Do I have to practice every day?
No. You make your own schedule and choose when you want to swim.
How old do I have to be to join SPM?
18 years or older.
Do I have to stay for the entire practice?
No, with some clarifications. For the morning swimmers, you may end your practice whenever you choose as many members have to go to work, but we highly recommend that you start on time so as not to disrupt the workout. Afternoon swimmers usually just come after work and start when they can within the two hour block of time.
Do I have to be a fast or competitive swimmer to join SPM?
No. Although we have many former competitive world class, high school and age group members, there are members of all abilities. Anyone who wants to swim is welcome to join us.
Is stroke technique help available?
Yes, but primarily during the afternoon practice times. Novice swimmers are encouraged to begin their training during the afternoon practice and then “graduate” to the morning workouts as skills improve.
What equipment is necessary or recommended?
Necessary equipment would be a swimsuit and goggles with a swim cap highly recommended for long hair. Equipment that we use in our daily practices include kickboards, fins and pull buoys. The team has a limited number of fins and pull buoys for members to borrow and the pool provides kickboards for your use.
Where can I purchase the swim gear mentioned?
Our team supplier is Total Team Wares and their phone number is 1-800-888-8843. Their website does not provide an opportunity to order online, but they are extremely helpful when you call for assistance.
Can I swim with SPM if I am not a USMS member?
No, you must be a member or United States Masters Swimming to participate in any of our practices and meets.
Do I have to compete?
No, it is not required for you to compete, but United States Masters Swimming provides a host of opportunities that you may want to consider. There are not only a variety of pool meets offered in all courses (short course yards, long course meters and short course meters), but many open water events and national postal events. The postal events are “meets” that you are able to swim in your own pool, on your own time and the results are mailed in to be scored with other participants from around the country. These are offered as the Hour Swim, 5K/10K, and 3000/6000 yard distances.
If I do not compete, what can I do to help the team?
Please volunteer when asked. We host three pool meets, one open water swim, and participate in all of the postal events each year. We always ask for help and hope that you will consider giving back to the team.
Does St. Pete Masters offer any social opportunities?
Yes, we do! We have an annual banquet/social every February, an annual Christmas Party and at least one other organized get together during the year. Informally we have a group that meets at a local Panera Bread almost every day right after morning practice and a group that meets for brunch after every Sunday practice. With such a large team and such a variety of members, you are sure to find social opportunities if you want them.