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!

Fall Season Starts Soon – Make Sure You Are Ready!

The fall season begins this month. Now is the time to make sure that you are prepared for the 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 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://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://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. Set up a time, turn on your computer, log into 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.

Let us know if you need anything         

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!

 

 

 

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!

IST and NISCA – A Partnership

IST and NISCA

IST has been involved with the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) since the early 2000’s. IST has always been partial to High School coaches and their programs. We began our business to provide reasonably priced and long-lasting equipment to high schools that didn’t have big budgets. When Dick met Mark Onstott (New Trier, IL) and Dana Abbott (Katy, TX) he was impressed with their passion for high school swimming and their work with NISCA.

All America Diving

The first thing that IST partnered with NISCA on was the All America Diving program.  Diving had to be scored and tabulated by hand prior to IST coming on board. With nearly 500 divers doing 11 dives, that was a lot of calculating and it took a lot of time. Judges would watch each dive and shout out their score. A recorder would write down the scores and do the math to tally up the totals. They checked the sheets and placed them in order to determine the top 100 divers.

All America Diving Judges from the year 2011

2011 All America Diving Judges

Beginning in 2004, IST begin providing hardware and software for scoring the dives. Now judges sit with a keypad in their hands. The operator reads the dive number, the judges watch the video of the dive and enter their scores. The computer operator reads off the final scores and the computer performs all the calculations. It allows the judges to judge more quickly and accurately. It also removes any bias caused by hearing the judges around you shout out a score. This past weekend, All America Diving judging occurred. 17 judges and 2 computer operators judged over 550 divers doing 11 dives in 2 and a half days.

Diving judges at 2011 event.

2011 All America Diving Judging

Membership and other All America Programs

Once NISCA realized how much more efficient they could be, their executive board and All America chairs started brainstorming ways to make other aspects of the organization run more efficiently. In 2007 IST and NISCA partnered on creating a Membership portal to allow NISCA members to sign up for memberships online.  They also made the All America Diving application an on-line process. Beginning in 2008, the entire NISCA membership list went on-line and AA Diving began accepting applications on-line.

Eve Julian is IST’s Sales and Marketing Director as well as a high school coach and NISCA member. In 2008 she made the mistake of complaining to NISCA President Lanny Landtroop about the state of the NISCA website. Lanny talked Eve into becoming NISCA’s first Webmaster. He put her in charge of updating and organizing the website, a role that she still fulfills.

NISCA President Lanny Landtroop being interviewed by Swimming World's Brent Rutemiller

2008 – NISCA President Lanny Landtroop being interviewed by Swimming World’s Brent Rutemiller

Once Diving applications went online, AA Diving Chair Don Mason was doing much less paperwork. The other All America Chairs were jealous! The next program to go online was All America Swimming, followed a few years later by Academic All America and Scholar Team. Finally, just this year, All America Water Polo has also gone on-line with the applications. Each program presented their own unique challenges to create the online application portal. Upgrades and improvements were added as each application has moved online. The system is still evolving to meet the needs of the users and the Chairs processing the applications.

NISCA/IST National Dual Meet Program

IST is also a proud sponsor of the NISCA National Dual Meet Program.  The National Dual Meet program uses Power Points to rank teams in 9 different classes. The classes are based on school size and whether they are public or private.  Our MEETWARE software allows you to automatically generate an entry, as well as make manual changes as you see fit. You can print the entry directly from MEETWARE and send it to the National Dual Meet Chairperson for consideration. Eventually, even that program will probably be going online.

Join NISCA

Not a member of NISCA? You can join online. The NISCA membership year begins on August 1st and expires on July 31st. If you join NISCA starting on June 16th, you will get an extra month and a half of membership. Mark your calendars and join NISCA on June 16th . Be part of the only professional organization specifically for high school aquatics coaches.

IST is a proud partner of NISCA. We support their efforts “To Educate…. To Honor… To Serve” high school coaches around the country.  Volunteers run NISCA.  They support high school swimming, diving and water polo athletes and coaches around the country. We think they do an outstanding job and we are happy to help them achieve their mission.

