What Swimming is to Me
My happiest memories as a child involve a pool. In fact, my first memories are of me and my siblings, cousins, and friends playing in my backyard pool. Pure joy is the only way that I can describe it. I think it is safe to say that the pool is my “happy place”. This happy place has taken such a vital role in my path in life. From age group swimmer, to high school swimmer, to a Division 1 collegiate swimmer, and now to the Owner and Founder of Premier Aquatics, swimming has always been and will always be my happy place. Now as a father of 3, it brings me so much joy to know that I have been able to instill the same love and respect for the water into my children.
In addition to my own children, I also feel that it is my calling to instill that same love and respect for the water into so many kids in my own community. Kids in my backyard. So many times, I have joked with my friends and family about how my job is amazing because I wear board-shorts and a t-shirt to work, but the truth is that my job is so much cooler than comfortable apparel. Each day when I walk on deck and witness what my team and I have created, I feel so fortunate. Every time I step foot onto one of my pool decks, I see a pool full of amazing staff members who are contributing to this amazing thing we are doing; and I also see a pool of my children’s friends and classmates and my fellow residents’ children who are learning to love and respect the water. My team and I make an impact on the community we live in, and that impact saves lives each and every day. It might go without saying, but I am so proud to be part of it.
Good Frames Won’t Save Bad Paintings
While I acknowledge that the path I have chosen is a business and it needs to make money to survive, I believe it is important to understand that to my family and I, it is not just another franchise that I’ve chosen to add to my portfolio to increase my net worth. SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY IS MY LIFE. It is what I have chosen to go to bed dreaming about, and what I wake up in the morning thinking about. I did not purchase my curriculum, but instead have spent years refining and perfecting it to better serve the families who have entrusted my team and I with the lives of their children. None of my staff view this as just a job, but look at it as a calling. This is illustrated by the love and attention that we give each and every swimmer.
As swimming and swimming lessons become big business, I fear that the true understanding of what kind of responsibility we hold will be lost in the pursuit of profit. As we know, it’s fun to make money, but not if it comes at the expense of quality and a true understanding of what the foundational makeup of a good swimmer is; and any swimmer worth his or her salt knows that a back float is not just a back float, and any streamline isn’t a good streamline. It's the little and subtle things that build the foundation for a great and confident swimmer.
As we know, you can’t teach someone how to drive a golf ball 300 yards, hit a baseball over the fence, or drive a car by simply reading a book. It takes years of personal experience to be able to properly understand the fundamentals of that skill to be able to then teach someone how to do it. Teaching swimming is no different and it is absolutely tied to the 10,000-hour rule like any other skill.
Swimming is a life skill, and I implore you to please choose the program you send your child to carefully. Whether you live in Houston, New York City, Miami, or Orange County, don’t just go to the new and shiny facility. Don't go to the facility with the best marketing. Ask the staff the tough questions and make sure they understand what they are talking about, because in the end, good frames won’t save bad paintings, and the program you choose will have a lifelong impact your child’s life.