Swim FAQ

Q: I am interested in competing with Tsunami at IGLA, this summer.  How can I get in the loop?
We would love to have you join us! Swimmers from both the Synchro and Swim team will be competing this summer. In order to join us, your United States Masters Swimming (USMS) membership must be associated with our team.  You must request this change at least 60 days prior to the competition.

Q: I am visiting the Bay Area and swim with another Masters team back home.  Can I swim with you?
 Yes! See the Sign-up Page for instructions on how to verify your USMS membership and buy a drop-in pass.

Q: How can I join the swim team mailing list?
Fill out this form.

Q: I am visiting the Bay Area from another country and I am a registered member of my country’s FINA governing body. Can I swim with you?
 Yes! See the Sign-up Page for instructions on how to submit the Foregin Guest Membership Application and buy a drop-in pass.

Q: I don’t know how to swim anything other than freestyle. Can I still join Tsunami?
 It certainly helps if you know all the strokes, but is not required. We offer clinics several times a year geared towards different levels to help you improve your stroke.

Q: Can I come by and try out the team without joining?
 You can. See the Sign-up Page for instructions on how to get a trial pass.

Q: I’m not gay or lesbian, can I join the team?
 Of course! Tsunami membership is open to everyone.

Q: I don’t know how to swim, can you teach me? 
A: Unfortunately, we’re not equipped to provide swim lessons, but the YMCA and city pools offer adult swim lessons.

Q: I’m looking to join a team for fitness reasons but am not really interested in competing. Do I have to compete if I join Tsunami?
 Absolutely not. People join the team for a wide variety of reasons. You don’t have to compete if you don’t want to.

Q: I’m interested in your team but can’t afford the Dues and Fees. Do you have any financial aid?
Yes. If you are interested in learning about our financial aid for qualified individuals, please contact our Treasurer about how to apply:  treasurer@sftsunami.org.

Q: I can’t always make it right on time to your practice times. Is it ok if I show up late?
 Unfortunately not. The city of San Francisco is in a budget crisis and does not have enough money to staff the front door and keep lifeguards on the pool deck while we swim.

Q: What can I expect if I come to one of the practices?
 Below are a few points that may help you get a sense of what to expect when attending one of our masters swim practices (many of these points will be familiar to you if you’ve previously participated in a masters swim practice).  Masters swimmers of all levels are welcome to join our team or participate in one of our workouts on a drop-in basis. (Please see the Sign-up Page for instructions on buying a drop-in pass.)

  • All practices are coached.  On deck, an experienced Masters coach will lead the workout for that practice.
  • The workout is geared to the lane in which you swim.  At our workouts, the designated lane 1 has the fastest-paced swimmers all the way through lane 6 with the slowest-paced swimmers.
  • Workouts vary in length based on the lane, but all include at least 2000 yards of swimming.
  • Since this is a Masters team and not general lap swim, swimmers need to be able to swim at least 8 lengths of the pool non-stop in under 5 minutes. This is on a pace of 2 minutes 30 seconds per 100 yards). This is typically a slower pace than what you might anticipate in one of our workouts.  However, it provides a general indication of the minimum pace that we expect our swimmers of similar ability to maintain in order to complete the workout as designed by the coach on deck.
  • Swim practices have a focus, typically geared toward preparing for a swim meet. As a masters team, many (but not all) swimmers, will participate in swim meets throughout the year.
  • Depending on the focus, the coach will design the swim practice to emphasize conditioning for distance or for sprints, and often include some variety of strokes and/or drills.
  • Each workout requires that swimmers pace their sets based on a timed interval. Intervals times will vary based on distances and lane in which you swim.  For example, 3 x 100 at 1:30, requires you swim 100 yards, 3 times in succession.  The pace of each 100yards is on the 1min 30 second interval.  If you complete the 100yards before the interval time, you may rest before starting the next 100 yard swim, however, you are expected to stay on the interval as set by the coach.
  • Each lane will have anywhere from 1-6 swimmers per lane.  We always swim in a counter clockwise circle pattern.
  • The team offers starts and turns clinics periodically throughout the year.  As such, to start swimming with us you do not have to know how to flip turn.  We do not dive off the blocks at every practice although coaches will have sets that encourage swimmers to start off the blocks.  Instruction for that can be provided at practice and is something the coach may focus on for a particular practice as we approach the date for a swim meet.
  • The coach can give you some feedback on your stroke mechanics.  However, with 30+ swimmers in the water, they can’t always attend to each and every swimmer’s form.  If you’re looking for specific feedback on a particular area of your stroke, it’s best to mention to the coach before practice what guidance you’re looking for so they can watch you during the workout.
  • We schedule stroke clinics periodically throughout the year to help swimmers focus on their swim mechanics.  These scheduled events provide you more in-depth and focused feedback to improve your stroke than what a coach can typically offer at one of our weekly swim practices.
  • New swimmers should speak with the coach on deck if there’s any apprehension or uncertainty about the workout and/or which lane is paced right for their swimming abilities.

Still have questions? Email us at info@sftsunami.org.

facebook swim

© 2013 San Francisco Tsunami