaning and protecting metal components.

Test your equipment              Timing equipment setup

IT’s a good idea to run an early season intersquad meet to test your hardware. That way you know that everything is working, and the kids get a feel for what a real meet is going to look like. It is also a great opportunity to train a new computer operator! Set it up just like a real meet, including the touchpads. Make sure everything is running properly.

If you find an issue, look at our Tips and Technical Support page (https://www.istime.com/support/tips-technical-support/) . We have lots of great white papers that tell you how to diagnose and sometimes fix the most common problems that you run into. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to give us a call at 800-835-2611. We can help you diagnose, and sometimes fix, the issue right over the phone.

Get your Equipment Repaired

There are some things that you won’t be able to fix yourself. Fortunately, IST has a 5 year warranty, as well as the ability to repair just about any issue. To have an item repaired, call us at 800-835-2611 and ask for an RMA (Return Material Authorization) number. Once you have that, box up the item and ship it to us. We’ll fix the issue, clean it up, make sure everything is running right and then ship it back to you. Turnaround time is usually a week from when we receive it, but keep in mind that this time of year things get busy. Don’t wait to send in your item for repair or we might not be able to get it back to you before your first meet!

Train your Computer Operator     IST TIMEWARE Video

If you purchased a new MEETWARE or TIMEWARE disk in the last few years, it came with our training videos. If you don’t have them you can find the same videos on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/IntlSportsTime).

We can also set up a training session remotely. All you need is a computer with TIMEWARE or MEETWARE installed, a copy of TeamViewer (free at www.teamviewer.com), an internet connection and  a phone. Give us a call to set up an appointment. At the appointed time, turn on your computer, open TeamViewer and then give us a call. We’ll walk you through how to set up and run a meet and answer any questions that you have

Join NISCA         NISCA Logo

If you are high school coach, you need to join the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA). The membership year runs from August 1st through July 31st (school year), regardless of when you join. Join today so that you get the full benefit of your $75 NISCA membership. They offer a $1M liability insurance policy, 6 journals a year, free and reduced All America application fees, as well as a trove of great information on their website – some of which is only available to members. IST is a proud NISCA partner and sponsor of the National Dual Meet program. You can use MEETWARE to automatically create and submit a National Dual Meet Application.

 

Let us know if you need anything

Image of phone

800-835-2611

We want your meets to run smoothly and we are here to help. Please reach out to me (eve@istime.com, 800-835-2611) if you have any questions at all or need some help. We are always happy to talk to our customers!

 

Have a great season!

 

 

 

Which Scoreboard is right for you?

Not all scoreboards are created equal. There is a vast range in quality, durability, information displayed and price. If you are looking to get a new scoreboard, which one is right for you? Well, like a lot of things, that depends.

What to consider before purchasing

When you are considering a scoreboard, your first thought is probably budget. How much is this going to cost? Something else to keep in mind is the lifetime maintenance cost. Things like – how long is the warranty? How long will we be able to get parts for this scoreboard? Is it repairable? Is it user repairable or do we need to call for service when it breaks? What is the service response time?  What is the average life expectancy of the scoreboard?

The second thing you will want to consider is where you will be placing the scoreboard in your pool and the size of the board. Is there a wall big enough to mount the board that gives a good viewing angle to both the spectators and the swimmers? If you have a low ceiling, you may want to consider a “modular” scoreboard that will allow you to set the lane lines in a horizontal configuration, rather than all stacking vertically. Do you have a lot of light in your pool? Is that light going to hit the wall that the scoreboard is on at certain points during the day? Will you need to angle it so that your fans can see it better? Would you be better off screen casting a “virtual” scoreboard to multiple small screens (like televisions) scattered throughout the viewing area?

Finally, how much and what kind of information do you want to have displayed? Are you happy with just lane, place and time? Do you want to see team codes and athlete names? Do you feel like you need video or graphics during the meet or when you aren’t using the scoreboard for a swim meet?

IST has you covered for all your scoreboard needs. Below is a breakdown of the various scoreboards that we offer.

Numeric only or Numeric with an Alphanumeric Scrolling line

This is your basic LED numeric scoreboard. One line per lane of the pool is typical. You can also start with a smaller scoreboard (3 lines for a 6-lane pool for example) and rotate through the lanes in groups. For a little more information, you can add an Alphanumeric scrolling line to the top of the scoreboard (pictured). This will allow you to display the event and heat information as well as the running clock during the race. When you are not using the board for timing you can post a 1,000-character message to scroll across the top line. IST Numeric scoreboards come with a 5-year warranty. If they do need repair, you can usually do it yourself, and you can get replacement parts if you need them. They are conformal coated to protect against the harsh pool environment and there are no moving parts. Our numeric scoreboards are made in the USA.

