7 Reasons You Should Get Back Into the Pool As A Masters Swimmer

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Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

7 Reasons You Should Get Back Into the Pool As A Masters Swimmer

By Alec Scott

There is nothing quite like swimming. Once you are done racing competitively it can be hard to fill that void. Masters is a great way to get back into it and have some fun along the way. Here are seven reasons to consider making your comeback with your local masters team:

1. It is a great way to stay in shape.

Whether you were a club, college, or rec swimmer growing up it does not matter– masters swimming will get you into better shape. No matter how long you have been out of the pool it is never too late to get back into swimming. My dad took 25 years off following college, started swimming masters again at age 45. Now, 12 years later, he routinely goes to nationals and even coaches a couple times a week.

2. It is a great way to meet new people.

Photo Courtesy: Cokie Lepinski

Photo Courtesy: Cokie Lepinski

I have only been coaching masters for a little while and swam the odd practice with my dad but one thing that I immediately noticed about masters was the camaraderie. Some people have book club or poker night to connect with friends, swimmers have masters swimming. Most likely your swimming teammates are some of your closest friends and masters swimming is no different in that regard. It is a great way to connect with people who have similar life experiences.

3. You can reconnect with old friends.

Every year, when my dad gets home from nationals, he has a story about seeing a former teammate or someone who he used to race against in college. That’s what masters is really all about– reminiscing with former teammates and meeting new people.

4. No matter your age racing will always be fun.

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Photo Courtesy: FINA Kazan2015

Racing is what brings everyone back to swimming. It can be physically and mentally challenging to make it through training sometimes but it is all worth it when we get to go out and race. Masters is no different. Sure, the training is easier and the racing is low pressure, but it will still get you feeling excited and ready to compete. The best thing about masters is that the results don’t matter– everyone is just out there to have fun and do some racing along the way.

5. It is easier to work out with a team.

Working out on your own is tough. It is difficult to get motivated to work out and even more difficult to push yourself. Swimming with a masters team solves that and brings back that friendly competition in practice all swimmers know and love.

6. Masters meets are a good excuse for a vacation.

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Photo Courtesy: FINA Kazan2015

Want to go to Puerto Rico? How about racing in the 2015 World Championships competition pool and staying in the athlete village in Kazan, Russia? Masters Nationals and World Championships can be a great excuse for a little vacation. And the championships are often held at awesome sites like the ones mentioned above – pandemic pending, of course.

7. Above all, it is an easy way to get back in touch with the sport you love.

Swimming is unique in that most people will never understand the grind that training and racing competitive swimming is. Despite the years of hard training, most swimmers look back on those times fondly. Masters is not as serious as college or club training but it can help you get back in touch with the parts of the sport that you used to love.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

7 comments

  1. avatar
    Stella Preissler

    I love swimming masters. Nationals are the best! I’m 72. And it is the best part of my life. The joy and soul connection and the friendships are precious. It’s never too late to get back into it. It’s humbling but you will be amazed how quickly it all comes back.

  2. avatar
    Ana Paula

    Totally agree. I just had to be off because shoulder and now elbow pain. That is a downer. But I am planning to try this summer in the lake near my house. I am still connected with my master friends from my swimming time in Brazil and we use to compete a lot and also swim open water. Thanks for your nice article.

  3. avatar
    Anonymous

    I’m afraid if I push myself for speed I risk injury ?‍♂️ I swim 1800/ day at my own pace

  4. avatar
    Raphaël

    In master competitions the results matter !

  5. avatar
    Sarah

    USMS only cares about protecting their organization, not the safety of their swimmers. But even though they’ve put me through the ringer, you don’t let bullies win. Back to the water I go.

  6. avatar
    Scott Roth

    I took 40 years off (was an age group swimmer in 70’s) and now back in the pool with a masters team at age 59. Love it! The sport has changed so much as now it’s all about techniques and efficiency. Never knew that “freestyle” had so variables to get it right. Learning something new every practice, hope to keep doing this when I’m 90! Best part is the pool is filled with 20 something years olds to 60+ and everybody enjoys each others company and camaraderie.

  7. avatar
    Tom

    I agree with all seven great points…with one more:
    8. It helps put sports into perspective.
    At our age, winning and losing take a distant back seat to the process of preparing to perform at your best (whatever that “best” is at this stage of your journey).
    Just enjoy the ride, and don’t sweat the stuff that’s way down the list of things that are meaningful in life.