Is your volunteer computer operator “graduating” soon? Do you have new parents who are eager to jump in and help? Are you hosting your championship meet for the first time in 4 years? Do you just want to brush up on how to use certain aspects of the IST Software? Never fear, we’re here to help!
IST offers free 24/7 phone support if you need it, but we can also offer personalized on-line training sessions as well. All you need is a phone and the IST software loaded onto a computer with internet access.
First call 800-835-2611 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment for your training session. Next, download the free version of TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com) onto the computer with the IST software, then give us a call at the appointed time. We’ll be able to log in to your computer and see what you see. We’ll then talk you through the steps, or take control and show you the steps. You can have a one-on-one session, or bring in your whole team to learn the software.
Would you prefer having us on site? We’ll do that too. The cost of a 3-hour training session at your pool is $240 plus travel expenses. Contact us at 800-835-2611 or email@example.com to get a quote.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving!
Are you looking for a Christmas gift for your coaching staff? Look no further than a Bluetooth enabled pace clock. IST’s SWIMCLOCKBT is our popular rugged pace clock with a Bluetooth connection built in. Download the app onto your Android or iPhone and program your pace clock. You can run in Timer mode, Game Clock Mode, EZ Mode or Workout Mode.
Clock mode runs allows you to stop, start and reset a continuous count clock or sound the horn at the touch of a button. Game Clock mode allows you to count up or down to a set time, then sounds the horn when the time is reached. You can also stop or reset the clock or sound the horn with the touch of a button. EZ Mode allows you to enter an amount of repetitions, a time and whether you want to count up or down. The horn will sound each time an interval starts, and at the end of the number of intervals the clock will go blank. You can stop or reset the clock or sound the horn with the touch of a button.
In Workout Mode you can enter sets with up to 99 repeats and an unlimited number of intervals. Run the set right from that screen, or save it and combine an unlimited number of sets into a workout. Run a workout continuously or set it up to wait between sets, giving you the option to talk to your athletes before sending them on to the next set. Your workouts are limited only by your imagination!
Do you already own an IST Clock? No need to replace it, just purchase the Bluetooth Adapter to plug into the existing connector and you are off and running.
Get WORKWARE for only $35!
As a holiday bonus we are offering our WORKWARE software (MSRP $350) for only $35 when you purchase a Bluetooth clock or Bluetooth adapter. WORKWARE allows you to build sets and workouts on your computer, then download them to your phone to run on the Bluetooth pace clock. Purchase on our website or call us at 800-835-2611 to place your order today.
Remember to delete any old MWUPDATE.EXE files from the folder or desktop before downloading the latest one. Once you have downloaded the update, go to UTILITIES>UPDATE. Select the downloaded file, click Update and follow the instructions to complete the update.
Our First Scoreboard is 26 years old and still working!
That’s right, our very first scoreboard has been in continuous use for 26 years in November. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Our Scoreboard Origin Story
When Eve Julian (our Sales and Support Specialist) was swimming in high school, the scoreboard at the high school pool caught on fire. Her dad Dick Farnsworth (President of IST) was on the committee to raise money for a replacement. In 1991, the only scoreboards on the market for swimming were the solenoid flipper boards. Dick was frustrated with the high price and lack of information on the available scoreboards. Fortunately, he owned an engineering company and had just finished up a project using a new product called LED’s. Working with his business partner, Dick designed and built the very first Alphanumeric scoreboard for swimming. It was the first one to be able to display both names and times. To make it easier for Eve’s swim coach to interface with the scoreboard he wrote a software package called SWIMWARE, which ran on a computer. SWIMWARE would later evolve into our current MEETWARE and TIMEWARE software packages.
The project was supposed to be a one-off, just for Ottawa Hills. However, a visiting team parent saw the scoreboard and said, “I must have one of those, where did you get it?” He talked Dick into producing more, and it became a second company. Both the industrial engineering company (Industrial Service Technology) and the swim timing company (International Sports Timing) are going strong today.
How do our scoreboards last so long?
Our scoreboards are designed to last. Industrial environments can be as harsh as pool environments, so Dick used his prior experience to build a product that would stand up to the environment. We use gold connectors whenever possible and we conformal coat the circuit and LED boards to keep the moisture off the components. The boards are designed so that you can still use the scoreboard, even if one panel is removed. That makes repairs easy. IST is committed to making a long-lasting product, and we work very hard to make sure that we don’t obsolete parts, especially for our scoreboards. Even if you have a component fail, we can repair it. Every few years, the 26-year-old board has one or two panels that don’t come on, but a quick fix and it is back up and running!
After a while, the environment can get to even the best electronic equipment. Our scoreboards are designed so that a lot of the repairs can be completed by a building maintenance person, or even a team parent. Replacing connectors and scoreboard panels is quick and easy to do, and if you get stuck help is only a phone call away! We’re also happy to come to you and do the repairs, if that is what you prefer.
The scoreboards last as long as they do because we know that a scoreboard is the biggest investment that you can make for your parents. A team with an already tight budget shouldn’t have to replace their scoreboard every 5 to 7 years. It should be a permanent fixture in your facility for years to come. Our scoreboards, and really all of our products, are designed that way on purpose.
