Swim season is coming to a close and you’re both excited and sad at the same time. You’re excited to get your spare time back, after being in ‘volunteer overtime’ for the last 2 (or 3) months, but you’re sad another fun filled season is coming to an end (and the pool is going to seem awfully quiet). Here are some tips and suggestions for wrapping up the summer season, putting a bow on it, and thinking about how next year can be even better!
While it’s Fresh in Your Mind…
Each head volunteer should take a moment to make some notes on what worked and what didn’t this season. For now, these notes are ‘for your eyes only,’ they don’t need to be polished or perfect, think brain dump: just get your thoughts on paper while it’s fresh. Once you all enjoy some downtime you can reconvene before next season to really think through what changes and improvements you might want to make moving forward. Just make sure you remember where you put your notes
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Appreciate, Appreciate, Appreciate
Make a line item in the budget for some social time… Get your head volunteers and coaches together after the season, for a dinner, a happy hour or a potluck to say thanks. It’ll feel so good to just enjoy each other’s company without needing to talk swimming the whole time! Being in a lead role on a swim team is a LOT of work (like I need to tell you that); there have to be some perks.
Grooming the Next Wave
As a head swim team volunteer it’s always a good idea to be thinking about how you can replace yourself. Let’s face it; you don’t want to do this forever! The end of the season can be a good time to put the feelers out for who might like to shadow you next year so they can be ready to replace you the year after that. Think “exit strategy”. Invite your potential replacements to the social event mentioned above so they can meet some other folks they’ll be working with. Breaking big jobs into smaller parts is sometimes a good way to tackle replacing people who are ready to move on. Think about how jobs could be split up and delegated out if you think that would help you find the next wave of head swim team volunteers.
Off Season To-Dos
Now is a great time to think about your timeline for next season. Did some things get done in a rush this season? Could planning and starting earlier have saved some headaches? If your “brain dump” (from above) yielded items like this, now’s a great time to put a couple of simple reminders on your calendar so you’ll be better prepared next season! A calendar entry or reminder on November 1st with an alert and simple message like “set up hoodie sales before Christmas” lets you have some down time while also making sure that come November, when you’re fresh from a few quiet months, you’ll be ready to go (can you tell this is on my list?). Maybe set a reminder for January to get some tentative spring board meeting dates set so everyone can save the dates… Sprucing up the website and adding info on topics you got frequent questions about this season is another great off season task… You get the idea , planning ahead can help you stay on track next season.
Good luck wrapping up the summer season and enjoy having some more ‘brain space’ back when it’s all said and done!
If you have tips you’d like to share on ‘best practices’ for swim team management please email [email protected], we’d love to share them here with our SwimTopia community.