Do you listen to podcasts? I've just rediscovered them. Remember when you had to download them to your MP3 player with an aux cable?! Wifi and smarthphones make everything so much simpler. Podcasts are great when I'm driving or flying to a class, allowing me to learn something new and stay connected to different aspects of the pool industry.
I want to share the pool-related podcasts that I've found valuable. Some are geared towards pool operators and service technicians while others are for aquatic staff, such as lifeguards and swim instructors.
I like the free app Podcast Addict (Android only), after trying out a few different apps that didn't have all of the functionalities I wanted for hands-free play while driving.
Greg and Tyler cut their teeth in the residential pool service industry in Scottsdale, Arizona. They recently sold their business, and now dedicate themselves full-time (along with trusty sidekick Kyle!) to providing education and networking opportunities to those within the industry.
Pool Chasers interviews the who's who of designers, manufacturers and service people within the US residential pool industry. Their number one priority is helping those who want to better themselves, particularly in an industry known for its "old dogs" who selfishly refuse to share knowledge. They are actively working to build community within the industry via a Facebook group and on Instagram.
Given that this is their full-time job, the Pool Chasers have the ability to produce LONG (often 2 hours!) episodes every week, as well as bonus content to Patreon sponsors like us! Pool Chasers challenges an industry still stuck on paper & pencil to embrace social media to improve outcomes.
Favourite episodes -
Episodes 18-23: Water Chemistry Education Series
Wayne Ivusich of Taylor Technologies has spent 30+ years in the pool industry, and he is a wealth of information when it comes to water chemistry. Wayne is also a fellow Certified Pool Operator (CPO) instructor and instructor trainer.
Episode 9: Patriot Pool & Spa
This story resonated for me personally because owner Hal Dunbar went to university, and still found his way back to pools! He talks about how he build his company from being a one-poler to having a staff of over 30 people.
Founder Rick Kauffman's daughter, Kelsey, died from complications after drowning under the supervision of a babysitter in a lifeguarded outdoor pool in 1993. It has taken 25 years for Rick to realize his passion is to spread awareness about water safety and drowning prevention. Rick has no direct experience in the aquatics industry, other than as a user.
The real strength of this podcast is that it covers a very wide range of topics, from interviewing water safety advocates to swimming instructors, aquatic facility managers, manufacturers, consultants, and even the parents of drowning casualties (both fatal and non-fatal).
Rick has set a personal goal to reduce the number of drownings by 185,000 people by 2029 - hence the name The Drowning Warriors - by spreading awareness with this podcast and social media. Rick is also committed to getting everyone working together (not in silos), something that doesn't always happen when different agencies refuse to play nice together in the same sandbox. Aquatic professionals also have the opportunity to connect through a new LinkedIn group.
Note: episodes are recorded by phone, so not all are great quality audio.
Favourite episodes -
Episode 55: Rapid Oxygen (product)
What an incredible piece of technology! I hope these become as common as AEDs in the next 20 years.
Episode 23: Gerry Dworkin, founder of Lifesaving Resources LLC
Gerry's impact on the aquatic industry, particularly for surf lifeguards and first responders, is difficult to overstate. Be sure to check out his website and Facebook page for lots of free resources.
Ask the Masters
This podcast is very much about the design and construction of watershapes. If, like me, you've never been in a backyard spraying shotcrete (spray concrete) or considered the design consequences of black tile in a shallow water feature in sunny California (bacteria will grow really fast!), this is a good introduction to the technical aspects.
Started by David Penton, a GENESIS Society of Watershape Designer (SWD) Master, many of these episodes are informal conversations with trade professionals just like you would find on any job site. There is also a Facebook group where multiple, well-known SWD Masters are available to comment on different projects.
Note: I would be remiss if I didn't warn you that their sponsor advertising is poorly integrated into the podcast as fake phone calls, so be prepared to hit fast-forward in those sections.
This was supposed to be a list of pool podcasts..?
Whenever I need to feel inspired as a business owner/operator, this is the place I go. I've never left an episode without feeling more positive about the outlook for my business or without tons of easily-implemented business strategies.
Yes, every episode is not every person (some are personal Q&As). However, if one episode is not for you, another one certainly will be - addressing a pain point you feel at work. Episodes are always short & tight (max. 45 minutes) so they pack a big punch.
Favourite Episodes -
Episode 207: How to Batch Work (and Save Yourself Hours)
Pretty much a game changer if you're not currently batching your work flow!
Episode 28: Following Your Intuition with Jess Lively
Following your intuition is not about being emotional - it's about listening for the subtle markers that will only be visible with hindsight once disaster strikes if you don't follow your intuition.
Other podcasts I've recently started listening to:
This new podcast started by a Canadian in the aquatics industry plans to connect and highlight professionals such as lifeguards and swim instructors.
This podcast from the company by the same name currently discusses stroke analysis and improving swimming bio-mechanics. If you're newer to teaching swimming lessons, or looking at moving into a coaching role, this podcast is for you.
Chlorine King Pool Service Show Podcast
Eric Taylor is the owner/operator of Chlorine King Pool Service. He overcame tremendous personal challenges to build a successful business. He is respected for his willingness to help us, and tell it like it is!
Did we miss a podcast? If so, please let us know in the comments below!