POOLaide Webinar: Fun & Motivating Your Aquatic Team

POOLaide Webinar: Fun & Motivating Your Aquatic Team

Presentation by Joey Rusnak, Lifeguard Authority
Originally aired April 13, 2020

An enjoyable workplace experiences less staff turnover, greater financial success, and high levels of employee engagement. Replicating the approaches used by top brands and employers, it's possible to motivate and recognize aquatic staff on a budget. 

Powerpoint Slides

Joey Rusnak
Joey is a popular presenter across North America educating and inspiring individuals to do better. He has had the privilege to lead many teams in various recreation departments for indoor/outdoor/waterfront aquatic operations, general community programs, community development, fitness, camps, preschool, skating and sports. Joey seeks new and innovative ways to engage communities and teams, and to prevent and eliminate drowning. His personal mantra is connect, collaborate, and contribute.

Joey was recently named by Aquatics International Magazine to the 2020 Power Issue for Lifeguard Authority and his work elevating the status of lifeguards as professionals. 

Show Notes

00:00 early start - webinar hangout with Katie Crysdale, Lakeview Aquatic Consultants Ltd. 

28:40 Welcome

29:52 Introducing Joey Rusnak, Lifeguard Authority

33:28 Presentation

1:29:30 End of Presentation

1:31:50 Q & A with Joey

2:04:28 Wrap Up

Links/Sources Discussed 

Friday, April 10 webinar recording & show notes

Katie's favourite leadership books & blogs:

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

Quiet by Susan Cain

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine Aron 

The Carrot Principle by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton

Liz Ryan's Human Workplace Blog

Happy Campers by Audrey Monke

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

The Honeybook Blog/Rising Tide Society

Highly Sensitive Refuge

Leadership books & resources shared in the chat box during pre-show:

One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek TED Talks 

The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z Posner

Swim Angelfish Swim Whisperer Training

Robert Glazer's Friday Forward Newsletter

Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin 

The Fish! Philosophy (YouTube Channel)

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

All previous POOLaide Webinar recordings (YouTube)

POOLaide Webinar Main Page 

POOLaide Webinar Networking List (Google Drive)

All CEU information for the POOLaide Webinars

Lifeguard Authority (Facebook Group)

Lifeguard Authority (website)


Get active challenges shared in the chat box during the webinar: 

  • swim challenge
  • total distance cooperative team challenge (running, biking, swimming, etc.) 

Food ideas shared in the chat box during the webinar:

  • staff potlucks 
  • chili competition, cake off, 
  • sundae setup: ice cream, maraschino cherries, whipped cream, chocolate/caramel/strawberry sauce, marshmallows, sprinkles, cookies, candy, cones, etc. Don't forget dairy free options like sorbet. 
  • spaghetti night
  • breakfast casserole in the crockpot plus toast, OJ, bananas after an early bird inservice
  • InstantPot lunches
  • weekly treat day (staff alternate bringing in lunch, snack, etc.)
  • pre-lesson breakfast buffet on Saturday/Sunday
  • sandwich making station (peanut butter, jam, lunch meat, cheese)
  • grilled cheese on a countertop griddle
  • food theme days (St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, Canada Day, burgers, birthday party, etc.)
  • waffle/breakfast station 
  • homemade popsicles
  • Freezie Fridays or freeze Kool Aid juice jammers
  • popcorn station plus seasoning shakers 
  • smoothie station (frozen fruit plus ice in blender)
  • frappe station (juice plus ice in blender)
  • watermelon Wednesdays
  • Subway sandwich platters or frozen lasagna for report card writing day 
  • microwave nachos
  • Muffin Mondays
  • Lifeguard Appreciation Day
  • BBQ: hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. (get a used BBQ/grill out back)
  • team birthday cake days

Staff Nutrition & Hydration (blog post)


Staff recognition programs shared in the chat box during the webinar: 

  • band aid ballet: how many band aids staff collect
  • weighing the sand that staff sweep up (outdoor pool) and log pounds by person per month 
  • super sub star program: for individuals who cover open/tradeboard shifts  
  • TikTok challenge
  • McDonalds coffee stickers donated by clients/customers to create reward coffees for staff
  • staff award nights - plaques, formal clothing, prom
  • recognition whistles (certain colours) or Lifeguard of the Month tube sleeve

Cheering Works Commercial (YouTube) 

TikTok Said to be Under Security Review (New York Times)

Digital team space ideas shared in the chat box during webinar: 

  • Facebook Group
  • Private Instagram Page
  • GroupMe texting
  • Google Hangout
  • Google Classroom
  • Message board in scheduling software
  • Zoom, WebX, GotoMeeting, ClickMeeting
  • Facebook Live
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Discord App

Seagull Management

5 Love Languages

16 Personalities Quiz

True Colours Personality Quiz

ALIVE Solutions Inc. / Aquatics Tribe Crisis Connection

Sticker Mule

Managing Up 

Good/Cheap/Fast — pick two (and how NGOs can play the triangle ...

Lifeguards Without Borders 

Lakeview Aquatic Consultants (Instagram)

Lakeview Aquatic Consultants (Facebook)

Lakeview Aquatic Consultants Newsletter Signup

Let us know what you think about the POOLaide Webinars by completing a short survey 

For the complete POOLaide webinar schedule, please click here.

Powerpoint Slides


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