Revenue and Athlete-Prospect Generation in this Economic Climate by Chris Hadden, United Swim Association (2013)


Published


 

Alright, as I was introduced, my name is Chris Hadden.  I want to start off by saying I’m extremely honored to be able to speak in front of you today.  I want to thank John Leonard for the opportunity to present this topic to my colleagues and again thank you very much for attending.  The mission of this presentation, in essence, is to help other clubs grow a little better base of membership, to run a more financially stable business.  My power point, I didn’t know if there would be hard copies or anything, but it will be available on the CD.  I don’t read right from the power point, there’s a lot of information on the power point that you can kind of glimpse at while I’m talking, but I’m not going to be reading right from it, I just thought I would preface that.

 

Again I started coaching in 1994 in Tampa, Florida.  I coached in four different LSC’s as a full-time coach for 11 years.  I started a successful program in Columbus, Ohio that I owned in 2006 and the facility I was leasing, lost a ton of money on it, I had a young family.  So I bailed out of coaching for a few years.  I had one of my parents who was on me, constantly to come back into coaching and in 2009 I finally decided to come back and we started the United Swim Association.  Again I’m head coach of that program.  We are a USA sanctioned swim club parent run 501(c)(3) organization.  As you can see there the journey of the club, they started a small program in ’07, I took it over in ’09 and renamed it.

 

You can see the size of the growth there, we now have 175 families, 220 swimmers, I rent out three different training facilities and I have 11 coaches on staff.  When I chose to come back into coaching fulltime it was when I knew you know I loved what I was doing before I still had a family, I still had a day job and I realized I wanted to get back into full-time and how could I do that?  Well, obviously I need to make sure that my program was financially stable enough to pay me what I needed and what I deserved…right, coaches?

 

Okay, what options are available to teams to help them grow during difficult economic times?  Club swimming is an expensive sport as we know, professional coaching, pool run, utility costs, travel, etc., so our main competition in my opinion to grow our sport is to pull kids from other sports.

 

I know we all have our other programs in the area and we try to be the best and pull those kids, but in essence if you really want to truly grow the sport we need to look at how to get athletes from other sports in my opinion.  So how can we convert athletes to swimming?  Internal lesson programs have had a long term success with that, a story to every program across the country that’s got a nice lesson program as part of their organization constantly have swimmers feeding into the program.  However what if you don’t have a lesson program?  In my opinion the two ways to do that is partner with the summer swim teams in your area and start a noncompetitive swim program.

 

Why partner with summer swim teams?  In my opinion it’s a no brainer.  It’s your best feeder of athletes, not just swimmers that can wade in water, but athletes.  So, how to partner with summer swim teams?  In my opinion you should have yourself, if you can, or a head age group coach to take a head coaching job position at a country club summer league team or a prominent summer league team in your area.  Then set up your staff, your head age group coach and all your staff, start to feed them into the prominent summer league teams in your area.  As you do that you’ll start to get a base there with all the different programs.  Then any head coaches of summer league teams from other clubs, hire them, put them on your staff even if it’s one or two days a week.

 

Another thing is develop strong relationships with the head coaches that you can’t hire if they have a regular day job or whatever, or they’re teachers and can’t do it.  What I do with them usually is I’ll do what I call an inexpensive stroke clinic with them.  I’ll come in, the head coach of the summer league team and myself will do an hour and a half clinic, we’ll charge $10 a kid.  Usually we’ll market it real well, so we’ll have 30 kids, we’ll it cut off at 30 kids.  I’ll run the clinic, we’ll do a quick little synopsis on all the strokes, allows me to create a little value to the kids and maybe their parents.  I work cohesively with the head coach who obviously they should hopefully have a good relationship with and I try to build some trust there.  And at the end of the clinic I take $50 small stipend for my time and I give the coach $250 and they are always very happy to solicit my program at that point.

 

Another thing you and your staff, once you put your staff into these summer league teams, you and your staff are building great relationships with hundreds and hundreds of kids and parents every summer.  My story, like I said when I wanted to get into coaching full-time, on 2011, at that point I said alright, I need to put a business plan together to make sure that I can get back into this full-time and make sure my programs are financially strong enough.  So I took a country club position, a head job at a prominent country club in the area.  Ironically about three weeks later the rival prominent country club right down the road, its head job opened up, I was able to get my head age group coach into there.  We just finished our third year, both of us coaching both of those programs and we have well over 300 kids that we constantly are working with for those six to eight weeks building relationships with the parents and kids and they have been a constant great feeder into our programs.

 

The other thing I did was a prominent coach at another club, I brought them under my staff so we’ve got that cohesive unit.  There was a fourth program where I got one of my strong assistant coaches put them in as the head assistant to another club and then I have two other non-country clubs that are really strong right by us geographically.  And I have relationships with them, this summer over 1,000 kids that I had direct contact between me and my staff building relationships to grow our programs.  So through this process you want to build your program within these summer league teams to be the club for swimming year-round.

