Swimming competitively takes a high level of endurance and a great amount of dedication from both swimmers and their parents. It also calls for some serious manpower to pull-off planning a swim season full of practices, meets and events.
Swim parent Lisa Spitz is no newbie to swim season planning and all it entails. At Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, the Girls’ Swimming and Diving Team has approximately 30 coordinators planning 5-6 meets throughout the swim season along with many other events and activities. Organizing on paper sign ups was frustrating. Says Spitz, “[In the past], at our fall kick-off meeting, parent volunteers went around to the various stations and stood in line to sign a paper roster. [This was] approximately a 1 hour process and at times frustrating because the lines were so long.”
Before the start of the 2012-2013 swim season, SignUpGenius was recommended to Spitz by another parent volunteer chair who had used it for a summer swim league. From the first time Spitz used SignUpGenius, she was impressed, and she hasn’t looked back. “I didn’t have one single call from parents asking how to find a sign up,” Spitz says.
With so many parent volunteers to manage during the season, Spitz is very thankful to receive notifications right away when someone changes a sign up but is glad she doesn’t have to be involved in every little change. “The swapping tool made it super easy,” she mentions. She is also grateful to have found a tool in SignUpGenius that greatly simplifies her role and allows her to save time on one of the many tasks she juggles as a busy working mom. “[SignUpGenius] has greatly simplified the coordinator’s role. I think every parent today struggles with this very difficult juggling act between work and personal commitments. The key is to make the volunteer recruiting process easy and convenient so the coordinator can focus on planning the event,” Spitz says.
Spitz puts great thought into her swim sign ups. Her goal is to make signing up easy for parent volunteers. She observes, “I wanted to make it easy for parents to get in and get out. SignUpGenius was able to offer us a one-stop resource for parents. I’m in IT, so I know it is difficult to develop something flexible but easy to use. This site is both.”
Spitz quickly learned how convenient the site was while on the go, too. Spitz says, “Right after we opened up sign ups, I received an email from one of the volunteers asking for assistance. As it turned out, we were away from home that weekend with no access to a computer. I used my smartphone to access the site and login to quickly respond to her issue. The site was very easy to use on a smaller screen format.”
With the systems custom reporting options, one major benefit of using an online sign up is that Spitz and other committee heads can provide proper reporting back to the booster club on how parent participation is looking. Spitz can track who has signed up and then send follow up emails to parents who had perhaps forgotten to sign up. This helps to increase parental involvement and hold everyone accountable. “For the first time ever, Volunteer Coordinators were able to quickly identify those not yet signed up and target their communications to this group using the custom report sign up export to Excel. The efficiency of the site does not stop tracking all the way through the completion of the event,” she says.
Carmel Swim parents have also sung praises for the new technology. Spitz notes, “Our feedback was consistent, ‘The site was so easy to use.’ Sign up is quick and very convenient.”
While Spitz has a background in IT, she quickly notes that SignUpGenius can be used by anyone and everyone. She says, “[SignUpGenius] is an invaluable tool for anyone who coordinates activities or events. You don’t have to be a computer pro to setup sign ups. In just 15 minutes you can have a fully functional sign up site in place that will save you hours in the long run. Most importantly, your volunteers will love it too!”
The Carmel High School Girls Swim Team won their 27th straight state championship title last year and are already looking forward to this coming year. A strong backbone of parental support goes a long way and helps to unify an already talented group.
SignUpGenius staff is honored to be a part of the Carmel High School Swimming and Diving Team success story and wishes the team more victories to come.