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Questions from Coaches

Keeping your swimmers engaged

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Q: What are some effective ways to keep my swimmers enrolled in my program?

A: Membership retention is an important component of a successful organization. Although organic growth is often viewed as the most important measurement of success, retention is the key to evaluating the performance of the organization and those who serve it.

Coaches, in particular, should evaluate their performance based on their athletes' willingness to renew their membership. Keeping the swimmers engaged has proven to be the most important aspect of membership retention.

So how can you keep your swimmers engaged and enrolled for the long term? Here are a few ideas:

  • Know your swimmers. What are your swimmers' names, their goals, and their interests away from the pool? The coach should know.
  • Don't get caught in a rut. Challenge your swimmers with new and creative workouts, drills, and events. Encourage them to participate in the Nike Go the Distance challenge, postal events, pool competitions, open water events, clinics, and other activities in which your program participates. For those members who don't want to swim at a particular event, ask them to volunteer. After seeing the event up close, they might feel more comfortable and swim in the next event.
  • Communicate with your club. Write a weekly or monthly e-newsletter. Include a calendar with focus events for your program as well as birthdays and other special occasions.
  • Share the load. Identify individual members' skills and talents and build a support team with those members willing to devote their time and talents for the benefit of the program. Creating a support team can help balance the dynamics of the program and keep the members engaged.

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