It always puts a smile on my face when at the end of July, customers say to us ‘Enjoy your summer’ I have this vision of Dave and I sailing away into the sunset with our bucket and spade enjoying lazing for six weeks somewhere exotic…………….. and then the reality check kicks in!
The summer is a really busy time for a swim school. We offer one to one lessons (which we're not always able to do during term time due to pool space) all through the summer at the Marlow Club, and also our Summer Splash 4 or 5 day intensive courses at some of our other venues. These all need to be planned for and we start doing this early in July. We also teach privately at those customers houses who have their own pool.
In conjunction with this, the September timetable is also being planned. This is a chance for us to update our timetable and make any changes after the July assessments when the children will all have received their report cards and awards. We also have to try and create some new classes especially for little non swimmers. I often say to people this is like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle, trying to fit children of all ages and abilities into limited places not forgetting if they have siblings that need to be fitted in as well. As the ratio at The Marlow Club is so low 2:1 it sometimes proves really tricky. (We also have a long waiting list for all our venues that we also need to address.) You wouldn’t believe how long this process can take, not forgetting most people are away during August if you do need to speak with a customer regarding moving a class, etc.
Then just when you think you have everything sorted and are beginning to relax a little, the term starts and we then find that –
- We have children who were not swimming or swimming with aids at the end of the last term but have spent the whole summer in a pool and are swimming away!
- Children who were swimming well at the end of the term and for whatever reason haven’t managed to swim very much during the summer may have lost a little confidence
- Or - More confident swimmers who again have been swimming all summer and improved immensely!
Therefore the classes that you had originally planned and booked children into, thinking they are one level may well have changed and we find we have a number of children who are now in the incorrect groups. This is where you find that a lot of your planning was in vain and it’s back to the drawing board!
We always say to customers and especially new September customers that the first couple of weeks back is very much ‘trial and error’ as we will find we will need to make lots of moves to accommodate all the changes!
We wouldn’t know what to do if we were not kept busy, or would we???????