Swim School

A team is only as good as its weakest link!

Swim School owners and operators should put a huge emphasis on their in-house staff training.  Regular staff training will produce good quality, well-educated staff, and professional staff members.   These staff will keep clients happy and wanting to return to the centre each week.  Returning clientele will also give the centre excellent reports to their friends and great word of mouth feedback.  This will help keep classes full, bring in revenue and maintain class numbers for instructors resulting in a happy and well-run swim centre.

 

Well-educated staff will sell your program for you!  If they know the reasons WHY instructors teach your curriculum and can answer any questions a new parent may have, that parent will be more likely to commence swimming at your centre.  It’s important for swim school owners and managers to take the time to educate administration, deck supervisors and instructors when they first begin working at the centre so that they are well versed in your swim schools curriculum and policies.

 

It’s not only your beginner staff that will need training sessions.  Your staff should participate in constant training sessions within your program.  Trainers can get ideas on what to present from watching regular lessons and seeing how instructors are progressing.  Every swim school will be different in what specific training sessions are needed but below are some examples that may work well for many swim schools out there.

 

Staff Training Session Ideas

  • Curriculum Presentation and revision
  • Booking and payment policies
  • Health and Safety procedures for staff and clients
  • Team teaching with a shadow teacher/junior staff member
  • Behaviour management techniques
  • Lesson planning for various age groups and ability levels
  • Teaching a frightened beginner class
  • Maximum Practice Time and keeping classes moving
  • The benefits of land drill in a swimming program
  • Effective water safety skills and drills
  • Q&A with staff – any questions discussed and answered
  • The importance of manipulation within a swimming lesson
  • Using certificates or rewards systems efficiently

 

Training sessions may be in a classroom or office setting.  These sessions may be presented via management with PowerPoint slides, a presenter led group discussion, or work in small groups.  Some sessions may be practical in the water sessions or a role-play scenario.   Types of training provided will be determined by management depending on the specific needs of the group.  More experienced instructors may relish an opportunity to share knowledge with the group, others may prefer to sit back and listen.  Try to incorporate many different styles of training sessions as people learn differently.

 

With time and practice trainers and participants will relish the opportunity to participate in staff training events.  Don’t be afraid to ask staff for suggestions of what to present to the group – after all, the staff are the ones who need the information: why not go straight to the source!  Good luck in your training endeavours – may they bring great success to your business and smart confident employees within your swim centre.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

 

Laurie Lawrence

 

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Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Swimming Toys and Their Uses

Toys can be a very useful tool for a swimming lesson.  Young swimmers love using toys in their lesson and they can be a huge help for swimming instructors and parents.  Toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.  Swimmers are limited only to their imagination for toys and their uses.  Here are some suggestions for using toys within a lesson.

 

Choose Appropriate Toys

There are a multitude of toys out there available to purchase for swimming lessons.  Some toys are created specifically for swimming lessons, others can be found in your local store and will work well for learning experiences.

  • Quick drying toys are better for hygiene and storage.
  • Ensure toys are small enough to fit in young swimmers hands and light enough for small hands to lift and manoeuvre
  • Bright colours are easily spotted in the water and a big hit with swimmers of all ages and abilities

 

Hygiene

Ensure toys are regularly cleaned and changed to keep germs at bay.  If toys are changed around often it also keeps swimmers imaginations engaged and excited.

  • Use a non-toxic cleaning agent, as toys will end up in mouths!
  • Ensure any water is squeezed or emptied out of toys
  • Store toys in an open basket or in an area where they will dry easily

 

Swimming Related Purpose

When using toys in a swimming lesson ensure that they are being used with a swimming related purpose.  Swimmers should paddle towards a toy and then pick it up as a reward.  Parents can place the toy on the water and swimmers can kick towards it to enhance kicking skills.  Swimmers can hold a toy above their face when back floating for distraction and engagement.  Swimmers should never just hold a toy in their hand and swim with it – this isn’t promoting good swimming practice.  Instructors should use their imagination and prepare their lessons so that toys are useful to their teaching – not a hindrance to the group.

