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

Young people learn to walk, talk and hopefully read and pray at home with the help of their guardians, siblings, parents and other close family members. Swimming can receive the same treatment. Let’s teach our kids to swim while in a team setting.

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

Buddies may refer to: Friendship, a relationship between two people who hold mutual affection for each other.

Revival of older plans, vintage 2002, but still valid

Years ago, robust plans for swimming activities that featured kids and adults were delivered to leaders in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Sadly, they did nothing. Go figure.

Repeated contacts and approaches, by-and-large, put some programs into action, but not many. See sports dystopia for more on the struggle and negative view.

History

Parent Engagement Centers were once a push with the district. They came and went. Footnote, a present-day City Council member, Theresa Kail Smith, was the PPS employee who ran the center at Langley. More recently the district tried a concept of “Community Schools.” The elected school board pushed for community schools and got a test pilot program enacted at the end of Dr. Linda Lane’s time as PPS Superintendent. With Dr. Anthony Hamlet’s arrival to Pittsburgh, little was done for a few years. Five schools were designated and three of them had swim pools: Westinghouse (great pool), Langley (small pool), Arsenal (small pool), and two other schools without pools.

LouAnn Ross was hired as a central office employee to manage the program. I had meetings with her upon her arrival and then a year later — and nothing was done. Analysis. Then she departed. Thankfully. A new search, new employee and new hope comes with Monte Robinson, mrobinson2@.

The hook

Everyone knows that student success hinges upon parent and guardian participation in the educational journey of the students. Higher success can come about as the parents, guardians, grand-parents and other significant adults are engaged with the kids. Mentoring is big. So too, the concept of Take a Father to School, a special event in May each year.

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

Generally, school activities separate the kids from the parents. Home-schooling is frowned upon by many of the public school system, including teachers, as they’re replaced by the parents. Go figure. Parent-teacher meetings and various open house activities happen, but with only a fraction of the support from the adults at home, for countless reasons.

Once parents and guardians can go to the schools and enjoy themselves and have fun, inspiring, social times together, in the schools, then the experiences can be repeated and 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.

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 easily take in a session slated for Saturday morning at another school, or Saturday afternoon on the other side of town. 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.

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.
  • Sign-up forms could/should be done and submitted in advance.
  • Participants should RSVP in advance as space is limited.
  • On-line sign-ups encouraged.
  • 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

FINA Convention

It’s not just about medals

When FINA is mentioned, most people envisage the FINA World Cup and FINA World Championships. It is sometimes forgotten that FINA – as the International Governing Body of the Aquatics industry – also provides invaluable information and support to those involved in the sport.

Over the last 3 days, the Convention brought up some very topical issues within the Aquatics world. Two excellent examples were Swimming for Life (FINA Development programmes) and Innovative approaches to teaching swimming (Myrtha Pools).

Perhaps Brazilian Olympic swimmer Thiago Pereira summarises it best: ‘Swimming is the only sport that saves life.’

FINA is not just about organising large events with the world’s best athletes. It has a duty of care to educate swimming coaches and teachers on the best ways to get their students in the water and safe in the water. As Carl Partridge from AUSTSWIM puts it, ‘we teaches teachers to teach’.

With sessions like this at the Convention, a fundamental life skill is promoted which will be spread around the world and consequently save lives.

“We’re taking away relationships and connections with coaches from around the world – connections that would never have been possible without this event.”
Sebastian Weber, Head of Human Performance, INSCYD

An abundance of culture

The Convention, with attendees from 209 National Federations, enjoyed a rich variety of cultures and provided a fantastic opportunity to listen and learn from different global perspectives.

This year’s delegates were afforded the chance to hear insights from some of the world’s best coaches, including two well-known and well-respected Chinese coaches. It is unusual to gain such access, especially with Tokyo 2020 less than 600 days away.

“Pride. We’re proud to be able to confidently say that Arena is a truly global brand which resonates across many different countries. It’s been amazing to get such valuable feedback from coaches and Federations all over the world.”
Mizu Yamada, Brand Manager, Arena

FINA is more than Swimming

Undoubtedly, Swimming is one of the most popular sports in the Olympics, yet it is not the only sport FINA governs. From Artistic Swimming to Diving, Open Water Swimming to Water Polo, there is much to be shared by experts in these disciplines.

