Adult Learn-to-Swim and the Benefit to Your U.S. Masters Swimming Workout Group


Tim Waud

Tim Waud

OMS will be hosting an Adult Learn-to-Swim (ALTS) Instructor Training Course on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Portland, Oregon.  I encourage everyone to attend this training course for the long term benefits to your Masters Swimming program.  The cost of the course is $300 and the class size is limited to 25 people.  The annual cost is $30, and ensures your instructor designation and benefits remain active.  OMS provides scholarships to those in need.

To become a USMS-Certified ALTS Instructor, you must:

  • Be a member of USMS
  • Attend the USMS ALTS Instructor Certification Program course
  • Successfully complete the end-of-course tests

This one-day course, with classroom and in-water instruction, is taught throughout the country by USMS-certified instructor trainers.  The curriculum draws from nationally recognized experts and includes the five basic water competencies identified by the American Red Cross.  At the conclusion of the course, successful candidates will receive USMS ALTS instructor certification.

Saturday, March 12

Check-in: 8-8:30 a.m.

Classroom instruction: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m., provided by USMS

In-water pool instruction: 2-4 p.m.

Instructor Mike Hamm is a USMS ALTS certified lead instructor and USMS Certified Level 3 Masters Coach.  He has coached swimming for 46 years, including 21 at the Masters level.  He is currently the head Masters coach at the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  He also owns the Hamm Swim School in Coeur d’Alene, where they specialize in individual instruction for all levels of swimmers.  He is an Olympic Trials qualifier, USA-Swimming All-American, and USMS All-American, and he set several NCAA Division II National Records while in college.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a pool, which puts them at risk of being one of the 10 people who drown every day in the United States.

USMSs resources and expertise uniquely positions us to address the problem of adult drowning.  In 2013, the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation launched the inaugural “April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month” campaign to bring awareness to the staggeringly high drowning rate and to effect change by providing funds to programs offering adult learn-to-swim opportunities in communities across the country.  The governors of the State of Washington and the State of Oregon have proclaimed “April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month.”

The purpose of “April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month,” is to encourage Masters Swimming Programs and USMS members to give of their time teaching other adults the skills of Swimming, that will instill confidence and hopefully a desire to continue swimming with a Masters Swimming Program in their community.  This can directly benefit your workout group.  Masters swimming is all inclusive, and our programs cater to everyone from the competitive swimmer, triathlete, and fitness swimmer.  This is a great community service for your workout group.  Teaching adult swim lessons is much more than just teaching swimming.

There are several benefits to your Masters volunteers.

  • To teach is to learn
  • A shared mission creates lasting friendships
  • Community leadership
  • Learned empathy
  • Volunteering is the greatest gift we can give
  • Team building
  • The team becomes a community resource
  • Camaraderie is the glue that holds a team together

What are the benefits of having a USMS ALTS program and instructor at your facility?

  • Standardized curriculum
  • Certified professional instructor
  • Enhanced adult programming
  • Marketing
  • Increased membership and member retention
  • A program that provides a community service
  • Recognition on the USMS website as a USMS-Certified ALTS location
  • Grants and fundraising opportunities

I plan on becoming an instructor and using this curriculum in Oregon City. I would love nothing more than to qualify for a “Swimming Saves Lives” grant and offer Adult Learn-to-Swim lessons to the community.  Please join me in this crusade to address the problem of adult drowning.  Together, our swimming community can help eradicate senseless tragedy.

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