If any of your equipment has been damaged by the recent severe weather or fire events, please contact us and we’ll help you get back in business as quickly as possible! 800-835-2611 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The IST timing software packages (TIMEWARE and MEETWARE) are designed to be easy to use and intuitive. Many people figure out the basics right away, but have you ever spent time exploring some of the other menu items outside of Meet Setup and Basic Timing? There are videos on our website that show some of the tips and tricks for MEETWARE, some of which are available in TIMEWARE too. Here are a few menu items and tricks that you may not have been aware of.
Every once in a while, something will cause the software to crash. If there is a database open (usually in timing or seeding) this can cause a problem with the data. Especially if you must do a soft shutdown (CTRL-ALT-DEL) or a hard reset (reboot the computer). If this happens, or if you are seeing data that doesn’t look correct, you can do a re-index of the database.
From the main menu go to Utilities and select Reindex. A rectangular box will pop up on the screen and run through the databases. Very often this happens so quickly that you don’t even see it. When it is done you’ll see a message telling you that re-indexing is complete. That is all there is to it. You can do it any time, it doesn’t hurt to do it periodically to keep the databases healthy.
If you have a scoreboard that you use with your system, you can put up a timer during breaks to let everyone know how long until the next event begins. You can access it from the timing screen by clicking on the “Break” button on the right side of the screen, or by going to Utilities/Break Timer. However you get there, it brings up a screen that allows you to select which lane and column you want the time to show on the scoreboard, how long the break is, and whether the clock should count up or down. If you have an Alphanumeric scoreboard, you can also include up to 5 characters of text that will display in front of the clock. Once you click the START button, the timer will display on the scoreboard and on the computer screen.
Time of Day Clock
The Time of Day clock allows you to post the current time on your scoreboard. The time will be whatever time is on your computer and shows the hours, minutes and seconds. Like the break timer, you can select which lane and column you would like to display the time on. The Time of Day Clock can be accessed through the Utilities menu.
Center All Lines on the message board
If you have an alphanumeric scoreboard, you have probably used the message function. Did you know that there is a shortcut to centering the text on all of the lines at once? After typing your message in to each line, right click on any line of text. You’ll see a pop-up menu that allows you to align just that line to the center (the red line down the middle indicates the center line), or center all lines.
Offline scoring allows you to go back and make corrections to events either before or after they have been run. It looks a lot like the timing screen, but none of the data will show up on the scoreboard. Go to Meets/Offline Scoring. Here you can check the race number and status of any heat. If you want to re-time the heat, just click the UnCheck to Time Again check box. Clicking the ADJUST button allows you to adjust finish times based on the NFHS rules for adjusting missed pad times. Here you can also add or delete heats, reprint heat results, change times or names and score the event.
If you are using GNET to send the results to Meet Manager, you can also come here to resend either individual races or the results from the whole meet. Click the Send All check box on the lower right quadrant of the screen, click Gnet Send and your results will be sent out to the folder assigned to GNET. You can also view the team scores for the meet from this screen.
Occasionally you will find that you seem to be having issues with your pads or buttons. The Pad Stat report give you an easy way to look for patterns that might indicate the failure of a certain piece of equipment. From the Main Menu, go to Meets/Diagnostics/Pad Stats. Select the meet and which type of report you want – matrix or summary. Click Analyze, then click Print to print the report.
This report gives you a much clearer view of whether the failures were confined to a single lane (signaling a problem with the equipment in that lane) or if they were more random and spread out (indicating possible human error – not hitting the pad or being too fast or slow on the backup button). This is also a great report to send to us when you do find you have a problem. It will help us narrow down the issues and get to the solution more quickly.
When you get a chance, explore the menus and see what your software can do. We’re here to make your life easier, so if you think of something that it doesn’t do but you’d like it to – send us a note!