Alphanumeric Scoreboard

This is a top of the line LED Alphanumeric fixed line scoreboard. One line per lane of the pool is typical, but you can start smaller with this one too. The Alpha scoreboards all come with the additional scrolling line as part of the package. This board will display event/heat information and the running clock on the scrolling line, team code and swimmer name on each lane line. During the race the team code remains, and the swimmer name is replaced by the subtracted split and the cumulative time. The place, final split and final time are posted at the end of the race. The order of finish displays on the scrolling line from left to right, making it easy for the referee to confirm.

These scoreboards  are conformal coated and user repairable. They also come with a 5-year warranty. The original alphanumeric scoreboard is still in use and is 27 years old! We can still get parts, even for our oldest model, and they are made in the USA.

Projected Video Scoreboard

Our BOARDWARE software lets you have a video scoreboard for a fraction of the price! It displays all of the information of the Alphanumeric scoreboard, with the added bonus of being able to leave the names of the athletes displayed the entire race. You can use BOARDWARE on a projector, monitor or large TV. You can even use it on a video scoreboard that allows you to connect directly to your computer for output. BOARDWARE is best in pools that don’t have a lot of natural light, especially if you are using a projector. Since it is software, this scoreboard will last as long as the equipment you are projecting it with will. No need to call us in to repair it, just replace the projector or TV and you are good to go.

LiteStar LED Video Scoreboard

This is the Cadillac of scoreboards. The LiteStar video scoreboards are modular. 20” x 20” cabinets lock together to create a single wall of video. We offer pixel spacing options of 6.25mm, 4.8mm and 3.9mm. The smaller the pixel spacing, the more pixels per square inch and the more defined the picture. We also offer a choice of copper or gold wiring. Copper is more economical, but gold does not corrode as easily and will last longer. The LiteStar scoreboards have a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty and are conformally coated. They are designed to be outdoor scoreboards and will last a long time in a pool environment.

The video scoreboards display BOARDWARE during timing, and when not in use for a swim meet can display anything that can be shown on a computer screen. They are also surprisingly affordable. The LiteStar boards come with replacement parts that we will store at IST so they don’t get lost in your pool. We can repair them for many years.

Which scoreboard is right for you?

Contact us today to get a quote and see what will fit your needs.

info@istime.com  |  800-835-2611

Whichever scoreboard you choose,  if it is an IST scoreboard it will likely be the last one you ever have to buy!

Create a NISCA National Dual Meet Entry using MEETWARE

Have you ever created an entry for the NISCA National Dual Meet program? Have you even heard of it? The NISCA National Dual Meet program ranks and recognizes the top high school dual meet teams from around the country. Teams are grouped into 9 classifications by school population. Create your best dual meet line up utilizing official times from any official, regularly scheduled high school meet. Times can come from different meets.

Each time is given a point value based on the official NISCA Power Point Tables for Boys and Girls. The tables equate quality of a swimming time or diving total from event to event and from boys to girls.

Creating an entry using MEETWARE

If you are using IST’s MEETWARE, creating a National Dual Meet entry is simple. From the Main menu select Coaches Corner and Power Points. On the left you’ll see a list of meets to select times from. Double click on the meet name to add it to the list on the right or click the double right arrow to select them all. Next, select your team from the list then fill in the school enrollment, place at State Meet, whether your school is public or independent (private), Coed or single sex, and whether it is a boys or a girls team. Finally, click GENERATE to build your best meet lineup.

At this point you can choose to print the report and see what the computer came up with. Most likely this won’t be your best number. The computer ranks each swimmer by time and places the top 3 in the event. Often, your fastest kids are the top 3 in every event.  The computer will place them in 2 events before it gets to their best event. You can fix that by clicking the MANUAL button.

This brings you to a screen that allows you to put your swimmers in different events. You can select from a list of swimmers by time for each position in the event. Swimmers are marked in pink if they are in more than 2 individual events so that you know to go back and select different swimmers. You can move people around to see where you get the greatest point totals. Once you are finished and everyone is green, you can print the report and mail it in. It’s that easy! It’s also a lot of fun.

