The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Reiser Selected to Speak at Washington Recreation & Park Conference in May

As the Washington Recreation & Park Association celebrates 70 years, Jim Reiser has been selected to be their lead presenter in the aquatics track of the WRPA Annual Conference in Spokane, Washington.  Jim will give two talks on Wednesday, May 3, 2017:

  • 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM   You Can Teach Like a Pro!  Proven Techniques to Maximize Your Effectiveness
  • 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM       Preschoolers Can Swim!  How to Teach Young Children More Effectively

Reiser, who was recently honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the prestigious Virginia Hunt Newman Award, had this to say about the honor:

“Any time that I have the opportunity to share, especially in a setting like this, it’s such an amazing feeling.  To know that I not only have the ability to help those in the conference room, but to realize that there is an amazing trickle-down effect.  That’s what really makes me passionate about speaking. When I prepare my talks, I am not just preparing for the audience.  I am preparing to potentially help hundreds and hundreds of children receive better swimming instruction, and most importantly, become safer in and around the water.  It gives me goosebumps every time,” said Reiser. 

This will be Jim Reiser’s second speaking engagement in 2017.  “The Swim Professor” will be presenting for the North Carolina State Aquatics Conference in March (details coming soon) and he has several other potential speaking appearances in the works.   For a complete list of Mr. Reiser’s upcoming and recent speaking engagements,  check out the Conference Schedule link on the Swim Lessons University website.   There is also a link provided with more information on the WRPA Annual Conference if you would like to consider attending.

Would you like Jim Reiser to speak at your next event?  Email or call 1-866-498-SWIM (7946) for availability!


The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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January 18, 2017 at 4:17 am Comments (0)

Swim Lessons University Cyber Week Savings

Whether you’re an aquatic director, swim school owner, or swimming instructor–IF you’re looking for Cyber Week savings–you found it!   Most everything on the Swim Lessons University website is 20% OFF all week!

Everything from Swim Instructor Training Materials:
To Swim Instructor Tools:
To Swim Gear:
To Water Safety Resources:


These items and much, much, more! PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!

To your success!

Jim Reiser, Executive Director
1-866-498-SWIM (7946)

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November 29, 2016 at 2:08 am Comments (0)

At What Age Should Your Kids Do Sports?

Doing sports is quite important. There are many benefits to each and every physical activity. Exercises like yoga will help you stretch better and be more flexible overall. You will teach yourself proper breathing techniques which can help you in other physical activities.

Then you have anaerobic exercises, such as sprinting and aerobic ones, such as jogging. All exercise is designed to teach us something about ourselves and our bodies. The more we invest ourselves in sports, the better the quality of our lives becomes. This begs the question – when should you sign up your kids for doing sports?

What's a Good Age to Start Doing Sports

Building habits is quite challenging. We sometimes develop them on our own – especially if they are being lazy. Going to do sports, though, takes a bit of commitment, which is best taught at a young age.

And so, if you want your children to attend swimming or karate lessons, it's probably a good idea to take them there even when they are as young as three. Instructors are very much accustomed to working with youngsters and they actually enjoy it.

Plus, young kids are impressionable and they will develop the proper attitude to the sport they have chosen. Of course, now you have to ask yourself – do you want your kids to pursue a career in sport or would you rather have them sport for the sake of the activity.

Most parents have to choose between academia and sport for their offspring. There are no easy answers, but there is a practice that could help you make up your mind and decide. For starters, some parents have decided to only give kids pointers but never interfere in personal decisions.

What this means is that a kid can have his piano lessons and extra classes to do along with swimming or soccer training, but parents just take their kids to certain places and let them enjoy themselves rather than try to bind them in shackles to a single activity.

This is a recommended way to teach your kids and help them find what they truly love to do. Once they have discovered their passion, everything else will follow.

A Career Outside Academia

Now, some kids go on to become scientists, others are soccer players. For some, vocational jobs such as being a locksmith seem quite cool – and It actually is. Of course, not many people are immediately thrilled when their kids tell them they want to be locksmiths, but being very good at such an odd job has its upside.