This is a guest post courtesy of Abbie Fish of RITTER Sports Performance. From qualifying for the Olympic Trials to working at USA Swimming’s headquarters, Abbie has been on all sides of swimming. Abbie is a stroke mechanics guru and believes anyone with the heart to train can benefit from technical advice! [CLICK HERE] for a FREE stroke technique lesson from Coach Abbie!
How to Swim a Faster Backstroke, by Understanding Freestyle:
Backstroke can be a challenging stroke, even for those swimmers who have already mastered freestyle. The backstroke stroke is often misleading to a Pro-freestyler due to the fact it’s VERY fundamentally similar to freestyle. Just because you’ve conquered freestyle, doesn’t mean backstroke will come easy. I plan to explain THREE ways these two strokes are fundamentally similar, what you can do to improve your backstroke using these similarities, and lastly, swim a faster backstroke, by understanding the freestyle fundamentals!
Let’s get started…
1.) Both Strokes are Long-Axis Strokes
Just like freestyle, backstroke is a long-axis stroke. Well, what does that mean exactly? Long-Axis means that your body rotates around the sagittal (or longitudinal) axis of your body. The sagittal axis splits the body in half—leaving your right arm and right leg on one side, and your left arm and left leg on the other side.
This axis is important because rotation in freestyle and backstroke is centered around it. Without proper rotation, or a strong core connection—your stroke will look floppy and disconnected while turning your body from side to side.
2.) The Horizontal Body Position
Another similarity between these two strokes, is the horizontal body position. When you swim either Free or Back, you want the swimmer’s body to be comfortably floating on the surface. Obviously, things get a little more complicated if you start rotating, pulling, and adding in a kick; BUT the ideal and best position a swimmer can be in is– floating right at the top of the surface with little or no body angle.
I’m sure if you’re a coach or a swimmer, you’ve been told to “put your head down” in freestyle. Well, that same reasoning is applied to backstroke by “tilting your head back.” The reason we like to change your head position in both of these strokes is because it affects your body line (as described above). If a straight line is the best position a swimmer can be in in the pool–then looking forward in freestyle, or looking at your feet in backstroke will ultimately change that positioning.
With my swimmers, I like to tell them to “lift their chin up.” This phrase gets away from strictly thinking about moving their head back. Instead, swimmers think about creating space between their chin and chest. I have seen better changes with this verbiage than the regular, “look up towards the sky”, or “lay your head back” phrases.
3. The Kick
The last and final way freestyle and backstroke are similar is due to the kick. Fundamentally, the kick movement is the same between both strokes—you’re just on your back for backstroke. Remember: the kick is initiated through the lower abs/hips and finishes out with a good flick from your feet/toes.
The more plantar flexibility you have, the faster your kick will be—in both of these strokes. One main difference with the kick in freestyle and backstroke is the fact your knees are closer to the water’s surface while backstroke kicking.
It becomes pretty evident if a swimmer is kicking using too much knee bend, because their knees will break through the surface while kicking on their back, if so.
Be sure to stay tuned next week where we discuss how to IMPROVE your backstroke stroke, using these similarities to your advantage!
Until Next Time,
August is here which means everyone is gearing up to go back to school. About half the country is prepping for their upcoming swim season too. There is a lot to think about when getting ready for a season.
NISCA is the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association. It is the professional organization for high school swim coaches. IST is a sponsor of NISCA and we really love what they do for coaches. NISCA membership is only $50 a year (August 1st through July 31st) and you get all kinds of benefits. First and foremost, NISCA members get free All America applications (reduced rate for Diving All America), while non-members pay $30 per application. Also, NISCA membership comes with a $1 Million liability insurance policy that covers you while you are a current member and will cover you at any pool that you coach at, not just at your high school pool.
In addition, if you are a NISCA member, you can log into their website (www.niscaonline.org) and go to the Coaches Ed tab. There you will find all kinds of great information for coaches, including forms that you can use for planning your season, getting your team organized, planning meets and much more.
