Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The slowest US Masters swimmer can probably swim farther, faster and better than 85% of society if not the world!

I suspect lane-one swimmers in any given Masters swimming workout can out swim 85% of the population. With that said, don't ever think that you suck or you can't compete. You are in the upper 15% with or without fins and paddles. Here is my reference that I based that claim upon:

From the USA Swimming website:

"... As Memorial Day Weekend approaches marking the traditional opening of the summer pool season across the country, a recent study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis exposes some alarming statistics for many of our nation’s children. The Constraints Impacting Minority Swimming Participation, Phase II study found that nearly 70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians, putting them at risk for drowning. According to the study, parental fear is a major contributor to a child’s swimming ability.

I am in an odd mood, I have not been blogging much due to some situational depression issues in my personal life and my upsets with swimming governing bodies on both the local and international level.

Leaving my personal life out of it, subjects of upset include: USA Swimming sex scandals, cronyism, the eradication of tech-suits which is killing the suit companies, no money for athletes, inflated salaries for swim monopoly execs, politics within all the swim acronymed monopolies, and ultimately the "feudal" or "Machiavellian" values that is holding our sport back.

So, there has to be a pony in there somewhere, hence I figured I would define that overused adjective known as the word: "great," and pat everybody on the back that can do a sport that 85% of the population can barely do if at all.

This is my standard of greatness defined:

Can Swim at the beginning level: The beginner swimmer can swim 25 feet, stop, return to starting position. That is defined as a beginning swimmer in the Boy Scouts Manual: [Link]

Knows how to swim: If you fall off a boat or go to the beach you can swim unassisted for 75 yards. That is the test you have to do if you want to graduate at Cornell University. If you can't swim, you can't graduate. [Link]

A competent swimmer: Can do all of the above four or five times with some rest.

An good swimmer: Can swim a 1,000 yards in a pool and in an open water setting without stopping.

An excellent swimmer: Knows all four strokes, can enjoy a swim workout almost every day. Probably competes but does not have to compete to be an excellent swimmer.

An outstanding swimmer: College team or university swimmer. Places above the 51-percentile in their age-group. If they don't compete, they are swimming in the fastest lanes.

A [elite] great swimmer: Top 10-percentile of those they swim with or against. This includes Masters, NCAA, age-group swimming etc. etc.

An [great] elite Swimmer: NCAA champion, or the moral equivalent. Great is an overused adjective but if you made it to an NCAA final or qualified for an A-0r-B final at Nationals. You are now officially a great swimmer. You have won many races to get there. This applies to Masters as well who medaled on the world stage.

A sublime swimmer: You have made an Olympic team or a FINA world championship team or have set an international record.

An Olympic or FINA World Championship medalist: You could not be any better. You are the best in the solar system.

These are my definitions which I made up on the fly. Personally, I fall in the outstanding category as do most Masters swimmers. I probably won't get any better than that but it is so fun trying.


CoachErik said...

One thing I would change, switch elite and great. Other than that, sounds pretty on target.

And if you are wondering, Tony, USA Swimming has stepped up to my challenge of having education and a reporting system in place by November 1st, a challenge I called for on the floor of the house of delegates. Though the phone line is not implemented, the only reporting system and several educational items have been posted. Before October 1st.

Trying to shine a little light on your day, regardless of your position on suits ;)

Tony Austin said...

Thank you for the nice words. I have been swimming 3-5 times a week.

You're right, I looked up the words elite and great and elite is a superior term, I will transpose them. :-)