Don’t have MEETWARE? No Problem!

Even if you don’t have MEETWARE, it is still easy to create a National Dual Meet entry. Head over to https://niscaonline.org/Award-Programs/National-Dual-Meet. On the right-hand menu click on the National Dual Meet application for either Boys or Girls. That will download an Excel spreadsheet that you can save on your computer. Open the Excel file, and on the first tab (at the bottom) put in the names of the swimmers and their grades.

On the second tab, fill in the information at the top of the form, then put in your best lineup. As you type athlete names they will automatically populate from the pull-down menu. Enter the times as numbers only. The punctuation is entered automatically when you leave the field.

Once you have your best lineup, save the spreadsheet and e-mail it to powerpoint@niscaonline.org.

That’s it. It’s super easy, whether you have MEETWARE or are using the Excel spreadsheet. Put an entry in today and see how you match up with other teams around the country.

Maintaining In-Deck Wiring

In-deck wiring is great – when it’s working. Unfortunately, because the plates are constantly exposed to water, it requires a lot of maintenance to keep running. Fortunately, IST has an answer – DECKLIGHT. DECKLIGHT is our completely sealed and metal-free in- and on-deck connection system.

If you don’t have DECKLIGHT, there are a few things that you can do to maintain your in-deck wiring and keep it working a little longer.

Cleaning:

It is important to clean your deck connections regularly, and with the proper cleaner. DO NOT CLEAN METAL CONNECTIONS WITH CLR OR MURATIC ACID. Metal connectors are plated, not solid. If you clean them with an acidic product you may end up stripping off the plating, which causes the connection to stop working.

RidOX Protective Spray

To properly clean the connections, start by using a wet/dry shop vac to suck the water and debris out of the connectors in the deck plate. Then, spray an Electrical Contact Cleaner like RidOX or CRC QD Electronic Cleaner. You can find these products either on our website or at a local electronics store. Spray the cleaner into the socket on the deck plate, then use a pipe cleaner to gently scrub around the sides. The cleaner also leaves a thin residue that will continue to protect the connection for a while.

You can use the spray on the connectors for the touch pads and backup buttons as well. It is easier to spray it onto a cloth or paper towel and wipe it onto the connectors. Be careful when spraying this on the pool deck – the area can become very slippery.

You can also use these products to clean your wall plate connectors. Simply spray the connector and gently scrub with a pipe cleaner. You can also spray a little into the lid of the container, dip the pipe cleaner in and scrub with the moistened pipe cleaner.

 

Protecting:

Dielectric GreaseIf you are not going to be using your in-deck connections for a longer period, you may want to consider protecting them with a silicone based dielectric grease, available on our website or at local electronics stores. Clean the connectors as described above. Once they are clean, squirt enough of the dielectric grease into the hole to just fill it. This will help keep the water out while you are not using it. When you are ready to plug the pads and buttons in again, you can just plug them in with the grease still in the holes. Wipe away any excess, it will be slippery if it stays on the deck.

 

Upgrading:

If your in-deck wiring is beyond repair, you should consider upgrading to DECKLIGHT. IST personnel or your own maintenance personnel can do the installation. IST will provide the necessary wire and clear step-by-step instructions for site installation. If you already have in-deck wiring it is just a matter of pulling out the old wires and pulling in the new ones.  Connect those wires to the provided wall and deck plates. The connections are simple to make and the plates fit right where the old ones were.

If you are interested in finding out more about our DECKLIGHT deck connections, give us a call at 800-835-2611 or email info@istime.com

Downloading Workouts From Your Computer to Your Phone

Our Bluetooth enabled pace clocks are designed to make a coach’s life easier. Enter the set or workout, press start and walk away. The clock will keep the count and time for the set so you can focus on your swimmers and their technique.

Phone are small though, and sometimes it is easier to write your workouts on your computer. Fortunately, with our WORKWARE software you can do just that – then download the sets and workouts to your phone to run on the clock.  Below are the instructions for creating and downloading the file onto your phone.

 For a limited time: when you purchase a SWIMCLOCKBT-HI, -HX or -ADP you will get our WORKWARE software for $35. That’s a 90% discount! 