NISCA hosts a National Conference in conjunction with the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. This year it is in Minneapolis MN March 22-25. If you can get there, you should go. It is a great chance to get to know coaches from all over the country and pick the brains of some of the best high school coaches anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 state championships or you are a first-year coach. Everyone is welcome!
Finally, NISCA members get a bi-monthly journal filled with great information that is specifically geared toward high school swimming, diving and water polo coaches. You really can’t afford not to join NISCA. It is easy to do on-line, or you can print out a paper form if your school wants to pay by check.
Do you have a season plan? Is it just a couple goals written on a piece of paper? Do you do macrocycles and mesocycles? Do you write every workout down before season or do it daily? It doesn’t really matter how you create a season plan, only that you have one. Start with your end goal(s) in mind and then plan how you are going to get there. Include a calendar with big meets, days off and other special days. Then break your season down into segments and what you want to focus on for that segment. That could be things like technique, race pace training, aerobic endurance or any number of other things. Write it down and refer to it through the season to help you keep on track.
If you are a NISCA member you can download a sample season plan spreadsheet from the NISCA website. The spreadsheet allows you to plan your 16-week season from a 1 page overview all the way down to a daily view – take a look!
Do you have a booster group for your team? I know a lot of coaches say that they wish they coached “a team of orphans”, but parents can often be as big a help as they are a pain. The key to success with parents is communication – early and often. Start your season with a parent meeting. Pass out your team handbook. If you don’t have one, consider creating or borrowing one. The NISCA Coaches Ed page has several that you can download and modify. Explain your coaching philosophy and your team philosophy. Review team rules and expectations. Discuss the culture of your team, or the culture you are trying to create.
Finally, ask your parents for help! Parent want to feel useful, especially parents of teenagers who suddenly find themselves with a kid who “doesn’t need” them. If you have parents who are always hanging around the deck, ask them to do a job. Parents can run the timing table, coordinate meals after meets, organize and run fundraisers, host team bonding nights. The sky is the limit! Plus, if they are busy doing something to help the team they won’t have time to bother the coach.
On the first day of practice you should get out all your equipment and check it. Make sure you have every cord and cable. You would be surprised at how often power cords go on walkabout. Test your CTI, start device, deck cable, touchpads and backup buttons. If something isn’t working, give us a call at 800-835-2611. We’ll decide over the phone whether it is something that we can fix (most of it is) or if it needs to be replaced. If it needs to be repaired we’ll get you an RMA number and give you instructions on how to send it to us. If it needs replaced we’ll get you a quote for the replacement cost.
Remember, our hardware has a 5-year warranty (2 years on batteries and cables), and 99% of the items can be repaired no matter how old they are.
Don’t forget to update your software too. Check the software update page to see if there is a new update out. Once you have updated, if you have our MEETWARE software, this is also a good time to run the New Season utility to clear out the old meets and update the grades in your roster. You can find more information on how to do that in the MEETWARE Help File.
Sometimes swim season can be a long, hard 3 months. Get yourself mentally ready to deal with the joys and frustrations of coaching teenage kids. Stock up on Diet Coke or your vice of choice! Stand at that first practice and know that for all the awful stuff you may have to deal with in the next 3 months, you are going to be making a difference in the lives of these kids. They may not realize it right away, and maybe not until years later, but the work that you do is shaping them into who they are going to be. Swim coaching is a low-paying and often thankless job, but we here at IST want you to know that we appreciate what you do for these athletes and this sport. You’ve got this!
Best of luck with your upcoming season. Let us know if there is anything we can help with.
IST’s pace clocks have been favorites of coaches for years. What’s not to love? Our pace clocks have a 5 year warranty, they’re solid and dependable and they are programmable with an additional programming pendent. Plus they are bright and easy to see. Even, we’ve been told, in the fog across a 50M pool!
Well now our pace clocks are even better!
Now we have added Bluetooth technology to our clocks. You can run your pace clock with your Android or iPhone device. Simply download the app from the Google Play Store or from the Apple App Store, pair your phone to the clock and you have a powerful workout tool in the palm of your hand. In fact, it’s like having another assistant coach on your deck.
