The University of Texas Sport Development Lab Yen-Chun Lin (Project Director) Dr. B. Christine Green (Project Advisor) Dr. Laurence Chalip (Project

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1 The University of Texas Sport Development Lab Yen-Chun Lin (Project Director) Dr. B. Christine Green (Project Advisor) Dr. Laurence Chalip (Project Consultant) Raquel Hutchinson (Research Staff) Ben Philip (Research Staff) Cassie Roberts (Research Staff) Devin Oliveira (Research Assistant)

2 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 1 Executive Summary Successful positioning of the newly formed Lake Travis Swim League depends on its ability to project an image as the league that champions quality improvement and mastery while providing a sense of community for swimmers and their families. Focus groups and interviews with parents from each of the league s three clubs suggests that parents value quality coaching and programs that offer continued learning and mastery opportunities for their children in an environment that provides a strong sense of community for themselves and their families. Each of the clubs is in a different stage of development, therefore the specific tactics recommended vary slightly by club. However, the key strategy for the league is to foster consistency across club policies and programs without creating standardization. In other words, each club must develop its own identity which is consistent with the league s values and mission. Key recommendations for enhancing community and learning across the league include the following. Changes to meet structure: o Develop a consistent policy for eligibility and event registration, o Implement team introductions at all events, o Develop a feedback form for disqualifications; Implement a meet scoring system based on a ratio of personal best times to events swum; and Enhance league-wide cohesion through special events. Three strategies are recommended for long-term development and sustainability of the league: (1) Retain current clubs, (2) Attract clubs from other leagues, and (3) Develop new clubs.

3 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 2 Table of Contents Purpose... 3 Method... 3 Measurement... 4 Results... 5 A Desire for Community... 6 A Desire for Learning... 7 Meet Structure... 8 Race Registration and Eligibility Team Announcements Disqualifications: Forms and Explanation Meet Scoring: To Score or Not to Score League Cohesion Pool Party All-Star Meet Building the League Retain Current Clubs Attract Existing Clubs Develop New Clubs Appendix: Focus Group Protocol... 20

4 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 3 Lake Travis Swim League Final Report Purpose The purpose of this project was to gather data to assist with the formation of a new summer swim league in West Austin, The Lake Travis Swim League. The University of Texas Sport Development Lab was approached by the board of the newly formed Lake Travis Swim League to gather information from parents of swimmers in order to build a swim league model that best meets the needs of swimmers in all league swim clubs. Consequently, parents were asked to share their thoughts about their swim club experience as well as their ideas, concerns, and suggestions for the new league. Method Parents of swimmers from each swim club (WAAC, Lake Pointe, Lakeway) were contacted via and asked to participate in focus group discussions about the current state of their club, their past experiences with the Austin Hills League, and their thoughts regarding the formation of the new Lake Travis Swim League. Two focus groups of 10 parents were to be conducted for each club. However, very few parents responded to the and/or phone requests to participate. As a result, one focus group was scheduled for each club. A minimum of five parents from each club was deemed necessary to obtain useful results. When five parents did not attend a focus group, one-on-one interviews were conducted until five responses were obtained. A focus group is an open discussion that allows participants to build off of each other's ideas. A moderator may introduce a topic or ask a question, but this is not a simple Q&A format. The participants respond to each other, freely discussing their experiences, opinions, and thoughts. This allows new and different topics to be explored if it becomes apparent that they are of importance to the participants. The focus groups were conducted in a relaxed setting, and parents were encouraged to speak their mind. In addition to

5 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 4 facilitating conversation with questions, moderators ensured that everyone's opinions were heard, and that no one person dominated conversation or prevented others from sharing their thoughts. Consequently, the focus groups provided parents with a comfortable forum for sharing their thoughts, opinions, and concerns. The interviews were conducted via phone using the same set of questions as were used in the focus groups. Interview data were integrated with the focus group data for analysis. A cross-section of parents from each swim club participated in either a focus group or an interview. Some had been swimmers in their youth, while others had no prior swim knowledge or experience. Most had more than one child participating in swimming (boys and girls between the ages of 4-11). Their children were characterized as exhibiting various levels of ability and commitment to swimming. Measurement In order to gain as much knowledge as possible from the parents in the study, a focus group protocol was developed to include three sections (see Appendix A). Parents were assured that they would not be identified to any coaches, administrators, or board members. The questions pertained to the parents experience with their children s swim clubs and the swim league, as well as their feelings toward their child s or children s experiences with swimming. While they were giving their opinions, they often included their perceptions of their child s reaction to certain changes. Although parents and children often report different attitudes and experiences than those of their parents, parents perceptions of their children s responses provides some (albeit limited) representation of children s concerns. The first section asked questions about parents experiences with swimming, swim clubs, and swim leagues. They were asked to describe their past experiences regarding swimming related topics such as how they got involved in swimming, why they changed or stayed with particular clubs, and why they wanted their children to swim. They also

