Swimming Ideas Podast

SIP 060: How to run effective training

May 15, 2017

The summer is almost upon us and you're going to start running training classes for your summer and seasonal staff. Slap on the sunscreen, wear a floppy hat, and get those kids moving!

 

This is our guide to running effective training sessions.  We are going to assume that you are a park district or a large program that has hired a decent sized staff and are running either lifeguard, swim instructor, or all staff training sessions. Your goal is to both create a team and a culture with these people (integrate old and new) and give out a wide range of information that the staff will need to know.

 

We have two ultimate goals in our staff trainings this summer:

 

  1. Provide information and experience staff needs to do their job.
  2. Foster team culture: working together

 

There is a wealth of information about "running a good meeting" and some of the key points are essential for you the manager or the aquatics professional. Remember our two key goals: provide information the staff needs to do their job, and creating a team culture.  Those will drive all things, but we'll separate out our guide into three different categories to make things easier for you to plan, execute, and evaluate.

 

Planning

 

When I worked at my outdoor pool over the summers every Friday we had a meeting at 9am. Every week the whole staff got together for an all staff meeting and training session. Before you get in front of your staff the most important thing you need to do should already be done: know what you're going to say and do.

 

Have a plan. Sit down or pull up last year's trainings and review what exactly you're going to accomplish in your meeting and training. Know exactly the things you are going to focus on and distill down to the most basic items what the staff needs to learn, know, or take away from your meeting.

 

Know what you want your staff to take away from the meeting.

Know what you are going to do exactly at the meeting to get that result.

Prepare any necessary materials or flyers before your meeting to distribute or use as props.

 

Execution

 

I recommend you write up an agenda, or a timeline, or a guide for yourself. Write something down like a list that will keep you on track and provide a guidepost if you take too long on one item or forget something.

 

In general with all staff meetings I prefer to follow this formula:

 

  1. Introduction, recap of recent week.
    1. (The "You must take a shower" person will now be stationed at the end of the walkway so they can also see the deck and remind people not to run")
  2. Any new information that is simple, easy, and relevant to many people.
    1. "Today we're going to review CPR, then split into groups and play a few games. Our goal today is getting better at communicating during swim lessons and we're going to focus on that. Then we'll regroup and I have you'll have a chance to ask questions about anything going on this week."
  3. Announcement about what you're going to be doing in the training today.
  4. Stick to your timetable. If you took too long to setup, allow some time to actually do your activities, but keep things moving. Avoid prolonged tangents or time wasters.

 

Content

 

We want participation. Remember our goal is to both provide relevant information and training, but to also provide a team building environment so participants feel closer to each other.

 

I recommend small group activities with clear goals and instructions. You can see our training modules here: https://swimminglessonsideas.com/category/trainingmodule/

 

For CPR you --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/swimmingideas/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/swimmingideas/support

Podparadise.com neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.