 

Other Information

There are many types of toys for use within a swimming lesson.  These include but are not limited to mats, slides, kickboards, hoops, noodles, balls, cars, dive rings and puppets.  Instructors should be able to run an effective swimming lesson with and without toys and educate parents of appropriate use of toys within the lesson.   Swimmers of all ages can benefit from the use of toys within the lesson.  It’s important that instructors plan well for their use and constantly review and reflect on how toys affect the flow of their lesson.

 

What experiences have you had with using toys in your lesson?

 

Any favourite toys that you’ve found in your teaching?

 

How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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School Swimming

Form the Relationship

At worldwideswimschool.com we have found the key to running a successful schools program all boils down to maintaining a healthy and professional relationship with the responsible person at hand. This generally tends to be the sports coordinator or the principle or may even be a deputy head. If it happens to be a school that you have not previously worked with, arrange a time to meet in person. Find out what exactly the school is after and what goals they would like the children to achieve by the end. Discuss what you can offer and sell WHY this particular school should use your venue for their school swimming lessons.

 

Plan to plan and plan

The great thing about working with Schools is that they generally have the upcoming year outlined in advance. This gives swim schools a great opportunity to plan in advance and teach accordingly. With open lines of communication, you may have the opportunity to bring about some positive changes and results from what the school has formerly organised in the past. For example; perhaps the program has previously only ever operated for one lesson per week over eight weeks. We believe that children learn through repetition and regular participation will increase better skill acquisition.  This may be something that the school has not considered in the past. Staff could simply make them aware of the results, which could be achieved by operating their program twice weekly or even daily.

Planning ahead of time is always recommended especially if you are a larger facility and planning multiple programs over the same period of time. It is important that you ascertain the type of program that you will administer for the school itself. Will you follow your particular curriculum or are there specifics or guidelines that the school would like you to cover?

 

Pool Space

Prior to booking any type of program at your pool, you must first ensure that you actually have pool space available on the requested dates and times. Never be afraid to negotiate dates and times with the school should pool space prove to be an issue. You may not be able to meet a school’s demands for a certain requested day as space is going to be a really tight with other programs running. Maybe if they start an hour later just for that one particular day, they may have access to a variety of benefits not normally available. For example: the deeper pool may be available which will allow your teachers to incorporate some deep water work into the program, whereas this would not generally be accessible. Drawing up specific pool maps with space allocation and labelling swimming areas for teachers and on-deck coordinators will ensure for smooth running throughout the program. Perhaps you will run your program in a facility where there may be public lane space. In this instance, it is important that there is strong communication between yourself, the lifeguards/Customer Service Attendants and paying casual swimmers. Use signage to notify all pool patrons of what lanes are available/unavailable.

 

Pricing/ratios

It is important that you work out your costs of running the entire program. You must ensure that you look at all costs involved before you come up with a pricing strategy. Will you require any extra equipment? What will your admin cost be?  What kind of student/teacher ratios do you need?  How many swimmers will be participating?   How many lessons will be running?  Will there be breaks between lessons and will these breaks be an added cost to you or will you incorporate these costs into pricing? Will you price per student per day or finalise on an average of students attending? Will payment be required prior to the program, during the program or are you happy to send off your invoice upon completion of the program?  All of these will need to be considered before finalising an amount for lesson participation.

 

Teachers

Based on numbers and ratios discussed with the head of the program, you will need to work out how many teachers you will require. At WWSS, consistency is always paramount, so we therefore recommend hiring employees who can commit to the entire school program, as the consistency of teachers is more conducive to learning. In our industry, we do know that it is not always possible to have the same teachers for the same program, especially when running multiple/conflicting schools programs at the same time. Arranging rosters a few months ahead of the program will be extremely beneficial towards time management. It may also help with aspects of other programs that may run at your centre which coincide with the schools program. It may require you to organise a detailed schedule with allocated time slots for each teacher you depend upon. You can never be too organised.

 

The topics mentioned above are just some insights of how you could work towards organising and conducting a successful school swimming program. With time and practice, you will be able to perfect the ultimate school swimming program that works for your venue and the schools you may already have and are yet to have in the future.

