Time Management – How Important Is It?

Do you start and finish your lessons on time every time?  Is this a recurring problem in your swim centre?  There are many centres around the world that have issues with their staff starting and finishing their lessons on time.  Let’s discuss time management and what it means to those people in your lesson. 


Many parents in today’s society are time poor.  Families have meetings, deadlines, agendas, email, messages and more to get to during the day.  They also have a multitude of sport, cultural and mind enriching experiences to provide for their children on a daily basis.  Their swimming lesson is one tiny aspect of their very busy lives.  It is important that we, as instructors recognise this and plan our lessons and the time we attach to them very carefully.


We are unable to know what each and every parent’s daily schedule is.  They may have a Doctors appointment to get to, a meeting at school or kindy, a ballet or painting lesson or a plethora of other appointments on their calendar.  Parents have booked and paid for a specific time slot in their day and as such should receive that time period without exception. 


Parents pay a specific amount of money for a specific time of lesson – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour or whatever that may be.  If that lesson finishes early the spending conscious parent may be disappointed and think that they are not getting their money’s worth.  If a lesson continuously goes overtime they may assume that they are entitled to the longer lesson each and every time. 


If an instructor continuously runs late this may then have a trickle on effect to their clients.  If a client notices that their instructor is usually running 5-10 minutes behind each week they may start to arrive late themselves.  In the instance that the instructor runs on time their clients will be disappointed to miss out on their full lesson as they assumed the lesson would run over as usual.


If a family of swimmers are all receiving lessons from your centre multiple family members may be affected by an instructor’s inability to run on time.  If a parent has to stay in the water with a sibling or spend time waiting to help a swimmer out of the pool late, this will mean that the swimmer waiting for their turn will miss out on precious swimming time too.  This makes it difficult for that swimmer to participate in warm up and join in the lesson at the correct time.


Many times instructors share a teaching space that is utilised by someone else during the next lesson.  If an instructor hasn’t vacated the space at the appropriate time this can be a frustrating experience for their peers.  This may breed disharmony within the instructors and result in a negative working relationship between the 2.  It will also hold up an entire class of swimmers and their families as they wait for the teaching space. 


Starting and finishing classes on time should be a priority for every instructor within their shift.  There may be the odd time that this is difficult but an excellent swimming teacher should plan their lessons accordingly and constantly be aware of the time spent throughout the lesson.  If all activities aren’t completed the instructor should take note and spend more time on these at a later date. 


In summary time management is a very important factor for a swimming instructor and should be taken very seriously when planning and delivering aquatic experiences within the swim centre.


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


Laurie Lawrence


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