Using Reward Systems at your swim School

This article discusses the benefits of using rewards and incentives to help swimmers progress and achieve better results in various aspects of swimming lessons.

We all like to be rewarded or thanked for achieving goals and jobs in life, be it in our personal life at home after cooking the dinner or at work having completed a major project. Kids love it even more. Directors, CEO’s and Managers are always looking at ways on how to increase lesson numbers at their swim schools but more importantly, how to retain the clients that they already have.

There are many ways of offering rewards and many benefits associated with it too. It could be as simple as offering an ink stamp to a child at the end of their lesson for doing a great job to gaining a certificate of progression for a child to move up a level within the swim school program. These little gestures, can do so much for a child’s confidence and parents pride. By providing ongoing/collectable rewards, you are giving the child a chance to show and display their best work continuously. They generally try harder, listen and behave better. It’s an all round win.

A) The parent is happy

B) The teacher is achieving great results

C) Swimmers are happy

D) The swim school benefits by retaining another client


Often cost comes into play when deciding what type of rewards system to use – perhaps you are a small swim school with limited resources, low numbers or a minimal budget. Having visited many swim schools throughout the years, I have learned of various systems used throughout.  One smaller swim school I visited explained how the manager witnessed a few of the children bring their little bits and bobs to lessons every so often. Upon asking the children where they got their knick-knacks she realised that there was an extremely cheap/free way of gaining some incentive rewards for the children in her swim school. The centre had great staff morale and the manager had requested for the teachers to collect the free children’s collectables after every shop at the local Woolworths. As this was one of the limited grocery stores located close to the swim school, the small family community didn’t have much choice on where to shop. So the teachers brought the collectables to work and distributed them to the children upon completing a successful lesson. Needless to say, it was a major success.

For larger swim schools that have the resources and income to spend on reward systems it may be worth having a look at getting specialised stationary printed. These could range from stickers, achievement charts, progression certificates, drill/skill certificates, balloons, swim gear and much, much more.

Parents love to see their children do well outside of the home environment. How often do we see updates and pictures on our social media pages with the caption “Proud Parent Moment” followed by something that goes along the lines of ‘Cooper got awarded student of the week at school’. Parents thrive on it and want to show the world and boast about it to all their friends. Basically, it’s their way of saying my child is better than yours. Think of how happy they would be to learn of a new rewards system at your swim school. Think of how they would boast to their friends about how their child got a new achievement chart at their swimming lessons with lots of various goals to achieve. It may persuade the mum who takes their child to lessons at the swim school down the road to come give your centre a try. You may just offer something that others don’t.

Give it a go and don’t forget to share your ideas or methods of rewards systems at your swim school.

How do you keep your clients returning?  Please share in the comments below.


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Tara Martin

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