 

by Tara Martin

 

How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

 

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Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Private VS Group Swimming Lessons

Private VS Group Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons provide participants with a life-long skill: the ability to swim.  This is an important skill that has the potential to help save lives in emergency situations.  So the big question is – what is the best way to learn to swim? Private lessons or group classes?  As each swimmer will have different personalities, ways in which they learn, and different needs and goals there is no definitive answer.   Below are some things to consider when deciding whether private classes or group lessons are the way to go for different swimmers in your program, as well as ideas on how to integrate different sessions into swim school programs.

 

Private Lessons:

  • One on one sessions can be great for swimmers who need more individualised attention or have trouble staying on task in group situations.

 

  • Due to swimmers receiving more individualised attention, lesson plans can be created with one swimmer in mind rather than a group of swimmers.  This allows instructors to be more specific in the skills they are teaching.

 

  • Private lessons may need to be scheduled at the start or end of a teaching shift where regular group classes are being held.  Pool space and teacher availability will need to be considered when scheduling private swimming lessons.

 

  • Consider the cost to your program when you are scheduling private classes.  Ensure it is economically viable from a business point of view and price classes appropriately when limiting class numbers to make room for private lessons.

 

  • Classes can be shorter (e.g. 15-20 minutes) as instructors will fit a lot into a session where they only have to work with one swimmer.  This also allows for more classes to be scheduled into the program (three or four per hour) if pool space and instructors are available.

 

  • Some swimmers may get bored without any peers to feed off and push them along in their learning and skill acquisition.  Activities may need to be changed frequently to hold the swimmer’s attention, however, it is important to remember swimmers need repetition in order to master skills properly.

 

Group Lessons:

  • Swimmers can be motivated by watching their peers and trying to emulate the skills they are working on.  Seeing swimming skills and drills in action is great for visual learners.  Group lessons provide an environment where healthy competition between swimmers can encourage them to work harder to be better and improve their swimming technique, endurance and speed.

 

  • More swimmers can be booked into a learn to swim program by scheduling regular, ongoing group classes provided there is pool space and teacher availability.

 

  • Cost can be kept lower for your customers in group sessions as the expenses and running cost of providing swimming lessons (e.g. lane hire or pool rent, heating and chemicals costs, and instructor wages) can be shared across all of the students in the class.

 

  • Instructors may have to deliver more generalised lesson plans in order to cater for ranging abilities and needs within a lesson.

 

  • Group lessons allow swimmers to learn important skills and social etiquette that can be carried into day to day life such as focus, following instructions, patience and acceptance.

 

  • Swimmers can form life-long bonds and friendships with other students in their lessons and feel what it is like to be part of a team working towards a common goal.

 

Whichever way your look at it, private lessons and group lessons both have merit and there is a place for them in swimming programs around the world.  Regardless of the type of lesson parents chose for their children, educate them about the need for frequency and consistency in attendance in order to see improvement and get the best results when learning to swim.  Decide what works best for your swim school and think about ways that they can be integrated into your program to benefit swimmers according to their individual needs.

 

How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Keeping Clients swimming through winter

As a business operator, retention of clients is important to the success of your business.   One of the hurdles than many swim school operators face each year is the “drop-off through winter”. We can say it’s inevitable, leave it at that and continue to do what we have always done. With that we will continue to get the same results we have always got! OR – you can start to look at new options and strategies to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can to avoid decreases and drop offs in the cooler months.  Here are a few ideas you may like to try to retain as many clients through the winter period as possible. After all, small improvements in the winter will reap great rewards through the summer!

 

Change the way parents think

If you are a parent yourself, you will know how important routine is.   As operators, we need to think outside the box and make it all very warm and fuzzy and inviting. We all know deep down that the reality is…its generally the parents who don’t want to be sitting on the pool side during the winter months – the kids don’t really get a say in continuing with swimming or not. We need to address the root cause. How can we have parents consider the benefits that their child will gain from swimming those extra months of the year?