The app features 4 different modes. TIMER is a basic stopwatch function. GAME CLOCK allows you to count up or down for a set time period so you can run a game of water polo for fun after practice. EZ MODE allows you to create a quick and simple set consisting of the number of repeats and a time (i.e. 10 @ 1:00). Additionally, WORKOUT MODE allows you to create more complex sets with multiple intervals and combine those into a workout which can be run at the push of a button.
You can store an unlimited number of sets and workouts. Sets are stored by category and name and workouts are stored by name so you can find everything easily.
If writing sets on your phone doesn’t appeal to you, there is an easier way. You can export your sets and workouts from our WORKWARE workout software and import them into the phone app. This allows you to write the sets on your computer and run them on your phone.
Already have an IST clock?
No problem! You can purchase a Bluetooth adapter that will plug into any IST Pace Clock (2 or 4 digit) and get the same functionality as the clock with the built in Bluetooth!
We have released the iPhone version of the app on the Apple App Store. For a limited time the app is FREE. Offer good through July 31st, 2017.
Also, buy a Bluetooth pace clock now and you will get a copy of our WORKWARE software for only $35 (MSRP $350). This offer is good through August 31st, 2017.
Purchase a SWIMCLOCKBT-HI, SWIMCLOCKBT-HX or Bluetooth Adapter for IST Pace Clocks and get a copy of WORKWARE Software for $35. That’s a 90% discount! Offer valid now through August 31st, 2017.
Call 800-835-2611 or e-mail email@example.com place your order. We accept credit card, check and purchase order.
WORKWARE allows you to create libraries of sets and workouts that can be run on separate lines of a scoreboard.
WORKWARE can be run on any IST scoreboard and numeric models from other manufacturers. A connection to the scoreboard is required. The cost for the software is normally $350. The connector ranges between $50 and $600 depending on what brand of scoreboard you have.
IST is proud to introduce the SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth, our standard 4-digit pace and game clock with built in Bluetooth which allows you to control your clock from a smart phone app.
Create unlimited numbers of sets organized by category. Combine those sets into full workouts and store it all on your phone. Everything is right there in the palm of your hand. Start and stop the clock or blow the horn from anywhere on the pool deck. Already own an IST pace clock? No problem! Purchase the plug-in adapter and turn your existing pace clock into a smart pace clock. The Swim Clock app for Android is now available on the Google Play store, iOS for Apple is in beta test now. All you need is an e-mail address and we’ll send you a link for it.
We know that swimming isn’t a “revenue” sport. I’ve heard people say that a pool is just a hole in the ground that you throw money into. It seems like even busy pools have a hard time operating in the black. High school teams don’t usually get much of a budget and almost all programs rely on volunteers to make things work smoothly. Here are a couple fundraising ideas for raising money for your team.
A lot of parents don’t want to help their kids sell chocolate, discount cards or wrapping paper for fundraisers. They know that they are going to end up spending a lot on that stuff that they don’t really need. Also, not much of the money goes to the team. Instead, create a wish list of what you want, the number of items needed and the dollar amount per item. Then talk to your parents at the beginning of the season. Finally, ask if any of them would be willing to donate money to buy one or several items on the wish list. Often families are willing to give money if they know that it will be used directly for an item that will benefit their swimmer. I got a new set of pull buoys this way once, just by mentioning to a parent that we needed them.
2) Run a Swimathon.
This is what we do for fundraising on my high school team. I love it because the kids do all the work. All the adults have to do is count money and feed the swimmers. I assign our swimmers to a “level” – either 10,000 yards, 7500 yards or 5000 yards depending on their skill and experience. The athletes go out and collect either pledges (an amount per yard) or donations (a flat fee for all the swimming). They turn in their envelopes and we tally up what has already been collected on the day of the Swimathon . Then we give them their envelopes back and have them collect the remaining pledges after the swim. The 10,000 yards can be swum however they want to do it, but they need to make it as continuous as possible (stopping to put on fins is permissible, but not to just stand and chat). We feed them dinner once they are done swimming. I ask each swimmer to try to collect a minimum of $100. The 2 swimmers who collect the most money get dinner with Coach as a prize. Each year my team of 15-20 swimmers collects between $2200-$2800.