If you are not sure this is the right path for your young adult you can call ASAP-locksmiths and learn more about the services locksmiths provide. Maybe when you get to experience how a great and successful locksmith company operates your mind will be at ease.

The truth is that no matter how much you insist your children do something, they can only be shown and given a reason to do something. The rest should be their decision only. You cannot force your kid into something and there is no reason to, to be honest.

Thinking About The Future of Your Child

The important thing is never to pressure the young ones into anything. Whether they love the sport or not, is entirely up to a child. Maybe your kids aren't hot on swimming, but they could be quite keen on basketball. They don't like that? There is also tennis to try, but also soccer, and even chess. Don't dismiss those “less” physical activities as well and get your kids a chance to try as many things as they like.

Of course, this will come with a bit of a drain on your finances, but then again, you shouldn't really try to sign up for every lesson out there. Instead, do things methodically. The reason why you should approach the matter this way is not only because of the financial side. No, you don't want your kid to be overwhelmed.

There is a simple truth that a kid should be left to their own devices – at least for a bit, so they can enjoy themselves as they see fit. There is no need to be a helicopter parent. Put this way: would you rather them be happy and find meaning or excel at all costs but forever be miserable?

October 5, 2016 at 2:26 am Comments (0)

Swim Instructor In-Service Training Ideas

Do you find that after training your swim school staff and getting into your swim lessons that you or your instructors start having new questions on how or what to do in different situations?  

Do you even notice that certain techniques and strategies that were addressed in the original swim instructor training are still lacking by new instructors?

We do!  So at Swim Lessons University, we decided that the perfect solution to address these problems would be to hold an In-Service Staff Training session!  AND NOW–without traveling one mile—YOU AND YOUR STAFF can be a part of our amazing session!

In this brand new video—SLU Executive Director Jim Reiser answers 25 EXCELLENT QUESTIONS from his local staff, and he provides 25 simple and practical techniques to help every instructor improve their classes!

Here is a Small Sampling of the 25 Questions:

  1. How do I correct parents in my Parent & Toddler classes without appearing confrontational?
  2. How do I put the parent at ease about taking an infant or toddler underwater?
  3. What do you do in situations where you have a child who refuses to get in the water?
  4. What do you say to a parent who sends their child to the pool with goggles and they aren’t even putting their face in the water yet?
  5. Do you ever tell kids to close their mouth when breath holding?
  6. Do you let kids Doggie Paddle if they aren’t putting their face in the water?
  7. Do you have any tips on how to help students pick up the Freestyle Side Breathing easier?
  8. How do you get a child to flex both feet in breaststroke?

Again, these are just some examples of the 25 common questions asked by SLU swimming instructors….  As always, you will find this In-Service Swim Instructor Training Video to be information-packed, high energy and fast paced. You and your staff will be new and improved in 90 minutes or less–guaranteed!

Here is a 12-minute highlight video of the In-Service Training Poolside Seminar:

Order your copy today at

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

The Swim Lessons University Instructor certification is an internationally recognized alternative to the Red Cross WSI.  AND when you utilize SLU, instructors can SPECIALIZE to teach specific classes and age groups OR they  can certify to teach them all!  Best of all, when you choose Swim Lessons University you can do all your training at your own facility or in the comfort of your own home, at your pace, and at a fraction of the cost!

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).



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September 14, 2016 at 10:38 pm Comments (0)

3 Areas Of Chemical Food Additives That You Must Avoid

Today's food industry is pretty diversified. It offers a large variety of foods of all types, including artificial food and pre-cooked food. There's a great advantage in food preparation that in the past times was unthinkable. Most people prefer to buy precooked food because it's quick to prepare and comfortable for the entire family. Moreover, such food is often added with extra flavoring elements that enrich the natural flavor of every single ingredient. As a result, pre-cooked food seems to offer a great chance to eat delicious dishes without spending too much time buying every ingredient, cooking, and serving.

fresh food restaurant

Fresh Ingredients Vs Artificial Foods

However, recent campaigns against the use of chemical elements in pre-cooked foods are giving a large contribution to the development of a worldwide spread awareness about the side effects of eating pre-cooked food too often.