 

Promotions

Promotions can typically cost money. Winter is a low revenue season. We are already losing funds. We can’t afford that. There are many monetary excuses not to run promotions in the Winter.  STOP!! Summer is your optimum growth period and therefore your biggest opportunity to increase revenue. This is when you need to be ahead of the swim school down the road, thinking, spending and planning towards your upcoming winter promotions.

It might be as small as ordering basic/themed latex/silicone swim caps for every child in your swim school. Do you have access to a coffee machine? If the answer is yes but your sales are disappointingly low all year round perhaps ask yourself “is the right person making the coffees?” Everyone loves a good coffee. If sales are generally high, perhaps you could offer every parent a discounted coffee or hot drink through winter. Or even a hot chocolate for the kids upon finishing their lesson.

Consistent swimming will always produce fantastic results.  A way to ensure that constituency through the cooler months may be to encourage parents to keep swimming through the month of May/June and they can receive a second lesson for free/discounted through July/August. This promotion has many major benefits for both the child and the business. Through picking up an extra lesson weekly, the child is going to progress at a much faster pace. Parents see the benefits of swimming for frequently and me decide to continue with multiple lessons all year round. This is a business win. It can further progress to have a knock-on effect when the parent who hasn’t been swimming through Winter arrives back at the centre sees that her friend’s child has moved up two levels since the end of summer.  That parent may change their mind about Winter swimming for the next season.  Or pick up a 2nd lesson in the Summer months as it worked so well for their peers.

The promotion mentioned above also works well for staff retention too.  Staff lessons stay full throughout the fuller months and keep them happy with their hours during a time that’s traditionally not as busy.   Good swim schools have good swim teachers but great swim schools have happy, loyal teachers who remain with the business long term because they have been looked after by management.  An easy way to keep your staff happy and loyal is by keeping their hours up in the cooler months so they don’t have to take a massive cut in hours through winter. You will keep them in a job for longer and therefore keep your clients happy.

These are just a few strategies that you can apply to your swim school. At worldwideswimschool we can recommend some other simple strategies that may also work should you wish to ensure these are included in maintaining consistency of numbers in your program. They are as follows:

  • Keep swimming fun
  • Make it an enjoyable experience for your parents
  • Run specialised clinics through winter months
  • Educate your staff to educate the parents on why they should continuously commit
  • Ensure that your teachers are giving great quality lessons
  • Ensure kids are continually swimming throughout their lesson
  • Keep swimming fun…

Oh did we mention that last one already? Yes, you’re right, we did! If you provide fun lessons at your swim school, make it a FUN place for everyone to be and all the children LOVE coming the battle of keeping parents and swimmers attending lessons in the Winter months may already be won!

How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Beginners at your swim school

Parents must understand the important role they play in helping their child learn to swim. Teachers should encourage parents to take their child to the pool for exploratory play outside of the swimming lesson, but always, under strict supervision. Exposing children to a variety of different situations and depths of water is crucial for children to learn their capabilities and boundaries. Exploratory learning in particular is vital for frightened beginners. The more exposure children get to the water the more relaxed and confident they will become. Parents will also see a faster progression for their child if they are given an opportunity to play in the water outside of the lessons and therefore they often perceive the lesson to be more “value” for money. They must become willing partners in their child’s swimming progress.

Developing trust is the key with beginners. Teachers should always follow through with things that they tell their student’s. A perfect example of this which we often observe is: A teacher or parent, in deep water, tells the child, “Swim out to me, I won’t move.” Unfortunately, as soon as the child strikes out the teacher or parent immediately moves backwards extending the child before they are ready. This very often has disastrous results. It destroys the child’s confidence and progress.

Children are often reluctant to swim to an adult. This can sometimes be remedied by having the child swim to the pool’s edge or a ledge. They are more relaxed swimming to a solid object because they know it won’t move. Once you develop trust with your beginner swimmers they will progress move quickly.

Frequently changing teachers is also detrimental for beginner swimmers just as they gain trust in one teacher, another is thrust upon them. If you are serious about your career as a swimming teacher you must make a commitment to attend all teaching shifts. Don’t commit if you are not going to commit.

Water temperature will also influence children’s swimming lessons. An ideal water temperature for beginners is between 30 – 32 degrees Celsius, however, water temperature is very often outside the control of swimming teachers.