 

And me as the head coach of the club, in reference to that I find I get to be kind of the figure head and reference to when people think about year-round swimming, they are thinking about me and my club.  What I found in summer league swimming is I’m sure Ira can attest to this most kids these days in family or I shouldn’t say kid’s families bypass swim lessons.  They want to go right in the competition, right?  Four years old yeah sure they can swim a lot right?  And I found that there was a humongous gap between lesson programs and the commitment to year-round swimming, so hence I started the noncompetitive swim program.  And as you can see I didn’t reinvent the wheel here, that is a green box it doesn’t really look green there.  Again just to what a lot of you do as developmental or noncompetitive program with the right stepping stones from lessons to team refine free and back teach them the breast and fly turns starts and finishes.

 

They learn training pace and training etiquette.  They build some endurance and they participate in inter squad meets.  The reason why I also named it noncompetitive was, I wanted it to have a team feel, without the commitment, which I will get in to a little later.  This right here is a sheet that’s a page out of our team handbook, I’m not really going to get into it, but it breaks down all the levels of progression through our programs and I thought it added nice value to the talk here something that you can reference back to if you so choose.

 

Alright, break down of the program.  We offer two sessions a year, we have a fall-winter which is September to March and then a spring which is April and May.  And the reason why we do a full fall-winter session is to get them used to short course season, to get them used to that longer commitment of being in the pool from September to March.  The reason why we don’t do summer where we just do a spring is I’m pulling all the purpose of this program really is to pull athletes from summer league teams that don’t want to commit to swimming yet.  So, because of that obviously we don’t offer a summer, we encourage the kids to go back and compete in their summer league teams.  Alright reminder, okay the – oh and another thing 95 plus percent of our noncompetitive program are summer league swimmers. Groups, we break the program into four groups, we have beginner, intermediate, advanced and pre-high school conditioning.

 

Beginner group is mainly eight and unders who have maybe done summer league, maybe they’re a sibling, they can swim a 25, a free and back, have no idea really usually breast or fly.  The intermediate group is more 12 and unders who know the four strokes, maybe the breast or fly aren’t quite legal, but they at least have an idea of the stroke and most of them are pretty raw.  Yet, we still have some kids in that group that could and should be on team possibly, but they just don’t want to make the commitment or they are a multisport athlete.  The beginner and intermediate groups are in essence eight months stroke clinic, okay?   25s, 50s max at a time, just giving them a specific drill or a specific aspect of a stroke to work on, so really a constant stroke clinic.  The advanced group is more of our 13s, 14s who should be on team, but again either multisport athletes who don’t want to commit.  Most of them have come through the program, the noncompetitive program had been in a couple of years and they are not as stroke clinic at that point, we are giving them about 40, 45 minutes of their 60 minutes of conditioning generally.

 

Then high school is a winter sport in Ohio and so we also offer a pre-high school conditioning group, I don’t know, don’t allot a lot of pool time to that group it’s generally just siblings that we open the lane up for that group.  The instruction in group size, the ratio we do, we got 2 coaches per group and we max each group of at 18 swimmers.  In reference to ─ so at 100% attendance we might have 9:1 ratio, when you are looking at lane rental equation which I didn’t put on the slide, if you are budgeting for this program, I allot 2 25 yard lengths for each of these groups.  So at 100% attendance I have a coach on each lane, nine kids in a lane, but what you’ll find in this program, I looked back and kind of did some figures for you guys, we average probably 60%  to 65% attendance, so in essence you are generally getting about six kids in a lane which is a fantastic ratio and the parents are fired up and you are offering a great product.

 

Staffing, how we staff the program?  Our program director, as the head coach I’m the program director, but I did not coach this program.  I like to have a definitive difference between team and the noncompetitive.  However I have two fantastic coaches, who’ve been with me going on their 4th  year now and I have them as co-head coaches of the program.  I give them a detailed seasoned plan as to what I want to see done.  I like to see cohesive you know drills through the program and everything.  So I give them a detailed seasoned plan, but I really give them ownership in the program.  I like them to feel like it’s their baby and so I allow them to write their own workouts and do all that.  And I’m really, rarely there when this program is going on, I pop in once in a while, but I either got meets going on or I’m at another facility training my group.  In reference to pay, we pay handsomely, you know we want to make sure that they are paid well and they are excited to be part of it.  I pay them $20 an hour, I’m sure there are other parts of the country where $20 maybe isn’t a lot, but in Columbus, that’s a good hourly rate and they work multiple hours.  My coaches average 6-8 hours a week, so for the teachers I have on staff that’s a nice little supplement for them and they really enjoy the process.