One great example from the Convention – Extraordinary Technical Water Polo Congress – saw an hour-long session with 23 Water Polo experts offer insight into and advice about the sport.

First-time exhibitors KAP7 – “Built for Water Polo Players by Water Polo Players” – definitely made their mark in Hangzhou.

“This event has allowed us to expand our network at the very top level of international swimming. In our business, relationships are critical and we’re always thankful to be able to participate in this event.”
Yiota Charalambous, Operations Manager, Arena Sports Cyprus

Life-long connections

‘The Number 1 reason we attend the FINA Convention? Networking,’ says Lindsay Hoffman, Vice President of SUITMATE.

Networking at the Convention does of course offer commercial opportunities – but more than that, it offers friendship too. In a unique environment, where exhibitors meet and connect, life-long friendships are made.

“Friendship. This event allows us to get to know our international colleagues and Aquatics stakeholders better – developing stronger relationships and ultimately friendships.”
Marco Coesel, CEO, Variopool

Conclusion

With a record-breaking number of attendees, and access to world-class speakers, the 2018 Convention was ground-breaking.

Access to the Chinese market has been a rare and exciting opportunity.

Aquatics has come a long way, and events like the FINA Convention help us achieve the best possible future for Aquatics.

FINA World Aquatics Convention
FINA Office
Chemin de Bellevue 24a/24b
1005 Lausanne
Switzerland

Entry into the Allegheny swim pool on the Northside by the Aviary

Do not confuse PPS Allegheny Middle School with North Allegheny.

PPS Allegheny Middle School is located on the Northside, directly across the street from the National Aviary.

Address: 810 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

When school is not in session, enter the doors to the swim pool by climbing a couple of steps to enter the building and then once inside, go down two floors. The pool and pool locker-rooms is located below the gym. While school is in session, enter the school via the front doors and walk past the main floor office and down a long hallway to the back of the building and then go down, below the gym.

Enter the swim pool from the back, across from the Aviary.

Arrow points to the door to the swim pool on Arch Street
Back of PPS Middle School shows arrow to the swim pool door.

Pool at PPS Allegheny Middle School
Pool is 25-yards long and has five lines but only four starting blocks.

 

Front of PPS Allegheny Middle School
Front of PPS Allegheny Middle School. Also has a K-5 school too.

Swim News delivered to PPS Elementary School Swim Meet

Allderdice swim pool

Dear Swim Coaches, Swimmers, Guardians and Families:

All are invited to participate in our Saturday Swim School hosted for the next few weeks at Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Allegheny Middle School on the Northside right across the street from the Aviary.

Meet us at the pool, both kids and adults, from 11:30 am to 1 pm. No charge. This is a “labor of love.”

11:30 to 1 pm on Saturday, December 8 & December 15, 2018

Location: In December 2018, we’ll be at PPS Allegheny.

We held the Saturday Swim School for the past two years at Oliver High School on Brighton Road, but the pool there has been out of commission throughout the fall of 2018, sadly. Perhaps we’ll go back to Oliver HS in early 2019.

Activities: On Saturdays, we have some swim instruction and often play a game in the pool called SKWIM. It is with a water disk but a lot like water polo too. To learn more about SKWIM, see https://SKWIM.us.

Kids and Adults are able to participate from 11:30 to 1 pm.

Adults, Triathletes and Varsity high school swimmers looking improve and gain in fitness and are able to swim on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 am. We run two sessions on Saturdays.

Being a good swimmer makes you safe and can lead to becoming a lifeguard in the future. We train lifeguards in the spring at the Saturday Swim School too.

Being safe in and around the water, especially at the beach and in other settings beyond an indoor swim pool with lifeguards, should be a goal for all citizens. We want you to test your AQUATIC KNOWLEDGE with a fun, online quiz. There are FOUR levels. Free. See https://SKWIM.us to click on the quiz and learn more about rip-currents and test your decision-making.

Extra: We also do programs on Sundays at Moon High School, Tuesday nights at Chartiers Valley High School, play water polo in the fall at South Park High School, and swim at many outdoor pools in the summers including at the Pittsburgh Project on the Northside on Charles Street and at Citiparks Ammon Rec pool on Bedford Ave in The Hill District. Stay in touch with an email or visit, https://4RS.org.