6 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 5 discussed their children's interests in the sport, and the aspects they seem to enjoy the most about their respective club. These questions pertained to the recruitment and retention aspects of the sport as well as aspects of both the club and the old league. The second section asked the parents to share their feelings toward the new league. They were asked to give pros and cons of the new league based on what they have heard about the league thus far. Then, as a follow up, they are asked what they would like the league to achieve (i.e., what new things should the league strive to do?), preserve (i.e., what should the league try to retain?) or avoid (what should the league consciously avoid?). Although some of the parents were unfamiliar with particular features of the new league, they were able to provide insight into what they liked and disliked about past experiences from old leagues and clubs. Topics of discussion varied between organization, structure and atmosphere, all of which are integral components of any league. The third section of the protocol covered general policies that typically govern a swim league. This included such topics as parent volunteers, the length of the swim season, and the scoring of meets. Questions also addressed camaraderie within the club as well as between league teams. These were the topics that received the most attention and brought about the most impassioned discourse. The parents were also asked, albeit briefly, how they felt their club was represented and perceived within the community. Results Two main themes emerged from the discussions with parents. (1) Parents seek a strong sense of community from their swim club, both for their children and more generally, for their family. (2) Parents want that community to foster continued learning and improvement for their child. These two threads appeared across all three focus groups and all interviews. Parents responses to each section of the protocol were always couched in terms of learning and community.

7 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 6 STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION #1: The League should work to position itself as the league that champions quality improvement and mastery while providing a sense of community for swimmers and their families. A Desire for Community Parents desire for community was an overarching need in all clubs, but manifested itself in different ways. Lakeway parents wanted their children to swim with a club that made them feel a sense of belonging, evidenced by their comments regarding the coach s treatment of the children. One parent specifically mentioned coaches performing cheers and goofing around with their kids, which relaxes the children and creates a sense of belonging. Not only do the parents desire a sense of community for their children, they want one as well. Parents at Lake Point commented on the social opportunity brought about by their child s involvement with the club, and how volunteering at practices and meets created a stronger community through increased parental involvement. Parents at WAAC were adamant that they chose the club because of the nurturing atmosphere, safe environment, and competent coaches, all of which promote this sense of community that the parents so desire. After analyzing the parental responses, it s clear that parents from all three clubs are looking to their respective clubs to foster a sense of community. Each of the clubs is at a different place in the development of a club identity and strong sense of community, therefore the specific tactics will vary by club. The development of strong club communities is necessary prior to developing league-wide community. STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION #2: Each club should work to make members (children and parents) feel that they belong and are valued. Each club will have a slightly different identity based on their members unique needs. Consequently the requisite tactics will also vary by club.

8 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 7 A Desire for Learning The results of the research conducted found a certain amount of consistency between clubs in parents desires for the league. Once again, while findings for the three clubs were consistent, it is important to note that they were not the same. Across all clubs, parents reported an underlying desire that swim club participation would be a learning experience for their family. However, this desire was manifested in different ways for each of the clubs. For WAAC swim club parents, the desire for learning was framed in terms of a desire for more structure. This is apparent in their comments pertaining to both volunteer requirements and roles, as well as in their discussion regarding meet organization and implementation. Although none clearly stated that they felt the team was disorganized, their opinions suggest a need for a more structured system. They want more structure when it comes to parent and volunteer responsibilities, in order to make it easier and more enjoyable for them, yet they do not want this to change their children's experiences. The Lake Pointe swim parents want their children to learn a certain skill set through their swim club experience. The majority of parents started their kids in swimming to ensure that their children would be safe around water. This is important to note as it demonstrates that water safety is very important to the parents, not just the idea of swimming fast to win races. In addition, parents consider swim team as an opportunity to gain life skills that you cannot get through swim lessons. This is a strong advantage that club membership has over lessons. For instance, parents felt that swim club teaches children teamwork, sharing and goal setting. Lake Pointe parents aim for swim club is for it to teach children these life skills. Lakeway swim club parents have yet another idea of what their children should learn during their time in swim club. These parents have a strong desire for children to finish summer swim league truly knowing the proper way to perform the different swim strokes. This is evident by the parents desire for coaches to spend more time teaching each child in and out of the water. Parents asked for more lane time during practice for