 

In reference to staffing per group, like I said before two groups on each part of the program.  The beginner group, there’s a beginner coach which is one of my co-head coaches and an in water assistant.  I have a coach mandatory in the water for every practice for the beginner group.  Reason being is again that huge gap being lessons and team, there’s a lot of kids in there that really need the molding and the muscle memory still in the water.  So we offer that with that beginner group.  The intermediate group, there’s also an in water assistant, but they are not in the water all the time, they’ll jump in when they are teaching a new difficult drill.  Maybe the breaststroke kick that kids just aren’t mentally getting or verbally figuring out.  So they’ll hop in the water for that, but there are two coaches on the intermediate groups and my other co-head is the other, is the intermediate coach.  Then the advanced group again one to two coaches on that group depending on numbers.  The assistant for the advanced group, I call him my floater coach meaning when I referenced earlier the 60% to 65% attendance, there’s going to be some groups where we might have 90% and another group where I got 30%, so I’ll pull one of the coaches off that and the group with 90% we’ll put a third coach on to keep the ratio down and the product strong.

 

Alright practice schedule, our program, this program maximizes the six lane, 25 yard pool every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.  During our fall, winter sessions/short course, we can only get Friday evenings, Saturday and Sunday for this program.  This last spring I started a Tuesday, Thursday option which was very popular or earlier in evening, because I could get in at that time and what we did is our spring, we generally pick a little more numbers.  And we are maxed during the fall-winter and to allow us to grow a little bit for the spring because I’m really maxed out on pool time, I offered this fourth practice, so we offered a third beginner and a fourth intermediate in the spring and it allowed me to add like from the 18 about, get the groups up to maybe 24 a group.  And they were still only allowed to pick 2 of 3 or 3 of the 4, so it deluded numbers and allowed for a little growth and still allowed for good ratio.  Of course there was a practice too and my coaches called me freaking out, because they had 12 kids in a lane, but I told them you know, it will work itself out and it always did.

 

Okay.  Another thing we do is we stagger the groups.  This is to maximize my staff so what I haven’t referenced yet is with the beginner group, we have three beginner groups; we have beginner one, a beginner two and a beginner three.  We do an evaluation, we did them last week evaluation where we bring all the beginner kids in and we break them up by ability.  We just do a quick little evaluation and break them up by ability to keep the practices cohesive and to keep a nice group of kids together of similar abilities.  My coaches that are on the beginner, the two coaches that are on the beginner, they’ll do 45 minutes beginner one, then 45 minutes beginner two and then 45 minutes beginner three.  Intermediate the same way, we are up to three intermediate groups and intermediate one, two and three; I do the same thing at the same time and the other side of the pool, intermediate one, intermediate two and intermediate three.  So for all these kids coming through the program that’s 18 for each of those groups, so 36, 36, 36 coming through I only have four coaches.  It allows them to have more time, you know as we know, you know when you hire a coach for an hour or an hour and a half a week, you know all of a sudden there is always something coming up.  So this allows them to have a little more skin in the game, to where I got a little more you know to where they are a little more dedicated I guess that’s a good way to put it.

 

So that’s kind of how we break it up.  We’ve also found this weekend schedule works really well for multi-sport athletes which another big drill that we like to do for the program.  Is getting them what I was starting to find is, is trying to pull.  There are so many club sports and other sports now, alright you know everyone is getting in the club game.  And you know, there’s so much cost involved getting a parent to put their kid in club soccer and club swimming, it’s not going to happen financially, so I found this program between our fees and the flexibility of it, we’re able to keep kids of good athleticism in swimming.  Either for summer league or to hopefully convert him to a competitive team, down the road.  Another parent involvement in communication.  We are constantly trying to earn parents business by constantly creating value in this program.  How do we do that?  A parental education series, I have a slide dedicated to that and a couple of slides so I’m going to hold off to talk about that right now.  I started progress reports, I have a 5”X7” card that my coaches fill out for each kid and hand out three times a year.  We do it after Thanksgiving in the fall-winter session and at the end fall winter session in late February and they do one at the end of the spring session.  It’s just like five bullet points on each stroke, the coaches can quickly circle you know their grade if you will.  Parents love it okay.

 

Another thing is parent surveys.  We do a survey as we know people like to get their opinion heard. When I first started this parent survey, I did it electronically and when I shoot it out electronically I get maybe 5, 10 families and it was both spectrums.  It was either you know a stay at home mom with some time on her hands, they just want to rave about the program which obviously I love.  And then the other spectrum was someone who just wanted to bitch right.  So it was either or, I wasn’t finding I was getting a good mix of a true, critique on our program.  So I went to a 5”X7” card like the report card. I or a board member will go at the end of each session and personally hand them out.  These groups are 45 minutes to 60 minutes and so most of the parents stick around.  So I started handing these out, I just started this last year and I’m getting like 50%  to 70% of these cards back and I’m really getting a good critique of the program to move forward and make improvements, so it’s become more productive in that way.

