‘Why we emphasise on plans WITH Coaching!’ – Pros and Cons, well, mostly Pros

Posted by -

 

Before you start, let me take you through how this flows –

There’s a quick summary (TL;DR) version and the expanded, elaborated version follows straight after.

  • Who are WE and What have WE been up to
  • Current Landscape (of the swimming market and community)
  • Why coaching?
  • The way forward!

If you’d like to skip the fluff (intros, background et al), you can go straight to the 3rd part ‘Why Coaching?’. You can always scroll right back up anytime to know more!

Why the fluff though? Because in order to understand our perspective, our vision, our ideas, our motives, you need to know who we are, why we started, how we started, what & how our journey has been thus far. We aren’t your regular / average swimming pool providers. We’re here to make a change, and that change starts with YOU!, making you aware, getting you interested and excited. I hope we’ve done a fair job so far, but now it’s time to amp up, to level up. We’re up to it! Are you?!

 

 

TL;DR –

 

  • Who are WE and What have WE been up to

MILESTONE(S)

TIMELINE

Jogo Launched (Running+Cycling)

September 2015

Pivoted from ‘Marketplace’ to ‘In-house’

April 2016

Crossed 100,000 users

October 2016

iOS Appstore ‘Runner-Up’ – Best App 2016 & ‘Most Innovative App’ – India

December 2016

‘Android Editor’s Choice’ Badge

October 2017

Fitso SEALs Launched (premium pools)

November 2017

Successfully operating 7 pools

May 2018

Features + Services standardised, running & operating 20+ pools

April 2019

 

 

  • Current Landscape (of the swimming market and community)

 Left to Right                              ->                        Top to Bottom

Majority don’t know how to swim

Looking to start fresh / learn from scratch

Once comfortable, learn multiple strokes

Holistic benefits realised

Overall improvement in health / lifestyle

20-25 sessions on average to learn basics

 

 

  • Why Coaching?

Firstly

Market Research results – most don’t know how to swim

Secondly

Coach : Students ratio and regular assessment via SEALs App

Thirdly

Crowd control & Management

Fourthly

Encouraging & Initiating pool etiquette

Lastly

Mission – get ‘INDIA’ swimming

 

 

  • The way forward!

Fitso is working towards making ‘Swimming’ a sport for the masses

 

 

 

Expanded Elaboration –

Who are WE and What have WE been up to

Our Story – Early Days; From the Beginning

Fitso came together from a seed (Jogo Technologies) that was planted by 3 alumni from IIT-D in 2015; Saurabh Aggarwal, Naman Sharma & Rahool Sureka.

From the early days of Running+Cycling, to complete fitness solutions, the exploration of various opportunities has always been for the ultimate end goal – “to make people FIT”. This resonates and transcends smoothly from the founders to the rest of the team.

Milestones!

In December 2016, the iOS Appstore ranked Fitso, ‘Runner-Up’ for, ‘Best App of 2016’ & ‘Most Innovative App’ from India, finishing behind the ultra uber-popular photo editing app; Prisma. Fitso was even promoted by Google on the PlayStore as a ‘Top Fitness App’, within a year of launching. In October 2017, Fitso achieved the ‘Android Editor’s Choice’ Badge. (…read more here, here and here)

In November 2017, Fitso launched, ‘SEALs’; Premium Swimming Classes. By May of 2018, Fitso was successfully operating 7 swimming pools across Delhi NCR. Since then, we’ve been working on adding more pools to our roster (7+13), and, more importantly standardising our Features & Services.

 

Current Landscape

– of the swimming market+community

Considering the current market and the overall swimming community, here in Delhi NCR, we’ve seen that majority of our SEALs members (before they join Fitso) either don’t know how to swim at all or might know enough to just float (not drown). So their primary concerns are – 1. Learning the basics; thereby getting comfortable being in the water and 2. Once comfortable with floating, breathing techniques et al, they can then move on to learning preferred strokes and styles.

And then, the added holistic benefits of swimming become apparent. Our members have noticed increased levels of endurance & stamina, they find themselves being more active and feeling energetic. Many have lost weight and improved their overall habits & lifestyle by specifically being disciplined, attending their swimming classes.

On average, we’ve seen (for both children and adults) anywhere between 20-25 sessions to learn the basics of swimming. Hence, we emphasise on ‘Coaching’. But what happens after the 20-25 sessions. Okay, you’re now confident floating and breathing in and out of water. Another 10-15 sessions and you’ve got a couple of strokes down. What then? Do you still need a coach? Is there more to learn, to explore? Most of our Coaches are former athletes and have professional swimming experience and backgrounds. There’s a lot to do and learn when you’re in the water. Some SEALs like furthering their endurance and stamina by doing more laps. Some want to better their technique thereby reducing their lap times. Some want to continue pushing as much as they can and then some more – underwater. There’s so much going on under the surface! So yes, even though you know the basic strokes and are overall comfortable and confident in the water, it’s a good idea to continue with coaching. We’ve even seen renewals AND referrals for coaching. It’s a win-win. So now, let’s find out what else we know and believe about ‘Coaching’.