Creating the export file:

First, in WORKWARE3 select Library/Export. On the left you will see the workouts in your library. On the right are the sets in the library sorted alphabetically by category and name. To create the export file, first select the workouts and/or sets that you want to download. To select a workout, click on it to highlight it. This will also select all the sets that are contained within the workout. To select multiple workouts or sets, hold the CTRL key on your keyboard while clicking on the workouts or sets that you want to select

Once you have the workouts and sets selected, select PHONE for the EXPORT FILE TYPE. Click the BROWSE button to save the file either to your device that is already connected to the computer or to the desktop or other folder where you will be able to find it. Give the file a descriptive name and click SELECT. Click the EXPORT button to build the file.

Downloading the export file to the phone:

For Android connected to the computer with a cable: open Windows File Explorer, select the device name and the PHONE folder. Look for the folder ISTWORKOUTS and select that. Copy and paste the file into this folder.

For Android using e-mail: E-mail the export file to the address that can be checked on the Android device. NOTE: You must be able to download attachments. If you use Google Inbox, you should switch to Gmail for these instructions. Open the e-mail on the device and download the attachment into the ISTWORKOUTS folder. If you can not choose where the attachment goes, once you have downloaded the file use the MY FILES app to find and move the file into the ISTWORKOUTS folder.

For iPhone: Connect the phone to iTunes and download the exported file into it. Save the file in your iCloud Desktop folder.

Importing the File

Once the file is on your phone, go to the SWIMCLOCK app, tap WORKOUT mode, and select IMPORT WORKOUTS. Tap on the box at the top of the screen and choose the file that you exported. Click IMPORT to load it into the phone. You can now go in and select the sets and workouts that you imported and run them the same way you would have if you had created them on the phone.

Using IST’s Free Dive Sheet Generator

For many swim coaches, the rules of diving and creating a dive sheet can be confusing. What’s the difference between voluntary and optional? Why don’t all the letters match the actual position name? What’s with all the rules for 11 dive lists? Fortunately, IST can help with that last question. We provide a free on-line web page that allows you to build and validate 6 or 11 dive lists. Once your list is complete you can email, print or download it.

Using the Dive Sheet Generator

To find the free Dive Sheet Generator, go to our website: www.istime.com. On the top of the home page you’ll see a button that says Dive Sheet Generator that you can click on. You can also just bookmark the direct link: http://www.istime.com/divesheet.

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose whether it is a 6 or 11 dive entry that you are going to be working on.

Dive entry selection

Enter the information for the diver at the top of the screen.

Blank dive entry screen

Entering the Dives

For each round, type in the Dive Number (numerals only), then select the position. For reference:

A = Straight
B = Pike
C = Tuck
D = Free

Then choose the Voluntary or Optional. Voluntary dives are the “required” dives. In a 6-dive list, this will be a dive from the required group for that week – Front, Back, Inward, Reverse or Twist. The maximum degree of difficulty (DD) is set a 1.8, regardless of what the normal degree of difficulty is for that dive. See your State Association for information about which dives are required for each week of the season. For an 11-dive list, the total degree of difficulty of all the Voluntary dives cannot exceed a certain number.

As you enter your dives, the total Degree of Difficulty for both Optional and Voluntary will be displayed on the bottom of the screen.

Highlighted DD totals

Validating the Dive Sheet (NFHS Rules)

Once you have your dive sheet filled out, and especially if it is an 11-dive list, click on the Validate button. If there are errors, you will see them listed in red at the top of the screen above the diver’s name.

Error messages on dive sheet

You can fix the errors and validate the sheet as many times as you need to. Once the sheet is valid you’ll see a pop-up message stating that your sheet is valid.

After that it is just a matter of choosing whether you want to email, print or download the dive sheet as an XML document.

While IST can’t answer all your questions about diving, we can make it easier to get a legal, legible dive sheet. Running an invitational with a diving event? Send the link to the attending coaches and ask them to e-mail you the dive sheet before they arrive. That way you can be sure that the list is legal and valid.

Becoming a Better Coach: More Resources

In the July blog I talked about several opportunities for Coach Education including professional organizations, clinics and on-line courses. This month we’re going to highlight some other great resources for continuing education for coaches.

Social Media Communities

If you are on Facebook, you know that there is a lot of information out there, some good, some bad. What you may not know is that there are a few great swimming communities on Facebook that are worth being part of.

Swim Coaches Idea Exchange Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/462281440521890/) – This is a very active group for swim coaches of all types. Lots of discussions on technique, team management, training ideas and much more. It is a private group, so you will need to request to be added.

