7 Tips to Produce a Great Social Distance Swimming Instructional Video

This video was buried in yesterday’s news about the state of Louisiana’s loosening of restrictions related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but given its quality, it’s worth another look.

City of Lafayette Aquatics, in Lafayette, Louisiana, has produced this instrucitonal video demonstrating how it will return to practice in a safer, more socially-distanced, manner, with 10 swimmers at a time.

While several documents have been produced showing pool diagrams and describing plans, this video is the best protocol piece that I’ve seen produced yet.

The production quality on the video is very good, but even if you don’t have that kind of in-house expertise, you too can make a video for your club that is tailored to the specific layout and plan of your club.

By using a video, it will clear up a lot of the confusion and ambiguity surrounding the plans. It can also help parents go over the plan with younger swimmers ahead of time so they know what to expect.

Need help editing a video? Ask your swimmers! You will almost definitely find one, and probably several, who are proficient in video-editing software and can help.

Want to try it yourself? There’s lots of free, and simple, video editing software available on the web, like OpenShot.

The intent here is not to tell other clubs how they should socially-distance, or what their protocols should be. This is more about how to enact your protocols and instructions in a video like this.

Here’s what other clubs can take away from this video that can help make a really great instructional video:

  1. Clear, concise instructions from parking lot to pool
  2. X marks the spot – Marking specific places to stand, and assigning them ahead of time, gives swimmers a clear target as they approach he pool.
  3. Entrance/Exits – Entrance and exit points are spots where you’re most likely to see traffic and confusion. Be sure to have a plan for how these entrances and exits will be handled, who will control them, and describe that plan so swimmers know how to react.
  4. Instructions for parents and athletes – Be sure to tell the parents your expectations from them as well
  5. Give your athletes tips about how to be ready ahead of time. In this video, things like “slip on shoes for faster exit” will help everything move more slowly.
  6. Account for severe weather plans! Weeks of effort can go out the window in moments if a storm rolls in and you didn’t have a plan.
  7. Take it seriously. Lots of coaches, athletes, and parents have different opinions about what is and isn’t safe or normal, and it would be easy to create a video with a heavy overtone of eyerolling. But, if you don’t take it seriously, your athletes won’t either. Make your social distancing plan part of your team’s culture.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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