We are very fortunate to have some loyal and long-time customers. Often, we get to see them at the clinics that we go to. Sometimes that is the only time that we talk to them, they hardly ever call for help! When they do call, we get them back up and running in no time flat.
Some of our customers were nice enough to send us testimonials about our products, people and service. Check out the new testimonials page on our website.
If you would like to add your story to our testimonials page, please send your comments or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Occasionally, a team upgrades their equipment or moves out of their facility and needs to sell equipment. When that happens, we list it on our Used Equipment page. Do you have something you want to sell? Send a photo of the item, brief description, price, location and contact information to email@example.com. We’ll post your listing and have interested buyers contact you directly to arrange payment and pickup/shipping of the item.
Thinking of upgrading from a console to an IST system? We’ll list your existing equipment here too. You’d be surprised how many people are looking for a reliable backup console at a cheap price!
Do you need a refresher course on using MEETWARE or TIMEWARE? Is there a new parent volunteer who needs training? We can help with that. Check out our training videos on our YouTube channel, or schedule a personal on-line training session with Jane or Eve. Call 800-835-2611 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. All you need is the computer you use for timing connected to the internet and to download TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com). At the appointed time, call the office at 800-835-2611. We’ll log in to your computer where we can either watch what you are doing or show you how. Whether you need a few questions answered or to be trained from the ground up, we can do that. Schedule a session today!
Tips and Tricks for Running Diving in MEETWARE and TIMEWARE
If you run diving at your pool, here are some helpful tips and tricks for setting up and running the event. These items are all available to MEETWARE users and TIMEWARE users who have the TMW-D Diving license, and some of them are available to everyone. Not sure if you have the diving license? Go to HELP/ABOUT and see if Diving is enabled. Got questions about diving? Give us a call at 800-835-2611 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Validating and sending dive sheets to anyone
IST offers a FREE dive sheet generator on our website. http://www.istime.com/divesheet. This allows you to enter either a 6-dive or an 11-dive meet. Once the dives have been entered, you can validate the meet against the NFHS rules for 6 or 11 dives by clicking the VALIDATE button at the top of the page. Once you have a valid dive sheet, you can e-mail, print or download the sheet. There is also an option to print a blank sheet, in case other dive coaches need one.
Pre-entering the dives
If you have copies of the dive sheets prior to the diving event starting, you can pre-load the dives in for each diver. In TIMING (if you don’t mind seeing the 1st divers information on the scoreboard while you are working) or in OFFLINE SCORING (if you don’t want info on the scoreboard), select the diving event.
After you have the event set up (number of divers, dives and judges are all correct), RIGHT CLICK on a divers name. This will bring up a window with divers name on top, the round and the dive number. Enter the dive number for each round. Remember that you must enter the number and the position letter (i.e. 101C, 5211D). If a dive is not found in the database, it will turn red and you can correct it.
Once you are finished entering all the dives, click VALIDATE (for an 11-dive meet) or DONE. Now when you run the diving even the dives will appear automatically for each diver. If a diver wants to change a dive, you can change the dive during the event by swiping on the dive number and typing in the new (or correct) one.
Using the Failed and Balk Buttons
If a diver fails a dive, rather than typing in 0 for all the judges, you can click the FAILED button to fail the dive and automatically move on.
If a diver balks, it is an automatic 2-point deduction. Usually the judges will just take the 2 points off the score they were going to give and report the reduced score. If you prefer, you can have them report their original score, then click the BALK button, then click OK to accept the dives. After clicking BALK the scores that are accepted will be 2 points lower than the original score. Either method is legal.
DQ’ing or Scratching a Diver
Sometimes it becomes necessary to scratch a diver for injury or DQ a diver. Once a diver has failed 2 dives, they are disqualified from the rest of the event. IF you need to scratch or DQ a diver, click STOP to stop running diving for the moment. Click on the STATUS column to the right of the diver’s name, and select either DQ or OFF. Click START to return to where you left off. Any divers with a DQ or OFF status will remain in the list but will be skipped in the dive order as the event is run.
Scores are occasionally entered incorrectly. Rather that stopping to fix it, you can make a note of it and fix it later. After diving has been run, but before you SCORE the event, click on the TOTSCOR column to the right of the diver’s name. This will bring up a grid with all the dives, the DD and the individual judges scores. Any of this information can be edited and saved. The total score will be corrected and updated automatically as the changes are made.
Once diving is complete you can print the order of finish for the divers. Select either ORDER, which prints the place and total scores ordered by diver number, or SCORE which prints the same information ordered by total score.
If you have any other questions about running diving events, please contact us at 800-835-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to answer any and all questions!
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 | email@example.com
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.
Re-Index fixes corrupt data files.
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.
Break Timer displays on the scoreboard during breaks in the meet
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
Time of Day Clock displays the computer time on the scoreboard
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
Quickly center all the text on each line
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.
Edit and re-send heat/event data
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.
See which touchpads aren’t working
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!
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.
Become a NISCA member
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.
Have a Season Plan
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!
Talk to your Swim Parents
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.
Check your Equipment
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.
Prepare Yourself Mentally!
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.