Lessons Learned

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    Power Scrubbing 

    Promoting someone before they are prepared is a mistake many managers make. It happens even more often in aquatics because of the youthful seasonal staffs, which make up the majority of our work force. I learned the hard way what can develop when this occ

     
  • Planting an Idea

    An operator takes a chance and turns a patron complaint into a new opportunity for her and his facility.

     
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    Planting an Idea

    We all have patrons who complain. Many times we’ve heard the same issue hundreds of times and are not listening or we are distracted.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    To the Rescue

    Few jobs are as challenging and emotionally rewarding as being an aquatics director.

     
  • Where There’s Smoke

    It was a hot August day at The Cove Waterpark in Riverside, Calif. — but it was about to get much hotter.

     
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    Spectators Gone Wild! 

    Back in the mid-1980s, I was asked to develop and implement a K-12 swim lessons program for the school system.

     
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    Collision Course

    I was hired five months before the crew completed construction of the university’s new aquatics center, so I could make sure everything was good from an operator’s standpoint.

     
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    Candid Camera 

    These days, social media encompasses every aspect of life. It also allows adolescents and teens to be expressive.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Emergency Action

    On the 70th day of a 79-day season, what most of us thought was a regular Sunday at Saxon Woods Pool in White Plains, N.Y., turned into a day we would never forget.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Time Crunch

    I began my aquatic management career opening a new Boys & Girls Club pool facility in a small community near my hometown in East Texas.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Don’t Sweat It

    It was a weekday afternoon when the intercom came on. “Kathy, there’s a guy down here in the main pool swimming in a sweat suit.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Phone a Friend

    We were 30 minutes away from draining our 200,000-gallon aquatic center pool

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Floating a Solution

    We had just opened a brand-new aquatics facility. Week one had come and gone with no major catastrophes.

     
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    Parting the Clouds

    Cloudy water might be the No. 1 nemesis of aquatic operators

     
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    Hire From Hell

    At a previous pool I managed, I was elated when an unusual applicant walked into the office looking for a job, and asked to see me. She said she’d worked at the pool 10 years ago and was interested in working there again

     
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    Going in Depth 

    In my years as an operator, one of the most difficult skills to master has been the art of delegating tasks

     
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    Power to the People 

    For a little over a year now, I’ve been working as the aquatics director for a new community natatorium at a high school. 

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Dangerous Mix

    When this incident happened, I had been handling chlorine and other pool chemicals for about 10 years.

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Beating Traffic

    Our facility is the largest aquatics facility in North Carolina with 72,000 square feet and 1.1 million gallons of water covering three pools. It also boasts a classroom, conference area, stadium seating and a dry-land workout space.

     
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    Hometown Heroes

    Five years ago, the local Red Cross asked me to assist a lifeguard class with a special focus

     
 
 
 

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