Think that many high-level restaurants choose to serve only dishes made with fresh ingredients as natural ingredients contain a larger amount of nutrients. In a nutshell, you can order the best dishes knowing that you will be served only premium quality food. Of course, you should make sure that you are eating at a high-class restaurant. For example, luxury hotel and casino restaurants offer a pretty diversified range of menus, including a vegan menu, a vegetarian menu, a gluten-free menu, and so on. It's not only a way to attract more customers, but it's also more likely a way to stand out in the industry of restoration and foodservice.

Of course, if you can't afford to book a table at a luxury casino restaurant, you can always enjoy the best gaming experience from home. There are superb and verified casino venues that offer all the latest games packed about Bacarra with generous bonuses and exclusive benefits. You can try as many free games as you like while eating your favorite hamburger!

Areas Of Artificial Ingredients In Pre-cooked Food

The bottom line is that eating pre-cooked food too often may seriously affect your health, metabolism, and immune system. What is more, the impact of such food on your body is negative.

Take a pre-cooked food that you have at home, check its ingredients on the label, and take note of all the artificial additives that you can find on it. You will note that some of the ingredients that you should avoid like a plague for your health's sake are included in that pre-cooked food.

pre-cooked food

As a general rule of thumb, we can identify three areas of artificial ingredients that are made of chemicals:

Some of the most dangerous and frequently used food additives include the sodium nitrate (associated to cancer in humans), sulfites that can cause breathing diseases in people who are sensitive to this ingredient, propylene glycol (also known as antifreeze), butane (a carcinogen), monosodium glutamate (MSG) that add extra flavor to the food but can cause headaches, heart diseases, and nerve damages, enriched flour that is often used in common snack foods and contains toxic substances, refined vegetable oil which is rich in omega-6 fats that can cause heart disease and cancer, magnesium sulfate that is used in tofu can cause cancer, paraben is an additive used to stop mold but it damages the equilibrium in human hormones, aluminum is a preservative that is connected to cancer.


food additives

Artificial sweeteners should be always avoided as they can cause serious health diseases: saccharin is connected to bladder cancer, aspartame is a cause of dizziness, headaches, vision disease, and stomach disease, it's also thought to be a carcinogen. High fructose corn syrup is made of genetically-modified corn and it causes obesity, diabetes, insulin disease, and heart disease. Sucralose is connected to liver cancer. Bleached starch is associated with asthma and skin irritation.

Bright and vibrant colors can catch people's eye, but artificial colorings can also cause the following health problems: red #2 and #3 can cause asthma and thyroid cancer; red #40 comes from petroleum and it causes cancer and hyperactivity in children; blue #1 can damage chromosomes and cause cancer; citrus red #1 and #2 is used to make oranges look more appealing, that's why you should never eat the peel; green #3 is used in beverages and it causes tumors, the same goes for yellow #5 and #6.

Each of these three areas contains chemical ingredients that impact your health and can modify your metabolism in the long term. More effects due to frequent assumption of such chemicals can also weaken your immune system and modify your brain functions.

In short, avoid drinking soda and sugary drinks, eat fresh fruits, choose hormone-free meat and milk, spend more time cooking fresh ingredients to gain better health.


July 8, 2016 at 2:05 am Comments (0)

Swimming Lessons in September?

Here is a recent message I shared with our swim school parents:

Dear Families & Friends:

Would you consider dedicating 30-minutes of your child’s week to swimming instruction if you knew it could determine life or death?  Of course you would!

As fall approaches, I urge parents to consider continuing the pursuit of helping your child be the safest and strongest swimmer he/she can be!   Sure, we are all busy with school, other sports activities, etc., but the last thing we should do is substitute other activities for swimming instruction when our child is not yet a strong swimmer.

As a physical educator and coach, I am a HUGE advocate of children participating in multiple sports and activities.  My three boys play baseball, basketball, soccer, and have done karate.   But I would never substitute one of the sports at the cost of my child’s safety.   So just because the fall sports season is approaching, please continue your commitment to your child’s swimming safety and skills.

