By Convention Education Committee | Saturday, September 16, 2017
Last one fast one! Another really wonderful day of convention! Today started with an athlete meeting where Safe Sport Staff gave a very informational and helpful presentation. After, I sat in on the "Engaging and Empowering LSC Athlete" which was my favorite work shop in Atlanta. I hope that everyone who attended got as much out of the facilitation as I did last year. Later, I attended “Mind/Body Connection: Let’s talk about Mental Health”. I had very high expectations for this meeting, which were met for the most part. I think that this meeting was a great way to get the conversation about mental health in our sport started. I would have liked to hear more ideas about how to promote mental health in swimmers and how to address specific situations. That being said, I think the speakers did a great job of answering the audience’s questions honestly and to the best of their ability. This type of conversation makes me excited for the improvements to come.
After, I attended the second part of the Western Zone meeting, today we started and ended on time with little to no technical difficulties! In addition, discussion during this meeting was positive and focused. One hot topic of the meeting was centered around skits at the Western Zone Age Group Meet. I found a little comical that this was such a debated topic. However, despite two passionately apposing sides, the delegates handled this disagreement in a mature and productive manner. Throughout the entire board meeting I was thrilled to see so many LSC athlete representatives speaking up, asking relevant questions, and sharing intelligent ideas. (while properly following Roberts Rules!). This is a huge improvement that I’ve noticed over the past few conventions. More and more athletes are confident enough to share their opinions during athlete meetings, zone meetings and even House of Delegates. I think this shows the progress USA Swimming, the Athlete Committee and the AEC have made to make athlete reps feel important and safe enough to share on these larger platforms.
Something that has been evident in all of the meetings I’ve attended this week and for the past six conventions is the closeness of the swimming community. It is inspiring to see so many people come together from all over the country to celebrate and improve such a influential sport. It makes me appreciate the opportunities swimming gave me and continues to give me. This reminds me how lucky I am to be a swimmer and be part of a community that tries to make the sport better everyday.
Thank you for keeping up with our blog! I hope everyone has a great last day of convention and remember that we are all here of the same reason. We love swimming!
The days winding down towards the end of convention are always rather bittersweet. It’ s almost like coming to the end of a taper. We’ve spent the week building ourselves, learning and sharpening our knowledge and understanding, for this big upcoming HOD where we will show off and perform the best of our abilities. But often, what comes at the end of a taper is the harder work to come, regardless of the results on the big day. Some dread it, some can’t wait for the work to start but we will soon have our hands full with new ideas and new goals that we all hopefully will strive to achieve.
It was a pretty standard day, early morning practice followed by an athlete meeting. Today had a great Safe Sport presentation, highlighting the importance of boundaries and positive, healthy team culture. We then transitioned to the athlete committee meeting on how to better develop and curate athlete committees for LSC’s. We first spoke with some of our reps with success stories, notably JP Greener and Maria Davila, and then broke into focus groups based on each LSC’s specific needs.
Later after a much needed nap, I was ECSTATIC to find 8x Olympic medalist, Allison Schmitt, was going to be on the panel for the Let’s Talk About Mental Health presentation. A quote that was said here was, “Rather than having the weird kid act more like everyone else, have everyone else act a little more weird.” I felt it nicely correlated to the aforementioned theme of creating a healthy and positive team culture.
I can tell the athletes are very excited for tomorrow’s upcoming HOD; were tapered, suited up, and ready to rock which to me is by far one of the best feelings in the world. We are all eager and ready to see what the future has in store for us.
Happy Weekend! I'm just going to jump right in and give you the rundown on my last full meeting day at Convention. Matt Farrell had invited me to serve on a panel for the #SwimBiz: Marketing Tips to Grow Your Team (and Revenue) session to share what we have accomplished in terms of branding, social media, and sponsorship over the past couple of years with Georgia Swimming. I've attended the #SwimBiz conference in Colorado Springs for the last two years and was honored that Matt recognized our work as something worth sharing. Every year at #SwimBiz, marketing awards are given to clubs for outstanding work. The awards are sleek crystal kickboards and for years I've been trying to convince (I'll be honest, I've practically begged) USA Swimming to create a LSC category. Great news! Jim Fox shared with me before the session that there will be an LSC category this year. You better believe I have my eye set on taking one of those awards home next year.
After the #SwimBiz session, I was able to attend the Athlete Committees: Engaging and Empowering LSC Athlete Leadership with our current and former LSC athlete reps. We heard some great ideas on new ways to engage and train our incoming club athlete representatives. Later in the day, I met with our athletes Addie Rose and Harrison to talk about their goals for the upcoming year. I am excited to see their momentum continue when we return to Georgia. One of their goals is to have active athlete representation from 75% of our clubs. Addie Rose will also be serving on our award ceremony committee to help us plan for our 2018 Golden Peach Awards, which is basically our version of the Golden Goggle Awards. This is one of our main recognition events for our athletes.
My day ended with the Laying Foundations and Building Bridges: Making Your LSC More Effective at the Board/Staff Level and House of Delegates meeting. During the HOD meeting, we had the opportunity to remember those in the USA Swimming family whom we have lost in the past year, including some of our own Georgia Swimming members - Jason Turcotte, Jerry Rose, John Meadows, Mike Mobley, and Kaitlin Vandiver-Hunt. Georgia Swimming was also recognized for its USA Swimming LEAP 3 accomplishment, which is the highest level of recognition for an LSC. The recognition comes with a $5,000 check, which was presented to us in the form of an oversized check. Because bigger is better and everything's bigger in Texas, right?
As the week comes to a close and everyone heads back to their respective regions of the country, I will also be returning to Georgia with a plethora of ideas to implement. I've enjoyed the annual reunion with our extended USA Swimming family and will see you in Jacksonville next year!