At the first part of the meet, an invite letter was delivered to coaches and guardians.
Letter to call participants to the new All-City Aquatics All-Star Team
Coach Mark Rauterkus
Head Boys Varsity Coach at PPS Obama
Executive Director, SKWIM USA
108 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226
412-298-3432 = cell
January 24, 2018
Delivery to participants and spectators at PPS Middle School Championships
Dear Swimmers, Guardians and Coaches:
Three cheers to you for completing the middle-school season and competing in today’s championships. Hopefully, you choose to continue swimming, as we’d love to see you at 11:30 am on Saturday at PPS Oliver High School on the Northside.
You are invited to sign-up for a brand-new,
All-City, Aquatics All-Star Team!
First meeting and swim clinic is this Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 11:30 to 1 pm on the Northside at PPS Oliver High School, 2323 Brighton Road, 15212.
Second meeting and clinic is next Saturday, February 3, 2018, from 11:30 to 1 pm at PPS Oliver.
If interested, call, text or email.
Or, sign-up in advance at Play.CLOH.org/rsvp.
We are seeking 25 or more middle-school athletes, boys and girls, of any swimming ability, for this low/no cost program. It is a labor of love from the coach(es). We hope to organize the swimmers, guardians and boosters for an All-Star experience with specialized practices, coaching, training, and lots of play and competitions. We’ll swim, exercise, use technology tools. We’ll also learn, practice and play water polo and SKWIM, a water-disk game. We stress sportsmanship, teamwork, and conditioning with help of digital badges. Playing well with others happens with in-house meets and game-days — if we get your support and your participation.
Expect more information at the first clinics. Other practice opportunities in other city neighborhoods are possible too. Call with questions. See Swim.CLOH.org.
Boost your fitness, swim knowledge, circle-of-friends, swim speed and aquatic game-play so that you can become a future lifeguard and a stronger varsity athlete, in any sport.
Thanks for the consideration.
Coach Mark Rauterkus
Back of letter
Get to Porters Cove
The swim pool at the Thelma Lovette YMCA is five lanes and 25-yards long. The deep end by the starting blocks is seven feet.
The pool is home to a rather small YMCA swim team called the Gators.
Plenty of adult triathletes use the pool for their swim practices in lap swim times.
Community water polo was a part of the activity mix at the pool in past years with summer dreamers and even some Friday night water polo with adults and varsity swimmers. That has not been offered in recent years due to better pool-time opportunities at other facilities.
The slide deck above with associated videos were part of a presentation at the end of the Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic in Napa, California, in January 2018.
Participants had a hands on opportunity with a set of watches, operated the scoreboard / pace clock, heard the audio from the wireless speakers and played briefly with the wearable device, the AutoCoach One.
A Finis sales representative was present along with coaches of various types of swim teams, including masters squads.
Coach Mark Rauterkus shared his experiences with the products and interactions from his years of knowing and using the timing system and recent trends for the company as it charts its way to a more robust sales and marketing efforts in the North American marketplace. The inventors are from Melbourne, Australia, and many more customers are aware of and using the tools there, rather than in the USA.
Click image for a larger view. Use browser’s back button to return.
The chart above explains why a new embrace of game-play is important.
To do better with retention of youngsters in competitive swimming programs, and with USA Swimming, a more robust embrace of game-play and a more robust utility for deploying the game-play and a legitimate pathway with sound reasoning for such games, is needed. The aquatic game-play we’re most fond of, for countless reasons, are water polo and the emerging game of SKWIM.
Both SKWIM and water polo play key roles in the formula for improving retention for swimming participation.
These SKWIM elements are new and different factors for most coaches, teams and families. SKWIM’s fin use, extra safe, easy of entry with minimal equipment, and flexibility of play among three major types of goal scoring help to support the case for inclusion for individuals and scale for diverse population sets.
USA Swimming’s Clubs could use SKWIM to improve outreach and engagement with their larger communities. SKWIM provides a better recreational alternative and activity with summer clubs, community day camps, country club teams, casual swimmers, physical education departments, university intramural activities and school district service provider contracts.
Regular SKWIM play within swim team calendars can retain more of the younger as well as the older individuals. Let’s keep the athletes in the water and associated with their swimming teams for additional years for the development and fun aspects.
Western Pennsylvania’s St. Francis University has a women’s water polo program entering its second season in 2018 and has hired Jay O’Neil as its new head coach.
Years ago, when Jay was a high school junior and senior at Plum High School, we started “community water polo” there, mixing water polo and swimming.
The article supports the concepts promoted in a presentation to the Pacific Swim Coaches about including more aquatic games into competitive swimming practices for the sake of long-term engagement of the kids.
No Saturday Swim School.
This is your invite to shovel instead.