The Next Level
Article written July 2022
Tide Swimming is located in South Hampton Roads, Virginia, and has programs ranging from swim lessons up to Masters.
Tide Swimming engaged with Renata Porter, LLC in August of 2019 when Tide Swimming had approximately 530 swimmers and had just achieved their highest finish ever at Junior Nationals. Tide Swimming also qualified 7 swimmers to compete in the 2020 Olympic Trials in Omaha, the most ever in the history of the team and the geographic area.
Tide has a strong and dedicated Board led by Katy Arris-Wilson, and a strong group of approximately 10 full-time and 20 plus part-time coaches led by Richard Hunter and Jack Roach. Jack Roach operated as both an on-deck coach with the National group, a mentor for the entire coaching staff, and an advisor for the Board.
Even though Tide was experiencing great success, then Board President Katy Arris-Wilson, wanted to take Tide Swimming to the next level. The “next level” to Katy meant to be purposeful in their approach towards growth ensuring staff was well supported, communications were strong, and that they deepened their investment in their coaches. Additionally, Tide had the foresight to understand that growth meant there was potential for cracks and missteps to take place without proper planning.
We kicked off the process by conducting an anonymous staff survey to gain a better understanding of staff members' points of view on how the organization functioned. The responses were valuable to Tide leadership in that it supported some of their suspicions on where attention was needed while giving them valuable insight regarding the staff’s perspective on the future.
In order to navigate their growth, they had to take control of their direction. The first piece of work established Tide’s Vision, Values, and Behaviors. Tide’s Vision was charted which ensures they know the direction to unparalleled success. Core values were established to ensure Tide Swimming was operating day in and day out to a consistent standard. Lastly, behavior expectations were established, which provides clarity into how Tide Swimming will put its values into action. The values and behaviors were to be a point of focus for everyone involved with Tide - the staff, swimmers, parents, and volunteers. These would be modeled, celebrated, and corrected as needed in order to create a strong and positive work culture.