USA Swimming News

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Coach Owned & Parent Volunteers

The coach-owner runs the swim club as a business. However, in all likelihood, the coach will still need volunteers to perform a number of functions to help the team run smoothly. A coach who tries to do it all will soon find that he or she cannot accomplish every task and something will suffer or fall through the cracks. If the coach is fortunate enough to have several assistant coaches, perhaps the staff and head coach together can accomplish all that needs to be done. However, think for a moment about all of the functions that accompany running a swim team. When the team is small, in the beginning, it may be possible to do it all, but as the team grows, more help may be needed. This is where parent volunteers can be a big help.

Some of the jobs that parents can do include:

  1. Running swim meets. This includes all aspects of the meet from inputting entries, to signing up volunteers, to setting up and cleaning up on the day of the meet, to running concession and hospitality stands, to officiating and cleaning up the administrative details at the conclusion of the meet.
  2. Social events. All teams benefit from social interaction among swimmers and among parents. Parent volunteers can be in charge of events such as team picnics, end of the season banquets and holiday parties.
  3. Fundraising. If fundraising is necessary for the team, parents can be in charge of fundraising efforts.
  4. Communication. Parents can handle communication such as phone trees, publishing and distributing newsletters (with information provided by the coach), maintaining the web site and updating bulletin boards (with information provided by the coach.)
  5. Equipment. Parents can be charged with ordering and disbursing equipment such as team attire and team suits.
  6. Team Travel. Parents can not only help to plan team travel (hotel rooms, rental cars, buses, airline travel) but they are also invaluable as chaperones and meal planners.
  7. Publicity. Parents can handle publicity for the team. Look particularly for a parent with good connections in the community.

Depending on each situation, there may be other jobs that parents can perform. this does not mean the coach-owner has no responsibility. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. The coach-owner needs to oversee all of the above operations and delegate responsibility.

For information on recognizing and rewarding volunteers check out the following section in the Resource Browser: Tools & Resources/Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers

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