NISCA High School Swim Coaches Exchange Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/HSSwimCoachesNISCA/) – This is similar to the Swim Coaches Exchange Group, but it focuses more on the unique aspects of coaching high school teams and teenage athletes. It is also a closed group. When you request, you will need to answer the question “What high school do you coach at?”

Swim Coach Equipment Hacks (https://www.facebook.com/groups/803362663113590/) – this group is less active but has some great ideas for do-it-yourself equipment solutions. This is also a private group.

Videos:

There are tons of resources for instructional videos on technique out there, some free some paid for.

YouTube: YouTube is a great source for swimming technique videos. You can pull up videos Michael Phelps butterfly and view it from multiple angles. Watch races from Olympics or PanPacs past. You can also find great dryland instructional videos. Search “Yoga for Swimmers” to find great videos with everything from recovery to improving your butterfly.

GoSwim.tv: This site is a treasure trove of technique videos and blogs. There is a free version and a paid for version.

DVD’s: Looking for something a little more old school? Championship Productions has a library of swimming technique DVD’s and books. They are constantly producing new content with acclaimed coaches. http://www.championshipproductions.com/cgi-bin/champ/swimming-dvds-videos.html

Diving DVD’s: Want to see what great diving looks like? NISCA produces a DVD every year of the top divers on the All America list. Its a great way to see what the top high school divers are doing. http://shop.niscaonline.org/diving-dvds

Books about Swimming:

There are a lot of great books out there for coaching and swimming technique. Here is a list of a few of the most popular.

NISCA Coaches Manual – Available at https://niscaonline.org/Coach-Manual, you must be a NISCA member to download the entire book. The NISCA Coaches Manual covers everything you need to know about administering a high school team, from ordering suits and getting busing to training the athletes.

Sprinting II (Sam Freas) – Available at http://shop.niscaonline.org/publications. From Google: His practical approach explores techniques and methods for starts, turns, finishes, dryland, weights, reaction drills, season planning, pool workouts and more. Decades of success have given him a unique perspective, which he shares through personal insight and experience. Swimmers, coaches, and parents will find Sam’s practical approach and his illustrations, shared through his characteristic storytelling flair and easy writing style, both interesting and beneficial.

Coaching Swimming Successfully (Dick Hannula) – Available at http://shop.niscaonline.org/publications. From Google:  Veteran and beginning coaches will learn how to motivate swimmers, become better communicators, and be prepared for the challenges of competitive meets. Hannula reveals his personal coaching philosophy and helps coaches develop their own code of ethics as they build a winning swimming program in and out of the pool. Detailed advice on how to evaluate swimmers’ performances in practice and in competition, as well as the entire swim program, makes this the complete guide to coaching the sport.

Other Useful Books:

The Culture Code (Daniel Coyle) Available on Amazon :
From Amazon: In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change.

The Talent Code (Daniel Coyle) Available on Amazon
From Amazon:  Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds—from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York—Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.

These are just a few options for other places to find great information. Strive for learning something new each season and keep your skills sharp!

Coach Education Opportunities

Summertime is a chance for coaches, who are often teachers as well, to rest and recharge. It’s also a great time to brush up on your coaching skills. There are lots of places that you can get information about coaching swimming and diving. Below are just a few.

Professional Organizations

It is critical to be part of a professional organization. It plugs you into a ready-made network of coaches. Professional organizations can also provide education opportunities, resources and even awards for coaches and their athletes. Professional organizations are also a great resume builder, and often have opportunities for you to get involved and improve your leadership and communication skills.

ASCA – American Swimming Coaches Association. From their website: “Professional swimming coaches are the leaders in creating the best sport in the world”. ASCA provides coach certification for USA Swimming.  https://swimmingcoach.org/

NISCA – National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association. From their website: “…professional organization that supports High School coaches of all aquatic sports”. NISCA administers the High School All America Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Academic and Scholar Team programs, as well as presenting professional awards to coaches and providing educational resources.  NISCA membership also includes a $1M liability insurance policy. https://niscaonline.org/

CSCAA –  College Swimming Coaches Association of America. From their website: “…recognizes All-American swimmers, NCAA record breakers and Scholar All-America athletes and teams as well as outstanding coaches and contributors and helps oversee the welfare of collegiate swimming and diving.” http://www.cscaa.org/

ISCA – International Swim Coaches Association. From their website: “… to provide swimming coaches and teachers with exceptional, science-based education and resources while fostering an international network of professional coaches who will define the future of swimming.” https://swimisca.org/

State Interscholastic Swim Coach Organizations – Many states have their own professional organizations for swim or aquatics coaches. A few examples of states that have strong aquatic coaches organizations are:

Check in your state to see if there is a coaching association. If there isn’t, contact NISCA about getting one started.

