Start swimming lessons at the age of one-year-old, says American Academy of Pediatrics

| Safety

Kids should start swimming lessons at the age of one. That is one of the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.


The guidelines were released in 2019.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in U.S. for children ages 1 through 4. But almost 1,000 kids die from drowning every year. That is why the AAP is now recommending kids start swimming lessons at the age of 1.

It says water competency is the ability to anticipate, avoid and survive common drowning situations.

The AAP says there is evidence that swim lessons may reduce the risk of drowning, but the agency says "even the best swimming lessons cannot drown-proof’ a child"

That's why parents should always, carefully watch their kids around water.

Marci Harmon teaches infant and toddler swim lessons in Mishawaka. She believes teaching young kids to float and swim is saving lives.

“They can crawl. If they have any mode of transportation to get to a body of water, they are at risk of drowning or getting in trouble in water anyhow. Any barrier or precaution we can take to help prevent that or less the chance of that the better off they are going to be,” said Harmon, Little Fins Swim School.

The report also says as educators and advocates, pediatricians can play an important role in the prevention of drowning.

There are a ton of recommendations in this report to help parents.

Drowning only takes seconds. Infants are most likely to drown in bathtubs or buckets, and preschoolers are most likely to drown in swimming pools.

Many of these tragedies occur when the child gets unanticipated access to water.

The AAP News report details the death of a 3-year-old named Levi. His mom always had him in a life jacket around water. But one day on vacation he slipped outside and was found face down in the pool.

Kicking & Swimming

| Equipment

* Fun Friday Feature *

Everyone knows that the arms and hands don't aid in propulsion for RUNNING.

These kicking-have-no-benefit articles have sparked a new, patent-pending running-short invention that features POCKETS for the hands. Golly, why didn't I think of this sooner?

For swimming, I am going to start a new Kickstarter campaign (pun) that includes a BUY BACK PROGRAM for kick boards and fins. Everyone gets to ship me their used kick-boards and fins and pay me for the service of accepting their equipment. Think of the space you'll free up at the pool and beyond.

Jingle: 
It is worth it to jettison the worthless. Be the first to ship to 108 S. 12th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226 USA. Bitcoins and Cash Preferred! Minimum order $100. 

* Jeff, a little spam tastes better with Heinz Ketchup. *

USA Swimming wants more diversity in its pool of athletes

| Swim


USA Swimming seeks diversity

Simone Manuel made history in Rio's Olympics by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.

Juan Caraveo, a sports diversity and inclusion consultant for USA Swimming, points to Manuel, as well as Olympic swimmers Lia Neal and Anthony Ervin, who has won two golds in Rio, as evidence that a historically white-dominated sport is now beginning to draw from a wider base.

The U.S. Swim Team competing in Rio is the most diverse yet, he says. "But we still have a lot of work to do."

The USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic branch of USA Swimming, is working to help more African-Americans learn to swim. Today, 70 percent of African-American children haven't learned to swim.

"We want the demographics of our sport to be reflective of that of the country," says Caraveo.

But to make that happen, he and USA Swimming must also succeed in encouraging another underrepresented group to join their sport: Latinos.

Nearly 60 percent of Latino children can't swim, compared to 40 percent of Caucasians.


Caraveo and USA Swimming also have another motive in mind: more Olympic medals. By attracting more minorities, he says, "then we've increased our talent pool. Then we're not relying just on the Caucasian community ... . It's better from a competitive standpoint."

So Caraveo and USA Swimming are on a mission to identify the barriers to diversifying their sport and then break them down one by one.

Juan Caraveo, a diversity consultant for USA Swimming, began swimming at an early age, encouraged by his parents. On the right, he was about age 7 when he was swimming in a city pool in Temple, Texas.

Courtesy of Nicole Wilson/USA Swimming Foundation; Courtesy of Juan Caraveo

Cultivating A Culture Of Swimming

"My parents swim," says Caraveo. "My mom always felt that it is important for us to know how to swim and enjoy the water."

