Competitive Swimming is in a crisis — reports Swimming World and Wayne Goldsmith

Must read! Must listen too. Check out a great article about competitive swimming from Australia’s Wayne Goldsmith, an author and coach. The commentary was published in Swimming World in March, 2018. Click the photo below to go to the article and then give a listen to the reply, an audio conversation from Mark and Kevin.

First, read the article

photo link with swimmers
Click photo and go read the article by Wayne Goldsmith in Swimming World magazine.

Second, listen to our reply, as an audio recording

Kevin and Mark. Click image to listen to the mp3 audio file.

Listen to a discussion in a .mp3 file and podcast format that provides a reply. Mark Rauterkus of Pittsburgh and Kevin McCarthy of Washington talk about the one-size-fits-all solution and reasoning behind the crisis and how it can be fixed.

Or click on the audio player control below to listen.

Third, express yourself and tell us what you think

Drop a comment in the box below and share your ideas.

  • Is there a crisis in competitive swimming?
  • Is there a crisis at your favorite aquatic facilities?
  • Do you want to learn more about SKWIM?
  • Can we help you put SKWIM to work in your settings?

PPS Middle School Championships

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

Mark@Rauterkus.com

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

Click image to see larger view.

Thinking again about aquatic game play — Presentation at NorCal’s Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic

Blurb about the presentation published in the Coaches Clinic Program

Handout

The first page asked three questions:

  1. Name: ___________
  2. Email: ___________
  3. Title of your favorite game played with your team: ___________

See the results and insights gathered from the willing participants in the audience.

 

Click image to see larger view.

Slides

Coach Mark Rauterkus at NorCal’s Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic in Napa, California in January 2018.
Photo credit: Tisha Steimle.

The presentation slides are split between two Keynote files due to size issues. If you are using an iPad or Macintosh, send me an email or leave a comment below in the blog and I’ll send you a link straight to the Keynote file via iCloud.

Slides in PDF format:

Slides in PowerPoint format:

  1. Part one via Google Drive
  2. Part two via Google Drive

Slides in SlideShare, embedded here:

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2:

Audio

Included videos

Five videos do not embed in the PDFs nor with PowerPoint. They do play with the SlideShare or below.

Swimming and Water Polo co-exist

Pittsburgh Public Schools Westinghouse afterschool program doing water polo across pool

North Allegheny Tiger Water Polo doing ball control

Show off swim at PPS Summer Dreamers by Nahayo in early summer across deep end

Squad, called Voyagers, doing a cheer at end of SKWIM game at Swim & Water Polo with Summer Dreamers

Interact

Use the comments box below to submit your questions, comments and perhaps the name of the game you play with your team and swimmers.

Snapshots from Napa:

New Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3)

Click for larger image

Press Release:

Attention aquatic enthusiasts, professionals, associations and organizations:

The Board of Directors at SKWIM International are very pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Pittsburgh aquatics coach Mark Rauterkus as 2018 SKWIM USA Executive Director.

Coach Mark’s duties will include SKWIM Certification and #playskwim education with U.S. aquatic facilities and local communities, partnerships with USA aquatic sports associations and organizations, and educational sponsorships with key commercial entities.

In addition to building SKWIM programming throughout the Pittsburgh community, Mark is a veteran youth and collegiate swim and water polo coach, and currently holds leadership positions with Obama Academy Aquatics, Summer Dreamers Aquatic Camps, the Pittsburgh Project, Saturday Swim School, Pittsburgh Citiparks Aquatic Safety Education and several summer water-sport events in the greater Pittsburgh area. Coach Rauterkus is a beloved aquatic ambassador on the central east coast, and proven to be invaluable in building SKWIM community and goodwill.

Mark is a sought-after aquatics expert/speaker and currently presenting at the Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic in Napa, CA, January 6th 2018.

Mark continues his duties as swim coach at Obama Academy of Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Ellis School, as well as The Pittsburgh Project’s summer camp.

Please join us in wishing Mark the best of success in the coming year!
#playskwim

Coach Kevin I. McCarthy
kevin@skwiminternational.org
www.skwiminternational.org

Coach Mark Rauterkus becomes Executive Director of nonprofit, SKWIM USA.