 

We also do two inter squad meets, we do one in January and one in May. They are more relay oriented and a lot of fun and you know we separated into an inter squad where they were scoring and we scored out a red, white and blue team.  The kids have a ball with it, but we invite our non-competitive program to come and participate and it keeps getting bigger and bigger on their participation every year.  It allows them to get up, have some fun, maybe make some new friends and also gauge how their practices have been going.  And it also allows me with my club team to showcase my better athletes to these parents and kids.  The other thing is fundraising, we actually involve the noncompetitive program into our annual fundraiser and how we do that is our team fundraiser, I hate to nickel and dime families through the years, we do one fundraiser a year.

 

We do an event called Night at the Races, it’s off track betting, it’s a lot of fun if you want more information I’d be happy to tell you over a hurricane later.  But the raffles are in coalition with that and we had a great raffle this past year we had a threesome to Jack Nicklaus’ golf course Muirfield Village, its $250 plus caddie fees per person.  That was one of the grand prizes, so a threesome I had to play that.  A MacBook Pro, a laptop was one of them.  So these tickets were $10 each so it really makes it easy for the parents to sell them.  We require 15 tickets per family on our competitive team and we pass a 5 ticket requirement to our noncompetitive.  Now there are some families that will get back to me that look at this more as a lesson program and be like why do I have to fundraise for noncompetitive or a lesson program?

 

And I just tell them that it’s offsetting the fees.  We are trying to pull them in against other sports, rec sports whatever that are much cheaper than competitive swimming.  And it allows me to offset those fees and allow them to earn a little bit of those fees if they will by making that requirement.  So, it works well but for my purpose of doing that mainly is obviously the additional income is great.  But the main purpose is to get them used to when we do convert them down the road to club team, just gets them some used to the process and knowing it because as you know your new parents on every team they always blindly look past the fundraiser until they are forced to do something and that’s never a good scene.

 

So that and another thing is the team website.  We invest in a Team Unify website. I’m not going to pimp Team Unify they do a fine job themselves.  But a year and a half ago we invested in it and I have found that that really adds a lot of value to our club and reference to the ease of the website.  And we register all of our non-competitive program on our Team Unify website.  And it’s really easy as you know for you for those of you that use it with the email center to constantly tap them.  They see all the communication going on with the program through the email center so they see value.  And it really helps in reference to them being used to seeing the emails from me and again working on earning their business down the road.  Another thing I found with this program is it allows you to prospect athletes.  Now let me explain.  Again this program I found is a draw to multisport kids that would never commit to year around swimming okay?  So the athletes that do come through the door obviously it doesn’t take us you know experienced coaches long to see that’s an athlete that kid can get really fast down the road.  So of course it allows me to cultivate the relationship you know obviously that kid is going to maybe get an extra fist bump from me every time I see them.  Obviously I’ll learn their parent’s names pretty quick alright.

 

Allowing you to cultivate and kind of siphon the talent through that program and the kids that you know you need to get on team who need to be swimming competitively.  Another thing too is it allows you to prequalify families.  If you’ve got someone who is constantly complaining in this program we know it’s not going to get any better on team alright.  You are also going to be able to find families who might have uh financial worries and, and you know you are going to struggle with payments from them.  As well as just any factor in reference to families you learn the family component through this program as you get them on your team.

 

Another thing is as I explain the graph here, if you look in the middle convert to competitive swimming team that’s the sole purpose here long term with this program.  I already got into the bottom right which is that’s where it all starts in my opinion and where I have gotten success for this is the partnership with summer league swim clubs.  And then the other two just kind of come with that as partnerships of building relationship and trust through the summer leagues and through this noncompetitive program with the parents and the swimmers.  And again, sorry I lost my spot here.  Oh and then another thing we do an in reference to market these kids is we give them a team shirt, it’s not the same team shirt you know we like to keep separation, but it’s a really nice shirt that they can wear with other sporting events to school whatever for marketing.  And we give them a latex team cap and we find that they you know wear those the next summer to their summer league practices and team and its good marketing.

 

We also register them all with USA Swimming.  Now, when I originally started the program I didn’t really want to pass that on that additional fee to these families.  However, the facility that I rent required us to have a secondary insurance policy on all the kids and so we found registering USA Swimming was the easiest way to get that accomplished.  But what I found over the years of having them registered, it’s also adding value.  They are getting the Splash Magazine, they are getting that card in the mail.  And it’s just adding a little more value and it makes it easier to convert them, because sometimes say the kid has been swimming since September its January and they’re chomping at the bit to compete, I can immediately put them in a meet.