His parents, who both immigrated to the United States from Mexico, encouraged Caraveo's interest in the sport, but Caraveo recognizes that many children in Latino communities don't come from a culture of swimming. "Because the parents aren't swimming, the kids aren't swimming," he says.

Indeed, USA Swimming says that if a parent can't swim, there is only a 13 percentchance that a child will learn.

USA Swimming is trying to break that cycle. They have a multicultural team, which includes Caraveo, that is available to help local swim clubs find ways to reach out to different cultural groups.

"We work at the grassroots level," Caraveo explains. "We're having conversations with parents and grandparents in parks in the summer who are not utilizing pools."

One incentive Caraveo points to when speaking with reluctant parents is financial.

In Texas, he says, a high-schooler can make $8 an hour working at a fast food chain or mowing lawns.

"If you're a swim instructor or life guard, those jobs start out at $10 an hour," he says. "In urban areas, ... there is often a shortage of swim instructors and lifeguards because the kids in those communities aren't learning how to swim."

Some local swim clubs do succeed in drawing Hispanic swimmers. Eleven-year-old Emily Lopez-Diaz swims for the YMCA of South Florida Barracudas in the Miami area. Her father, Josue Lopez, estimates that about 30 percent of the team is Latino.

Lopez doesn't consider himself much of a swimmer, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming an integral part of his daughter's swimming community.

"I was surprised because I didn't really know that I was one of the best," says Emily Lopez-Diaz about winning a bronze medal in a regional competition last year.

Naomi Lopez

"I get excited," he says. "Whenever she is swimming, I am cheering for her."

And his daughter is thriving. In a regional competition last year, Lopez-Diaz won a bronze medal for the 50-meter backstroke.

"I felt like I was really accomplished and I was proud of myself," Lopez-Diaz says. "I was surprised because I didn't really know that I was one of the best."

It may seem unsurprising that Miami, with its large Hispanic population, would have a swim team that succeeds in attracting a more diverse group of swimmers.

But there are other parts of the country where large Hispanic populations remain mostly separate from swimming culture.

According to Merari Chollette, the diversity chair of Potomac Valley Swimming around Washington, D.C., of 11,533 athletes swimming in clubs under the PVC umbrella, only 76 identified themselves as Hispanic. This, despite the fact that Hispanics make up 14 percent of the D.C. area population.

She knows that the true number of Latino swimmers is likely higher since many choose not to identify ethnicity on forms. But it is still far from where she would like it to be.

"We want every child to feel that this is a sport they can participate in," she says.

Chollette is finding that for some non-English speakers, language is a barrier — people are hesitant to become part of a community where they can't speak with others.

For some, the financial commitment may be a challenge. To address that barrier, Potomac Valley Swimming set up a grant program for this upcoming year.

"Training in this sport can be very expensive. It can cost as much as $1,500 to $4,000 a year for swim team fees in the Washington metropolitan area," says Chollette.

But she also says that swimmers shouldn't be discouraged by the financial hurdle. Some clubs like YMCAs charge significantly lower fees and many clubs have funding to offer scholarships and financial assistance.

Promoting Pool Access

All successful competitive swimmers have one thing in common: access to a pool as a kid.

The USA Swimming Foundation is making swimming more accessible through their Make a Splash Initiative. The program provides funding to local swim lesson-providers to raise awareness about water safety and offer swim instruction to children who otherwise couldn't afford it. More than 3.4 million children have received swim lessons through this program.

For children who want to take the next step and swim competitively, USA Swimming has an outreach program that offers need-based discounted memberships.

Helen Garcia began her swimming career at the age of 5 when her family moved to South Gate, Calif., from East Los Angeles.

Helen Garcia is the head coach of Albany Armada Aquatics in Calif. Her parents encouraged her to swim as a child even though they didn't know how themselves.

Her parents, who grew up in Mexico, didn't know how to swim, although her father has since learned from watching Garcia and her three brothers.

There was a pool in their new neighborhood that offered affordable programming, so her father signed his children up for lessons.

Garcia feels lucky that her family happened to move near a pool. "There aren't a whole lot of indoor 50-meter pools out here," she says.