Clinics

Going to a coaching clinic is a great way to pick up new information. It is also a chance to establish a coaching network. Networks are important, whether you use it for picking brains or finding your next job. Connecting with people, especially face to face, is essential for learning and professional growth, and clinics provide multiple opportunities to meet new friends and mentors.

ASCA – ASCA hosts the ASCA World Clinic each year in different locations. The clinic typically begins the Wednesday after Labor Day. This year the ASCA World Clinic is being held in Anaheim CA, September 4-9.  https://swimmingcoach.org/portfolio/2018-asca-world-clinic/ ASCA also hosts various regional clinics throughout the year. https://swimmingcoach.org/clinics/?filter=usa

Central/Eastern States – Central States is held on the 3rd weekend in May in Oakbrook IL. Eastern States is the first weekend in October in Cherry Hill, NJ. Both clinics feature top coaches and Olympic swimmers, as well as ASCA and USA Swimming certification courses. These clinics include an in-water component for swimmers, in addition to the typical lectures. At least one session with the clinic speakers and swimmers is also open to coaches to watch. https://swimclinic.com/

Eastern States is currently taking Early Bird reservations with reduced pricing. Register today at http://swimclinic.com/eastern-states-swim-clinic-2/ Don’t delay – register NOW!  Don’t forget to make your hotel reservations at the same time — call (888) 233-9527 special clinic rates.

NISCA – Annual Conference is in conjunction with either the Men’s or Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. General meetings and speaker sessions take place around the prelims and finals of the meet. Coaches can also purchase tickets to the NCAA Championship meet. This year the Conference will be in conjunction with the Women’s NCAA’s March 20-23 in Austin TX. https://niscaonline.org/Conference

ISCA – Hall of Fame Coaches Summit is an educational clinic for swim coaches and teachers from any country, organization or group. Speakers of varied backgrounds present applicable information and answer questions. Social events for networking are scheduled throughout the week. This year it is August 28-31 in Clearwater Beach, FL. https://swimisca.org/hall-of-fame-coaches-clinic/

CSCAA – Holds their Convention in early May with speakers on a variety of topics. Also offers the Coach Academy and Women in Coaching Forum. http://www.cscaa.org/convention/

State Clinics

Many state activities associations or coaches associations host clinics in the summer or fall. This is a brief list and not at all comprehensive:

Online Courses

NFHS – The National Federation of High Schools offers a range of on-line courses, both fundamentals of coaching and sport specific, including swimming and diving. The courses range from free to $50. https://nfhslearn.com/

ISCA – ISCA offers an education program “designed for career development, giving coaches essential tools and knowledge to be more effective. Carefully curated courses have been reviewed by both coaches and scientists for accuracy and applicability”. https://swimisca.org/education/

ASCA – ASCA offers 5 levels of certification. Each is available as a home study or an on-line course. Some levels also require experience or performance components. https://swimmingcoach.org/certification/

 

Take some time this summer to brush up on skills or get involved with one of the professional organizations that support our sport. You may have skills that they need, and they have resources that you need. Most of all, enjoy your summer!

Storing your Timing Equipment for the Off Season

IST - swim scoreboards & timing equipment

Now that your season is over it is time to pack up the timing equipment for a little while. Here are some tips and tricks for maintaining and storing your timing equipment that will help improve its useful life.

You can buy the Rid-Ox Contact Protector Spray and Dielectric grease mentioned below at many local electronics stores. They are also available on our web store.

If you had any equipment that wasn’t working at the end of your season, contact us now  by e-mailing support@istime.com or calling 800-835-2611 to get an RMA number and send it in for repair. Once the season starts up again we get very busy with last minute repairs and can’t always guarantee a fast turn around time. Repair your equipment today!

Software/Computer/Printer

You don’t need to keep completed meets on the computer once you are finished with the season. For MEETWARE and TIMEWARE users, go to Utilities/Backup/Backup to back up your system. Save the backup to a USB drive or CD for storage in case you need it again.

Once you have the backup, you can delete the meets from TIMEWARE.