Learning to swim is a process, not an event.  Just like those who believe in karate for self-defense, stick with it, and pursue a black belt–EVERY PARENT should have their child pursue a “black belt in swimming” for their child’s safety.


Jim Reiser, Founder & President

Learn-to-Swim Professional

M.S. of Physical Education & Motor Skill Acquisition

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim. Jim is the first American to win the award in 20 years!

Jim has also been honored by:

USA Swimming as the Adolph Kiefer Water Safety Person of the Year

National Drowning & Prevention Alliance Lifesaver of the Year

World Aquatic Babies & Children Congress as the President’s Award Recipient for world-wide contributions to learn-to-swim.

July 29, 2015 at 11:34 pm Comments (0)

Taking Care of Yourself When You Are Older

Unfortunately, society doesn’t look kindly on people who are older. For one reason or another, most people who have become old are ostracized – not intentionally, but just by way of life. Young people try to act with respect towards their elders, but they aren’t really available to take full care of them. And so, as we get on in life, we are asking ourselves – what is our old age going to be like. There are certainly quite a few things that we need to do to prepare ourselves for getting old.

Making sure we have a home and enough savings to last us through difficult times is definitely one of the main things that we all ought to be focusing on. Yet, we should also try to stay as healthy and as fit as we can, because the alternative is not really pleasant. Our bodies are brittle and they tend to break even more when we put them through the stress of aging.

Well, there are things that you can do to prevent yourself from being dependent on others when you grow old. Here are a few tips.

Stay Healthy Through Exercise and Proper Diet

Surely, there are ways to stave off a plethora of little ailments in old age and that’s called – exercising and making sure you are healthy through proper eating. A lot of us compromise on that end – we think cheaper now, will mean cheaper in the future. It’s not necessarily true. There are benefits to shift towards a healthier diet even if that means not eating as much meat and focusing on legumes, vegetables and the occasional small piece of meat.

There are ways to cook very tastily without actually spending a small fortune at the shops and that’s what most people should strive to achieve. To eat completely healthy, however, you will need to completely forego such things as sauces, sugar, sweeteners, and a whole lot of other things. This includes powder coffer you get from a machine, for example as well. You definitely don’t want to drink soft drinks.

Taking Care of Yourself When You Are Older

And now you might be telling yourself -is it really worth going ‘healthy’ when you will have to sacrifice so much of your regular diet. Well, as things stand – you don’t have to, but it would be a great idea. If you find it difficult at first, that’s only because your taste buds have been treated to all sorts of strong tastes that are sort of difficult to get rid of.

But just try going without sugar for a while and a lot of things that haven’t tasted as sweet as they will now that you have foregone sugar!

Making Your Home Safer

Now, when you are older, you will certainly want to make sure that your home is safer – this means making sure that all your locks are tight put in place. You will have perhaps some difficulties getting around. That’s why having a reliable set of locks that you can handle but will also keep unwanted parties outside is important. This is why you should always find the best services to offer you help whether it’s an emergency or something that you want to deal with in the course of a regular day, such as

Now, what most people need to be reminded of is that aging is a natural process and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to just focus on staying healthy.

So, yes, your home can be made safer, you can have your savings and you can enjoy the company of many of your peers, but the key factor to having a great life even when your biology is starting to work against you is to stay healthy.

What About a Senior Center?

Senior centers aren’t a bad idea at all. While most people who hear about it the first time would certainly shun it, the plain truth is that these facilities are equipped and ready to meet a lot of the demands of people who are going to be visiting them in the future. This is understandable and it goes to show that such facilities are in fact prepared to give people who sign up for them what they need.

In fact, t’s high time for any stigma about such facilities to be refuted once and for all. Going to such a center is voluntary and you may leave whenever you want to. Yet, there are opportunities to find friendships there and many people appreciate that.


May 13, 2015 at 7:16 pm Comments (0)

Youth Sport Parents Priorities MUST CHANGE to PREVENT DROWNINGS!

