A Guide to Choosing the Best App for Your Swim Team

Swimming is the fourth most popular recreational sport in the US, with 31% of the adult population and 36% of children participating in some form of swimming recreationally each year. There are also more than 3,100 professional swimming clubs across the country which include over 400,000 members. 

If you’re responsible for managing a competitive swimming team, you’re likely all too familiar with the complexities of keeping up with all the activities that lead up to and occur during a busy swim meet. When your approach to swim team management relies on outdated software or a jumble of spreadsheets and lists, swim meets might feel more like a complex puzzle than an exciting sports competition.

The good news is that swim management technology has come a long way. When you choose the right swim team software, you can easily input data, communicate with team members, get results in real time, and more. If you’re looking for the best app for your swim meets, we’re here to help with information about what modern swim software can do and what features you should look for when making your choice.

What is Swim Team Software?

Swim team software, sometimes called swim management software, is a special software designed around the specific needs of competitive swim group interactions. It provides coaches and managers with tools to organize practices and meets, manage membership activities, and monitor team performance. Depending on the software capabilities, you may be able to communicate with team members and parents and automate volunteer sign-up. The best options are often customizable, so they can align with your team’s individual needs. 

What to Look for in Swim Team Software

As technology evolves, the number of software options you can choose from continues to grow. This can make it challenging to determine which swim team software solution is most likely to meet your needs. When choosing the best swim management software, you want a comprehensive, unified solution that will handle all swimming administrative tasks and align with your unique workflows. It also needs to be intuitive and simple for coaches, team members, parents, and volunteers to use. To find everything you need on a single platform, start by looking for these eight features when choosing the best swim team software for your next season. 

Feature #1: A User-Friendly Interface

The best team software isn’t only for managers or coaches. You can get so much more out of software that is used by team members, volunteers, parents, and other individuals who interact with the team. When so many people depend on the software, a user-friendly interface is essential to ensure the platform will be used as intended. 

Related: Upcoming “Simplify Your League Management” Webinar

The right software solution enables various users to interact with necessary features without extensive training or technical experience. Important information, including schedules, reports, data, and notifications should be easy to access. Follow-up communications should be seamless. 

An option with drag-and-drop website editing enables admins data entry enables users to enter information without worrying about miscommunications due to simple errors. A user-friendly interface should also display all the desired information for any activity with clear visuals and an easy-to-read format. 

Feature #2: Comprehensive Event Management Features

Event organization requires scheduling, volunteer sign-up, team member and guest registration, member activities, accurate reporting, and more. Managing all the requirements of a single swim meet is a demanding task for a single manager or even a dedicated team. 

When you invest in software with functions for merging meets, creating heat sheets, making scratches, entering disqualifications, integrating with timing systems, and creating reports, you can eliminate many of the manual tasks that take up so much time and are subject to errors. Some options even offer templates for creating meet entries and options for managing records in multiple ways. 

Feature #3: Customization Options

If your team doesn’t have a website or your website is rarely updated, you’re not optimizing communication with your team and those who support it. Tools like a team website and member portals make communication easy and convenient. 

Swim team management software should offer customizable features that allow you to create a personalized website with graphics that match your organization and the information you need. When these sites include easy-to-use features for adding information (such as drag-and-drop capabilities or one-click uploading), you can easily provide the most up-to-date information for your teams

User portals enhance engagement and make it easy for members and parents to access the information they need. Portals provide the ideal place to track swimmer history, track upcoming events, and meet volunteer commitments. The right swim team software can provide you with comprehensive features that enable users to access team information from any device and track personal progress over time.

Feature #4: Mobile Compatibility

Most people today depend on mobile devices as their main method of convenient communication and organization. Ninety-seven percent of Americans own a mobile phone, and children usually get their first phone at age 11. 

While users can access a swim team website from any device, a mobile app is ideal for use at school, at home, and even at swim meets. Any modern swim management software solution should include a mobile app that allows users to access information and complete tasks like sign-ups or payments. 

A comprehensive swim meet mobile app will enable users to get a personalized view of everything they need, right on their device. Whether it’s upcoming meet information, volunteer signups, or swim history, a mobile app should provide quick and easy access while improving communications with features like push notifications, alerts, results, and more. Some apps even include a live event indicator that keeps you up to date on what’s happening in the pool in real-time during meets. 

Feature #5: Integrations

The ability to integrate with third-party apps—without technical expertise or multiple requirements from users—is essential to get the most out of your swim team software. Look for software that is able to support integration with calendars for scheduling, payment gateways for enrollment and fundraising, software for performance tracking, and other platforms related to team activities. 

The right integration capabilities can improve your fundraising efforts, empower team members to use their personal data for improvement, and elevate communication with team members and supporters. When you can import meet entry files and results from other software, it’s easier to analyze and manage results. 

Feature #6: Live Results

Swim meets are chaotic, busy, and always evolving. They’re split up into events which are split into heats that are further divided into lanes. This arrangement can be confusing for newcomers and seasoned swim team veterans alike. Now imagine what a swim meet looks like for parents with more than one child participating. When your swim meet software includes live results, managers, coaches, and parents can stay informed with automatic updates about results and scores as soon as the data is entered. Some tools even enable users to see what’s happening in the pool in real-time.

Feature #7: Communication Tools

Communication is key for successful swim meets with high participation rates. While an informative website offers a wealth of detailed information, you still need tools for direct communication. 

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Swim management software with a dedicated communications center allows you to communicate with volunteers, members, and parents in various formats. You should be able to use the platform to send targeted emails or notification alerts to specific groups. With multi-feature communication tools, you’ll want to:

  • Choose to email your entire team or a specific group
  • Send direct notifications without the need for external texting apps
  • Communicate directly from reports to easily target members involved in an upcoming meet
  • Easily contact specific groups like parents of swimmers in specific age groups or volunteers

Feature #8: User Support

Swim team software should be designed to make swim team management easy and convenient. If you have questions you can’t get answers to or features that don’t achieve what you expect, your software can be a new source of frustration and confusion. 

Even when platforms are designed for ease of use, first-time actions like integrations and customization can be confusing. When choosing the app that best meets the needs of your swim team, it’s essential to consider the value of comprehensive customer support. 

In the fast-paced environment of competitive swimming, getting answers when and where you need them is essential. As such, choose a platform with multiple support options. A self-serve help center is ideal for fast answers to common questions, but there are times when you need to talk to a human. Before you invest in a software solution for your team, make sure the company is ready to provide the support you need to get the most out of their product. 

Make Managing Your Swim Team Easy with the Right Software

Swim team management can be demanding, requiring you to handle large amounts of data and interact with several groups of people. Without the right software, it can be difficult to delegate tasks, recruit volunteers, or communicate effectively with team members and their parents. 

To manage everything effectively and run a smooth swim season, you need a comprehensive suite of software solutions that help you move from registration, to swim meet, to end-of-season banquet, and everything in between. 

The right software does just that by giving coaches, team members, parents, and volunteers everything they need in one easily accessible place—making information easy to distribute and collect. With effective communication, easy accessibility to forms and volunteer sign-ups, secure payments, and more, being a part of the team can be frustration-free. 

SwimTopia keeps swimmers up to date and streamlines all your processes so that more families are able to contribute and take part in the sport. Wondering what SwimTopia can do for your swim team? Get in touch to see a demo or start your free trial today!