9 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 8 every swimmer. It was also noted that parents expect these skills to be developed by a certain type of coach. Just because a particular person is a good swimmer does not necessarily mean they will be a good coach for the club. The coach must be able to teach children the strokes. Coaching children and coaching in general were also considered to be different skill sets. These parents felt that the coach must be good with children and be able to communicate on their level. Parents at Lakeway also stressed the importance of the coaches telling swimmers when they are performing a stroke incorrectly during meets. The parents want more feedback for their children. They want the meets to be used as a learning experience. If a child is disqualified during a meet for performing a stroke incorrectly, the parents want the coaches to explain the manner of the disqualification to the child. In this way, parents feel that the child can learn from his or her mistakes and improve his or her swim technique for the next meet. The league should focus on developing policies and procedures to encourage mastery learning at the club level while allowing member clubs the freedom to develop their own unique identity and implementation style. Therefore the league must ensure consistency without standardization. The current member clubs are in different stages of development and have internal concerns that must be addressed, thus the league can serve as a parent body that provides general guidelines and opportunities for socialization that will ultimately increase the learning experience and sense of community within each club. As a result, the league will begin to cultivate an image through its member clubs of dedication to quality improvement and community feel. The following recommendations address different aspects of the swim experience with the overall goal of supporting the aforementioned values and growing the league. Meet Structure While retaining the individual clubs ability to arrange meets there was a consensus among parents interviewed that an organized, integrated meet was the preferred option.

10 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 9 To this end, there should be some consistency in the meets across the board but retaining the creative elements that each team may want to use to personalize their home meets. Many of the parents voiced concern regarding volunteerism within their club. They commented that perceived disorganization and parents own lack of knowledge often made it difficult to feel comfortable in a volunteer role. While some parents addressed this in terms of meet efficiency, others addressed the issue as a social one, expressing distress about feeling like an outsider. Knowledge could be increased, confusion reduced, and a more positive volunteer experience created by introducing a volunteer coordinator role for each club. These club coordinators could then work together to ensure the efficient production of volunteer-run meets. The club volunteer coordinator positions would each be filled by a parent who has been with their respective club for at least a year (so they have an understanding of how things work and can be improved). Each club would have a volunteer coordinator who would be in charge of hosting a pre-season parent volunteer meeting in order to explain the different roles and requirements. New parents often do not understand the basic rules of swimming and therefore worry they will not be adequate volunteers. This lack of knowledge can and does deter parents from volunteering. By providing a more detailed explanation of what to expect, both new parents and old parents seeking to perform a new or different volunteer task will feel more comfortable in their roles. Volunteering is a way for parents to become more involved with their child s activities and provides them with a stronger connection to the club. Providing parents the opportunity to learn about different volunteer positions and to choose tasks that they feel most comfortable with can help them to feel more competent as a volunteer, and can spur increasing levels of involvement. This is a good first step to developing a motivated volunteer corps and can also build community among the parents. In addition to a preseason orientation meeting for volunteers, it would be useful to provide new parent volunteers with opportunities to shadow experienced volunteers in order to learn and

11 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 10 build new volunteer competencies without the primary responsibility for meet operations. In terms of structure and efficiency, a pre-season volunteer meeting can help people understand how meets are run before the day of a meet. This will help take some of the confusion out of the meet setting and ensure that each meet is adequately staffed. If additional last minute volunteers are needed, they could at least have some familiarity with the role they are asked to fill. In addition, the meeting also provides a social opportunity for old and new parents to mingle and get to know each other and feel part of their respective clubs. Many parents expressed concern that they felt there was a lack of unity or cohesion amongst their club members, and this would be a welcome social opportunity for many parents. Tactical Recommendation #1: Create position of volunteer coordinator for each club. These members would then form the League s Volunteer Committee with the Chairperson appointed on a rotating basis. In addition to organizing a pre-season parent volunteer meeting, the liaison would function at individual meets as the go-to person for parents and members of the visiting club. This person must be familiar with meet operations at their home pool, and be able to coordinate parents and volunteers from participating clubs. This liaison would be a point person, who can be approached to answer questions and direct inquiries so that the coaches are free to focus on the kids and the events. Many parents expressed some concern about confusion during meets, and the parent volunteer liaison would be the person to approach and help coordinate both clubs so that the meet runs smoothly. This role would also lighten the meet administration responsibilities on coaches, thus providing them more time to focus on the swimmers.

