A Swim Studio Survives in Uncertain Times
Fast Track Swimming got unexpected bonuses with Endless Pools®
When Fast Track Swimming opened the doors of its own studio in 2019, they were ready to coach everything from infant survival swimming to Olympic-level freestyle. Their two compact, warm water pools from Endless Pools gave them the necessary versatility. The pools also provided bonuses for a business that celebrated its first anniversary in the midst of 2020’s pandemic.
Keeping the Doors Open in Uncertain Times
Starting your own swim studio has its challenges. When Coach Matt Hone was planning for Fast Track Swimming’s first official home in Tomball, Texas, “It wasn't working out. Most places weren't OK with us digging into their concrete” for a traditional in-ground pool.
“We needed a different option, and we had the Endless Pools idea.” That is, they had the idea to set up two of our freestanding Commercial pool models, “an aboveground pool that we could potentially move, if necessary.”
That was in 2019. His business partner, Phil Garner, notes that the pool had unintentional upsides in the unprecedented circumstances of 2020. “Little did we know that, a year later, it’d be the perfect environment for how to teach lessons in a pandemic. It’s allowed us to control the group sizes. We don’t have to have 100 people in the pool to be able to stay open and pay the bills."
“Matt and his team had to get creative to make it work. We still had reduced size; our instructor-to-kid ratio has definitely decreased for social distancing. We were able to keep the doors open. A lot of people who thought we were crazy a year ago now are coming up to us and saying, ‘You guys were smart. You have the exact right size and the right kind of product.’”
Swimming for All Ages
The ten coaches at Fast Track Swimming help swimmers at all levels. Their lessons are in their two Endless Pools Dual Propulsion models. Our Dual pool features two of our signature swim currents, each independently adjustable.
Between the two pools, “We have essentially four teaching stations,” says Coach Matt. “Even before the pandemic, we liked smaller group sizes for higher-quality swim lessons. We’ll have one instructor per current and maximum class sizes [of] 2 kids per instructor, so we can teach four lessons at a time. We do teach a lot of babies; if we have only babies in the pool, we can put a few more instructors in. They don’t take up much space.”
They still face some skepticism about their survival swimming lessons, where they teach kids as young as six months to be comfortable floating on their backs. “People don’t believe it,” Coach Matt has found. “They think it’s a waste of money. ‘Just get in there and splash; parents can do that on their own.’ But by showing them videos of what kids can actually do in the water, they go, ‘Oh wow, that would be really good if my kid could do that in the water and save themselves.’
“And they can do it as young as six months. My own son is six months old, and he’s already floating in the pool. He was here today.”
They’ve even been able to overcome skepticism from their adult clients. That includes “some high-end swimmers, Olympic qualifiers who just needed somewhere to swim because everything was shut down. They didn’t think Endless Pools was really for them, and they were just shocked at how much they enjoyed it! They were blown away that they could come in and swim as long as they did and get their workout.
“Once they see that there’s mirrors and they can watch themselves swim and see their technique, they really liked it. And it’s very useful as well for the little ones, getting them something to look at getting their head in the right spot. You can be very creative with the mirrors, it’s very effective.
“As instructors, we can stand in there and make adjustments. They look in the mirror and are able to make adjustments. It’s terrific.”
Other adult clients are purely interested in their fitness and wellness. These clients, Matt says, “just want to get some exercise. We rent the lane space, and they can swim for 30 minutes. If they want to use the treadmill, they’re welcome to.” That would Endless Pools’ exclusive Underwater Treadmill for low-impact jogging and running.
“Every time someone comes in and tries it, whether it’s swimming or the treadmill, they’re like, ‘Wow! I didn’t know it was like this. I wish I would have come here sooner.”
“Yes, it’s different,” Matt empathizes, “but once you get a chance to try it out, whether it’s a baby or someone trying out for the Olympics, they’re convinced that it’s a great situation.”
The Smart Pool Choice
Coach Matt can certainly relate to the swimmers’ hesitancy. He first considered Endless Pools for Commercial pools suitable to a leased space. “I was a little nervous about teaching swim lessons because I’d never done it in a small pool. After visiting the pools in Philadelphia” at the Endless Pools Factory Showroom, “I was pretty convinced that it’d be really successful.”
And since then, “It’s been great,” Phil reports. “My wife is one of the coaches, and they’ve had to learn on the fly how to change what they were doing from the full-size pools, and they ran with it.
"We look forward to a lot more years with Endless Pools.”