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Log Rolling At Indiana University Attracts More Students To The Pool

  • 3 min read

Indiana University started a log rolling program in 2015 and continues to use log rolling as a key activity to drive students who weren’t typical pool users to their aquatics facility. We spoke with their aquatics director to provide insights on introducing log rolling and the impact it’s had. 

How were you introduced to log rolling?
That’s an interesting question. Eager for new aquatics programming, our campus recreation director purchased 6 Key Logs after attending a demo at a recreation conference. I wasn’t familiar with log rolling, so I reached out to Abby at Key Log Rolling, and they came out to train our team to log roll.

How did you get people to come to the pool to try log rolling?
We did a few things to build awareness.

1. At the start of every fall semester, as part of Rec Fest at Welcome Week, we set up a log rolling booth with a Key Log in a 15’ diameter inflatable pool. We had a lifeguard, complete with whistle, sitting in a lifeguard stand - whistling people to come over and try, with the promise of a freeze pop after trying (Indiana is HOT in mid-August). Two of our skilled log rolling students stood at each end to hold the log still, and another stood in the middle providing instructions. Students lined up to give it a shot. After they were done, we gave them flyers listing the days/times students could come to the indoor pool and log roll more. The flyers were key, along with the super positive, enthusiastic student log rollers encouraging everyone to come back to the indoor pool!

2. Throughout the semester we had one weeknight and one Sunday afternoon when open/informal rolling was available for 1.5 hours minimum. These sessions occurred during the regular informal time in the pool so students, faculty, staff, and community members would be present in the pool.


Who led the open/informal log rolling? 
In order to both supervise and provide instruction/guidance, we handpicked some of our lifeguards who enjoyed log rolling and offered them special Log Rolling Instructor shifts. They were paid the same as if they were guarding because they were responsible for providing basic instructions, demonstrations, and supervising all rolling. They were paid for an additional 30 minutes to set up the logs and put them all away at the end of the session. Most importantly, we required that someone was always log rolling, even if there weren’t other student participants in order to attract attention to the Key Log and the activity.

What do students think about log rolling?
They LOVE it! Log rolling attracted a lot of new users to the pool! People who had not used the pool before (not lap swimmers or aquatic exercise people). We had everyone sign in and indicate what school year they were, and if this was the first time they came to log roll. It showed we had a lot of new users, every aquatic director’s goal!


Any surprises? 

Our log rolling lifeguards eventually started a log rolling club because they were enjoying it so much. They became our ambassadors at Rec Fest since they were invested in attracting people to try so they might join the club. The club was very enthusiastic, supportive, and appreciative of Key Log Rolling’s promotion of log rolling at the collegiate level and the Collegiate Tournament Series.
Also, on several occasions, athletic teams using the pool for conditioning (women’s soccer, volleyball in particular) saw the log rolling occurring and asked if they could try it. They had a blast and found it to be challenging physically as well as fun. In both of those situations, the strength coach asked if they could use the logs again in the future.

Add Key Log Rolling to your program!
Contact us to learn about adding Key Log Rolling to your campus aquatics program! Our onsite, customized Learn & Lead Log Rolling™ staff training workshop gives your staff the tools they need to make log rolling an integral part of your aquatics programming. Rolling will attract a new audience to your program, and also introduce a fun fitness activity to your core users. It provides the opportunity for aquatics to be involved with other programs such as intramurals, club sports, fitness, and campus-wide events.

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