Welcome to Community Voices, a platform for voices of the community recreation industry.
In Episode 8 of the Community Rec Magazine Podcast, Wesley King, the owner and founder of Wesley King Consulting, shares about his passion for providing aquatics safety and service support. We discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the aquatics industry forever, and advice for aquatics professionals on navigating the daily grind while staying motivated, and also remembering to rest. It was a lot to cover, and it’s all below in our video interview featuring a special guest appearance. Enjoy!
Wesley King on what the community recreation industry has learned from the pandemic:
“We’ve learned that pools exist. There was a time where every day in the Chicago news, New York, LA, etc., every news had a pool story. And it wasn’t drowning. Pools are being closed. There are shortages. There was a real spotlight for good or bad reasons on the pool in your community. And I think what we learned is people pay attention when there’s support like that, whether your pool is being closed or you hired 1000 lifeguards, we’ve learned people take what we do a little more seriously. Another part of what we learned is math matters – money matters in your pool. It’s a business, and we can act like it’s not but all of the national news stories and all the pool shortages and the lifeguard shortages tell us it’s a business.”
King’s advice for aquatics professionals:
The daily grind: “Giving yourself the chance to do what you have to do by allowing others to understand it a little better can be a big weight off your shoulders. And it can be anything. It could be five minutes or 10, it could be when you walk in the door if you’re somebody who gets stressed out easily and panics easy and everybody comes up to you and ask you hey, I need this right when you walk in. then take five minutes tomorrow and tell the team ‘Hey guys, I really struggle when you throw things at me immediately. Put it on the dry erase board list or text it to me before I get here. I’m saying deliver it to me in a way that I can absorb it better.”
Staying motivated and balanced: “Find things that you can own. When you walk on a pool deck, no one can take away from how you greet people. Do you let a guard walk by you without saying hi? That’s yours. Maybe you check chemicals in the back end of the pool, rather than front. How can you walk on that pool deck and say this is mine? That’s mine. I’m gonna do it this way. I’m gonna do it right. I’m going to do it meaningful. But I’m going to do it my way. And when I leave, I feel good. A lot of times, and this is speaking very general, with many different companies – the way they’re successful is you have to do it their way. And I’ve worked for a lot of them. But on a pool deck with 500 swimmers and 12 lifeguards, you can’t live like that every day. It’s not an auto press. And if you start to get in that habit where the machine is running you down, step back and ask, What did I do today? What was mine?”
For more aquatics resources from Wesley King, check out his articles with Community Rec Magazine or visit weskingco.com.