It was the summer of 1982. I was just 13 years old when I got my first job as a Swim Instructor Aide teaching under my father at his swim school in Johnstown, PA. Between 1982 and 1990, I not only continued teaching, but I played about every sport I could play.   As a youth and teen, it was swimming, baseball, soccer, football, and basketball.   In high school, it was football, basketball, track, and swimming.   Oh yes, and I fiddled with karate after breaking my hand in 1985, and later pursued and earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

In college, after playing football my freshman year at California University of Pennsylvania, I started my own lean-to-swim program as a sophomore. While I wanted to keep playing football, a back injury during spring ball cut that career (going nowhere) short! While rehabilitating my back in the university pool, I got this idea to propose a Swim Lessons Program and lease the University pool.   After a lot of perseverance, it was finally approved.  In no time at all I knew I found my calling. I ended up in Columbia, SC  after accepting a graduate assistantship to teach aquatics for the University of South Carolina’s Physical Education Department while pursuing my master’s degree in Physical Education and Motor Skill Development.

I will be 46 years young next month, and coaching sports has been a huge part of my life. Coaching and teaching is my life. To me, nothing is more rewarding than utilizing sport to teach life skills to kids.   And sports are a wonderful medium to do that.  From 1993-2005, I coached year-round competitive swimmers from novice to elite, producing 20 National Top 16 Qualifiers.   For the past year and a half, I have been having the time of my life coaching my son’s AAU Basketball Team!

But while there are so many benefits our youth can learn from participating in most all youth sports with the right coach–there is one thing that cannot be denied about swimming:   Swimming is the only skill that can save a child’s life.”   The problem is, I don’t believe this statement is taken anywhere seriously enough by parents across the United States.

Why do I say this?  Because when I am not writing curriculum for Swim Lessons University or working on The Swim Lessons Company, I spend the majority of my life in the gym and on the local ball fields.  What do I see?   I SEE THOUSANDS of YOUNG KIDS playing t-ball, soccer, and basketball… And I know there are thousands of others also doing dance and gymnastics.   I WOULD LIKE TO APPLAUD EVERY SINGLE PARENT for giving their child these wonderful opportunities … BUT I CAN’T!

Why? Because my educated guess is that the majority of them can’t swim or they are WEAK swimmers!  And rather than making sure these children are learning a skill that could also save their life, parents are turning a blind eye to this fact.  Instead, parents are enrolling their children earlier and earlier in these other sports are hoping their son or daughter becomes the next Michael Jordan, LaBron James, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Tom Brady, Walter Payton, Pele, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Venus Williams, or Nadia Comaneci.

I understand that some families can’t afford swimming lessons.  Here in Columbia, SC, I have done two things to help create solutions for those families: First, we partnered with the USA Swimming “Make a Splash” program and discount all of our lessons at our downtown location by 40%!   Number two, Ebony Bowers and I co-founded The Swim Lessons Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) that affords children with FREE LESSONS to families who can’t afford them.   (I do feel we are underachieving in securing donations so if you can help by donating please go to www.SwimLessonsFoundation.Org )

But the fact is…DROWNING TAKES MORE LIVES THAN ANY OTHER ACCIDENT for children under the age of six, and ranks 2nd only to AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS for ages 6-14.

The point of my writing today is to ask you to consider re-prioritizing your child’s activities, especially if they can’t swim or swim well enough to save themselves.   Take a look at this blog, “SWIM LESSON OBJECTIVES,” which outlines what your child should be able to do at a variety of ages.  Would your child pass the test?  You can watch video samples of what I believe is a reasonable objective at a variety of ages.  You can find all those videos and blogs on this site!  For example, here is a link to the blog of  what every 3 & 4 year old are capable of learning if taught by a qualified instructor.

PLEASE REMEMBER THIS:  Learning to swim is a process, not an event!  Don’t wait until summer to enroll your child in swim lessons.   Find a child-centered, progressive swim program near you today!


