Mark Schubert Details Rules & Guidelines As Mission Viejo Returns To Practice

The Mission Viejo Nadadores, under the watch of head coach Mark Schubert, made a return to practice on Friday after a month and a half out of the water due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Schubert and the club were given the go-ahead to practice by the city of Mission Viejo and USA Swimming as long as they adhere to strict social distancing guidelines.

USA Swimming says that they “do not prohibit practice at this time, but if teams conduct practice, they must follow all local, state, and federal public health guidelines.”

Schubert, who has coached at seven Olympic Games and returned to coach at Mission Viejo in 2016 (after serving from 1972-1985), provided SwimSwam with all of the rules and guidelines the Nadadores are following in their return to practice at the Marguerite Aquatics Complex.

Mission Viejo’s return comes in conjunction with USA Swimming releasing a set of guidelines for reopening facilities.


  • Swimmers arrive 15 minutes early for practice (2:45 pm or 4:45 pm).
  • After leaving their respective cars, athletes walk in separately, 10 feet apart.
  • Parents stay in their cars, and do not enter the pool gate. Athletes only.
  • Athletes arrive at the pool prepared to swim. No locker-rooms, showering or deck changing. Athletes are to wear their suit to the pool.
  • Athletes enter the 50m pool deck at the swim school end, depart at the dive pool end.
  • Athletes immediately report to their assigned lanes and put their belongings at the end of the lane near the fence.
  • One swimmer per lane. Swimmers must stay and swim in the center of the lane (six feet apart)
  • Locker rooms will remain locked. If swimmers use the swim school toilets they must clean it thoroughly following use.
  • Depart the practice immediately before the next group arrives.
  • Athletes cannot loiter in the parking lot at MAC.
  • Parents must be ready to pick athletes up as soon as practice finishes.
  • Athletes must exit ten feet apart.
  • Swimmers that do not follow these rules will be removed from the group.

They’re swimming in the pool short course, so they can swim 18 at a time with 1-per-lane. So far, the program’s elite athletes are the ones back in the water.

With the release of the USA Swimming document, we will likely see clubs across the United States slowly make a return to the pool over the coming weeks while adhering to all applicable guidelines.

The Nadadores are one of the most historic swimming clubs in the United States and the world. Formed in 1968, the Nadadores have 47 team national championships, 12 Olympic gold medals, 7 Olympic silver medals, and 1 Olympic bronze medal. Its swimmers have broken 91 American Records and 22 World Records.

In 1976, the Nadadores sent 6 swimmers to the Olympic Games in Montreal: Shirley Babashoff, Brian Goodell, Maryanne Graham, Nicole Kramer, Casey Converse, and Marcia Morley.

Goodell, who won the 400 and 1500 freestyles at those 1976 Olympic Games, is crucial in this story: Goodell is the mayor of Mission Viejo. In March, as the country was shutting down while coronavirus spread, Goodell activated city staff to help the Nadadores and the newly-renovated Marguerite Aquatic Center take over hosting duties of a Junior Olympics meet. That meet was eventually cancelled.

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Fellow coach
2 years ago

I’m all for opening our clubs again (even if it means changing the way we structure practices for a while), but it’s a d*** move to only open for “elite” swimmers when the rest of their swimmers and staff are still on hold.

Reply to  Fellow coach
2 years ago

because only elite swimmers deserve to train. whoever isn’t elite should keep making tiktoks of people throwing water on them while they pretend to swim a race. So cute.

Fellow Coach
Reply to  nowyousecantleave
2 years ago

I read this as sarcasm and I hope it is just that haha.

But in all seriousness, I will never understand why the age group parents continue to support this team. All their long-time age group coaches have quit or switched teams (which should tell you something), the sexual assault scandal from 2010, and let’s not forget how half of them got kicked out of using MAC to leave room for high school teams and the chinese national team.

Blows my mind how this team appears to only care about their elite senior group and the age groupers just blindly follow.

Reply to  Fellow Coach
2 years ago

yes, sarcasm. anyone who handpicks who can and cannot practice, I hope they are paying out the nose so those than aren’t so blessed will someday be able to return.

2 years ago

Nobody else in Southern California- and most of the nation for that matter- is able to swim right now. It is very disappointing that Mission Viejo continues to believe they are above everyone else and can do whatever they want… but when the mayor is an ex mission swimmer they’ll certainly keep that up. Although they set a precedent for a new possibility of getting back to swim, they did it to gain a personal advantage in a time where we should be sticking together, not trying to be better than others.

Reply to  Disappointing
2 years ago

If it makes you feel any better, because this is Schubert, probably 75% of the swimmers back in the water are the Chinese athletes he’s training.

Reply to  Disappointing
2 years ago

So no team should swim until EVERY team can swim, right?

2 years ago

Schubert thinks he above the law and does not have to answer to anyone.

Reply to  Swimws
2 years ago

Indeed! Strange nobody has followed up minor athlete living at his home despite reports to USA Swimming and swim media and this flagrant violation of USAS policies and good judgment if not also laws.

GA Boy
2 years ago

Would it not make more sense to have lane 1 start on one side, lane 2 on the other and continue to alternate that way?Like this you would only pass within 6 feet in the middle of the pool instead of every time on the wall.

2 years ago

Coach Schubert is one of the nicest most genuine people in coaching. While considered somewhat rough around the edges, you get what you see with Mark. He is a masterful coach, great politician and advanced intellect. Best wishes Coach.

Hook 'em
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
2 years ago

Isn’t this the same guy who stood on stage at ASCA and said we should all “man up” and sold Dagny Knutson down the river? Downvote. Sorry not sorry

Reply to  Hook 'em
2 years ago

And ur point is??

Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
2 years ago

Definitely a politician.

2 years ago

How will this effect athletes like Cody Miller and Zane Grothe?

Reply to  CraigH
2 years ago

They don’t live or train in California. They just wear the cap.

2 years ago

Thank you Mission Viejo! Somebody had to go first and be the “guinea pig”, now we just sit back and wait a couple weeks to make sure this works out okay. Then we can all start.

NM Coach
2 years ago

Coach Schubert…very happy (as well as jealous) that you’re able to get started up again!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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