How to Put Together a Great Championship Program – 50 ideas for a Positively, Powerfully, Perfect Program – Part Three.

Swimmer jumping into blue water

Swimmer jumping into blue water

Part three of How to Put Together a Great Championship follows….almost immediately:
The next 15 ideas on a great club championships program:
36. Dads’ dinner – How about getting all the “swim dads” together at the lunch break for a bbq and give them a chance to catch up?
37. Mum’s make over – Why not ask a local beauty salon to come in and offer “swim mums” a makeover while they watch the swimming?
38. Club spirit awards – award prizes and give recognition to the swimmers and families who embody all the positive qualities about the sport, e.g. friendliness, encouragement of others, supporting other team members, humility in losing, etc.
39. KPS races – Swimmers have to race 100 kick, then 100 pull. Add their 100 kick time plus their 100 pull time and compare the combined time to their 200 swim time!
40. Stroke count / speed award – for the swimmer who improves both their PB time and decreases their stroke count – i.e. awarding both speed and stroke efficiency.
41. First 15 award – a prize for the swimmer in each age group who has the fastest first 15 metres, i.e. awarding starting and underwater work – critical in developing fast sprinters.
42. Iron man / Iron girl award – for the swimmers who complete the most races or the greatest distance over the Club Championships.
43. Double up award – for the swimmers whose times at each distance are the closest to the “double up” – e.g. If a swimmer swims 35 seconds for a 50 metre event, DOUBLE IT = 70 seconds (1:10) as the goal for their 100 metre event. The swimmer who gets the closest to their double up time gets a prize.
44. Finish the day with a party – celebrate swimming and being a Club together!
45. Excellence Awards – if someone breaks a Club record – recognise the achievement – loudly and proudly.
46. State / National / World record attempts – lots of fun. Pick a tough record, e.g. Michael Phelps 400IM world record. Have 8 senior swimmers swim as a relay team (swimming 50 metres each) to try and break Phelp’s record as a team.
47. Organise cheer squads – have each age group organise their own cheer squad. Award prizes to the loudest, best organised, most original cheer squad.
48. State and National awards – award prizes to the swimmers who achieve times closest to the State and National records in that event.
49. Hold Club Championships on (or close to) special days – e.g Mother’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanks giving, etc and make the day the theme of the Club Champs. For example if you hold them on Mother’s Day, all moms get a rose and some chocolates. If you hold them around Easter, everyone gets Easter Eggs and organise an Easter Egg hunt for the little kids.
50. Ask the coaches to award prizes to the swimmers whose training and preparation has been outstanding. Club Championships are a great chance to recognise the swimmers who work hard all year and give total commitment to improving.

Summary:

Club Championships programs should be:

Fast – create an environment where swimmers want to compete and race fast;
Family orientated – embrace families like they are part of your own;
Fun, fun, fun – make the day the most enjoyable fun filled day of the year.
It is easy to roll out last year’s Club Championship program and simply change the date on the front cover!!

But with a little effort, a lot of creativity and some passion to make it work, you can have an outstanding Club Championship program – every year!

Wayne Goldsmith and Helen Morris