About H2Ouston Swims
|Team Philosophy | Workout Schedule | Facility | Tryout Info | Guest Policy | Weather Policy | Equipment | Fees | Billing|
Masters swimming is an organized program of swimming for adults.
Masters swimming exists to promote health and fitness in its members who participate in a variety of ways ranging from lap swimming to international competition. Everyone has his or her own reason for joining Masters-health, fitness, camaraderie, fun, the thrill of competition, travel and coaching. Anyone 18 years of age or older can join.
H2Ouston Swims was founded in 1981, originally as the University of Houston Masters. We are the longest running Masters program in Texas under the same coach.
Team Philosophy: H2O is a technique oriented group. We do not subscribe to the "mindless yardage is good for you" school of thought. As UT Coach Eddie Reese puts it, "This sport ain't for dummies!" We will teach you to swim smarter rather than just swim longer-harder-and-faster all the time. Competition is strictly at the whim of the individual: we encourage you to compete but do not require it nor think less of you if you eschew competition. We do have one meet each year that we try to get 100 percent participation in: the Woodlands Relays (the funnest meet o'year).
The group makeup varies with the season: on average we have roughly 30 percent competitive Masters swimmers, 30 percent triathletes, 30 percent fitness swimmers and 10 percent who don't know why they are there. Ability-wise we've got people who've been to Olympic Trials all the way to the other end of the spectrum with some new members able to swim only a few laps without stopping. Ages range from 19 to 70 with the majority of members in the 25-55 range. We have rich people, poor people, students, professionals, artists, tradesmen. No homeless people - that I'm aware of. Members must be easy to get along with and have some semblance of a sense of humor - all others are drowned or beaten.
Tryout Information: We don't want you to plunk down the exorbitant start-up fees till you are sure you really want to hang out and breathe heavy with us. So we offer a tryout period during which you can see what we're like and make up your mind.
Our tryout policy allows local residents join us for a maximum of 3 practices in a 2-week period. To continue participation after the tryout visits (or 2-week tryout period), you must register with us by filling out the obligatory forms and paying annual and first month (or punch card) fees.
If you wish to try out our program, contact Coach Hines directly before attending your first practice to let him know what day to expect your first visit (he wants to be sure it will be on a day that he is coaching, rather than one of his substitute coaches). Also, before you enter the water for the first time, you'll be asked to fill out a waiver form for our files.
Guest/Walk-in Information: Our "guest/walk-in" policy allows USMS members that have not paid the annual H2Ouston Swims registration fee to swim with us from time to time. Though this is intended predominantly to accommodate those residing outside the Houston metropolitan area, it also applies to local USMS members that usually swim with other clubs or on their own. Guest/Walk-in fee is $10 exact cash paid to the coach upon arrival. Guest/walk-in swimmers must be currently USMS registered and must bring a photocopy or printout of their USMS card for our files (you can print a copy of your USMS card here). Those expecting to attend more than one practice may purchase a guest punch card from the coach for the number of expected workouts ($10 per workout). This punch card must be presented to the coach upon arrival each workout. The card is only good for our scheduled workouts and does not grant access to the facility at other times. Frequency and duration of guest privileges must be worked out with Coach Emmett ahead of time.
Equipment: As with most Masters clubs, all members must furnish their own suits, goggles, caps - if you're a "cap person" - and training equipment. (For more info about swim caps than you want to know).
In our practices we utilize training fins on a nearly daily basis. Paddles may be used at swimmer discretion. Coach Hines also encourages swimmers to acquire a training snorkel and tempo beeper.
Training Fins - Get the lightweight, flexible, all-rubber training fins made by Voit or Tanga or whichever company has the lowest price on the fins coming out of the two factories in the world (Malaysia?) that make such fins. An alternative to rubber fins are SlimFins. Made from polyurethane, they are nearly indestructible, but more expensive. Also popular are Positive Drive Fins.
Also consider a pair of Zoomers those short blue or red training fins you've seen some people using) For swimming or drilling, they are a great "stepping stone" between full size training fins and going totally nekked (your feet, I mean). Get the blue ones - they are more flexible. Some people also like the other Zoomer's fin, the Z2.
If you arrive with your 8 pound SCUBA jetfins or those long multi-colored polycarbonate super-high-tech cheater fins, we'll hide them during warm-up and later melt them down into doggie chew toys.
Training Snorkel - A training snorkel is an excellent learning tool, which allows you to work on lots of fundamental skills without the distraction of "how do I breathe?" Once you have really learned those fundamental skills, the "how do I breathe" question is a lot easier to answer.
Tempo Beeper - a tempo beeper like the one offered by Finis is a great tool to use once you've learned effective swimming skills. It guides you in incrementally increasing stroke tempo while you focus on maintaining great technique.
Whatever bits and chunks of equipment you glom onto, do everyone a favor and make your mark on them, thus avoiding the common fate of being snarfed up by the coach and having "Property of H2Ouston Swims" written on them (hint: this is where "loaner" equipment comes from).
Where, pray tell, do I bring my cash, trinkets or assorted garage sale items in hopes of bartering for such desirable commodities? Most anything you could want for swimming can be had from the Texas Swim Shop, run by Terry and Susan Matherne. If you don't have time to swing by, give them a call, and they'll most likely be happy to mail whatever your heart desires to you.
This web site is maintained by Sheila Baskett.
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For more information about:
Masters Swimming, contact United States Masters Swimming firstname.lastname@example.org.
H2Ouston Swims, contact Emmett Hines.
Gulf Masters Swim Committee, see the GMSC web site.
Copyright 19992012, H2Ouston Swims. All rights reserved.