The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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March 13, 2015 at 4:33 pm Comments (0)

NCAA Swimming Scholarships may become EXTINCT!

You read it correctly!    IF we care about the sport of swimming, whether you are swimming instructors, swim coaches, swim parents, or fans–we must get ready to fight for it, as ASCA Executive Director John Leonard writes in his article below.

Take a minute to read it now.  As always, John’s articles are honest, informative, and to the point.  He doesn’t dance around and politic.

He tells you the way it is.

With John’s permission, I share with you:


The House Is On Fire”

By John Leonard

One of the key roles that the American Swimming Coaches Association has played in American Swimming since 1958, is to warn of threats to our sport. Today, I am going to tell you about the biggest threat to American Swimming in the history of our sport.

NCAA Scholarship Swimming is under assault. And very likely to become extinct SOON if we don’t act to save it.

This is critical to all of us for two reasons:

First, for ALL of us, the USA is the only country in the world where a young man or young lady taking her/his first swimming lesson TODAY, has NO LIMITS on their future! They can choose to swim a little, swim a lot, excel, (or not) go through high school swimming, move on to the world’s most competitive program in NCAA swimming. (which attracts athletes from all over the globe, seeking what they don’t have at home) and go on to be an Olympian.

Or they can chose to do summer league swimming, swim in high school, move on to academic life, and never swim again.


In no other place on earth is that the case. In most of the globe, that young lady or man has almost nothing BUT limits – and most, even if they are serious youth swimmers, have no choice but to quit swimming between 15-18 and concentrate on academics which determine their future. No option of Scholarships, no option of elite coaching – no realistic dreams of being the best they can be. Their swimming careers END between 15-18.



Second, for all the reasons outlined above, NCAA Scholarship Swimming is the engine that drives our Olympic/International Success. Those 6,000 NCAA Scholarship Swimmers who keep swimming from 18-24 as they mature (and late maturers are the leading edge of elite athletes) are the talent pool which we have drawn on to lead the world in swimming for more than 100 years now. NCAA Scholarship Swimming is the EDGE that we have over the rest of the Swimming world.

IF NCAA Scholarships go away, the USA in ten years will look like a second rate swimming nation. We’ll have similar numbers of elite athletes, except some of our friends live in countries where swimming really COUNTS in the culture. You all know where swimming ranks in the USA in terms of cultural importance.

So, what do we do?

You’ll hear lots of work ideas and see lots in action soon. We have about a 12-24 month window to save scholarship swimming and elite coaching jobs in the NCAA. Within 24 months, the path will be set. Universities will be either keeping or dropping scholarships and full time elite coaching jobs by then. All of this DRIVEN of course, by the insatiable need for dollars for football and basketball players, and 6 Million Dollar a year football coaches.

We will need YOU to rally your teams. Get tons of letters and emails written to University Presidents and Athletic Directors in support of the Real Student Athletes swimmers. The College Swimming Coaches Association of America and the ASCA are working together with USA Swimming to develop the plan, and ask you to work the plan.

I am personally so offended by the hypocrisy of the NCAA ad that goes on about “most of them will go pro in something other than sports.” Which implies that the NCAA actually has something to do with that! WHILE the finance of University sport heads inexorably towards the ELIMINATION OF OLYMPIC SPORTS in favor of the semi-pro leagues for football and basketball players.

It’s a toss up right now whether the IOC/FINA or the NCAA is the most hypocritical organization in the world of sports today – but that’s a discussion for another day.

What is for today is simply this… if you love American Swimming, get ready to fight for it.

We’ll need ALL OF US, TOGETHER, to save it.

Let’s Go USA. We can do this. Plans coming. House on Fire. Man The  Buckets.

All the Best, John Leonard

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January 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm Comments (0)

Swim Lessons Cancellations and Make-ups

What do you do when you cancel swim classes for thunder and lightning?   BUT shortly after, the weather clears up and the instructors are gone!
What do you do when a customer shows up with their little one?  BUT you cancelled classes for the day and THEIR CHILD is devastated!
What do you do when a pump motor goes bad and you have to cancel class unexpectedly?  Even though you reschedule, it is NOT convenient for “some” of your families.
What do you do when a student misses class due to illness, travel, or because of another commitment?  But you already paid the instructor, you paid your pool rent, etc.