12 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 11 Race Registration & Eligibility Parents expressed concerns about the entry process for swimmers. The main issues identified were confusion over who could submit an entry, children s ability to successfully complete selected events, and an absence of coaches input in entry decisions. The data suggest that there is little consistency from club to club and meet to meet regarding entry, eligibility, and race registration. Tactical Recommendation #2: Develop a standardized entry form to be completed by the swimmer and approved by the coach. To remedy this we recommend that a standardized entry form be developed across the league. Swimmers would submit the entry form, thus maintaining the child at the center of the entry decision process and building on their continued learning, but includes a caveat that the coach must discuss entries with the swimmer and approve/decline all entries for each meet. Approval would be given only when the swimmer had demonstrated competence in the stroke and in the race distance prior to swimming the event in competition. In addition to giving the individual responsibility for planning their meet with the coach, it also will allow a standard form for race directors to collate on race day. This is aimed at speeding up the race process and making the meets more efficient and enjoyable for all participants. Team Announcements Our research shows that team spirit and cohesion is extremely important and valued by parents and swimmers alike. Some parents were enthusiastic about the sense of camaraderie within their club, while others felt that team unity was completely lacking. Based on the findings, it is suggested that at the start of each meet a small amount of time is allowed for team introductions before the events begin. This would add just five or six minutes of time to a meet, but would allow swimmers to cheer and support each other,

13 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 12 thus fostering more team spirit and camaraderie. Tactical Recommendation #3: Introduce each team at the start of League meets. Before the meet commences, the volunteer in charge of announcements (or whoever is responsible for announcing events) can begin the meet with a quick team introduction. Our research suggests that WAAC may be a leader in the development of team identity and camaraderie, since it is clear that they already have cheers and team spirit. Early in the season, it may be helpful to introduce WAAC first. Other clubs might then use them to model their own cheers and team enthusiasm. At the very least, swimmers could be encouraged to try to match other teams noise and spirit. This would be a simple way to encourage the kids within a club to have more team spirit and take pride in their club. Over the duration of the season clubs with less established cheers and rituals will start to develop their own, thereby developing a stronger team identity. This feature should be monitored in order to maintain its original purpose, to foster team identity in a very noncompetitive, friendly manner in which kids and parents cheer for their respective club, thereby celebrating their connection to their club. This recommendation is made to increase consistency among the clubs all meets will begin with a team introduction and foster team spirit and a community feel among the clubs and eventually the league. This would be easy and quick to establish, and over the course of the season would develop into a fun ritual for the clubs. Disqualifications: Forms & Explanations Parents at all the clubs value quality learning and skill mastery over head-to-head competition. However, parents also expressed fears that swimmers do not always get the best feedback after meets regarding disqualifications. understanding what they did correctly and what they did incorrectly. Improvement depends on Without this feedback, swimmers progress is hindered. Part of the problem is that stroke judges do

14 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 13 not have enough time to provide an explanation for disqualification. This is frustrating for the swimmers because they may not know what they did wrong. Often the coach may not know either resulting in no way to correct a problem and improve. Tactical Recommendation #4: Develop a Disqualification Checklist form to be completed by the race official and provided to the coach and swimmer immediately upon completion of the race. A standard league form needs to be created in the form of a checklist of the most common reasons for being disqualified. Minimally the form should include: incorrect form, incorrect wall touch/turns, wrong stroke, hanging on lane line, and any other common disqualifications. Alternatively, a form could be developed for each stroke. These forms would then be provided to each stroke judge at the beginning of the meet. If a swimmer is disqualified, then the stroke judge can just check the reason why and submit it with the swimmer s name at the top. The completed forms would be given to the coaches so that they can understand where the swimmer made a mistake and what needs to be worked on in practice, and can provide feedback to the swimmer. Feedback is best provided as close to the behavior as possible, thus the DQ checklist can be used to enhance swimmers continued mastery of the stroke and the event. Because personal improvement and quality learning is so important to the parents, it is imperative that the clubs and league do everything in their power to truly focus on providing swimmers with feedback to learn from and improve upon their prior performances. This is not just about getting faster. This means improving starts, turns, and finishes, and really mastering a stroke. Understanding weaknesses at a meet will help the swimmers focus on eliminating the same mistake at the next meet.