She also feels lucky that she happened to fall into an elite swimming program. When she was 12, her local team merged with another that was more competitive. In the first week, her new coach said that he saw her going to Junior Nationals in a year.

"I didn't even know what that was," she says. "There was a whole other level of swimming that I hadn't even tapped into."

Garcia did go on to compete at Junior Nationals at 13 and again at 14, when she broke the record in the 200-meter breaststroke. She later progressed to Senior Nationals and earned a scholarship to swim for the University of California, Berkeley.

Garcia is now the head coach of Albany Armada Aquatics in Albany, Calif., and owner of Helen's Happy Swim School in Oakland, Calif.

As she progressed in competitive swimming, most of her teammates were white. Now she's a member of the coaching community, which is also predominantly white.

USA Swimming has a mentoring program that helps coaches from or serving underrepresented groups to strengthen their coaching skills.

Caraveo is Garcia's mentor. He has visited her team and worked with her to troubleshoot training challenges.

"Just to see his enthusiasm about our team was just so wonderful," she says. "It's amazing to have that kind of mentorship and guidance."

Swimmer Cristina Teuscher Fabbri (third from left) with her family and coach John Collins (right) at the 1994 World Championships in Rome.

Identifying Role Models

"[Young swimmers] need to see somebody like them. A star. Somebody they can relate to," says Caraveo. "When I was growing up, it was Pablo Morales, a gold medalist. His family was from Cuba. For me, it was that his last name was Morales, and I could identify with that."

Another athlete who has served in that role is Cristina Teuscher Fabbri. She won gold at the 1996 Olympics in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay and bronze at the 2000 Olympics in the 200-meter individual medley.

Teuscher Fabbri, whose parents are from Argentina, grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., with Spanish as her first language.

"I just took to swimming at an early age," she says. "When I was a baby and fussy, my mom would stick me in the kitchen sink with water. It's just something that calmed me."

She didn't have Latina swimming role models growing up. Her heroes were Janet Evans and Summer Sanders. "You identify with the part of yourself that's like [them]," she says. "For me, I was born in this country, I swam with this team, I represented the United States."

And so on some level, Teuscher Fabbri didn't miss having Latina swimmers to look up to. "Someone doesn't have to be your same skin color to be a role model," she says.

But she also wonders whether the lack of other Latina swimmers in her world made it harder for her to embrace the strengths that she associates with her Latina identity.

"My strength was laughing and connecting with people when I got up on a block. I didn't do that at first," she says. "I was trying to be what I thought a tough American swimmer was supposed to be."

Looking back, she thinks John Collins, the coach who brought her to the Olympics, would have understood her better if there were more Latinos on the team. His coaching style was tough. When she first started swimming for him, he told her they couldn't be friends.

"But whatever," she says. "We took him into my family. That's just the Latino way."

Foot flexibility for swimmers. Student study in 1982-83

| Equipment

Grad School Research

While at Baylor University in grad school, 1982-83, as a Physical Education graduate assistant, I had a keen interest in researching flexibility. With our swim programs, we had done a lot of partner stretching and a few routines were favorites and were taught to the swimmers on the teams that I coached.

Prior clinics had exposed me to a Canadian swim coach, Derrick Snelling. His exercises sparked my interest and turned this into a bit of a passion for around the pool deck. 

The research subjects included the the undergraduate students in a few of the swimming classes that were part of the physical education requirement at Baylor. As graduate students, we taught those classes. Furthermore, the B.U. men and women swimmers at Baylor were tested. And, testing occurred at a NCAA swim meet that Baylor attended along with five other college teams, men and women. 

Methods

1) Swimmer / athlete sits on floor.

2) With a straighten leg and without knee bend, and heel of the foot was set upon a wooden block. Its height was the width of a standard lumber 2-by-4. 

3) While keeping knee straight (not elevating up with a bend), and while keeping the foot in a straight line with hip/knee/ankle, a measurement was taken from end of the nail on big toe to the floor in millimeters. with a metric ruler. 

4) Both feet were measured.

