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Q: What can I do to encourage swimmers to register?

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Q: I coach Masters at a community pool. The facility doesn't require USMS membership for swimmers participating in my program. What can I do to encourage swimmers to register?

A: Many aquatic facilities across the country don't require USMS membership, but many of those facilities would if they were aware of the benefits USMS provides to the facility, coach, and athlete when each is properly registered. The liability and excess accident insurance provided with membership is one of the most comprehensive policies in the country. With rising litigation nationwide, most facilities would welcome the opportunity to protect themselves and the athletes that use these facilities as well as you, the coach, by adding USMS insurance coverage as an addition to any insurance they currently maintain.

However, just because the facility doesn't require USMS membership doesn't necessarily mean you, as the coach or a member of the club in a leadership role, can't. There are inherent benefits for you, including protecting yourself in the event of a liability lawsuit.

Achieving 100% USMS membership participation in your program can be accomplished in several ways:

  • Programs can mandate USMS membership and require each swimmer to renew yearly.
  • Programs can mandate participation in a USMS-sanctioned event (pool, open water, clinic or ePostal), which requires USMS membership.
  • Programs can offer an introductory fee to participate in the program and proactively register each new member with USMS.
  • Program fees collected by clubs and workout groups can be adjusted upward and prorated to accumulate funds to collectively pay to register and renew all participants' USMS membership.
  • Programs can ask athletes to participate in fundraisers to raise money to cover the expense of registering and renewing USMS membership.
  • Programs can find sponsors within the community that support health and wellness; these sponsors can, in turn, donate funds or provide grants for USMS registration.
  • Many health insurance companies refund membership fees for wellness related activities; encourage your athletes to contact their insurance representatives for more information.
  • Encourage your athletes ask their employers to sponsor USMS membership; healthier employees are more productive and help reduce insurance costs. Some employers might cover your program fees as well.

Working towards 100% participation helps strengthen USMS as a world leader in adult aquatic fitness.

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Updated July 14th, 2014 at 05:06 PM by Bill Brenner

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