Thanks for your interest and keep on swimming!

Coach Mark Rauterkus of Pittsburgh’s South Side
412-298-3432 = cell
Mark@Rauterkus.com

PPS ATA swim pool with lilypad and boy and disks
Play at Allegheny Traditional Academy MS pool in an afterschool program. Boys love their toys. We create, engage ourselves, build, balance and have fun. Who knows what we’ll be doing next.

—-

Questions from a parent

I received a flyer about swimming yesterday for my daughter from a Pittsburgh Public School. We are interested in the swim program from 11:30-1 but wanted more information.

Are adults expected to get on the pool with their kids? Do children need to be able to swim to participate? Is their a younger age cut off (can my 4 year old participate)?

Thank you for offering this program.

Answer:

Adults do not need to get in. I encourage it. I aim for that family experience as it is different, and I feel valuable. Most adults just watch. Some get in.

With the wee one at 4, I would really like the adult to get in, but you would need to be present. I don’t expect many to be there however.

Thank you for your speedy reply.

Just to be clear my four year old would not be able to participate if I do not get in the pool? I do not plan on getting in the pool and we will not attend if that is the case.

Both my 6 year old and 4 year old have taken previous swimming lessons and were (Its been a long time since summer) comfortable in the water but cannot actually swim.

And again thank you I think it is great you are offering this opportunity for the children in Pittsburgh.

Answer:

Since I don’t think we’ll have many folks there this Saturday — I’m okay to get in with your kids without you in the water this week for a part of the time — for sure for about 30-minutes. Can you come around 10:30 or 11 am? I don’t want to have a dozen middle school kids (doubtful) and the wee one’s get a bad experience. I don’t expect that they’ll want to be swimming much past 40-minutes total anyway.

Good to be able to meet you and start up something with them.

I’m flexible for sure. But this is a wide-ranging invite. No scout groups, football squads or lifeguard classes are happening / booked in December.

Question

I looked around on the website on the flyer some but was not able to find some information. Can you tell more more about the program in general. From what I understand this is just a free trial but you offer swim lessons throughout the year? I saw on the calendar the Saturday Swim School for kids and adults on the 8th and 15th but it also looks like it is on there for the 22nd so I am assuming you would have to pay for that one? How much are lessons usually? Or is it always just a free program? Are parents expected to swim during normal swim lessons (I really hate getting in pools in winter, I don’t know why, haha)?

My daughter is also in a Girl Scouts Troop. Can you give me more information about a troop signing up for programming? What is the cost, what does it involve, are parents expected to get in the pool, etc.?

Thank you for your time.

Answer

The swim lessons I offer throughout the school year on Saturdays have been free for three years. I don’t expect to charge anything any time soon. Some of the places we go to need a small fee, such as Moon Area HS pool on some Sundays is $2 for a drop in fee.

Girls Scouts are welcome. Just call ahead. No charge. I want to figure out what day and be sure I’m there (no wedding / away swim meet). And, — sadly — what pool is available. We had done it at Oliver. Had to shift to Allegheny. Both are fine, but there is more room at Oliver for larger groups.

I am alone — so yes — we’d want to build up a host of volunteers with the kids in the water. I wouldn’t want to handle a whole girl scout group — say more than 6 — without another adult or two. Best if adults are in the water and I’m out of it even.

I do have some other guard friends to call.

Sure. Let’s plan something. We’ll go all the way through May, I expect.

Output – version 1 of the Test Set Input Form, an example

Notification via www3.g19.pair.com

Attachments

Fri, Nov 23, 8:20 PM (12 hours ago)

First Name

Mark

Last Name

Rauterkus

Mobile Number

+14122983432

Email Address

mark@rauterkus.com

Team Name

Tigers

Title

25×25@:25

Typical number of swimmers

12

Frequency per year

1

Description of test set

Swim 25 yards 25 times on :25 second interval.
What is being measured?

If the set can be done or not. And, if failure happens, on what repeat?

Desired output

Name, date, stroke and completed 25s should be reported.
Desired calculations and processing powers?

No calculations are needed.


Output also includes a CVS file for each entry that can later be merged into a spreadsheet or database.

Screen shot with email of CSV file.
Summary email from form data includes a CSV file as an attachment.

 

Links

Swimming Test Set Collaboration