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 20x25’s. The first relay to get every member to complete 20x25’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 = 2x25’s                                            9 = 9×50 all free

3=3x100’s                                            10 = 10x25’s

4 = 4x75’s                                            Jack = 1×500 Free (regardless of Suit)

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

6 = 6x200’s                                          King = 1×500 swim suit stroke

7 = 7x50’s                                            Ace = 1×100 Backwards any stroke

8= 8x25’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!

Programming Sets and Workouts on your IST Bluetooth Pace Clock

What is the IST SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth?

IST has come out with a brand-new way to control your pace clock. Before, if you wanted to create sets and workouts you did it with a numeric keypad. This worked well, but you couldn’t create very complex sets and you were limited in the amount of sets and workouts that you could store.

IST solved that problem by creating a Bluetooth module that would connect to our pace clock and can be controlled with your smart phone. The module comes either built into a new SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth pace clock, or as an adapter that you can plug into your exiting pace clock. It allows you to create complex sets and workouts and store them all in your device. You can even create your sets in our WORKWARE software and download them onto your phone.

How Do I Use It?

There are a couple of different ways that you can use your SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth. The easiest is just the continuous count mode. Just turn the clock on and wait. It will start counting up after a few moments. Alternatively, you can connect your phone app to the clock (see the instruction manual for how to connect) and select the TIMER function on the main screen. If you are using the timer function, you have the ability to start, stop and reset the clock as well as sound the horn on the clock by tapping the HORN button.

EZ Mode

The easiest way to get started programming the clock is to use EZ Mode. Tap on the EZ mode icon on the main menu. Let’s say that you want to do 10×100@1:20. In the REPS box enter “10”. Choose whether you want to count Up (0:00 to 1:20) or down (1:20 to 0:00), in the TO boxes enter the minutes in the lefthand box (“1”) and the seconds in the right hand box (“20”). Tap DONE on the keyboard to hide it. Your screen will look like this:

Click on the START button to start the set. You’ll hear the horn sound, and SR: 1 will appear on the clock for 2 seconds. It will start counting at 3 seconds and will beep again at 1:20, display SR: 2 for 2 seconds and continue counting until all 10 Reps have been completed. Then the clock will stop and go blank.

Creating Sets

Once you are comfortable with EZ Mode, you can create a more complex set. From the main menu tap on Workout Mode, then select SETS.

Sets are organized by category, to make them easier to find. You can make the categories however you want. By distance, by type of set (warmup, aerobic, etc.) or any other way that you want to organize them.

To create a new category, click the menu button (3 vertical dots on Android, box with an up arrow on iOS) and select Add Category. Enter the category name into the box that pops up and tap OK or NEXT to accept it.

Next, select the Category from the set screen, tap the menu button and select Add Set. Type in the set name and tap OK or NEXT to save it.

Now you have your set you can start adding in the intervals. Let’s do a set that looks like this:
2x { 3×100@1:20
{ 4×50@1:00

The Set Rep is 2. You can choose to count up or down by clicking on the UP button. The first Interval Rep (Int.Rep) is 3 and the time is 1:20. Once you have entered those numbers, tap SAVE to save the interval.

To add the second interval (4×50@1:00), tap ADD. The Int. Rep is 4, the time is 1:00. Tap SAVE to save that interval.

You now have your set created.  Run it on the clock right from this screen by tapping on the RUN button, or combine this set with others to create a multi-level set or a full workout.

Creating Workouts

If you want to have multiple sets run back to back, you can create them as above and then combine them into a workout. The workout will run once through from top to bottom. You have the option of pausing between each set (which requires the coach to start the next set) or just have it run from beginning to end.

To create a workout, from the main menu tap WORKOUTS. Tap the Menu button, ADD WORKOUT and give the workout a name. You can name it after the main set, the date or whatever works for you. Tap NEXT or OK to save it.

Now that you have a workout, you can add your sets to it by selecting the category and set, then clicking the ADD SET button. The set will show up in the list at the bottom in the order that you select it. To change the order, tap on a set, the tap the MOVE button that appears. The sets will be numbered, and you just enter the number of the set that you want to insert the set above.

Running Workouts

Once you have the workout created, to run the workout tap on WORKOUTS on the main screen, then Run Workout. Select the workout and tap the START button. If you want to start on a different set in the workout, tap the SET NAME and select the set that you want to start on. It’s that simple!