In MEETWARE you can delete the meets and prepare for the new season in one step. Go to Utilites/ New Season and follow the instructions. This will delete all of your meets, move your seniors to an Alumni database, and age each swimmer up a grade. Once you have completed this you’ll be ready to start fresh when you get back to your season.

Before you pack your computer away for the season, it is a good idea to run a Windows update. You’ll want to do another one at the beginning of next season, but it will go quicker if you don’t wait a full year between updates. It is important to keep Windows updated. If you don’t, it will occasionally shut off USB ports or WiFi connections in order to for you to restart, which triggers an update.

Store your computer and printer, along with your software installation disks, power cords and mouse in a cool, dry place. Make sure that you remove any paper from your printer before you store it.

CTI/Deck Cable/Backup Buttons

Before storing these items away for the summer, do some basic cleaning on them. Dip a pipe cleaner into an Electronic Contact Cleaner/Protector  spray like Rid-Ox and wipe out each connection on the deck cable boxes and ends, the connectors on the CTI and the banana plugs on the Backup Buttons. This will help clean off any corrosion that has built up and protect the metal. Be gentle when cleaning the 25 pin connectors on the deck cable and CTI; try not to bend any pins.

If you notice any pins that are bent, loose, pushed in or missing, contact IST for an RMA to get those repaired. NEVER USE WD-40 or CLR TO CLEAN METAL CONNECTIONS. Those products will damage the metal.

Once your connections are cleaned, further protect the banana plug connections by coating them with a thin layer of Dielectric Grease. Fill each hole on the deck cable, and wipe a thin layer on each prong of the banana plugs to keep them from corroding in storage. Store the CTI and associated cables, Deck Cable and Backup Buttons in a cool, dry place.

SWIMSTART

Use Rid-Ox to clean the connection for both the Microphone and the speaker. Use the Dielectric Grease on the speaker connection. Charge the start fully, then unplug it.  Store it in a cool, dry place with the charging cable attached but not plugged into the wall.

Touchpads

Rinse Touchpads with fresh water and leave them to dry thoroughly. Clean the banana plugs with Rid-Ox and coat with a thin layer of Dielectric Grease. Store the Touchpads on deck on a cart or in a well ventilated box.  Keep them out of the sunlight and away from any sharp objects that might puncture or scrape the surface.

If you have any questions about your equipment or software please don’t hesitate to contact us. We love hearing from you!

Workout Games

Games to Play During Workouts

Swimming workouts can be tough to manage, especially if you have varying levels of ability in the pool at the same time. They can occasionally be boring too, just follow the black line, flip and repeat. Sometimes in the middle of a season the team and coach get bored and cranky. It’s times like this when a “game” workout can help alleviate the boredom for everyone, while still getting some good work in. Here are a few ideas of workout games that you can play with your swimmers of all ages. Safety first on all of these! Make sure no one is diving in the shallow end or landing on teammates as they enter the water. Also, check out the products that IST makes that will make running those practices even easier!

Fish Ladder

A fish ladder is kind of a relay.  Divide the team into 2 or more equal groups of 5 to 10 swimmers. The more swimmers in the group the more exciting the race.

The first person starts off the blocks (or the wall if you don’t have blocks), sprints to the other end of the pool and hops out. The second person takes off as soon as the first person’s feet have cleared the near flags, third person goes as soon as the second person has cleared the near flags, etc. You should have a nearly continuous line of swimmers in the pool. Everyone sprints to the other end of the pool, gets out and back in line. As soon as the last person to leave the start end touches the wall to complete their 25, the first person can go again. If your non-starting end is shallow, the kids should start from in the water or jump in feet first – no diving into shallow water!

They continue in this fashion until everyone in the group has completed 20×25’s. The first relay to get every member to complete 20×25’s and get everyone out of the pool and onto the deck wins. It’s a great way to get the kids to sprint a 500, plus getting out of the pool at each end is a good workout too. Winners can get a prize, or just a high 5.

SWIMCLOCK With Bluetooth

The SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth allows you to program sets and workouts in your Android or iOS device and run them on IST’s popular 2 and 4-digit pace clocks. If you already own an IST pace clock, you just need the Bluetooth adapter. It plugs right in to your existing clock. You can also purchase a new clock with the Bluetooth built right in. Plug the clock in, turn it on, connect the app and you’re ready to go. You can keep your entire workout library in your back pocket!