 

Okay back to the parent education which I hit on slightly earlier.  Why parent education?  We set expectations, inform parents ahead of time about common parental concerns.  Give parents a forum to ask questions and provide parents an opportunity to meet other parents.  We do these in 30 minute sessions during practices.  Now, a little history behind this, I like many of you I’m sure would put this great detailed parent meeting speech together at the beginning short course season.  And I’d talk to them for 45 minutes I’d vomit all over them on anything they ever needed to know through the entire six months season and watch it just fly over their head in glazed eyes.  I got tired of wasting my time and their time.  So what I decided to do was this parent education series where we do a talk during practices, convenient to the parents and it hits on pertinent topics throughout the season.  So for the team like Beginning Swimming 101 for New Families, another one is How to Use Our Website and How to Swim Sign Up For Meets.

 

Another one is Fundraisers, making sure one’s aware of their fundraising commitment, how it works and how easy it is.  Obviously when you start talking about qualifying times to new families at the beginning of the season, they have no idea what you are talking about.  But after they do a meet or two, say in December, having a meeting in reference to Qualifying Times holds a lot of value.  And then come January, Championship Meet Expectations and How Are Relays a Sign for State Meets, things like that.  We had great success with that program and a year ago I realized whoa this is a great opportunity to add value and convert these non-competitive families to team.  So what we did was, is we had the topics there at the bottom, Moving from Noncompetitive Swim Team, What To Expect At a Club Swim Meet.  Again most of these families are summer league swimmers it’s a completely different scenario.  Goal Setting Expectations, What Is Long Course obviously that’s always what, what.  So well allows us to talk to them about that as well.  And we’ve had great success with these.  Yes?

 

[audience member]:  Who runs the meetings?

 

[Hadden]:  Great question, we have 1 of 2 board members who are very seasoned in the sport or myself.  Like with the non-competitive I try to do it, but with the team generally I’m usually on deck so one of our board members does it okay?  I am going to have a question and answer session right at the end here.  So again through this program it allows us to show value, educate the families and convert them to team.

 

Results, this is the revenue and the numbers we’ve had through, we started the program in 2011.  2011 is when I took over that country club position and myself and my head interim coach who had the other country club, we solicited to them and we were able to get 26 kids.  That first session I personally coached the group and I had an assistant with me.  Then in the fall is when I brought on my two head coaches that are still with me today, we had two beginner groups and two intermediate groups.  We’ve grown it to this fall where we’ve got three beginner groups three intermediate groups an advance group and a pre-high school group.  In referencing back to earlier that’s 18 kids per group alright.  All of them coming into this week are full except for the advanced and pre-high school.  Now in reference to and then looking at revenue if you look at the spring from ‘11 to ‘12 to ‘13 we’ve doubled our revenue every spring.  And if you look at fall 2011-2012 to fall 2013-2014 which is estimated, which we are way over paced from last year so we are going to fill the program up.  What you’ll find with this program too is you will get a lot, if you’ve got space, you’ll get a lot of post fall sport kids that want to sign up alright.

 

So they may not want to make the commitment, because they know they are going to have crazy schedules with starting school and whatever.  So, if you are a little lower on numbers you can sleep easy knowing you are going to fill those groups up.  Then we still convert them, I mean we still prorate their fee if you will at November 1.  But you will fill it up, so we’re well past pace to fill up and we are looking at $60,000 in revenue from this program alone.  Another really interesting fact of the value that this program has done for my program is looking at my roster right now 39% of the kids on my competitive team came through the noncompetitive program.  Alright, questions and answers, anybody, anything? Yes.

 

[audience member]:  You’ve got one dedicated site you use for your noncompetitive and you have different groups that are noncompetitive?

 

[Hadden]:  Yes, for the particular program I’m presenting to you today it’s at one site okay.  Two years ago when I wanted to grow this program I pulled my competitive team out of this site on the weekends.  I found an alternate two alternate facilities to bring my competitive programs into to allow a lot of time to grow this program.  We did actually take over a YMCA a year ago and we are offering a little noncompetitive product there but that’s not part of this talk so, yes?

 

[audience member]:  What is the frequency of your parent series meeting and how often do you do them?

 

[Hadden]:  Generally right at the beginning of the short course season what we find, I’ve coached in other LSC’s where your numbers grow long course. Unfortunately in Ohio they decrease.  It’s a real big high school emphasis.  And so we don’t do it long course, but if I was in another LSC where I got a lot of new families I would do it beginning of both seasons probably.  For the noncompetitive we’ll do about two or three, because what we find too is, is if we just start offer one you know it’s not going to hit everybody’s schedule.  So with the noncompetitive we offer a lot of small little series we offer more to this noncompetitive program, just because again we are trying to convert them to team.

 

[audience member]:  Once, once a week, first of the month?

 

[Hadden]:  No we’ll do one like every three weeks.  I’ll set a schedule of the series and we post it on our website and email it out.  Yes.

 

[audience member]:  Do you take kids in the noncompetitive program all year long or is there a certain cut-off date?

