About Us


The Swymnut Masters is an adult aquatics fitness program with a home base in Marin County, California. The name suits us well as we are all pretty darned nutty about swimming. Our team was founded in January 2012 and coached through August 2017 by award winning coach Cokie Lepinski who believes that if it isn’t fun and it isn’t challenging, we just aren’t doing things right. In September 2017, Coach Shari Cruse steps into the role of Head Coach. She also believes that swimming should be fun and very social!

Swymnut Masters is a nonprofit public benefit corporation 501(c)(3) and is not organized for the private gain of any person. Our focus is on educating the Masters swimmer on all aspects of the sport, but in particular, on stroke technique development, wellness, proper training, cardio and muscular strength.  As a charitable organization it is our desire to provide scholarships or partial scholarships for those who demonstrate a financial need that wish to become team members, attend Swymnut stroke clinics or Swymnut adult learn-to-swim programs.

We operate out of three pools. We swim at Lucas Valley (a community pool in San Rafael, California) the Marin JCC in San Rafael, and the Indian Valley Pool in Novato (an extension of the College of Marin campus). Click the Pools & Schedule tab to read about our individual operations at Swymnuts Lucas ValleySwymnuts JCC or Swymnuts IVC .

Our team members come from all walks of life. We’ve got fast swimmers and not so fast swimmers. We have young swimmers and “seasoned” swimmers. Some of our members compete, however, most do not. Many of our members swim with us simply for an excellent way to get and stay fit. We have swimmers who come from a swimming background and many who only just recently learned to swim. Some swim all four strokes and some swim only freestyle. We’ve got moms, dads, brothers, sisters, senior citizens and college kids. Young and old, it is our love of swimming that keeps us coming back and makes our team so fun. We vow not to take ourselves too seriously and we truly treasure the friendships forged in the pool.

For those who do seek competition, we’re there for you! We offer a periodized training program tailored for competition and a coaching staff that will help you reach your goals.

We swim for good times!

That’s our team motto and we practice what we preach. Your form of fitness should be fun and enjoyable. If it is a drudgery, is it really doing you much good? So don’t wait until you are “back in swim shape” to join us. Don’t wait until you feel like you can jump in the water and swim those times you did as a kid. Don’t wait until you lose weight, get your teeth whitened, get a tan, or win the lottery. For Pete’s Sake, just do it! Get your rear end in gear, give us a jingle, and dive in. You won’t regret it! All you need to do to join us is be able to swim 25 yards (1 length) of freestyle. If you aren’t quite up to that, we encourage you to take lessons from one of our coaches. Information on taking lessons can be found here on our website.

If you are interested in more information about Swymnut Masters, contact Coach Shari Cruse by clicking on the Contact Coach Shari photo in the right sidebar.

Still not convinced? Each year more people participate in the sport of swimming than in any other sport. Swimming is the nation’s number one activity because no other sport or activity produces as many or as varied benefits for the individual throughout one’s life. It is safe, with less risk of injury than most other activities and promotes a clean, healthy lifestyle. Stay fit, work off the stress, watch the pounds melt away! Check out some of these awesome benefits:

  1. Less impact on your joints than many other activities – “do more with less”
  2. Terrific benefits for your cardiovascular system – your heart and lungs will love you for this.
  3. A very social activity – you get to talk to your “gutter buddies” (lane mates) between sets
  4. A great calorie burner. Some of us even say, “We swim to eat!”
  5. Increased muscle tone and strength
  6. Improved flexibility
  7. A great stress reducing activity – We often say that the world goes away when we slip under the water.
  8. This is a lifetime sport – there are many, many masters swimmers out there swimming well into their 80s and 90s

The water beckons. Don’t wait!

Pool Underwater



We close out this post with a video from U.S. Masters Swimming which does an excellent job in portraying who we are as a swim community.

  7 Responses to “About Us”

  1. I am 67 and would like to use swimming to get in shape without impact (bad knees). I know how to swim but aside from jumping in a pool now and then, I don’t. I am sure my technique is awful but I want to learn how to swim correctly and I want a place where I can swim laps for strength, endurance and well-being for the long term…also open water swimming looks like a lot of fun.

  2. Thank you, Cokie Lepinski, for your e-book, “There’s a Drill for That”. I know how much time and effort you put into it. It is very appreciated.

    I met you a couple of years ago at a Level II Masters Coaching Clinic, near Palo Alto, CA.

  3. I am 78 and four years ago I dropped my running program to switch to swimming. To give my program some direction I began to work on the four basic strokes. While I was able to swim a rather successful fly, I did it treating it as a power stroke. (Actually got good comments on it.) However, it seemed to me that the fly actually calls for more rhythm more than power. My stroke would lose it towards the end of a length, but I did not know how to establish better rhythm. Then, a couple of days ago I came across your article on Butterfly Success. It has helped me so much, but I am not sure I have your meaning of “core” and “press and release.” I would appreciate any clarification you could supply.

    Bill Nelson

    • Hi Bill – love your post here! It is so inspiring to see you take up swimming and at 78 work on butterfly. Wow! Can I be you when I and if I ever grow up? You are absolutely correct that fly (and breaststroke) while looking powerful, is really about rhythm. I like to tell swimmers that it seems that we use our arms and legs, but the focus should actually be on our torso and hips as those two body parts really drive the tempo and rhythm.

      What muscles make up your core? Lots of Google posts on those, here’s one post describing all the core muscles with a great pic showing the “outer core muscles” Article on Core Muscle Activation.

      For “press and release” that means to press your upper torso (chest and lungs) into the water while keeping the hips high and head in line with the spine. Anytime I do press and release drills, I have to remind swimmers not to bury their head. So press the chest and lungs into the water a few inches, and then release. A great way to try that first is hands down by your side and wear a snorkel. Try not to kick at all, just let the press/release trigger a little wave through your body. Once you get this hands down, then extend your hands out front Superman style or even a look of a Wide Y. Try not to press on the water with your hands and arms, keep them at or near the surface and let just the chess press into the water.

      Give that a try and let me know Bill. Keep working on it!

  4. Whenever I’m in San Rafael I swim with the nuts. Great work out and fun.

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