For more information or a quote contact IST at 800-835-2611 or info@istime.com.

 

Playing Card Workout – as posted on Facebook by Coach Tyson Ormonde

Picture of workout and playing cards

Photo Credit: Tyson Ormonde

Requires: Standard deck of playing cards.

There are a couple ways to play this game, and the variations are limited only by your imagination! The simplest version is to have the kids draw a card out of the deck and then swim what is on the card. You can set it up any way that you want. In this example the suite determines what stroke they are going to swim and the number indicates how they will swim it.

For example:

Diamond= Fly                             Heart = Back                       Club = Breast               Spade = Free

2 = 2×25’s                                            9 = 9×50 all free

3=3×100’s                                            10 = 10×25’s

4 = 4×75’s                                            Jack = 1×500 Free (regardless of Suit)

5 = 5×50 kick                                      Queen = 1×400 IM (regardless of Suit)

6 = 6×200’s                                          King = 1×500 swim suit stroke

7 = 7×50’s                                            Ace = 1×100 Backwards any stroke

8= 8×25’s

You can have one person draw for the whole team, or they can draw for their lane and each lane can do a different workout. You can put times on the distances (i.e. 30s per 25) or just let them swim them on their own interval. They get a lot of work done and they enjoy the anticipation of finding out what they chose. The 500 Fly is pretty brutal, but you can always let them draw again!

WORKWARE Workout Software

WORKWARE runs on your computer and allows you to create and store sets and workouts that can be run on your scoreboard, including Colorado and Daktronics numeric scoreboards. You can run a different set or workout on each line of your scoreboard, so everyone can be doing something different. On IST Alphanumeric scoreboards you can display either the time of day or a scrolling message on the scrolling line during the workout. It’s like having an extra assistant coach!

WORKWARE also allows you to download sets and workouts to your phone, so you can create your workouts on the computer and then run them on your IST SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth!

Contact IST for more details or for a quote at 800-835-2611 or info@istime.com

 

Deal or No Deal

Deal or no deal swim workout

Photo Credit: Eve Julian, Ottawa Hills High School

This game is based on the game show of the same name.

Materials:

20 – 8.5×11 pieces of paper (card stock or construction paper, so you can’t see through it)

16 post-it notes numbered 1-16, 4 post-it notes labeled “Coaches Set”

Painters Tape

Flat surface for hanging the cards on.

Whiteboard to write on.

Setup:

On 16 of the pieces of paper, write sets ranging from 100 to 1600 yards in 100 yard increments. For example:

  1. 4×25 Hard/Easy (100)
  2. 1×200 IMO Drill (200)
  3. 2×150 Kick-Drill-Swim (300)
  4. 1×400 IM (400)

…….

  1. 7×200 Desc 1-3, 4-6, 7=All out (1400)
  2. 30×50 2 EZ – 1 Hard (1500)
  3. 4×400 Mixed IM (1600)

 

First turn the papers face down and shuffle them so they are out of order. Then put a numbered post-it note on the back of each one. Hang the numbered cards in order on the whiteboard or wall in a 4×4 grid with the tape.

Create 4 more cards with “Coaches Sets” on them. These can be anything that you want them to be, ranging from easy to hard and any distance. Label these with post-it notes that say “Coaches Set” and hang them on the wall next to the grid of numbered papers.

If you have a whiteboard, or another piece of paper, write 100 through 1600 vertically. As the “cases” are opened, you can erase or cross off the distances that have been done. It helps the kids visualize what might be left on the papers.

To Play:

After the warmup, have the first person on the team (you choose who gets to pick) choose a number. The whole team then swims that set, and the coach crosses off the total distance on the list. The coach can pick the next swimmer to choose.

After 4 sets have been chosen and swum, the Coach can offer the team a deal. Have the swimmer choose their number, but don’t show them the set yet.  Take down the first Coaches set card and show it to the kid who is choosing this round. They then get to choose whether the team takes the Coaches set (the deal) or if they go with what is on the card that they chose. Make sure you show them what they didn’t do if they chose to do the Coaches set!

Make your workouts easier and more fun with IST. Take a look at SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth and WORKWARE today. With help from IST, you’ll have more time to focus on coaching instead of watching the clock.

Looking for more ways to get great coaching ideas? Check out the Central States Swim Clinic May 18-19 in Oak Brook, IL. Registration is open now! Don’t forget to stop by the IST booth and sign up to win a 4-digit pace clock!