Creating and running sets and workouts for your pace clock is simple. Once you’ve created a couple you’ll be able to do it really quickly. Plus, since they are always there you can just go back and reuse or modify as necessary.
For more information, or to purchase a SWIMCLOCK with Bluetooth or Bluetooth adapter for your existing clock check out our website: https://istime.com/products/digital-pace-clock/

End of Season Reports

As we near the end of the winter season, it’s time to think about those end of season reports. If you are using IST’s MEETWARE software, we make it easy to run reports for your whole team. If you aren’t using MEETWARE… well, I’m sure the other meet management software packages let you do stuff like this too. If not, give us a call at 800-835-2611 or e-mail us at info@istime.com and we can talk about upgrading to an all-in-one timing, meet and team management package.

 

Let’s look at the Coaches Corner menu in MEETWARE and see what’s available.

 

Top Times

The top times report allows you to view the top times on your team so far either as a summary:

Or a matrix:

You can choose options like just individual times, relay lead off times, or all times. On the matrix report you can use the regular high school event list or all of the strokes and distances.

 

Individual Points            

This report allows you to total up all of the points scored. Select the meet(s) that you want to calculate, whether you want to use actual points scored in the meet or NISCA Power Points, include diving points or not and how to calculate relay points. You can use this for determining high point for a meet or for the season or awarding varsity letters based on points or power points.

Season Summaries

This report prints a summary of the entire season for every athlete on your team. It creates a matrix of the meets down the left and the stroke and distance across the top. Best times for each event are marked and time drops are calculated.

Diver summaries include their points scored and placing in each meet.

Power Points

Want to see how your team stacks up against other teams around the country? Enter your team in the NISCA National Dual Meet. In MEETWARE you can create the entry form with the click of a button. Just select the meets you want to use and the team to use. Fill out the school information and the report is automatically generated. Don’t like how it calculated your best lineup? You can go in and make manual changes.

TEAM HISTORY

If you run the New Season function each year (found under Utilities>New Season), your home team data is archived in your MEETWARE folder. You can use this information to create reports about your team’s performance over the course of those seasons.

Career Summary

This report is the same format as the season summary, but it includes information from all of the seasons available in the archive folder, not just the current season. It’s a great report for the seniors on your team to see how far they’ve come.  There are other options here as well, including a Best Times summary:

 

Event Summary:

The event summary allows you to print the top times on your team, creating a top 10 listing for example.

 

If you have any questions about these reports, or would like to talk more about how MEETWARE can simplify your swim season, give us a call at 800-835-2611 or support@istime.com. We’re happy to help!

 

Preparing for big meets

This time of year, many coaches start thinking about hosting their big Invitational meet, Conference meet, Regionals, Sectionals, Districts or even State meet. Hosting these meets is a big responsibility for the coaches and volunteers. Here are some tips for making sure your meet runs smoothly.

Check your hardware

At least one month before your big meet, test and clean all your hardware. If you have been running dual meets at your pool, you will have a pretty good idea of what is working and what isn’t. If you have items that aren’t working, call IST (800-835-2611) and get an RMA number. Then send it to us referencing that RMA number. We’ll get it repaired and back to you as quickly as we can.

If your hardware fails just before the meet, never fear! We often have items in exchange stock that we can send you. You can use that item while we repair yours, then send it back once your item is returned. We don’t have every item in exchange stock, but it’s worth a call. If we have it, we’ll get it to you.

Update your software

Make sure that your software is up to date and current. The current version of MEETWARE and TIMEWARE is 3.2 dated 12/8/2017. First, make sure to delete any old MW3update.zip files from the folder on your computer where you plan to save the file. Then go to https://istime.com/support/software-updates/ and click on the MEETWARE/TIMEWARE version. SAVE the file to your computer. DO NOT RUN, EXTRACT or UNZIP this file. Now open MEETWARE or TIMEWARE and go to Utilities>Update. Click BROWSE and select the MW3update.zip file. Click OK, then click UPDATE and follow the instructions on the screen.

Double check the date when you re-open the MEETWARE or TIMEWARE software to make sure that the update went in properly. If you run into any trouble updating your system, give us a call at 800-835-2611.