 

[Hadden]:  Great question.  We historically have.  We’ve had kids after Christmas calling us and we’ve got a little space available.  You know because they’ll be on my personal club team and I know they are good kids and a good family and I want to get them in.  I expect this is the first season with that estimate that I had we are going to fill up most likely once we get the flood of post fall sport kids.  I expect us to have no room by mid-November in this program.  So that will force us not to.  If I had more pool space, yes bring it.

 

[audience member]:  Can your kids move down from your competitive team to the noncompetitive team?

 

[Hadden]:  Yes, yes we have.

 

[audience member]:  How do you feel about that?  How, how do you deal with that?

 

[Hadden]:  Well generally the kid, well generally the kid you know, in the experience I’ve had the kids that will do that really weren’t committed anyway they really didn’t see you know college swimming and their future or anything like that.  But I have had some kids unfortunately that all of a sudden really started to show success in their second sport like unfortunately I had a girl this year at gymnastics she just all of a sudden had a great season and gymnastics its crazy time I never had looked into it.  And so she had to jump back and she’s doing our noncompetitive because she wants to stay in the water, but she really wants to give gymnastics a try.  But you know it just varies but generally when we have it’s not a lot, but when we have it’s because they weren’t really all that committed anyway and they didn’t want to compete anymore.

 

[audience member]:  So you said that you had like three groups, beginners and they came all at the same time and then you divided them up into groups?

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah we do evaluations yeah go ahead?

 

[audience member]:  I was wondering, do these three groups do you have like one at 1:00, one at 2:00, one at 3:00?

 

[Hadden]:  As far as evaluations?

 

[audience member]:  No, no once you have divided them into groups?

 

[Hadden]:  Yes exactly.  I wanted to put the practice schedule on here, but it ended up not making it on.   Every 45 minutes, so it starts at 2:00 to 2:45 is beginner one.  2:45 to 3:30 is beginner two, 3:30 to 4:15 is beginner three.  And it’s the same two coaches doing all three groups.

 

[audience member]:  My question was actually don’t you have parents there that say oh I can’t get my kid there in time I don’t know they have other things to do like this?

 

[Hadden]:  Yes, great question.  I obviously have been going through that with emails since we had our evaluations last week.  I always tell the families in a perfect world, we are breaking them up by ability to get the most productive coaching experience on a day in and day out basis with the kids.  However, we are aware that there are sibling issues we know that there’s carpool issues we are going to work with you.  So if I have someone say you know unless they are blatant, there is not what you are going to find too is they are not a huge discrepancy of ability levels.  Now our beginner one to beginner three is kind of a big jump, but still I’m flexible with that yeah.  Right there in the back.

 

[audience member]:  When you are running your non-competitive program is this a year-round deal or is it a four to five week session and then they sign up for another four to five week session?

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah no we just do two sessions a year.  We do a fall winter session that mirror short course so they are signing up for September to March.  And then we do just a two month session spring April and May, because we want all these kids going back and swimming summer league and doing well and coming back with more friends.  Way in the back.

 

[audience member]:  What does it cost, like do you have different prices for each sessions that give the whole session across on how much you participate?

 

[Hadden]:  Yes our beginner groups are $375 and that is for the entire short course season.  And then the developmental and advanced are just three one hour so they are the same cost.  They are right around I want to say $495.  I should have had that on there I apologize.  You can get it on my website and pull the registration packet.  They do pay up front and as you guys know the Team Unify you have to pay, we, we require everyone to pay up front we don’t do monthly payments.  But we do offer payment plans.  Yes?

 

[audience member]:  If a kid signs up and they can only swim for two or three months out of those six months do you prorate them?

 

[Hadden]:  No, now what we do is like I said fall we’ll have an influx of kids after fall sports we’ll prorate them at that point.  We have it detailed in our handbook, we don’t put it in our registration packet.  When we prorate what the percentage is, in that program, we start at 20% November 1, but we don’t prorate in September October.  If someone quits we don’t do refunds unless there’s a significant injury or they move out of town.  The purpose is to try to get them to commit to that so when they are to get them on that team mode down the road.  Yes?

 

[audience member]:  How would it cost per hour compared to competitive team?

 

[Hadden]:  It’s a great question, it’s a great question and we do break that down.  Generally we equate what we are paying our coaches in reference to the pool rent and we have that all compiled into per splash.  Going off the top of my head I want to say it’s like maybe well sometimes it comes actually I apologize it’s more than a lot of our competition teams.  Because obviously you have senior group is in the water you know 16 hours a week you can’t really charge the same hourly rate.  But generally it’s I want to say it’s around $7.00 to $9.00 depending on the group of splash right in there yeah.  Yes?

 

[audience member]:  Tell us also about what you put in your progress reports?

