These tips will help you welcome new swimmers to your USMS club for July’s Try Masters Swimming
Breaking into a new sport as an adult can be intimidating. Adults might be hesitant to try Masters Swimming if they have no previous swimming experience.
That’s why USMS has developed Try Masters Swimming, which gives new swimmers the chance to try out any participating club for free in July.
Coach Susan Ingraham from Masters of South Texas in San Antonio has participated in this membership event in the past and offers these tips for welcoming new swimmers.
Create a welcome letter
Your club will receive inquiries from interested swimmers. For efficiency and personalization, Ingraham created a form letter, which she tailors to the specific interests of the potential member. “I had a stock letter with details about the team, and once I read what they were looking for, I could add or subtract details that were relevant to what they were interested in,” she says.
Respond immediately to inquiries
The benefit of creating a form letter that can be sent quickly is that it allows for immediate responses to swimmers. The more time that passes between their inquiry and your response, the more likely they are to go somewhere else. “I think it’s critical that we respond immediately—that’s why I have the stock letter,” Ingraham says. “We’re all busy and don’t always have time to reply to people individually. A lot of them are curious and if three or four days go by, they’re gone.”
Get them to come to practice
Ingraham not only made sure interested swimmers had plenty of details about her club, but she also tried to prompt them to come to a practice, putting the ball in their court. Once the swimmers did come to a practice, she had club swim caps and brochures for them.
Check in at least once with the swimmers who contact you or come to a practice. Ask things such as: “Did you have a chance to stop by a practice?” and “How was your experience?” and “What other questions do you have?” Ingraham says this strategy was successful for her club, which received more than 30 inquiries and had about 20 percent of those swimmers come to a practice. The main adjustment she plans to make for the future is to push the follow-through with the swimmers a bit harder. “It was a big step for new swimmers,” she says. “There was a lot of interest but not as much follow-through.”
If your club is interested in participating in Try Masters Swimming Month, have your club contact check the box that you’re planning to participate in your club’s information online.
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