15 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 14 Meet Scoring: To Score or Not to Score Meet scoring procedures created the most (and most passionate) discussion among parents. Parents had mixed feelings about scoring meets. Five core issues were identified via this discussion: 1. Parents support the league as a recreational league and believe that it should maintain a recreational focus; 2. Parents liked the idea of children competing against themselves for personal bests; 3. Parents felt that as children grew older they became more competitive. Therefore scoring could be appropriate; 4. Parents suggested that scoring meets could be a way to build camaraderie within teams; and 5. Parents feared that meet scoring would always favor WAAC due to its size, and that would create a negative experience for all teams. Tactical Recommendation #5: Create and implement a meet scoring system which allocates points to swimmers improving their personal best score. The recommendation we believe works to address all of the core issues raised by parents is to score the meets on a personal best basis. In this way each child swims against him or herself, but for the benefit of the team. It encourages and rewards swimmers for improvement, while still allowing for team building via team versus team scoring. Importantly, this scoring system can build connections and compassion for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. In addition, this fosters a larger sense of community for the teams as there is a collective goal, while at the same time allowing for multiple successes and celebrations in each heat. The suggested method for meet scoring is as follows. In each race every child is racing

16 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 15 against their personal best time. Any child beating their personal best receives one point for their team. In this way in every heat, it is possible for every child to win a point for their team. If desired, a point could also be allocated to the race winner. Point allocation for a win provides for positive feedback to swimmers at the top of their form who have little room for continuous improvement. The meet winner is then determined on the basis of the percentage of personal best times that is, the number of personal bests divided by the number of total races by all swimmers for a team. Each completed race by each swimmer counts towards the team total races. This ratio negates any advantage of team size. This system makes it possible to manage each of the issues identified by the parents: (1) the league retains its recreational focus as swimmers are rewarded for improvement; (2) swimmers are still competing for personal bests rather than against each other; (3) the competitive desire is recognized, but does not pit swimmers against one another in head-to-head competition since all swimmers can earn team points; (4) the scoring focus provides opportunities for all swimmers to be cheered by their team, rather than just the best swimmers; and (5) by using a ratio to determine the team winner it is possible to offset the huge numerical advantage that WAAC has in number of swimmers. It is important to note that this scoring system can be adapted for special events which might encourage cross-team integration. Since the scoring is based on personal best times and percent improvement, groupings can be creatively developed. For example, a special event meet could pit age groups against one another rather than individual clubs. Seven & eight year old swimmers from all three clubs could compete against an interclub 9-10 year old team, year old team, and so on. Girls could compete against boys for a fun meet. Any groupings could work. In this way, the league could also encourage interclub cooperation and build community for the league itself. League Cohesion Lake Travis Swim League should focus on developing a certain amount of league camaraderie between the clubs to differentiate itself from other leagues in the area. It should be noted that the clubs must first develop a strong sense of community within

17 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 16 their own clubs before attempting to develop a strong league-wide community. However, once the clubs have established a certain amount of solidarity, members and officials from each club can focus on this goal for the league. Recommendations for achieving this goal can be found below. STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION #3: Develop some league-wide social events which facilitate inter-team interaction and league-wide community. Lake Travis Swim League Pool Party In order to stimulate relationship building among members of different swim clubs, the league should hold social events that include everyone in the swim league. Parents mentioned in the focus groups that their children don t know swimmers from other teams. Many children may be in the same class at school but swim for different clubs within the swim league. Swimmers would enjoy the opportunity to socialize with their friends in the setting of a pool party. Parents, too, enjoy social time through which they can interact with parents from their own and other clubs. This party could be held at the beginning of the season as a kickoff to the league s start in May. In order to foster interaction among the teams and swimmers, games should be structured so that swimmers from one club are partnered with swimmers from a different club. This will encourage them to meet people from other clubs rather than gravitate toward friends they already know. All-Star Meet Some parents focused on the necessity of adding scores to the swim meets. While scoring every meet using a traditional scoring system seems counter to the basic principles upon which the league was founded, an All-Star swim meet held at the end of the summer could serve as an end-of-season social event for the league. Suggestions for conducting the All-Star meet follow.

