Teach Fun and Effective Swimming; New workbook

It has been a crazy few months working behind the scenes. A quick update from May 2018 – November 2018.

  • Updated the Online Swim Database.
    • Created a complete attendance system for swim teams. Click a button, have all the records auto-update and use checkboxes to mark who was at practice. Track total practices and dates they were there.
    • Current challenge: finding out how to reduce the record limit on my database provider.
  • Created a 500 Mile Swim Club app where you can open up registration for your lap swimmers. They can add their yards, meters, or miles and when they get to certain tiers get rewards that you chose.
  • Continued working on the Developmental Swim practices. We’ve been doing some exciting things with Halloween and a BONUS board. I’ve found that onboarding new swimmers is a big challenge and created most of the stress when coaching. Fall tends to be the worst because it is when we have have a HUGE influx of new swimmers. I’m still of the mind that we move everyone that is new to swimming in a holding group called, “Beginners” regardless of ability where they learn our nuance, where they learn our routines, and then can be dumped into other ability based groups after having a baseline language and format understanding.


New Swim Instructor Training Workbook

Woah. This is the big news. This is the big deal. I’ve been working hard on the new training workbook. It takes a LOT of effort to get a comprehensive book put out that will help your staff teach swim lessons. If you have the first book this is more images, more drawing, more updates, and cleaner format. I’ve also added a lot of group discussion questions for in-person training, and worksheets for testing purposes.

I’m not a huge fan of the “test” for certification. I much more lean to demonstrated competence. Having a test that you have to turn in and “certify” someone as a competent teacher does not mean that the person has retained any of the info you’ve fed them. It shows that they memorized enough to pass a test on that day.

This new training workbook is designed to be a reference for teachers. The first half is largely the same as the prior version. Skills. There are 15 essential swim skills that I’ve highlighted that take a beginner to mastery.

The new section, section 2, is all about “How to teach swimming. In this part, I talk about things like “Removing “Okay” from your sentences,” and “How to use command language. We further go into detail about how to set up your class using benches, how to handle crying kids, and how to earn trust from your participants to be an effective teacher.

The hardest part of writing this was to make it concise and broad. What works for us in our small facility doesn’t always translate into a large multi-pool program. My goal is to add more images that help illustrate complicated items, as well as keep the book reasonable in price. You’ll see a lot of new images that I drew by hand.

Why do you care?

This new training workbook will make the way you train new staff easier.

How do you work into a conversation on deck or in an inservice about using IMAGES in your teaching language? Most teens aren’t going to respond well to you telling them to speak vividly while they’re in the water struggling to get Johnny to stay on the bench.

Use this training workbook’s section on “using Imagery” as a guide for an inservice. Take notice of the “Discussion Items” on the right that are intended to provoke a response from your staff. Use this as a guide for your ongoing training. If you’re running a large class of new hires through this workbook, have them take notes on the discussion in their workbook.

The book is intended to work through in order.

Begin with a big info dump (skills)

Delve into the nuance of teaching swimming (what language to use, how to set up benches, and how to organize your class).

You should care about this because you want successful staff that does more than the bare minimum.

One of the main challenges facing swim staff in America is the shortage of high-quality staff. Many programs are cash-strapped and fight with their boards to provide a reasonable wage for their employees. Competence takes time and money, and our participants expect high-quality results.

Give them a clear, concise, image-laden book that they can reference and learn from without added stress or effort on your part.

When will it go live?

I’m not certain. I’m hoping to finish the final sections in November, update the formatting, and insert the final forms for sample lesson plans and worksheet answers.

Better swimming.
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