Beginner swimmers often feel the cold sooner than those students who are able to swim since they are less active, in order to remedy this, swimming teachers should plan lessons to ensure that their students are kept busy and active.

Teachers who teach in situations where the water temperature is not heated, may have to begin the lesson with land drills or water safety activities to break up the duration of the water time. They must also keep the class moving at all cost sometimes wave formation may be the best way to keep the whole class moving and active. They may also need to advise parents on how to appropriately dress their child to keep them warm. Encouraging children to stay down low in the water to avoid wind chill is also helpful.

Beginner learners respond positively to routines and familiar surrounds and situations, for this reason following a similar lesson plan from week to week, while gradually building on skills will help to progress students faster.

Children need success in the lesson so that they feel good about themselves and become eager to learn. The most powerful tool a teacher has in their arsenal is positive reinforcement. Giving genuine praise for attempts and triumphs will keep children interested in the lesson and want them to continue to improve. If a child is struggling with a more difficult skill, ask them to perform something simple that you know they can do and then praise their work. This will help to build confidence and make them willing to try again on a more difficult task. Remember teacher’s influence their students; make sure that you influence them in a positive way so that, you, as swimming mentor, influence a child’s love of and enjoyment of the water. Your expertise will influence a child for life.

Grouping children according to their ability levels will help with the smooth running of the class. Working with similar ability levels allows the teacher to:

  1. give equal attention to all students,
  2. control a smoother better balanced class catering to the student’s needs
  3. plan a lesson that is suitable for all,
  4. give maximum practice time in the lesson, and
  5. avoid behavioural problems

If there are instances where children need to be moved to a more appropriate class, teachers should be discreet and not create a situation which may be difficult for administration. Speaking with the deck supervisor or administration prior to notifying the parent is always recommended this may save embarrassing the parent or child.. If you first ensure that there is a suitable class available you will safeguard against a parent or child being disappointed. Once a suitable position is found then make a big deal of the child being too good for the class and you need to progress him further.

In summary, World Wide Swim School has received a variety of questions relating to beginners over the past 7 years. We have compiled a list of 5 popular questions to share with you and assist in delivering these lessons.

What activities should I used with first time swimmers?

  • Entries and exits in different areas of the pool
  • Walking, running and jumping in shallow water
  • Monkey or hand walking along the side of the pool
  • Pouring water over the face using cups and watering cans
  • Playing “ring a Rosie” and the class submerge together
  • Floating front and back with a board
  • Front and back floating for 10 seconds without a board
  • Teaching children to independently recover from a floating positing

What equipment might aid the child’s learning?

  • Plastic cups and watering cans
  • Kickboards and noodles
  • Floating mats
  • Diving rings

How would you ensure maximum practice time for beginners?

  • Inspect the teaching location
  • Use follow the leader or wave formation
  • Select an area of the pool that could assist in teaching the class eg ramp
  • Identify teaching equipment that will assist delivery eg noodle, mat
  • Plan the lesson remember to build swimming skills progressively
  • Utilise circuits and teach children to follow the leader
  • Identify class rules and expectations
  • Review your lesson after your shift to adjust requirements for the following week

How would you encourage children to put their face underwater?

  • Start with pouring water over the ears, back of the neck and shoulders building towards pouring water over the face
  • Encourage students to pour water over their own face and allow them to pour water over you the teachers face
  • Get children to put their ear underwater, lips, nose, eye brows and of course the full face
  • Use teacher and other class mates to demonstrate
  • Teach children to hold their breath first, before introducing bubbles
  • Use fun games like picking up rings to encourage children to put their face underwater
  • Never force or hold a child’s face underwater
  • Have them lie on their back in shallow water, ears submerged.

What sort of safety rules should I establish with my students?

  • Make sure children learn to walk around the pool, not to dive into shallow water
  • Teach children how to get in and out of the pool safely
  • Make sure children learn to look and listen while you a talking
  • It may be easier to have children sit outside of the pool while giving explanations
  • Always use simple instructions
  • Teacher personal safety rules like swimming with a buddy
  • Teach basic rescue skills like sending for help, throwing an object or reaching with an object and not putting yourself in danger

 

How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Circuits in Swimming lessons

Following on from the article last month about circuits in your swim school.

