I was taught very early in my career that Aquatics is much like Farming; the more you do in the off-season, the more productive your summer will be.  Perhaps that was because my first boss was a real farmer who actually turned his dairy farm into a fresh-water, water park because of all the natural springs located on his property.  After taking a big breath and great sigh of relief that another summer has passed us by, begin to think about next year, NOW.  What can you do now to make next summer safer and more enjoyable for everyone.  I have a few suggestions for you.  First, find ways to better warn and educate parents who bring their children to the pool.  Tell them while your lifeguards are very well trained they can’t see everything all the time and that playing in the water and drowning in the water often look alike.  Convince them that water safety requires the entire community commitment.  Start looking for articles and studies now that you can disseminate in the Spring before the pool is open.  Secondly, form a signage committee with the goal of reducing your two dozen pool rules to less than six.  Separate “nice” and “should” know information from your most important, “must” know warnings.  Then when you have six or less rules, use warning shapes, colors and symbols to convey these most important messages.  Finally, make every attempt to initiate the Note and Float program over this winter for your pool next summer.  All non-swimmers should be required to wear a wristband and U.S. Coast Guard Approved Life Jackets.  Not only will the Note and Float program prevent non-swimmers from drowning, but your swim lesson enrollments will increase and you and your staff will be able to sleep much better at night next summer.

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