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4 Ways to Increase Participation on Your Swim Team

Increase Participation

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You know that swimming is the best sport. We know that swimming is the best sport. How do we get the kids to learn to love swimming? 

Swimming is not just a sport that is good for your health and great for making friends, but it is a life saving sport. Increasing participation on your swim team will make your team more money and build the swim community that we all know and love. do we do that?

1. Make Racing Fun

Racing and competing is supposed to be fun! Establish a fun racing environment by encouraging sportsmanship, adding surprise rubber duck heats, and having everyone swim in a relay.

Sometimes when competing, things can get a little too serious. It is important to bring racing back to what it is all about - FUN! Encourage your swimmers to always give a pre-race fist pump and a post-race high-five. No matter what.

Surprise your swimmers with fun prizes for everyone in the heat (or just the heat winner). Rubber ducks or a gatorade are great prize ideas. At random, ring a bell, play a song or announce over the speaker that the next heat is a prize heat and watch the swimmer's faces light up!

Relays are a blast and are not just for your fastest swimmers. Ensure that any swimmer that wants to be included in a relay are.

2. Faster Swim Meets

Implement strategies to make your swim meets run faster. Some of these strategies include fly-over starts, eliminating hardware, having a back-up timer, and running a pre-season time trial!

The best way to reduce the run time of a swim meet is to reduce the amount of time in between each heat. A fly-over start is when you start the next heat when the heat in the water is almost at the finish. It is important to ensure that the communication about the fly-over start is clear and obvious.

Swim meet hardware has a tendency to cause issues at the worst times. When hardware goes down, it takes time to fix it and usually involves a pause in the meet. Try running a meet with no hardware and never worry about a faulty starter.

Sometimes a Timer will get flustered or something will happen to the timing device. A back-up timer can quickly relieve that timer and keep the meet going smoothly.

The best pro tip for a seamless and fast swim meet is running a pre-season "fun meet" where volunteers can practice and all the kinks can be worked out.

3. Faster Swim Meets

One of the best things that swimming brings you is friends for life. Although it is an individual sport, encourage teamwork as much as you can. Always run relays and have your swimmers be on the side of the deck to cheer their teammates on. It is also important to encourage teamwork outside of the pool through games like capture the flag!

Make sure that when your swimmers aren't racing, they are present (off of any devices) and cheering on their teammates. This makes it more fun for the swimmers racing and the swimmers out of the water. There is nothing like taking a breath and hearing the roar of your teammates cheering.

Relays are when the team comes into the sport of swimming. Make sure you encourage all swimmers to swim on a relay and give them the opportunity to do so.

It is so important to ensure your swimmers are good sports whether they win or lose. No matter what, your swimmers should know they give their teammates a fun handshake or simple high-five before their race and a "good swim" and fist pump after.

As important as it is to have fun in the pool, find ways to do team building outside of the pool! This can be done through group activities like capture the flag or movie nights.

4. Faster Swim Meets

A big deterrent from swimming is that parents do not want to go to a long swim meet on a hot summer day. Make sure your parents are having fun too! Volunteering doesn't have to be a drag and including spectators through things like a 50/50 draw or trivia during a break are great ways to improve the swim meet experience.

Volunteers are necessary for swim meets to run. Make sure it isn't a drag for your parents to volunteer. Don't over-complicate their jobs, provide them with shade and refreshments, and maybe even have a thank-you gift post meet!

When their swimmer isn't swimming, it is safe to assume that your spectators are bored and counting down the minutes until they get to go home. Have the announcer include the spectators with games like a 50/50 raffle or even trivia questions with a prize when there is a shift change or even behind the scenes. Having a fun announcer is another great way to keep spectators entertained!

Improve your swim meet experience today and increase participation with Swimmingly.