 

Why Coaching?

Firstly, there’s the market research. Like I mentioned above, up to 90% of our new members don’t know how to swim and are looking to start from scratch. We noticed and identified this gap and we’ve been fully committed to teach ‘INDIA’, how to swim.

Secondly, we maintain a maximum ratio of Coaches : Students at 1 : 8. This way, everyone gets the required attention. It isn’t necessary for everyone to learn and progress the same way. We’re a product of our experiences (whether we’ve been in and around water), prior knowledge (about swimming), fears (drowning, getting pulled into open water/waves, undersea creatures). So each member is expected to chart out their own journey to total & absolute independence in the water. Of course, our Coaches are there to guide you all the way. These aren’t just any Coaches. They’re the best of the best, the cream of the crop (more on that here). You can even check and stay updated on your progress via the Fitso SEALs mobile app. The Coaches are constantly assessing their students and update the mobile app on the backend. So you have real-time data and results to track your progress!

Thirdly, via the aforementioned ratio, we can automatically control and limit the total number of people in any given pool at any given time. That way, we make sure our pools are never overcrowded. Everyone gets their space, their time. So what happens to those who aren’t learning? Easy, the Coaches will take up the space they require to make sure everyone can learn effectively, while the rest ‘open swimmers’ get their own space to do laps, swim around, whatever it may be.

Fourthly, which brings us to – ‘basic pool etiquette’. If the open swimmers have learned the tricks of the ‘strokes’ from us, then we’re confident, in terms of their behaviour/patterns. They won’t be interfering with anyone, since they’ve literally graduated, possibly with top honours, from our SEALs academy. For the ones, that aren’t OG (original) SEALs, they might find it inconvenient or just plain bothersome that they aren’t getting enough space to swim freely. However, these notions are often misdirected, misunderstood and misinterpreted.   

Swimming in a Fitso run pool is different in many ways. We take quality standards very very seriously. We’re working on converting all our outdoor pools to – indoor, year-round, all-weather pools. Our pools are closed for one day in the week, which is when we carry out all the maintenance for the pool. Safety & Security is paramount too. We want to make swimming a wholesome, family activity. The ideal event for us is to have an entire family, with 3 generations swimming at the same time. Imagine, how the family vacation discussions would go, everyone aching to go to a beach town to show off their newly acquired skills.

Also, we’re a ‘tech-forward’ co. We’re well into the 21st century. Our cellphones don’t leave our sides, rather, we don’t let ‘em go. We wake up, checking notifications, following up on mails etc. etc. We have our phones on us ALL.THE.TIME. The simple humble phone has replaced pretty much everything on our work stations. The very idea and advent of technology is to make human life easier, simpler, faster; so that we can get more done in less time. So where do we come in? We’re firm believers of automation via A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and integrating systems and setups via I.O.T. (Internet of Things). We’re looking and heading towards a place where the only human element will be our Coaches. Everything else will be running on autoplay; pool operations, water maintenance, entry and exit via biometric scanners, lockers access via fingerprint scanners, so on and so forth. We’ve already started with live in-app assessment that I mentioned earlier. This is just the beginning!  

Lastly, we’re here to run a business. We have a vision. And that vision extends to making sport and general leisurely exercise (movement) accessible and fun! Through Fitso, we want to become pioneers, frontrunners, leaders and we’ve hit a bang with swimming.

However, let’s say you still don’t want a coach. That you’d rather just do your own thing, swim at your own pace. Do you still need a coach? Maybe not, but, you’ll still have questions, you might get curious. You may be swimming by yourself, alone. At the very least, you’d be intrigued. Some of our Coaches are National & International record holders. For instance, one of our Coaches swam from the Gangotri to the Bay of Bengal (North to East). The same Coach also swam through the Arabian Sea from Mumbai to Goa. You’re inspired right? Wouldn’t you want to know the hows and whats? Sure, you can talk to our Coaches every now and then, even though your plan doesn’t include coaching. But then your curiosity and limits won’t be limiting you now would they? You’d probably want to explore and further your own horizons. There is so much going on in the world of swimming. We’re just getting you started!

 

 

What’s Next – The Way Forward!

Swimming is the best form of exercise (know more..). And sadly, swimming hasn’t been a sport/activity for the masses, at least in our country. We’re working on changing that. Swimming brings together what we started with. Fitness and movement via Running, Cycling and now Swimming, we’ve now unintentionally created a platform to discover and train India’s brightest sparks. Fitso members can now train and compete for Triathlons. Let’s start repping India more when it comes to the pinnacle of triathlons; IronMan.

 

P.S. – A Fitso SEALs member has come through the ranks and absolutely killed it; SPECIAL OLYMPICS GOLD MEDAL WINNER!!! (not just 1 but 2 Golds)