18 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 17 By invitation only, the top four swimmers from each age division and swim stroke category should be invited to participate in the All-Star meet. In this way, the size of each swim club would not be an issue because the same number of swimmers from each club would be invited to participate. This meet would be scored entirely based on ability, giving the more advanced swimmers a chance to participate in a competitive meet. This event would foster team building because swimmers would be encouraged to cheer for their teammates since the meet requires team scoring. In addition, league camaraderie would build as swimmers not selected for the meet could attend to watch their friends from all teams. The meet would also give swimmers something to strive for over the course of the season. The all-star meet could serve as a point of retention for older swimmers. While the younger swimmers may not care if meets are scored, as swimmers get older, they may begin to realize that other children in different leagues get to compete with scores. By including All-Stars, older children may be enticed to stay with the Lake Travis Swim League for a longer period of time. Building the League It should be the aim of the league to continue to grow as it develops, and there needs to be a formal approach to how this is going to be achieved. There are two potential ways to bring teams to the league through encouraging existing teams to join you, and by forming new teams in new neighborhoods to be part of the league. These will need separate considered methods of recruitment but the message used needs to be consistent with the key desires of the parents of the league as it stands continued learning and community development. Thus, building the league for the long-term is dependent on three key strategies: (1) retaining existing clubs, (2) attracting new clubs, and (3) building new clubs.

19 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 18 STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION #4: Selectively grow the league by retaining existing clubs, and attracting and/or developing like-minded clubs. Retain Current Clubs The key to retaining current clubs lies in the recommendations provided in this report. Every recommendation is based on the issues and concerns raised by parents involved with the clubs in the league, and each focused on the twin needs of continued learning and community development. By continuing to address these two concerns through, but not limited to, our recommendations, the league will take a very positive step towards retaining the teams that currently form the league. Attract Existing Clubs In coming years it will be important to grow the league through the addition of new teams. These teams can come from the formation of new teams or by providing an environment that is attractive to teams from other leagues. The importance of creating and maintaining the league s image as the league that champions quality improvement and mastery while providing a sense of community for swimmers and their families cannot be overstated. A consistent focus on these two attributes throughout all decision making and program implementation at the league level as well as the club level will help to solidify the league s market positioning. Swim clubs seeking these experiences for their swimmers will then be attracted to the league and its values. It is critical that expansion be limited to clubs that buy into the league philosophy. By placing the league under these central pillars it keeps the league unique and is more likely to attract new clubs that are looking for a different experience from their current swim league. Matching the club and league is very important and for this reason. Although the league

20 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 19 should not be closed to new clubs, the initial movement should come from the interested club. This demonstrates their desire for the community feel and can allow for the league to be selective in building the league. It is essential that any incoming teams share the ideals of the league even if they are not currently in a league that shares these same ideals. Develop New Clubs In creating new clubs, the requirements are similar to the recommendations outlined previously in the report. By using the league suggestions in individual clubs, with modifications for individual club specificity, it is possible to build a new club that parents will want to be part of and that fits into the league in the best possible way.

21 Lake Travis Swim League Report Page 20 Appendix A Focus Group Protocol 1. Ice breaker / project explanation / introductions 2. They describe their experiences in swimming, particularly this league 3. Pros and cons of the new league 4. What do they want to see the new league achieve? 5. What do they want to see the new league preserve? 6. What do they want the new league to avoid? 7. Significant issues that derive from the high commitment required 8. Length of the season: Practices begin at beginning of May; season finishes July 17. Their thoughts? 9. Scoring: Meets not scored, only final event scored. Their thoughts? 10. The league desires to build a sense of league identity, rather than a collection of rival teams. How can/should they do that? 11. What is the profile/status of swimming in the community? Explain / explore 12. Anything else they want to contribute? THANK YOU.

22 T H E UNI V E RSI T Y O F T E X AS SPO R T D E V E L OPM E N T L AB 1 UNIVERSITY STATION, D3700 AUSTIN, TEXAS

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