Over the years the team at World Wide Swim School (WWSS) have developed countless lesson plans and ideas about how to run effective and efficient swimming lessons to get the best out of swimmers. One of our favourite things to incorporate into our lesson plans are the use of swimming circuits.

 

What are the benefits of using circuits within your lesson plan?

While the benefits of circuits may differ depending on the type of circuit you use, there are many reasons they can enhance your swimming lessons. Circuits can:

  • Help to promote maximum practice time by allowing all swimmers to be participating at the same time rather than waiting around for a turn. The more time spent actually swimming the faster students will master swimming skills.
  • Enable valuable communication and one on one time with students and parents or carers within the swimming lesson.
  • Promote independent swimming and skill development as students move through each station.
  • Provide a variety of different skills and activities for swimmers to practice keeping the class group interested and engaged.

 

How can I create a great circuit?

Creating a swimming circuit is easy, it just requires some thought. Once you have a clear idea of your class group the ideas will flow and you will have a great circuit in no time.

When creating a circuit for your swimming lesson, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the age of the class group?
  • What is the skill level of the class group?
  • What activities are appropriate for this group of swimmers?
  • How many activities are required for this circuit?
  • What type of circuit will work best for this group of swimmers?
  • Where will the class be situated? / What pool space will you be allocated?
  • How large is the teaching area?
  • What depth is the water?
  • What type of circuit will work best with the space you have been assigned?
  • What equipment will be available?

 

How do I run an effective circuit?

Once you have brainstormed your circuit and developed the lesson plan it’s time to put it into action. To make sure things run smoothly ensure you:

  • Assign different start positions to each student to avoid a “traffic jam”. This will allow the circuit to flow smoothly and efficiently.
  • Be mindful check the other activities frequently to ensure swimmers are moving well, safe, and keeping on task – especially in classes where parents no longer assist you.

Position yourself for full supervision and consciously scan the class.

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Using circuit stations in swimming programs

A circuit is a group of different activities that are followed in succession. They can be dynamic and continually moving or stationary and moving intermittently. This article will look at Circuit Stations.

Circuit stations allow for high repetition of skills over a particular time frame. Students are asked to switch stations after completing an individual skill repeatedly within that time frame. This is great for skill acquisition in a swimming class.

Instructors have the flexibility to be able to position themselves at the activity which is the main lesson focus or to be mobile and move to each station after a few minutes (before the swimmers are asked to rotate) to ensure feedback is given to each student.

Set a time frame for each station and allocate time for yourself at each station. For example, if your station times are 9 minutes each, make sure you spend 3 minutes at each station to ensure you see all students at each activity before they move on. Repeat this process every time the swimmers move to a new station.

TIPS:

* Position yourself so you have clear vision of all your swimmers.

* If you choose to remain at a single station for more focused work on a specific skill rather than moving around, ensure activities at the other stations are appropriate for the swimmers in the class to work on independently or with the help of a parent or carer.

* Be mindful check the other activities every now and then to ensure swimmers (and their parents where necessary) are safe and completing the repetitions of the skill.

Creating a swimming circuit is easy, it just requires some thought. Once you have a clear idea of your class group the ideas will flow and you will have a great circuit in no time.

When creating a circuit for your swimming lesson, ask yourself the following questions:

* What is the age of the class group?

* What is the skill level of the class group?

* What activities are appropriate for this group of swimmers?

* How many activities are required for this circuit?

* What type of circuit will work best for this group of swimmers?

* Where will the class be situated? / What pool space will you be allocated?

* How large is the teaching area?

* What depth is the water?

* What type of circuit will work best with the space you have been assigned?

* What equipment will be available?