Alterntive URL, https://tinyurl.com/SKWIMUSA-executive

SKWIM Press Release Rauterkus 010618r

 

NA senior team visits the Saturday Swim School

A bunch of swimmer from the north got in the pool at Oliver as part of the efforts of the Saturday Swim School at Oliver.

After practice, we took about 10-minutes to introduce the swimmers to SKWIM and played a quick game, slot-style, to 3-points.

In the future, we’d love to get a cooperative alliance with ANSC, as we have had with Tiger Water Polo, so we can get employees to help as swim instructors, lifeguards, coaches and demonstrators at our events and camps in the city. In the summer of 2017, two of the NA students worked for us as part of the Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo Camp on the Northside.

Lesson Time

After the big kids departed, we had some lessons and on guy figured out how to make a monofin from the PDF fin. Two feet into one adult fin works! Your miles may vary. Patent pending.

Other swim coaches posted about the creative monofin solution too:

Saturday SKWIM School with Northgate and others

Wonderful time playing SKWIM at the Saturday Swim School with a nice collection of folks who supported Nick’s Eagle Scout project. It was a pleasure to help. Thanks for the snacks, and the donations raised are getting applied to supplies that furnish the next phase of the project.

group of swimmers at Oliver HS pool
Played 6-on-6 SKWIM. Photo after the first round of games. Then there were fun relays, Underwater Hockey, and more SKWIM.

Underwater Hockey too

With Dave’s help, a 4-on-4 game of Underwater Hockey was also played. He had the sticks and a puck. Kids had their own goggles. Some wore fins. Gloves were not used and neither were snorkels. Kids had a blast.

Games of SKWIM in different quarters and a different pitch

The game approach to SKWIM was different and noteworthy. We played slot style, so the disk has to go into the gutters. Good water height and deep gutters too. Two teams, 6-players on each team, one referee. Everyone played. No subs. All the kids were swimmers from a few different clubs. Team Pittsburgh, Northgate, and later a swimmer from PEAQ attended.

First quarter was played in shallow end across the 6-lane pool. Goals stretched from the ladder near the corner to the 5-foot marker painted on the wall / bulkhead. That was about 13 years wide. Quarter ends when the first team reaches 5 goals. Score was 5-4.

Second quarter was played in the deep end across the 6-lane pool. Goals stretched from the deep end ladder near the corner of the pool to the painted mark that read 7-foot. Again, wider than 10-yards. Quarter ends when the first team reaches 10.

Third quarter was played the length of the pool. One team defended the deep wall and the other defended the shallow end wall. Goals were from the mark that reached between lane 2 and lane 5. That was about a third of the span of the end wall. The third quarter ended when the lead team reached 15 goals.

Fourth quarter was played the length of the pool, again, but the two teams switched ends. Game ends when the first team reached 20 goals.

We had played SKWIM in the shallow, in the deep, and both across the width of the pool as well as the length of the pool. But today was the first day we played SKWIM and incorporated all three formats of the lagoon into the same game.

SKWIM Ultimate at 6 pm every Tuesday and Thursday

Water Polo and SKWIM are happening at 6 pm to 7:45 pm every Tuesday and Thursday evening for the remainder of the summer at Citiparks Ammon Rec Center outdoor pool — weather permitting.

I’ll bring the headbands and SKWIM disks. You bring your friends and family for fun.

When in doubt, it is always okay to call me for an update. My cell is 412-298-3432. We also keep a Google calendar at CLOH.org.

Country Club SKWIM game, after a swim meet

Swimmers at the Edgeworth Club play SKWIM following a swim meet again in 2017. Game was played in the 33-meter pool in four lanes. Points are scored when the disk is captured past the backstroke flags, end-zone style. That makes the game similar to Ultimate.
After a quarter or two of play, the swimmers get to move the disk high, over the competition, as well as low and on the water’s surface. In the photo above, the disk is passed up in the air. It is okay to take a little rest on the wall or sideline. And, it is okay to stand on the bottom if you need to as well.