Lessons Learned

  • 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

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Blaming the Victim

    It was early in my aquatics career, and I was guarding at a well-known resort on a beautiful, hot, sunny day.

     
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    Power Points

    Just when you think things are going great, something happens to bring it all down

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Flooded Fiasco

    I was the supervisor of a new family aquatics center that was ending construction and readying for its grand opening.

     
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    Attack of the Zombies 

    I’m in aquatics, but I love an occasional construction project. In 2006 we decided it was time to replace our old hot tubs with a new, custom-built design. At last, it was my opportunity to build something!