Jim + Jeff Wood are life-long "swim-preneurs" dedicated to the sport of swimming and teaching people the skills they need to be successful swimmers. They jointly began their own swim school in Smyrna, Georgia, and have also launched a new online swim school, SwimAble.com. Older brother Jim is a former swim teammate of CJ's at St. Bonaventure University.
In this episode, Jim, Jeff and CJ discuss their passion for swimming, starting a business and their partnership with The Gist.
Jim, Jeff and CJ Discuss Learning to Swim, Starting a Business, and Revolutionizing Swim Lessons
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- CJ and the brothers' Wood have know each other through college, and CJ has been able to follow and assist with their success in running two swim businesses.
- The guys discuss their earliest swimming memories and recall when they first learned to swim. They reflect on their experience with the local swimming lessons of their youth.
- Jeff and Jim started swimming competitively at ages 7 and 8. Their passions for swimming developed quickly soon after. Jeff caught an extreme swimming bug after achieving the record for the 100m butterfly. They also both competed on the fastest relay in the country at the time.
- They all recall that their most fond memories are the ones they made with their teammates, and not individual efforts and achievements.
- Jeff remembers the terrible diet advice they were given as young athletes. Carbo-loading was the popular advice of the time, and they recall consuming copious amounts of pasta.
- CJ wonders why there's such a big talent pool from Rochester, NY and surrounding areas. Jeff attributes it to the program GRRR (Greater Rochester Racing Raiders), let by Rick Aronberg. That program trained swimmers from the area at an early age, which helped develop an elite pool of talent.
- Jeff comments that he'd love to help former elite athletes transition to a life after athletics/competition. He remarks that so many elite athletes are lost and fall on hard times after exiting their sport, either after college, or after a professional career. The brothers would love to add this idea to a new project in the future.
- The brothers moved from Chicago to Atlanta after a career move and grad school. After disliking life in the 'corporate' world, they decided to start their swim school to focus on their passion. They began by traveling to peoples home pools, and then to a hotel pool, before settling on a space of their own.
- SwimAble, the brothers newest endeavor, is an online platform that allows parents to teach their kids, or themselves how to swim in their own pool space. Jim + Jeff spent years developing the perfect way to present these online lessons so parents can teach their kids themselves, as they do so many other skills. Following the logic that parents know their own children well, they aim to give parents the tools they need to teach their own kids to swim.
- CJ notes that the curriculum is game-based, which teaches the child while they are having fun! The brothers also capture Montessori methods in their own program. The idea of eliminating 'barriers' that were being created by adults, and allowing the kids to discover the best learning method for them.
- SwimAble Kid makes swimming lessons affordable for families and it fits their schedule/lifestyle. The membership begins at $20/month, and parents will receive weekly emails containing lessons, games and a swim test to help parents assess their child's progress. Then that information can be used to personalize the program for your child.
- SwimAble Adult is their Swim Discovery™ offer for adults. Adults can learn to swim with their own step by step videos and personalized online coaching.
- Visit swimable.com, check out their blog as podcast as well!