5) The  first attempt counted. No re-do. No warm up. No pre-limbering nor stretching. I discovered that re-test measures within the same session didn't hold significant differences. The flex test results were able to be radically improved upon by those with poor foot-and-ankle flexibility after some pre-stretching. Those with poor results could improve to normative ranges. Rather than trying to control for the warm-up period, the measurements were taken at first blush. This made the test quick and easy to administer and also gave a larger diversity of results from best to worse.

Results

All of the best kickers and fastest swimmers (top 10%) were the most flexible. 

If the swimmer could make a toe-point measure of 12 or fewer millimeters from floor on the measurement, that person's flexibility would be in the top 25% of the squads.

Of interest: That meet's high-point swimmer had the most flexible toe point.

The measurement goal for swimmers to striving for was < 10 mm. Anything better than 10 mm was not causing much of a distinction in kick-speed performances. 

Those with average, below-average and poor ankle flexibility were never the top 10% in kick performances. There was no significance among their misery with lack of swiftness. 

If you desire more insights, email me, Mark@Rauterkus.com.

Long-term awareness

In the end, I discovered for myself that there were dozens of reasons why researchers are wise to avoid hanging their hat of professional advancements on the grossly-vague endeavor of researching human flexibility.

Workout: Twelve Days of Christmas

| Swim

Words of the original song (click to expand)

The following swim practice is written for our middle school girls team at The Ellis School. It hasn’t been tested in the water, just yet.

Throw-back, traditional, holiday style includes the repeats

In the traditional song, every preceding line gets repeated with each new verse and a new line is added. The same is to occur with this version of the workout.

On the first day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  1. One no-breath flip turn.

On the second day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the third day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking)
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Ten med-ball trunk-twists.
  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Eleven lengths of backstroke.
  • Ten med-ball trunk-twists.
  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Twelve 100-yard I.M.s. **
  • Eleven lengths of backstroke.
  • Ten med-ball trunk-twists.
  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

Summary

Insights on the last day

** On the final day, coach can modify the 100-yard IMs to be “X-yard IMs” where X-yard could equal 100-yard IMs, or, 200-yard IMs, or even 400-yard IMs. Even 50-yard IMs and 25-yard IMs are possible depending upon the time and workout desires. So, with 12 x 25-yard IMs the total distance is 300-yards.  With 12 x 400-yard IMs the total distance for the Twelfth day is 5,200 yards.

Insights on the sixth day

* The sixth day has six various stoke drills. This set gets to be revisited seven different times, and can be tagged, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f. and 6g.

Suggestions and option follow, but coaches can be creative in their various forms of stroke drills.

6a, part of Sixth day

First time through introduce six stroke drills for freestyle. Do a different stroke drill each length for a total of 150-yards.

  1. Catch-up
  2. Fist-hands
  3. Breathing pattern 3
  4. Head up
  5. Zig-zag 5
  6. Extra-hard flutter kicking.
6b, part of Seventh day

On the second time, do three stoke drills in one length. So, one-third of the length is done with catch-up stroke drill, middle-third of the length with fists drill, and last third in a breathing every 3rd arm recovery drill. Likewise, length, put in the next three drills with each drill fitting within one-third of a length. The total distance shrinks to 50-yards. But, the brain-power and use of the drills is maintained.

6C, Part of eighth day

The next sixth day, do three stroke drills all in unison and at the same time for one length. The the next length do three other stroke drills, all at the same time. It is a combo drill. First length is catch-up and fists and breathing every 3rd recover. Second length is head-up and zig-zag 5 and with extra hard flutter kicking.

6D, part of Ninth day

Introduce five different stroke drills for butterfly. Do one each length. Then on the sixth length, try to do all of the five prior stroke drills at the same time.

6E, part of tenth day

Introduce five different stroke drills for backstroke. Do one each length. Then on the sixth length, try to do all of the five prior stroke drills at the same time.

6F, part of Eleventh day

Introduce five different stroke drills for breastroke. Do one each length. Then on the sixth length, try to do all of the five prior stroke drills at the same time.

6G, part of last day

On the last day, go “choice.” Swimmers get to pick their own strokes and stroke drills.