 

[Hadden]:  Oh yeah really it’s just like a minor breakdown of each stroke.  So you know has proper head position, you know reaches to a straight arm finishes to a straight arm, performs the body roll drills correctly, you know just basic little hip but just basic points that they can see progress in and then we also do how they are doing on turns and starts and then we also do effort.  You know, are they a good listener?  Are they trying hard things like that?  But ─

 

[audience member]:  Do you do that with the competitive swim team?

 

[Hadden]:  No we don’t.  With the competitive team the meets are their progress report.  Yes?

 

[audience member]:  How many people do you have on your noncompetitive team, I didn’t catch that.

 

[Hadden]:  220 is what we are going to have right now.

 

[audience member]:  Are you trying to build?

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah, you got a pool for me?  We are maxed out, I am struggling.  There is such a lack of pools in Columbus, Ohio and especially come high school season you know.  And Columbus is just inundated with club teams and it’s a difficult task.  I would love to grow and this program would allow me to really grow.  Yes.  I’m sorry, go ahead.  I think she had one did you have anything else ma’am?

 

[audience member]:  Well I had a second question.

 

[Hadden]:  Okay I’ll come back to you.

 

[audience member]:  I’m not familiar with your program, you’re from the Columbus area?

 

[Hadden]:  Yes.

 

[audience member]:  Okay so do you have like a pretty good population base to draw from I assume.

 

[Hadden]:  That’s correct.

 

[audience member]:  Alright besides your pre-team, what other marketing things do you bring in people in your program besides those farming for summer league teams that are in your noncompetitive program?

 

[Hadden]:  This is it.  Yeah I mean that was this was kind of the whole, yeah a big value of the talk is if you do this you will have a constant feeder coming in of not just splashers from a lesson program, but athletes.  So no this is how I devised our marketing plan for the program to grow it, to be financially stable.  We’ve done fliers in school districts and things like that like last year we were a little concerned we thought our numbers were a little off in our second full year with this noncompetitive third full year of this noncompetitive program.  So we did fliers in the school district of the facility I rent.  We had a little influx from that.  But generally I’m telling you if you’ve got your coaches building relationships with over 1,000 kids every summer you are going to get knocks on the door.  Yes ma’am, oh let me go back can you get a second, go ahead?

 

[audience member]:  What do you charge for your intermediate swimmer per month or do you do that?

 

[Hadden]:  We don’t do it per month.  We have a; per session fee and I want to say it’s $495.00 for the short course season.

 

[audience member]:  Per session okay.  For your USA senior what do you charge?

 

[Hadden]:  My senior group or my high school team?  I mean on my club team?  They’re between the long course and short course, they are right at I think about $2,000 a year.

 

[audience member]:  Do you know what that right now is from September to March?

 

[Hadden]:  September to March is probably closer to about $1,300 or 13 and 7 probably it’s about the breakdown.  Go ahead.

 

[audience member]:  May I see your lesson program as well?

 

[Hadden]:  No.

 

[audience member]:  [Indiscernible]

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah, I know that’s why I needed this.  Yeah that’s why I needed this there is an established awesome program at the facility that I rent for this and they have actually done a great job of you know and feeding people.  And they used to actually have what they called a noncompetitive group and they dropped it to allow us to rent more.  Yeah.

 

[audience member]:  They gave up?

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah.  And they did it also to make sure that we were renting more space and being successful in their facility.  Yes ma’am?

 

[audience member]:  [Indiscernible]

 

[Hadden]:  Yes, yes, yes correct.  These coaches I might bring to a championship meet for a little extra ratio.  But generally what I found is no.  They are obviously because all the kids are registered there you know we’ve got all full certified with USA swimming.  However we offer this program every week unless the holidays fall into a weekend.  Every weekend from September they start next weekend not this weekend coming up, but next weekend and they will go all the way till the first weekend of March and it’s nonstop.

 

[audience member]:  [Indiscernible]

 

[Hadden]:  No, we rent, I pulled my team out the facility for this program.  I rent two other facilities that I go to with my competitive team to allow the noncompetitive to be home of this facility on the weekends.

 

[audience member]:  [Indiscernible]

 

[Hadden]:  We bleed in.  Yeah I bring my senior group and our top 13 – 14 group in earlier and then they go from 6:00 – 8:00 at night.  Yes.

 

[audience member]:  With the revenue that you are generating along with whatever fundraising do you see yourself being able to build pools?

 

[Hadden]:  I would love to we are actually – we’re in the process now of realizing how stunted we are with our pools you know.  This year we knew it was coming, but you always just kind of you know wish it away you know, but we are the realization where next year we are going to be in trouble if we can’t find more pool space, because I’m of the belief if you are not growing you are dying and I never want to turn away a solid year-round swimmer that wants to be part of our program.  Anybody else, yes?

 

[audience member]:  Question about parent meetings?

 

[Hadden]:  About what?

 

[audience member]:  You have parent meetings?

