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Meet Francois Harris of Vision Swim Club in Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francois Harris.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Francois. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
One challenging situation bore fruit to a perfect opportunity for Francois Harris, currently the coach of Vision Swim Club in Sherman Oaks, CA. The city of LA had its challenges maintaining its city program in 2010, that it decided to completely shut down its operations. Together with parents who wanted their kids to continue swimming under coach Francois, they formed Vision Swim Club. It was, as Francois would put it: “a club started with the vision to provide the highest levels of training at the lowest costs possible.” Vision Swim has not raised its price since inception, at $95 per month, it continues to be the most affordable club, by about 67% while remaining competitive as proven by 60% of its swimmers qualifying for Championship Meets.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely has not been a smooth road, income still remains a big issue. As we complete our non-profit (501c3) status, more avenues should open up and we can expect a brighter future.

We are also preparing ourselves for expansion, after this interview, who knows how many potential swimmers we’ll have lining up our doors. 🙂 But seriously, we have progressively been growing in the last two years, partially because of our low cost and partially due to word of mouth. We have a drawing power because of the fact that we have just the right amount of kids in a swim lane for our coaches to give them all the attention they need.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Vision Swim Club story. Tell us more about the business.
Our swim club, located in San Fernando Valley, is a year-round competitive swim team offering high-quality professional coaching and technique instruction for all ages.

The mission of the Vision Swim Club program is to strengthen our community through the positive development of youth in competitive swim training and instruction.

The program encourages development of the individual through goal setting, disciplined participation and performance improvement. Vision Swim participants strive to achieve a unified team, recognition as a quality program and the highest level of achievement as they prepare for invitationals, Junior Olympics, Nationals and beyond.

The Vision Swim program strives to maintain accessibility to the broadest possible segment of the community with very modest fees.

We are really proud of what our swimmers achieve outside of the Club environment because we do think that what our coaches teach our kids can be applied not just in the pool but more than anything, in life. We are proud of the camaraderie within the team. You will rarely see a swim team where their 8-year old swimmer personally knows and actually hangs out with another swimmer 10 years his/her senior. We’re small enough to be a really tight-knit club but big enough to compete with the rest of the bigger clubs.

We’re also proud of last year’s graduating class who have gone on to universities such as U Penn, UCLA, UCSB and Pepperdine University, to name a few.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I guess you can say that the opportunity came about because of the unfortunate closure of Francois’ previous swim club.

The good luck we’ve been having is the continued support from our parents, none of whom are paid to do what they do for their club, this includes Rico and Mitch Blank, our Secretary/Treasurer.

Pricing:

  • $95 per month per swimmer
  • Annual fees for the club as well as for USA Swimming

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ara Mouradian and John Marasigan

1 Comment

  1. Pamela Harris

    February 18, 2017 at 02:33

    Great article. Self-sacrificing coach who is willing to keep the club membership fee which probably means he gets paid less.

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