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Swim Teaching Image

Swim School Retention

Retention in your swim school

Maintaining and growing the number of swimmers in your program is essential for effective business operations. The number of weekly lessons and comparing them from term to term, block to block or season to season, is a hot topic for discussion during swim school management meetings. How to generate more weekly lessons is usually the main focus but the easiest way to grow your swim school is to keep the customers you’ve already got. According to www.marketingwizdom.com the average business loses 20% of its customers annually by failing to attend to customer relationships. Do you know how your retention rate stacks up? 

Customer retention starts with the first interaction you have with a potential client and continues as you build a relationship with them. Some swim schools are great when it comes to the initial sign up of a customer but drop the ball in building an ongoing relationship with the swimmer and their parent. This type of situation means that the swim school is always trying to chase more business and find new customers. So maybe it’s time to change the topic at management meetings to; how are we building relationships at our swim school?

Communication is the key in building good relationships. Planning a calendar of communication to your families is a great idea and mixing up the way you communicate to maintain engagement is important. Your swim school can utilise newsletters, phone calls, emails, social media, notice boards and text messages just to name a few. During your communication you can educate and excite your swimmers and their parents on upcoming events, special offers, magic moments like swimmers of the month, achievements, staff profiles and customer feedback. When you are communicating with your customers you are trying to reinforce why they are doing business with you. Learning swimming and water safety skills will take a long time so building good customer relationships is essential. Make sure that parents understand the social, emotional and physical benefits of learning to swim. Learning to swim is a gift that will last a lifetime.

Customer retention is about more than just providing good customer service but exceptional customer service. If you build a good reputation and develop relationships with your customers they will become advocates for your swim school. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It feels so good when you get a phone call at the office from a referral because one of your existing clients has recommended your swim school and the teachers.

There are some key points for swim schools to remember.

  1. Customer retention has a direct impact of profitability
  2. The quality of the service you provide leads to satisfaction which in turn leads to customer loyalty
  3. Keeping swimmers in your program is essential for water safety education and skill development

As a swim school you should also look at managing relationships. Ask yourself these questions. How do we manage feedback from swimmers and families? How do we support swimmers and their families? The goal of managing relationships is to turn all our customers into long term clients. Because long term clients are less included to switch competitors, less price sensitive, purchase other products or services and like we said above initiate free word of mouth.

Relationship management is not just about managing relationship with your customers but with your staff as well. Everyone in your team has to be on the same page. The good news is that not only is customer retention good for business but it is good for staff moral as well. Customer retention gives employees more job satisfaction and makes their job easier. So get started today and switch the focus to swim school retention. Because happy employees and happy customers makes a happy and profitable loop!

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

 

Laurie Lawrence

 

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Sun Protection in your Swim School

Do you have a Sun Protection Plan at your Swim School?

Swim Schools are operated in all types of environments, many of which are outdoors. For this reason swim school operators must be committed to reducing the amount of UV that our employees and cliental are exposed to.

UV is dangerous because if you are exposed to too much of it, it can cause;

  • Sunburn
  • Skin cancer and
  • Eye damage

While swim schools cannot completely eliminate the risk of UV they can be committed to controlling the risks by adopting suitable guidelines, policies and procedures. It is very important that swim school operators understand the duty of care that they have to their staff. For this reason it is very important that staff be provided with a variety of personal protective equipment (PPE) for sun protection.

This PPE equipment may include;

  • Sunscreen, SPF 50+
  • Hat (full Brim sun safe)
  • Sunglasses
  • Clothing eg Teaching shirt, rash shirt with UV protection

Employees should also be taught to apply sunscreen correctly. When using sunscreen it is always recommended to ensure that you;

  • Apply it to a clean body
  • Apply 20 mins prior to sun exposure
  • Apply plenty of sunscreen approximately 6 teaspoons to cover entire body
  • Reapply every 2 hours

Skin cancer found early can be successfully treated. Therefore swim schools should encourage their staff to;

  • Become familiar with your skin
  • Check entire body, even parts which are not exposed to sun
  • Look for changes in shape, colour and size
  • Seek a doctors opinion as soon as you notice anything unusual

World Wide Swim School recommends that all swim schools head over to the Cancer Council website to learn more about sun safety and policies and procedures at the following link www.cancer.org.au

 

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Let me know some of your swimming stories while on holidays! Comment below.

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Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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