3) Sell Advertising.
I have seen this done a couple different ways. Some teams sell ad space in their dual meet or Championship meet programs, while other teams sell lane sponsorships – each lane in the pool has a sponsor logo on the block or on the deck behind the block. If you have an IST scoreboard, or if you are looking to purchase one, you can add a 2 color custom logo panel to the bottom of the scoreboard. On it you can have the sponsor logos for all the companies that helped fund the scoreboard. If you are looking at BOARDWARE, you can sell ads that can run on the scoreboard any time it is not being used for a meet. Just create a PowerPoint presentation with slides for the different ads and run it all day! Your own imagination and your willingness to reach out to local companies are the only limits!
4) Use your network.
One school that I know of used a letter campaign to fundraise for their athletic department. Create a letter that explains what you are raising money for. Include specific items and costs if possible. Ask for donations and tell them where checks can be sent. Add your EIN number if you have one. You can even enclose a pre-addressed and stamped envelope for sending checks back in. Give 10 copies of that letter, along with stamped envelopes, to each of your athletes. Ask them to sign the letter and address and mail it to 10 people they know. You can also send the same letter to your Alumni if you have contact information for them. Have the swimmers address and stuff the envelopes on a Saturday.
5) Work with a professional sports team.
Are you lucky enough to have professional or semi-pro sports in your city? Check with them for fundraising opportunities. Many venues will staff their parking lot attendants and concession stands with volunteers from community groups like your swim team. Depending on the venue they may give you either a percentage of sales or pay for the hours worked. You might be able to make some money in your own school this way. Have your students and parents volunteer to run the concession stand or spirit shop during big games.
IST’s newest product, the Bluetooth enabled SWIMCLOCKBT can now be run with your iPhone!
IST proudly introduces the latest innovation in training, a smart phone controlled digital pace clock. Your smart phone communicates with the pace clock via Bluetooth, which offers the most stable connection. Imagine, all of your sets and workouts in the palm of your hand. You’ll be able to stop and start your pace clock from anywhere in the pool. In addition you can blow the horn with the click of a button. Soon you will even be able to import workouts from IST’s WORKWARE or other workout management software.
Already have an IST pace clock? You don’t need to replace it, simply order the Bluetooth Adapter (SWIMCLOCKBT-ADP). The adapter plugs into the round connector on the pace clock that you already have, making your existing clock Bluetooth enabled.
The Android version of the Swim Clock app is available for free on the Google Play store.
The iPhone version is in beta test, but you can get it now! Order a Bluetooth SWIMCLOCKBT or Bluetooth adapter for your existing clock, the simply give us your e-mail address and we’ll add you to the list.
IST will be at several swim clinics in 2017.
Stop by our booth to visit with us, ask questions or play with our new Bluetooth enabled pace clocks. Don’t forget to enter the drawing to win a new pace clock while you’re there! Check out the new early registration special for Central States!
Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic
1/5 to 1/8
mParks Parks and Recreation Conference and Show
1/31 to 2/1
Grand Rapids, MI
5/8 to 5/9
San Diego, CA
Central States Swim Clinic
5/19 to 5/21
Oak Brook, IL
9/21 to 9/24
Eastern States Swim Clinic
9/30 to 10/1
Cherry Hill, NJ
10/13 to 10/15*
Control your pace clock with your smart phone! IST announces the release of the brand new SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth, which allows you to program unlimited sets and workouts into your smart phone and run them on your SWIMCLOCK. An Android app is available now in the Google Play store, an iOS version is projected to be released 12/31/15.