I am here to tell you, there is NO one right or wrong way to handle these situations. What is right for your business may be detrimental to mine. What works for me may be a disaster for you.

Also keep in mind:   What felt comfortable when you wrote your policies and procedures may not feel so comfortable now that you have an angry customer on the other end of the line.  This is normal.  And this is why we have to always be open to change.  Change is inevitable. When you choose to embrace change you will begin to see it as an opportunity for growth.

So where do you start? Personally, I start with my customers. If they aren’t happy, quite frankly, I am not happy. Second, I listen to my staff. If they aren’t happy, I am not happy. Third, I listen to my gut. If my gut tells me it doesn’t feel right–it’s time for a change!

I did leave out a fourth area that gives you an opportunity for positive growth. Research! There is no shortage of great information out there. When it comes to customer service, one of my favorite books is called “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, by Jeffrey Gitomer. He really inspired me to make it a policy in my office to NEVER use the term policy. That’s right. We have NO POLICIES!

When you’re in the customer’s shoes, how do you feel when you hear the “policy” excuse?  Me? I feel that the business doesn’t value me as a customer. When I feel that way, I take MY business elsewhere!  Where is “elsewhere?”   Usually the nearest competitor!  

Do I ever feel taken advantage of?  Admittedly, I do. It’s not a good feeling either.  But only on a rare occasion do we take a stance and put our foot down.  Because usually we realize that the alternative is worse.  Upset customers tell everyone who will listen their side of the story–not ours.   In those situations you not only lose that customer–but perhaps several other potential customers.  Today with social media, several can become thousands overnight!   So in the end, you have to ask yourself, “is it worth it?”  “Which decision will help me sleep better at night?” That’s the bottom line.

So what can you do?  When our customers register, whether online or by phone, they acknowledge ONE BY ONE  a number of “Registration Agreements.”  If there is a problem later, my office  can refer the customer back to these BUT we handle each case individually and with care. Our goal is to make each customer feel appreciated.   As of today, here is what The Swim Lessons Company families agree to (in terms of cancellations and make-ups) when they register:

____In order to determine your make-up when a class is cancelled due to weather issues, go to and select the “Make-up Schedule” button in top navigation bar.  All make-ups due to weather will be posted within 24 hours.

____If your class is cancelled for any reason, it will be made up at the same time and same location on another available day, i.e, Thursday or Friday. The make-up will be posted on the website under “Make-up Schedule.”

____In the event of an unforeseeable cancellation, i.e., an instructor is sick, pool mechanical problem, water temperature issue, etc.—an SLC representative will call you on the number you listed under “home phone” when creating your account. This is the only contact number shown on the instructor’s roster.  If you would rather us call your cell phone, please contact the office immediately to change that information.

____While there are no refunds for missed classes that have been taught, if you miss class due to illness, travel, other obligation, etc., email Jim Reiser at  Let him know that you missed your class and would like to schedule a make-up.  Providing there is a class opening available, we can offer you a makeup at that time during the back half of the session (In other words, once the Live Online Registration Period has ended to avoid over booking a class). If all classes are full and a make-up is not possible during the current session, we are happy to offer you a full credit for that class with no expiration date to be deducted against a future registration.

So that’s what our customers “agree to” when they register, whether online or over the phone.  There are also a number of other registration agreements, but that’s how we handle “Cancellations & Make-ups” today.   I do believe that by publishing your terms and conditions in a contract form, having the customer physically “check a box” beside each term is a very pro-active way of preventing problems from arising.  It may not prevent them all, but in the big picture, you will find it to be a very effective strategy. 

I hope today’s blog helps you!  If you would like to schedule a “One-on-one Phone Consultation,” you will be delighted to see how reasonably priced they are.  To schedule your personal consultation OR for more information, check it out on the Swim Lessons University website today!

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December 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm Comments (0)

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