The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

ASCA SwimAmerica Conference Highlights

As I fly back from the American Swimming Coaches Association SwimAmerica Business Conference in Fort Lauderdale, I thought I would share a few highlights of the weekend:

I was honored to be the opening speaker at the conference, and gave three talks over the course of the weekend. My colleagues Lori Klatt from SwimAmerica Swim School in Fresno, California, and Mick and Sue Nelson, both of who work for United States Swimming in Colorado Springs, CO also gave fabulous presentations.

Sue Nelson, Aquatic Programs Specialist for USA Swimming,  gave a tremendous talk on the Aquatic Pillars, teaching us all a variety of ways we can diversify and generate income from a variety of avenues that we may otherwise not know about, and even if we did, most of us wouldn’t have known how it implement those ideas.  Exceptional information!

Mick Nelson, who is a “Build a Pool” expert and Club Facilities Director for USA Swimming, as well as a long time Swim School owner and ASCA swimming coach—shared invaluable information on building a pool and swim school facility.  In just 90 minutes, I learned more about building a facility than I had even known myself after my own experience of actually building a facility!   What a tremendous resource he can be to anyone looking to build.  His presentation was state-of-the-art and I can’t wait to attend his entire “Build a Pool” Conference Workshop in the near future.

Lori Klatt, a long time customer of mine, dear friend, and extremely knowledgeable swim school owner gave two phenomenal talks.  Lori is an incredible entrepreneur and quite the genius not only in marketing the national SwimAmerica program, but she also has trademarked and developed both TumbleAmerica and DanceAmerica!

I only hope my talks were as informative as my colleagues, as I felt I was able to leave today with so many new ideas and invaluable information.  I shared my ever-evolving philosophy on developing customer loyalty (much of that inspired by Jeffrey Gitomer.  In my second talk I spoke primarily on how to develop Swim Teachers who “Teach Like Pros,” specifically on Demonstrations, Feedback, Choral Responding, Checks for Understanding, and Teaching Cues.  In my last talk, I shared with my fellow swim school owners and teachers what works for me from a business standpoint in a talk called “It’s Time for Your Business to Grow.”  To name a few topics: how I motivate and reward my staff, how we have been successful in our lease arrangements with 6 different hotels, our secrets to getting on the news, and a few others.  My nicest complement came from Lori Klatt, when she asked if she could use my power point with her staff.  Now I have another idea for a new DVD!

MOST IMPORTANTLY–I can’t say enough nice things about the conference attendees.  Without them, there is no conference.  We had a very diverse group of swim teachers and swim school owners, some seasoned, some just starting out, most from the U.S., but a couple other countries were represented.  One was my long time customer Paula Swaby from the Caymen Islands and my new friend Geoffrey Eneas of Dolphin Swimming Club in the Bahamas. I also want to thank my some of my other new friends and customers:  Shannon Hamm of Texas, Kelly Cleary of Virginia, Claudia Obregon, Chris Anderson, and Susan Schwerzel of Florida, and Matthew Spring of New Jersey.

Coach Geoffrey of the Bahamas really made my day when he told me one of my former students, Nicholas Rees, had made the Olympics representing the Bahamas in 2 different Olympic Games.   When Nicholas was age 9 and 10, I trained him during the summer months and gave him countless private lessons while I was running my learn to swim program in California University of PA.  I also remember taking Nicholas to Penn State to a long course meet as well as to University of Tennessee’s Swimming Coach John Trembley’s camp, United Swimming Clinics.   While I realize as well as anyone that Nicholas’s Olympic accomplishment had little to do with me–I am still honored to know that I played a small role in developing his stroke technique and foundation when he was a young boy.  How neat is that?

Speaking of Olympians, here’s a great story.  Brendan Hanson, two-time gold medalist and American Record Holder in the 200 breaststroke is opening up a swim school in Philadelphia, PA and was an attendee at our conference.  As I made my way around the room, meeting and greeting the attendees, I handed Brendan my “Breaststroke 301” DVD and told him, “I heard you are going to need some help teaching this stroke!”   I had the chance to speak with Brendan after the conference and he is quite a fine young man.  Very humble, very personable, very motivated.  Take a look at Brandon’s website, he is doing all the right things.  Keep up the great work Brendan!

Lastly, I would like to publicly thanks Julie Nitti and John Leonard for inviting me to speak and be part of another terrific ASCA SwimAmerica conference!

I would like to end today’s blog with a request from my friend Paula Swaby, and that was share the poem I read to start off my second presentation.  Here it is Paula!

This is the beginning of a new day.

God has given me this day to use as I will.

I can waste it or I can use if for good.

What I can do today is very important because

I’m exchanging a day of my life for it.

When tomorrow comes this day will be gone, forever,

Leaving something in its place I have traded for it.

I want it to be gain, not loss, good, not evil,

Success, not failure, in order that I shall not

forget the price I paid for it.

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February 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm Comments (7)

Online Swim Teacher Training available through Swim Lessons University & WABC!

In addition to membership discounts for your new WABC (World Aquatic Babies & Children Network) membership or membership renewal,  your staff will soon be able to use the Swim Lessons University ONLINE TESTS based on the SLU DVD’s.    For just $10 per teacher, your teachers will be able to take a 25 question test and get a Certificate of Completion endorsed by SLU and WABC.

While your teacher must score 100% pct.  to receive the certificate (multiple choice),  they will not have to retake the entire test.  Instead, the questions they missed will pop up for them to answer again.  Once all the questions are answered correctly, the certificate will appear with their name on the certificate and the authorized signatures of Jim Reiser and Steve Graves.

The “Teach Like a Pro” Certification Test will be available in the next couple weeks with others coming soon, including: Parent and Me, Swim 101,  Swim Strokes 201, Breaststroke 301, and Butterfly 301 all to follow this year.

Feel free to email me with any questions at

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February 11, 2010 at 1:00 am Comments (0)

WHY NOT 1X Swim Lesson per Week?

Listen, 1x per week of swimming lessons is clearly 100% better than ZEROx per week, and 1x per week is a great way to maintain swimming skills over the winter and certainly make some improvement.

However, IF you increase the frequency of swim lessons/practice from 1x per week to 2x per week you will CLEARLY see a significant difference in the speed/rate of improvement.  STUDY AFTER STUDY clearly suggest when you increase frequency, you increase the learning rate.

As a parent of two young children (and one on the way:)–I UNDERSTAND HOW NICELY ONCE PER WEEK fits  in our busy schedules and I am okay with that in the fall and winter.  But when spring time comes, it’s time to increase the frequency. LEARNING TO SWIM is so important for the safety of our children.

Soccer, Karate, Basketball, Gymnastics, Dance, etc. are all skills that are TERRIFIC for young children to be exposed to and learn.  But if your child is going to master a musical instrument, excel at a sport, or if you are just trying to stay fit– do you really think once per week is enough?  How much weight will you lose if you diet and exercise once per week?

Summer is coming and coming fast!  In fact, if your child starts swimming lessons on March 15th and goes 2x per week until June 1st–you will get 22 lessons in before summer.  On average, it takes a 20-30 lessons for a 3 – 5 year old to learn to swim across the pool without a flotation device or assistance from a teacher.

So WHY NOT 1X PER WEEK?  I suppose you know now:)  If you live in the midlands of South Carolina–enroll your child in a swimming class today at The Swim Lessons Company.

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February 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm Comments (0)