The weather is warming up and, although some may yet be enjoying spring showers, summer is approaching. Hundreds of SwimTopia teams are already building their websites, recruiting parent volunteers, and selecting this summer’s team merchandise. And, just like every summer, this one promises to be equally as fun-filled. However, one area our teams might not yet have anticipated is the safety of their pool! Summer swim is a transformative experience (in our humble opinion!), but, with its multitude of younger/newer swimmers, it can also be hectic and, even, dangerous. SwimTopia encourages you to ensure water safety by placing necessary safeguards.
Get Your Team Leaders Certified!
Though not all swim teams require their head, assistant, and junior coaches be lifeguard/first aid certified, SwimTopia highly recommends this! Head and assistant coaches should almost without question be certified. They function as authority figures on the pool deck and are depended upon for direction. Junior coaches (often middle school/high school age swimmers who aid the younger age group practices), are a gray area. However, as they are often in the water assisting younger swimmers, junior coaches are also close at hand should something go awry. Further, receiving lifeguard/first aid training can help build responsibility, knowledge, and develop knowledge needed to become a paid lifeguard in the future (should they be interested in this lucrative summer job).
Hire Lifeguards for Younger Age-group Practices!
Another tip is to hire actual lifeguards for on duty services during practices. Perhaps guards are only hired for younger age groups (which tend to be bigger and more chaotic); this leaves coaches free to focus on, well, coaching (rather than pool control). Lifeguards are also suggested for swim meets, depending on your team or league’s budget. Swim meets, with all their colorful excitement, seem safer than a regular practice but it’s often better to err on that water safety.
Check Your Pool Equipment!
Additionally, we suggest you check all pool equipment is up to date. Lifeguard tubes, shepard’s hooks, rescue buoys, pool safety kits, etc: there’s a lot to keep up with prior to the season beginning. Taking a little bit of extra time to ensure these items are a). even at the pool and b). in operable condition will pay off in the long run. Check out this article for a full list of recommended pool safety equipment/accessories.
Does Your Team have an EAP?
What about if an emergency does occur? Does your team have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)? Coaches should discuss a contingency plan prior to the season. Most lifeguards have their own EAPs meaning, if your pool or team has guards hired for practices, you might not need to worry about this. However, if there are no lifeguards on duty, SwimTopia does recommend having a plan. Colin’s Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness regarding water safety, has excellent resources!
Altogether, we hope you found this article helpful. We are excited for the upcoming season and look forward to hearing stories from our customers. SwimTopia wishes you an exciting and safe summer season this year!