A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the week with the Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters Swimming team. In 2015, they were recognized by U.S. Masters Swimming as the National Club of the Year, and were Long Course National Champions!
Located a block from the beach at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, SFTL is one of the most competitive masters swimming programs in the world! Hosting 22 workouts per week – four per day Monday through Friday, and two on Saturday, the team is made up of over 260 members.
SFTL is home to countless individual national champions, former Olympians, triathletes and fitness swimmers. The culture is also very diverse, and at any given time, you may hear up to 5 different languages being spoken across the 10-lane long course pool!
At SFTL, it’s all about having fun!
Head Coach Marty Hendrick has developed an all-inclusive swimming culture that fosters participation from every swimmer. The team’s chemistry was showcased at their annual Fort Lauderdale Masters Swimming Challenge which I competed in! This three-day meet brings together swimmers from across the country (and world) to race at the iconic Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex!
When I asked Coach Marty about the success of his program, he credits the hard work of his outstanding assistant coaches: Megan Lassen, Mike Averett, and Kelly Abner.
The entire staff always makes an effort to understand every swimmer’s goals and objectives, he says. Everyone has different goals and motivations to swim, and it’s the coaches responsibility to understand those unique goals and help each athlete achieve them.
“Swimming is the best sport, it’s something everyone can do from cradle to grave!” – Marty Hendrick
Building The Team’s Culture
Swimmers on SFTL credit the team’s atmosphere as one of the many reasons they enjoy coming to workouts, meets and club functions. Marty is big on everyone wearing the team colors and creating an environment that’s a fun place to be!
“When Swim Fort Lauderdale won Nationals in 2015, it was a team effort. Everyone was part of the team championship whether they were one of the 60+ swimmers at the meet or just active in workouts.”
The team culture at Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters is a model for aspiring club programs across the country and world! A big thank you to Marty, Megan, and the entire team for taking me in and making me feel so welcome for the week!
You can learn more about SFTL at their website and Facebook page.
Keep up the good work. I will see you before the end of March and promise not to embarrass any of your swimmers. Coach Bill Pave
I would be interested in knowing more about any Masters camps you may have for oversea swimmers and any coaching courses you run. I still swim (but not as much as i’d like) probably 7-10k per week. I’m also a level 2 coach and swim teacher and coach Masters and age group swimmer from County to Regional competitions. In the past I’ve coached swimmers to National age group level. Therefore any information around these subjects relating to courses would be very useful. Kind regards Richard Smith, Orpington, Kent, UK.