Overall

  • Whole set delivers 550 yards of backstroke on day 11.
  • Total of 30 med ball truck twists.
  • 4 x 9 dives with underwater fly kicking (Bob Gillett style)
  • 5 sets of 8 x 25 descending = 1,000 yards
  • 36 press ups
  • 12 flip turns without breathing

Let us know what you changed and how it turned out.


Other holiday examples of note

Click to see full sized image.

chutes & ladders practice

Chutes & Ladders on a white board, played with big, blow-up dice.

source

Triumph Time Try-Outs, a bonding experience in the swim pool with both adults and youngsters.

| Concept Map

Young people learn to walk, talk and hopefully read and pray at home with the help of their guardians, siblings, parents and other friends and family members. A similar progression with swimming can unfold when we teach kids swimming in a team setting.

Young kicker in pool with grandfather

Young swimmer from PPS Dillworth gets his head in the water with a kickboard with the support of some swim fins and his grandfather while at Saturday Swim School on the Northside.

Triumph Time Try Outs are opportunities to problem solve with both kids and adults.

https://youtu.be/85cM0-ctcNQ

Buddie swims refer to friendships and a relationship between two people who hold mutual affection for each other.

older plans, vintage 2002, still valid

Years ago, swimming activities featuring kids and adults were delivered to Pittsburgh Public Schools. Sadly, little happened.

Repeat approaches, by-and-large, put some aquatic programs into action. Sports dystopia dives into the struggle and negative views.

History

Parent Engagement Centers (PEC) were once a push with Pittsburgh Public Schools. They came and went. Footnote, a present-day City Council member, Theresa Kail Smith, was a PPS employee who ran the PEC on the west side of town at Langley.

More recently, Pittsburgh Public Schools launched the concept of “Community Schools.” The elected school board pushed for community schools and passed a pilot program enacted in Dr. Linda Lane’s final year as PPS Superintendent.

When Dr. Anthony Hamlet’s arrival as Pittsburgh Public Schools’ superintendent, five schools were designated and re-branded as “PPS Community Schools.” Three of the five schools have swimming pools: Westinghouse (great pool), Langley (small pool), Arsenal (small pool).

A new central office employee, LouAnn Ross, was hired to lead and manage the PPS Community Schools program. Upon her arrival, and then a year later, offers to construct new community schools swim programs were delivered to her, and even to a couple of the local school booster committees. Nothing was done. Then she departed.

A new search was conducted and a different PPS central-office employee has been hired. New hope comes with Monte Robinson, mrobinson2@. Meeting slated in January 2019.

In 2018, there was a swim team at Arsenal. At the start of 2019, the swim team at Arsenal died. Likewise, there used to be an elementary swim team at Langley, and it didn’t appear at the December 2018 PPS Championship meet. Westinghouse still offers only a middle school swim team and didn’t facilitate any after-school swimming nor diving in the fall of 2018 despite attempts to do so. Outcomes have slid from bad to worse in the recent years.

The hook

Everyone knows that student success hinges upon parent and guardian participation in the educational journey of the students. Success at school comes as parents, guardians, grand-parents and other significant adults are engaged with the kids. Mentoring is big. The annual PPS event, Take a Father to School Day, is a shinning star in these efforts.

Swim pools can provide a great place for kids and their guardians to work together — for everyone’s benefit. The public school facilities, including PPS swimming pools, are under utilized in the evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and summers.

Generally, school activities separate the kids from the parents.

Home-schooling is frowned upon by many of the public school system, including teachers.

Parent-teacher meetings and various open house activities happen, but with low-levels of support from the adults at home.

Men standing to watch a swim meet

Some dads take off from work to watch a 3 pm swim meet at a PPS swim pool.

New approach

Let’s get parents and guardians invites into the school facilities so that they can enjoy themselves, have fun and be a part of inspiring, socially-rich experiences with the kids. Adults and kids can share in programs together with repeating events so progress can occur and relationships forged. As trust ensues, the interactions can be elevated to other educational topics.

Let’s establish time for interactions for kids and adults to triumph together!

