How to Make Swimming A Year Round New York City Sport
By Duncan Ashley Lonsdale, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Upper West Side Office
What many New Yorkers outside of the “swimming community” don’t realize is that swimming is a year around sport in the city. High schools and colleges begin their training in the fall, train intensely in the winter months, then peak for championship events in the early spring. Summer season commences in May and wraps up in August. It’s always in season in New York City to swim! “Masters Swimming” is an organized program of swimming for adults which give older swimmers (ex-competitors over 25) and beginners a goal for keeping physically fit. Swimming is also one of the few sports that offers full body aerobic conditioning without excessive wear and tear. In NYC we are fortunate to have an abundance of great programs to get you in top form while meeting some great people in the process. So grab your goggles and take the plunge!
Here are just a handful of popular programs in Manhattan for you to dive into:
Asphalt Green Masters (AGUA)
Located at 555 East 90th Street and East End Avenue. They offer daily workouts, private swim lessons, stroke clinics and video analysis. The AGUA Masters Swim team is also tight-knit, vibrant community that comes together for team-wide events and social activities.
Aquatics Team of Manhattan (ATOM)
Located at Chinatown YMCA 273 Bowery at Houston Street. Aquatics Team of Manhattan (ATOM) is a premier Masters swimming program in New York City, setting a new standard in the Metropolitan Masters swimming community. ATOM is coached by one of USA Swimming most successful and innovative swimming stroke specialists. Their mission is to emphasize smart, creative training, and to achieve team and individual goals while having an enjoyable and rewarding swimming experience.
Bearcat Masters (BCTM)
Located at Baruch College at 55 Lexington Avenue and 24th Street. Bearcat Masters is a premier Masters swimming program in New York City, setting a new standard in the Metropolitan Masters swimming community. Bearcat Masters was started in 2007 by a group of friends who share a passion for swimming, team work, competition and the spirit and camaraderie that comes with it all. Coaches bring years of knowledge and competitive swimming experience to our program. Bearcat Masters welcomes swimmers of all abilities, including novices, Tri-athletes, open water swimmers, collegiate swimmers, and Olympians. They offer an enjoyable swimming atmosphere, where members get a chance to achieve individual as well as team goals.
Columbia University Masters Swim Team - Dodge Fitness Center, enter campus at 116th St and Broadway. Coached by the varsity men’s head coach Jim Bolster, this is the program I have been affiliated with for several decades. This training group swims 3 mornings a week, currently T, R + F from 6-7 a.m. Who needs a cup of coffee to wake up when you can jump into a pool at 6 a.m.? There is no web site. Contact me for details at email@example.com
Located on 23rd Street and the Hudson River. Members of the Chelsea Piers Masters Swim Team can participate in 7 weekly 1-1/2 hour workouts led by our staff of six experienced coaches who utilize the most current teaching and training techniques. A typical workout can be anywhere from 2,200 - 6,000 yards depending on the speed of the swimmer and the emphasis and make up of workout - i.e. technique, drills, sprints, strokes, kicking, pace work/endurance freestyle, etc. Most members of the CP Masters Team had at least some competitive swimming experience prior to joining the team, but many did not. Though the Masters Team is not the right venue for people who are learning to swim, it’s the place to come if you want to swim better. A general rule of thumb for ‘qualifying’ for the team is to be able to hold a pace of 2 minutes per 100 yards freestyle for at least 400 yards. Some proficiency in the other strokes is a plus, but not required. If you are uncertain whether or not the team is a good fit for you, arrange to visit a practice and speak with one of the coaches.
Workouts at various locations throughout Manhattan: Baruch, John Jay College, Chinatown YMCA. Red Tide is a competitive masters swim team in New York City, which has been in existence for over 20 years. It is a cooperatively run organization of over 100 swimmers from novices to national champions. Red Tide welcomes swimmers over 18 of all abilities, goals, and experience.
Team New York
Various pools throughout the city incl. Baruch, Chelsea Rec Center, Chinatown YMCA, Dwight School Athletic Center, Flushing Meadows Aquatic Center, Hostos Community College, John Jay College & Long Island University. Team New York Aquatics is a Masters-level swim/water polo/diving team open to members and friends of New York City’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. All new members of all ages and experience level are welcome.
* Click here for a comprehensive list of competitive swim programs throughout the city (both youth and masters) with links to each website.
* Click here for a geography-based comprehensive list of competitive swim programs in NYC and beyond along with links to each website.
* Click here for swim gear to help get you started.
NOTE: These programs do not teach you how to swim, rather they provide a venue, a structured workout, coaches who can help refine stroke technique, and a critical mass of peers who help one another improve just by being there. Most masters programs require some sort of swimming background, but are open to a wide range of talent.
Thoughts of Duncan Ashley Lonsdale do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC