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Last Season's Survey Results

If you were a part of our swim team last year, you may remember the survey that went out at the end of the season, asking for feedback. We’d like to take a minute to comment on a few results of that survey and how we are trying to listen and act.

It is impossible to implement every single suggestion—sometimes there was a suggestion for one thing (“bring back the team movie”) but yet four other comments on the replacement team activity (“my kids loved Lava Island” and “fun to try something new and let the kids burn off some energy”). We have also discussed Picture Day to death, trying to see what other ways we could make it work with ideas from the survey, but this year we landed back on the old way due to logistics, coach commitments, and other feedback. One person last year suggested that each swimmer get a copy of the team photo. We already do this—swimmers get a copy of the team photo AND an individual photo—so perhaps we need to do better about our communication. There are other examples of issues we didn’t address this year, whether it was a matter of feasibility, budget, implementation, or equity. We are happy to discuss these things one-on-one if you’d like. Please know that we read all of the survey results, take everything into consideration, and do what we can do for the betterment of the swim team.

We also want to remind everyone that we (almost) always have positions open on the board! If you have some ideas and want to try to implement them for the team (or begin the discussion), please join us! We love having people approach us to join the board instead of begging people to join. It is hard work, but we have beverages and lots of laughter at our meetings.

Some issues we want to address:

Coaches: Some of you wanted more instruction and direction from the coaches, and some asked for a list of coaches who can do private lessons on the side.

  • Audra Dubler put together a leadership training for our coaches and guided them through various topics to help them improve their coaching techniques as well as leadership qualities.
  • The coaches created “Fun Lists” to do with your primary age group to improve inclusive behavior and team building and to add fun to meets and practices.
  • We emailed to the team a list of our coaches and their private lesson availability and specialties.

Integrating Outsiders: Some of you wanted more opportunities to integrate “outsiders” into the group, asking for activities outside of parents’ working hours.

  • We have “ambassador families” who reach out to new families and offer more information, guidance, and insight into our swim team and how we run.
  • We are keeping up with the Big Fish / Little Fish Program and the Big Kid Program.
  • We already do several activities outside of parents’ working hours (Swimming Under the Stars, Pirates Cove, the banquet), and we are unsure how to add more without asking too much of our board members, volunteers, and members.

Volunteer Options: Some of you wanted more options for shifts or different kinds of shifts (on different days, at different hours). Some of you wanted to review our volunteer policy in terms of points and swimmers on the team.

  • We added more shifts and tried to vary the times: Doughnut Deputies, Merchandise Helper, Team Tent Manager.
  • We review every couple of years the amount of points we require from families. A few years ago we went down from eight points to six points, and this seems to work nicely for us. We also review our policy of requiring the same amount of points, regardless of how many swimmers that families have on the team, and after much discussion, we keep coming back to requiring the same amount per family regardless of the number of swimmers.

Swimmer Recognition: Some of you wanted more ways that we recognize our swimmers—not just our best swimmers in terms of race times, but our great swimmers in terms of attitude, attendance, sportsmanship, effort, etc.

  • We added coach shout-outs to the bulletin board to highlight more kids.
  • The leadership training highlighted ways for coaches to praise swimmers in many different ways during practices and meets.
  • We are trying out rubber duckies for heat winners for the first time.

Spirit Table: Some of you wanted to get rid of the “stuff” at the spirit table and focus on team bonding.

  • We are focusing on the get-to-know-you posters where kids can sign their name or answer the questions to find teammates with similar characteristics, adventures, bragging rights, silly qualities, etc.

Funday Monday: Most of you loved our Funday Mondays and wanted more of them.

  • We added Funday Monday and Doughnut Day to every Monday practice in June.

This list is not complete in terms of survey feedback and our reactions, but it gives you an idea of some of the items we discussed in the off season. We just want to make sure that you all know that we DO listen and we DO discuss and we DO act when we think it is benefiting the team. We simply can’t satisfy absolutely everyone. Thanks for understanding, and please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

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