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Meet Director's Path to Tranquility

Department of Labor

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"The mechanic who wishes to do his work well must first sharpen his tools."
-Confucius
Last week, I sent the first request for meet workers out to the team. There is no expectation of receiving any volunteers yet, since this was the first announcement and it came during the holidays. It usually takes three requests before anyone will even notice the announcement. The plan is to send one out again this week, and then again after New Year - after people calm down and sober up.

Meet timers were fruitful and in abundance at our first meet, and there were fewer members on our roster than today. We use three watches per lane, 7 lanes, and use swimmers from our team. The timers took turns in order to give everyone who volunteered a chance to time. Fast forward to today and the novelty has worn off. Last year, it was difficult to get all 21 timer slots filled, and I had to recruit instead of waiting for volunteers. I instituted the opportunity to work half the meet - before and/or after the break. This was to counteract two reasons for saying 'no' - "I want to swim", and "I want to sleep." Timers had a chance to swim in the meet (one half) and others had a chance to sleep in and work the second half.

As of today, the Equipment Chairman and Head Timer are nailed down. They 'volunteered' at the last board meeting. (Shame and guilt are wonderful tools when recruiting.) We still need a Results/Awards Chairman. The equipment chairman is in charge of getting the counters, chairs, starter, stopwatches, and sound system. [November 16 post] The head timer organizes timers and results, before and during the meet.

The Luau Hospitality Room Chairman is also aboard again. She has done a wonderful job since the first meet, although I need to restrain her every year from going off the deep end with decorations. This is a swim meet - not a kid's birthday party. ("More decorations means more time to set up and take down.") But still, it's the little details that make our meet stand out from the rest. She organizes the supplies, food, drink, tables, (and decorations) within the $1 per swimmer budget.

Today I sent out a request to Rita for officials. Rita is our USA Swimming contact who rounds up three other officials to work. We use four, and will pay them $70 each, up a bit from previous years. I read a thread on the discuss board that some team was complaining that its meet officials actually wanted to get paid. We would not think of asking ours to volunteer five hours for free (unless they were on our team.) Rita has no problem finding workers since they enjoy working Masters meets (no raging parents), and have fun at ours in particular.

Last month I ordered new lap counters from Gary at our local swim shop. He had the best price, beating the internet stores. Recently, I received a message that his supplier has no counters in stock, and that they would not be available until the beginning of January. Did everyone have lap counters on their Christmas list? Is this the first problem of the meet? If needed, we can borrow them again from local high schools.

There appear to be two lap counter models - Keifer and Better Times. Better Times is what we ordered - they look like the normal counters. The Keifer counters have an arched top and are more expensive. (We ordered kickboards from Keifer as a gift for a local swim team, and found them to be less than advertised.)

8 entries received to date

BOOK OF WISDOM
Be proactive in seeking out volunteers - they need to be actively and personally recruited. Use shame and guilt if necessary.

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Updated December 28th, 2009 at 09:01 AM by Rnovitske

Categories
Masters Swim Meets / Events

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