Promoting Program Success

If you want to give yourself and your programs the best chance for success and longevity, you must learn not only to lead and manage, but also make a constant effort to understand what works and what doesn’t. Track the steps taken to reach your end goal so that you can reproduce your success with additional programs.   


There are three main areas that aquatic managers need to track. You might develop your own system, but here is one way to categorize, track and motivate your team to improve. 

  • The Facility
    • Aesthetics
    • Safety
  • Staff
    • Certification
    • Style
  • Participants
    • Satisfaction
    • Goals

The FACILITY: It really doesn’t matter whether you own or rent your facility, the principles still apply.

  • The facility has to be clean and attractive. Everything from the parking lot to the reception area to the shower rooms to the pool itself has to say, “Welcome to our facility.  We care about both our facility and our patrons.”
  • Risk management must be foremost.  No longer can you just “wing it.” You must have a well-developed risk management plan with broad staff awareness. There are nationally recognized firms that specialize in helping with development and implementation. Contact the Facilities Development Department at USA Swimming  for more information.

The STAFF: Time and resources are well spent on staff training and support. Teamwork is paramount.

  • Staff training and certification need to be relevant and from a reputable organization. You must go way beyond First Aid and CPR. Let your clientele know what a superbly trained staff you have.
  • All staff members must be conscious of their personal styles. How do they appear and relate to others? What can they do to improve? How do you motivate your staff to improve? 

The PARTICIPANTS: These are your customers.  Without customers the business fails. Does your staff recognize what it takes to keep people happy, healthy, and coming back to your facility?

  • Customer satisfaction is a daily challenge that has to be discussed, analyzed, and tracked.  Customer comment cards should be available at the front desk. Also, talk to participants and get feedback.
  • Participants need goals in order to keep coming back. Teaching goal setting and discussing personal plans and benchmarks keep participants motivated.

Aquatics is a service business.  Remember the code word AIM and then “aim to please.”  

  • Appreciated = always make people feel their efforts are appreciated.  Remember that staff and customers are equally important.
  • Important = make someone feel important whenever possible. This applies to clients, co-workers, and acquaintances. 
  • More = give people more that they expect and more than they have paid for.  

A facility has a better chance of success and survival with Total Aquatic Programming.  Every program in your facility has an important place in the culture of success.  It is very difficult to succeed without common plans, delivery methods and staffing philosophies. By focusing on the three areas outlined above, Facility, Staff and Participants, you can be on the road to making your business a sustainable success. 


Contact theFacilities Development Department at USA Swimming for more information.

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