Check the help files and videos

If it has been a while since you last ran a prelims/finals meet or a big invitational, it’s a good idea to review how to setup and run Championship style meets. You can find a Quick Reference Guide for Championship Meets and links to articles about setting up and running Championship Meets. In MEETWARE or TIMEWARE go to Help>Help and scroll down the left side to find Championship Meets – Quick Reference.
You can also watch our video help files about Championship Meets on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dibHBxslcVY&list=PLyFsZEg-Hk8JRgTmp5u404LXe-ul7EEr4 .
If you have further questions or you would like someone to help you with setting up the meet, give us a call at 800-835-2611. We can walk you through it on the phone or set up a TeamViewer session so that we can see what is on your computer and walk you through the process.

Check your supplies

Make a list and check it twice. Do you have everything you need? Stopwatches, pencils, clip boards, extra touchpads and backup buttons, volunteer timers, food for the coaches, water for the swimmers, ice for injuries, first aid kit, chairs, tables, trash cans. The list is endless.

Get your volunteers

Make sure you have people who can run the timing computer (and Meet Manager computer if you are running TIMEWARE), people to be backup timers on the lane, take admission money, man the coaches hospitality table, be runners, etc. Lots of hands makes light work for a meet like this!

If you have parents that you trust, delegate the assigning of volunteer positions to them. They can take your list of positions and find people to help fill them, freeing you up to worry about other things.

Have a backup plan

What will you do if there is bad weather? What if a touchpad goes bad in the middle of the meet? What if someone spills water on your computer? If you have backup plans in place for every emergency, then you won’t need them.
Have a second computer loaded with MEETWARE or TIMEWARE. Make sure that one is updated too! Any time you make changes to your meet, whether it is setting it up, putting in entries or during a break in the action of the meet, you should make a backup. Go to Utilities>Backup>Backup. Click Browse to select the location, then click BACKUP to save the file. The backup file will save a BACKUP_System.zip. System is your system name, like LITE or OHMEN. Make sure to save it to a thumb drive or network drive and not to the hard drive of your computer!

If the unthinkable happens and your main computer goes down, don’t panic! Boot up the back up computer, open up MEETWARE or TIMEWARE, go to Utilities>Backup>Restore, and restore the latest backup. You may lose a little bit of data, but it won’t be the end of the world and the meet will continue on.

Run a test

If you haven’t run a prelims/finals meet in a while, it’s a good idea to do a dry run. You can create a test system that will allow you to play around with the meet and its data without interfering with the actual meet.
Go to Utilities>System and select your system. Then click the COPY TO TEST button on the upper right of the screen. Answer the questions and your whole system will be copied into a TEST folder. You will be automatically logged in to the TEST system. You can tell by looking at the name in parenthesis at the top of the MEETWARE or TIMEWARE screen.

Check the DEMO check box on the screen under the system name, exit the system and go for it! You can run events with the touchpad simulator, watch how the scoring happens, review how to put award information up on the scoreboard and much more.

Once you are done playing with the meet, don’t forget to switch back to your original system!

Last minute items

  • Things to check before at least 24 hours before your meet starts:
  • Is your printer working? Do you have enough paper and ink?
  • Plug in your SWIMSTART to charge overnight. Make sure that the outlet that you plug it into has power running to it!
  • Double check your lists, are you missing anything?
  • Breathe – this is going to be fine!

If you start preparing for your big meet in advance, everything is going to run smoothly. We’ll be there to help along the way. If you have questions or you run into any issues give us a call at 800-835-2611 24/7 or e-mail us at support@istime.com.

Visit IST at a Swim Clinic in 2018

IST will be at several swim clinics in 2018.

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!

Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic
January 6 – 7, 2018
Napa, CA

CSCAA Conference
May 6 – 8, 2018
Evanston, IL

Central States Swim Clinic
May 18 -20, 2018
Oak Brook, IL

TISCA Clinic
September 13-16, 2018
Doubletree North
Austin, Texas

Eastern States Swim Clinic
October 5-7, 2018
Cherry Hill, NJ

Ohio Swimposium
October TBD
Columbus, OH

*tentative dates

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