3800 – Business Certificate – Aquatic Therapy…The Pool – The Environment – The Continuum

Advanced / Lecture


Sanibel, FL / Thursday, June 21, 2018 – 6.0 credit hours

Classroom: 7:45-10:45 am

Lunch/Exhibit Hall: 11:00 am-1:00 pm

Classroom: 1:00-4:00 pm


Faculty: Mick Nelson, BS, MS / Sue Nelson, BS / Kent Nelson, CMT


COURSE DESCRIPTION: USA Swimming and Counsilman Hunsaker will share with you how important it is to understand the four pillars of sustainability for all aquatic facilities. They will present different pool designs and features for therapy and beyond. They will also provide costs to build and operate. You will learn about water and air quality and what you, the aquatic professional, can do to start a paradigm shift in how aquatic facilities operate on a daily basis. Hear about the programming model USA Swimming is promoting for sustainability, which will include marketing your brand and your business. 


This Business Certificate course will teach you what it takes to build, promote and operate aquatic therapy with other aquatic users.

Š     Pool features you should consider for therapy (and more)

Š     How to offer therapy in a fitness club setting

Š     How to use a therapy pool for group programs

Š     How to fund and get a pool built

Š     What it cost to build and operate a pool

Š     How to make a pool profitable

Š     How to create a safe and functional environment regarding water and air

Š     Pool programming and marketing business models: Aquatic Personal Training + CAAP Programming model; Mini-Clinics and Pool Chats; and the 4 Pillars and Partnerships.



1)  Determine what it takes to build a therapy pool.

2)  Explore what partners would work best with aquatic therapy.

3)  Examine what it takes to develop transitioning patients from therapy to the continuum.

4)  Gain an understanding of how important TAD plays in a partnership.

5)  Discover the importance of branding and marketing your business (even if you rent water and don’t own your own pool).


FACULTY:  Mick Nelson, BS, MS, is the Facilities Development Director for USA Swimming. He comes from a club coaching background and has extensive experience in business and aquatic management. Mick and his wife, Sue, formed their own swim club and built their own indoor facility in Danville, IL in 1972. During their 30 years in Danville, they formed Nelson’s Swim Supply, a retail and wholesale pool/spa and aquatic equipment business. They also offered aquatic facility design, building, and business consultation to the aquatic industry with their company, NSS Inc. In 1994, they formed WaterWay Therapy Inc., which was one of the first and only privately owned and operated Medicare-approved outpatient aquatic physical therapy centers in the country. Poolside Health & Wellness Center, a full-service land and water community health and wellness center, was created by the Nelsons in 2002. In June 2004, they moved to Colorado Springs, CO, to help form the new Facilities Department of USA Swimming. Since that time, the Facilities Department has been involved with the development of many new facilities and has many more in the design or feasibility phase. They have been presenters and speakers at over 50 national aquatic conventions over the past 15 years.


Sue Nelson, BS, ATRIC, is the resource person and technical consultant that serves USA Swimming members, potential members and Make a Splash Local Partners. She provides advice on organizing, conducting and evaluating Learn to Swim programs; initiates communication with the Learn to Swim providers and offers educational resources. She develops and publishes program information as it relates to Total Aquatic Programming, conducts clinics, seminars, workshops and swimposiums related to Learn to Swim and the Make a Splash initiative, as well as provide an understanding of the four Aquatic Pillars that allows an Aquatic Center to be self-sustaining. Sue presents at the USA Swimming Regional Build a Pool Conferences and the Saving Pools Saves Lives Workshops.


Kent Nelson, CMT, has a diverse background in aquatics. Growing up in a family-owned and operated aquatic facility, Kent learned from a young age the ins and outs of daily operations, programming, and the business of aquatics. A USA Swimming head coach for 20 years, Kent was an NCAA Division III swimmer and diver. After college Kent returned to the family business to help grow the first privately owned aquatic therapy group in the country. Kent also serves on many national organization boards, including the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) as a member of the advisory council.