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah.

 

[audience member]:  [Indiscernible]

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah, yes.  The facility I rent for this program and for our weekdays with our club team is a nice facility – they have a couple of classrooms.  They actually are, you know the guy that built the place is an avid scuba diver so there’s a big scuba pool and then they put six lane pool in it.  So there are classrooms and so we take them into the classrooms.  We don’t do it on deck.  We take it into the classrooms.  The topics are very specific you know they in reference to the noncompetitive like I had stated on that one we’ll do you know Swimming 101 in reference to What Is Club Swimming?  Because I’m always amazed at the cluelessness of new families to this sport.  You know we have been doing it a while we just assume they know, right?  And it shocks me how little they do know you know.  I’ll have parents you know come up to me you know, because in summer league you have prelims one day and finals a day later.  And they will come up to me at the first prelims final and be like you know they didn’t sign up for you know Friday thinking because they weren’t going to make finals and be you know it’s – or they don’t sign up Saturday because they didn’t think they’d make finals you know it’s just – so we walk them through that.  We’ll do a detailed one on Fundraising, you know how it’s done and how easy it is in reference to the noncompetitive, other ones we do are talking to them in reference to the goals that we do and the different aspects of the sport that we do with the kids and we try to show the different offerings that we do as a program to the kids that separate us from other programs in the area and just again trying to create value.  Anyone else, yes?

 

[audience member]:  [Indiscernible]

 

[Hadden]:  No.  Yeah I know – I wish.  We’re getting close, I mean if we – you know if we can’t find more pool space next year yeah.  I mean we might be you know either you sign up for the full year.  Right now the last couple of years we have in our registration we offer a full year or a short course only option.  You know giving them a little break you know and cost and we try to kick up the long course feel a little more to encourage them and to do that.  But yeah in a perfect world that would be great you know, but we know we have larger influx of short course kids and we lose some kids in the long course.  Yeah Dave.

 

[audience member]:  You were talking about incorporating the short course fees into long course fees, so it’s like they get something for free?

 

[Hadden]:  No, but let’s talk later over a beer on that – I like that idea.  No I like that, I like that.

 

[audience member]:  How can we do this [Inaudible] [0:46:27] getting something for free and I have to call people now so the longer… [Inaudible]?

 

[Hadden]:  That’s a great idea.  I will be following up with you on that.  Anyone else?  Yes.  Or wait.  You are last.

 

[audience member]:  Do you incorporate dryland into your practices and the reason I asked is because of a lot of different clubs nowadays get more at their pool space.  They choose more like when… [Inaudible]?

 

[Hadden]:  That’s a great question and in reference to this noncompetitive, because it’s a lot of multi sports kids I figure that they are paying to be swimming you know so I try not to do that but for our club team we have had to do that – I’ve just – I’m so limited on pool space on the week nights that there are a couple of nights where I have to put three groups in and we have gotten creative with more of a dryland I do a circuit with my senior group or I’m just taking two lanes and they are running through a circuit of dryland and the two lanes, but not with this program no.  And I hope to not have to you know.   Anyone else, yes?

 

[audience member]:  What’s your involvement with going to the various clubs?  How do you get away from your – I mean I assume you practice with them and the morning club team, how are you able schedule and such a short season?

 

[Hadden]:  You mean as far as coach the summer league team?

 

[audience member]:  Well interactions with running clinics and things like that.

 

[Hadden]:  Well the clinics I’m talking – I do two or three of those.  You know I do one with each of the clubs you now I don’t do them with all –

 

[audience member]:  Space.

 

[Hadden]:  Yeah, yeah and those will be in the evenings on a night where Wednesday nights when I don’t have afternoon practice with my senior group.  I’ve worked it out to where I can go 9:30 to 12:00 with my country club team and I can get my club practices done by then.  Another thing too which worked out really nice this is – it’s a 20 – really nice eight lane, 25 meter pool in my country club now I got my senior group training in there before we start which has been nice and additional pool space but unfortunately that’s only in the summer time, so yeah I now that’s how.  And don’t get me wrong by mid-July I want to shoot myself you know and then I start championship meets with club swimming you know I was a dead man by the end of July this summer, but I do it to you know to make sure that I’ve got numbers in my program you know and I can feed my kids.  Anyone else?

 

[audience member]:  How expensive are your rental fees?

 

[Hadden]:  Oh God.  I get bent over man.  It’s ridiculous.  I pay $19.00 an hour per lane.  Yeah, yeah, so the cash flow on this program isn’t what it could be if you are sitting on a pool that you get for free, if you were just sitting on a pool you get for free, start this program and you’ll be moving on up like the Jefferson’s, but unfortunately for me it – yeah.  I pay $17.00 an hour on the weekends for this program, so any other questions?  No.  Well hey I really appreciate you being here, thank you very much for your time.

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