 

Triumph Try-Outs

Swim lessons engaging students with adults accompaniment,
Trimuph Try-Outs, are one-shot swim lessons where students and adults participate together. Kids can not sign-up without being matched with an adult. The activities presented are geared to student and adult couples.

These Try-Outs have little to do with the athletes impressing the coaches and program leaders. The coaches are not testing and evaluating the students. Rather, the real try-out is for the participants (the students, parents, mentors, citizens, taxpayers) to try-out an engagement at the swim pool with a learning setting.

Easily Understood

People understand “swim lessons.” Swim lessons have always been a valued summer-time activity. Learning to swim is fun as well as a skill that saves lives. Pittsburgh is a city of three rivers and lots of swimming pools. However, few of our kids are competent swimmers. A tremendous need exists in this program category.

Bonus in Flexibility

Triumph Try-Outs can be held at any time, morning, noon, night. Indoor pools that are out of the sun and without weather disruptions are ideal. Under utilized swim facilities can use the Try-Outs as an ice-breaker so as to migrate additional activities to these swim facilities in the seasons to come. Triumph Try-Outs present a capacity building opportunity for outreach.

One Shot, Easy Engagement

Triumph Try-Outs are one-shot events. Participants show up, do the activities, and then they are finished. There is no long-term commitment involved.

Subject and Object of the Try-Outs

In a traditional Try-Out setting, the coaches and program leaders put the want-a-be players on display in a competition. The players strive for a position in the draft or on the team. The Triumph Try-Outs reverse the roles and inject a new realm of priorities. The customer and buyers have roles that are flip-flopped.

The consumer, taxpayer, students get to Try-Out the coaches, activities, facilities, and to a large extent, the sincerity of the districts’ emphasis on “parental and community involvement.” The Triumph Try-Outs give a proving ground for the establishment of different priorities and can foster new relationship experimentation.

Parent involvement is a growing concern and focus for the overall health of the educational process. District wide elements for parent advisory actions are skeptical to the citizens. School board members are elected from fractions of the voters. Parents generally get concerned about the schools where their kids attend.

Transferable skills

A relationship priority is present as students and adults try-out one another. The bond between mentor and mentee can be challenged in different settings. Going to the pool can present a two-hour Outward-Bound-like gateway for the matched participants. The swimming is a escape and presents some bonding time. The foundation and the approach to the challenges can transcend beyond the swim pool setting.

Many different mentor programs exist in Pittsburgh. These Try-Outs can be an on-going way to get meaningful interactions among the volunteer mentors and the students.

Put swimming, teamwork and technology into the hearts of the participants.

The overall aquatics program at Pittsburgh Public Schools can evolve and be a source of great benefits to individuals and community if there is a sense of self-discovery, safe learning, supportive involvement. But finding a drop of political among decision makers has been an on-going challenge for decades.

https://youtu.be/eFj5luh92v8

Water and sports town

Various public institutions in southwestern Pennsylvania have swimming pools with available times. Some pools are in high schools. Other pools are in middle schools. Pools are at all the corners of the district including colleges, libraries and recreational sites. Getting two-hour blocks of time for the use of the pools is an easy task. However, getting citizens from one area to visit others facilities around town, or else even in their own neighborhood is a challenge. The swim pools and these Try-Outs can be good motivators to get the community engaged at different pools.

District schedules can be established for Triumph Try-Outs. If a family is busy on a Friday night when a Try-Out is slated for that student’s school, that couple could take in a session slated for Saturday at another school. The schools and pools can be open and friendly places for the citizens.

The success and long-term impact of PPS Community Schools hinges on the draw of the activities to the parents, guardians and citizens. And, a great way to get the participation is to offer a meaningful recreational activity with dynamic coaching leadership.

To accompany is to go or be together. Accompaniment is to perform together. Accompaniment occurs for a richer effect. The accompanist is the person who plays the accompaniment.

ACCOMPANIMENT

The accompaniment concept enriches the lesson plan with the Triumph Try-Outs. Our students and children need to understand and appreciate that they can set out on life with background helpers at home, accompaniment. It takes a village. Triumphs do not happen in isolation. Support networks need to be visited, tested, understood, and explored.

