By USA Swimming | Friday, September 22, 2017
Just 60 days into his new role as President and CEO of USA Swimming, Tim Hinchey delivered the annual “State of the Sport Report” to the 800-plus members attending the U.S. Aquatic Sports Convention this past Saturday in Dallas, Texas. This event marked the first time Hinchey addressed USA Swimming members as the face of the organization.
In his speech, Hinchey took the opportunity to shed some light on his experience in the sport, his 100-day listen and learn tour, early observations of the organization, a review of the 2017 FINA World Championships and share the opportunities he foresees for the future of the organization.
100-Day Listening Tour
More than halfway through his listening tour Hinchey has attended six USA Swimming events where he met with sponsors, FINA representatives, board members and other key influencers to discuss how the organization can work better together.
“I needed to get out in the field and familiarize myself with the volunteer structure and the coaching communities, and understand where we really are in terms of athlete development,” said Hinchey. “I can’t wait to visit more clubs and coaches across the U.S. and learn as much about the organization as I can so we can continue to grow the sport of swimming.”
Continuing his tour, Hinchey went to Washington, D.C., this week for the Congressional Black Caucus to accept an award from USA Swimming partner Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Hinchey will continue his tour travelling through the end of the year.
Another key part of his tour is getting to know the 84 full-time staff members in Colorado Springs. Hinchey’s goal is to have coffee with each staff member at the Starbucks across the street from headquarters.
“Chuck’s greatest legacy are the people he hired at USA Swimming. It’s no secret that USA Swimming is the best NGB in the Olympic family and I want to have the chance to get to know each staff member that contributes to the success of the organization.
“I’ve met with 34 members so far, just 50 more to go,” Hinchey joked.
During his speech, Hinchey shared some early observations in his first 60 days and discussed his priorities.
USA Swimming’s mission of Build – Promote – Achieve will remain intact during Hinchey’s reign. Hinchey explained each as such:
- Build – We will keep our eye on our membership retention and growth, as well as working towards making the sport accessible to all.
- Promote – We will leverage technology to the fullest extent by prioritizing unique content development and distribution at USA Swimming with programs such as USA Swimming Productions, Deck Pass Live and #SwimBiz and continue to help our clubs do the same.
- Achieve – We will maintain the culture built and handed down from our predecessors, and continue to invest our resources into our performance teams and stay ahead of the world.
Moving forward Hinchey will conduct an organizational review and audit to establish a clear focus, direction, plus expectations and metrics for the organization to keep staff accountable.
“One of the biggest priorities is making sure that we’re measuring the success of our organization. This baseline will allow us to capitalize on our strengths moving forward, but also develop those areas where we have been weak in the past.”
Hinchey also spoke to being more accessible to members by expanding USA Swimming’s membership services. He posed the question “How can we better serve our existing members and clubs going forward and expand our influence throughout the country?”
Part of that answer lies in the newly passed flex membership category that allows members to join USA Swimming on flexible terms without signing up for a year-round membership. This is close to Hinchey’s heart, as he started the sport as a rec swimmer and his kids following in his footsteps swimming on a rec league in the greater Denver area.
“As someone who got their start in the sport from a rec league, I have a passion to bring those swimmers in as USA Swimming members and right now our organization has a real disconnect with this audience. With the purposed flex membership category, we have the ability to connect with the other two million rec swimmers in our country, educate them on the benefits of USA Swimming and invite them to join us.”
Hinchey continued by sharing his plans to “Trialize” USA Swimming events to entice fans to engage and deliver the most professional experience for our athletes and spectators. He explained this includes more sponsor activations, creating activities to entertain and making the event a memorable experience to put swimming on the map.
Hinchey plans to team up with the business development department to build the commercial side of USA Swimming to bring these events to another level with digital content and unique partnerships such as Sigma Gamma Rho to expand the brand of the organization.
Overview of 2017 International Results
Hinchey concluded the “State of Sport Report” by recognizing the success of Team USA this past summer, where both teams dominated with the largest medal haul in U.S. history.
FINA World Juniors 2017
The U.S. brought home a total of 32 medals in Indianapolis at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships, including:
- Gold: 12
- Silver: 13
- Bronze: 7
FINA World Championships 2017
The U.S. brought home a total of 41 medals in Budapest, Hungary at the 2017 FINA World Championships, including:
- Gold: 19
- Silver: 12
- Bronze: 10
Hinchey shared his admiration for the athletes, coaches and staff at both events and the hospitality they extended to him.
“It’s a dream come true to dedicate my professional career to the sport that has defined who I am, not only as a professional, but more importantly personally,” said Hinchey. “With what I’ve seen so far in the first few months with our coaches, athletes and volunteers I’m excited to be a part of such an incredible organization and I’m eager to see what the future holds.”
For more insight into convention activities watch the videos at www.usaswimming.org/productions.