Category Archives for "Safety"

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.

Fin photo gallery

| Equipment

Click image for larger view.

I love the PDF fins. They can be either full foot or else with a strap. We have some of each.

One of these photos is more of a joke image. Hope you enjoy it.

Local death in a swimming accident in a creek

| Open water

Gentleman was a football running back. His body was missing for a few days, despite multiple searches.

http://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/13745650-74/searchers-find-body-of-connellsville-swimmer-missing-since-tuesday

Searchers find body of Connellsville swimmer missing since Tuesday

by Jeff Himler, published Sunday, June 10, 2018

Searchers Sunday morning found the body of a Connellsville man who had been missing since Tuesday in South Huntingdon and was presumed drowned.

The body of Dylan Knopsnider, 21, was pulled from the waters of Jacobs Creek at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, according to state police Tpr. Robert Broadwater of the Uniontown barracks. He said Knopsnider’s body surfaced in the middle of the creek about 50 yards from where he entered the water Tuesday evening in a popular but remote swimming hole about two miles downstream from the Chaintown Road bridge.

Dive teams, firefighters and cadaver dogs from multiple counties had been searching the area fruitlessly for signs of Knopsnider since Tuesday. Broadwater said officials believe heavy rainfall may have helped bring the body to the surface. Firefighters from Dawson and a Murrysville dive team were involved in the search Sunday, according to a Fayette County 911 supervisor.

Jacobs Creek is at the border of Westmoreland and Fayette counties, and the Fayette County Coroner’s office was available to identify and take charge of the body, Broadwater said.

An autopsy is planned.

It is believed Knopsnider lost his footing and hit his head on a rock as he jumped into water about 10 to 15 feet deep downstream of a waterfall, police said. The creek was swollen by a storm earlier Tuesday, creating a fast current.

Trooper Adam Janosko said one of Knopsnider’s friends told police he jumped in the water in an attempt to rescue Knopsnider but could not reach him.

A Connellsville Area High School graduate, Knopsnider was a running back and strong safety for the school’s football team from 2012 to 2014.

 

What happens when a person is trapped in a riptide?

| Open water

In a rip tide, really a rip current, the swimmer is pulled out to sea. First of all, while in the current, you don’t know it. You might be with a friend and giving attention there, and then you glance to the shore line, perhaps just 20 or 30 yards away about 10-seconds ago, and it is going farther and farther away.

Rip tides are hard to spot and notice when you are in them. And, they are not easy to see when standing on the beach. Rookies to the beach are oblivious. It is good to have some understanding of them as they are dangerous and not well understood.

I am a swim coach and a very good swimmer. However, I’m no match for the pull of a rip tide or the rip current.

Often, when the situation is noticed, the rookie swimmer who is caught in that situation tries to save himself by getting out of the water and heading straight onto the land at the beach. Good goal, but it isn’t smart to go straight against the the power of the rip current. The current is too strong, often.

You might be lucky in that it could be a small current or you might be just to its edge. You might be able to stand on the bottom too. And, rip tides loosen their grip, eventually.

What you do not want to do is swim yourself to exhaustion. Getting into oxygen debt and sprinting might be good for about 20-seconds. Some might go 40-seconds. But then if you are totally spent physically and are no closer to the beach, your chances of survival are greatly diminished.

The other thing that kills is PANIC. Stay calm. Going nuts out in the water is going to tighten your muscles, compromise your breathing, speed your heart rate and present a faster ticket to your death.

With good fortune, you’re at a beach that is guarded with professional lifeguards who are not already occupied with pulling other tourist out of another rip current. If the lifeguards can be notified — GREAT.

Where are your friends and family. I hope that the supervision is in effect and perhaps they’re summoning a lifeguard, PRONTO. You might be surrounded with your friends and family and all of you in dire straights. Hope that’s not the case.

I know of two brothers in their 20s who were both sweapt out in a rip current on their last day of vacation in Costa Rica. An hour later, the one guy made it back to shore and the other’s body was found a few days later. This ordeal might take many minutes to unfold. They got separated in the first moments of knowing what was unfolding. That’s so sad.

Can you stay together? Look out for each other. Calm one another. Take turns waving, shouting, resting.

The wise move is to swim out of the current. Are the waves breaking differently to the one side or the other? Swim parallel to the shore, generally, so that you are not going directly against the current, but rather with it slightly and then to the side.

After you get out of the current, swimming back to safety is going to be easy.

FLOAT. Take gentle strokes. To swim, you’ll need to get to the top of the water with your legs and hips, floating more like a boat and not being vertical like a building. Boats float. Buildings sink. Boats and swimmers that look like tall buildings sink. Get flat and horizontal. Let your head stay low. Bring your feet up.

It is okay to swim three, four or five strokes on your front and then roll over to your back and take breaths, keep a gentle kick, watch out for the next waves and rest with the head back, chest, belly and legs up near the surface. Then when ready, flip back to the front and take some additional strokes.

Another great tip that more people need to follow: WEAR FINS in the open water. Surf rescue lifeguards, Coast Guard Swimmers, NAVY Seals and others who work in the water wear FINS. Recreational swimmers, body surfers and even those learning to competitive swim should be with FINS on while in the water. Our feet with fins are far more effective and efficient. Take your fins with you on vacation and wear them when on the beach and in the water. With fins, you’ll be able to kick with some power and speed in a sideways direction and get out of the rip.

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