Adult accompaniment can be from a parent. But, any adult can come to these sessions. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, big brothers, and mentors are welcomed. Perhaps the high school students and varsity athletes could accompany middle-school and elementary school students. We might have a list of adults who want to join and accompany. Some adults could manage two or three children so that each student has guidance and a potential partner.

https://youtu.be/JWWvU6WEH_s

Open-Ended Lessons

The Triumph Try-Outs offer participants repeat-worthy periods. Repeat attendance is welcomed as the lesson-plans flow from an open-ended structure. Each Try-Out lesson has different activities, new games, different skills.

Learning to swim and being fit is a lifelong endeavor.

A couple could sign-up and participate in ten Try-Outs in the course of the summer and have great experiences multiple times. Enjoy on-going results.

Plans

Detailed lesson plans are posted in advance of the sessions. Advanced understanding of the themes of the practice helps to prepare the students and attract more participation. For example, a class on flip-turns is going to be an attraction for some. People will go out of their way to attend a Try-Out if they have a peek at the agenda. Advance postings of lesson agendas insure participants that activities are not the same-old same old.

  • Class period length, 120-minutes.
  • Lifeguard needed.
  • Lifeguard staff is provided by the organizers.
  • Participants bring swim suits, swim goggles, beach towel and t-shirt.
  • On-line sign-ups are encouraged. RSVP as space is limited
  • On-line attendance is posted as some sessions may “fill.”
  • Class capacity depends, in part, upon facility. Various pools have various amounts of deck space, seating areas, water space.
  • Class capacity depends, in part, upon coaching staffing and administration elements.
  • Typical Try-Out registration limit is 30 student and adult couples.

Suite of activities serving aquatic, athletic and academic missions.

  • Engagement among the children and adults in meaningful lifelong learning within the PPS buildings.
  • Play matters.
  • Promote and pilot a new wave to learning and self-discovery.
The interplay among the various programs and the overall method matters

Efforts and structures are needed to migrate the participants to various levels at various ages  throughout this lifelong learning process.

The children within Pittsburgh can have a much richer experience with the activities with the creation of buddies that are nearby as well as buddies that are farther away. Our program in Pittsburgh can become a buddie with the programs around the region and nation.

A healthy and vibrant network of buddies should have nodes that are close and other notes that are remote. These concepts take a proactive stance on forming connections in our web of life and aquatics with friends at all levels.

Marketing
  • Adult Accompaniment Swimming Lessons
  • One never step into the same river twice. The open-ended Try-Out agenda welcomes repeat participants.
  • Sign-up early and often.

Recreational Reading and SKWIM game play, two activities with two settings

Students spend time at the school, hopeful in a library near computers. Then the students walk to a local pool.

  • No buses needed.
  • Half-Days: 8:30 am to noon, Noon to 5 pm
  • Many locations exist
  • Registration required
  • Ages: 6 to 16
  • New USA Swimming Registration needed per swimmer. Flex membership costs $20 for annual fee.
  • Equipment: goggles, fins, disks, caps, headbands, swim suits, t-shirts, workbooks, goals, web assets. Most can be supplied by organizers.
Rec Reading & Olympicpedia
  • Reading of maps, email, web sites, charts, quiz taking, online courses and digital movies.
  • Writing of email, fitness journal, concept maps, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.
  • Daily homework and thinking exercises.
Schedule

Huddle time: 8:30 am
Early Lesson: 8:40 am
Walk, stretch, exercise: 9:15
Swim: 9:30
Walk: 11:30
Late Lesson: 11:40
lunch: 12:15
optional library time: after lunch


Concept Map showing the sweet spot destination

The entire community, kids and adults, can be included. Non swimmers take swim lessons but also wear life jackets and get into Canoe Water Polo. Kayak and paddle activities work with everyone. But the golden destination is inter-generational game play.

The entire community, kids and adults, can be included. Non swimmers take swim lessons but also wear life jackets and get into Canoe Water Polo. Kayak and paddle activities work with everyone. But the golden destination is inter-generational game play.

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