Category Archives for Smart & Swift

Crisis and the churn at the pool

Some people say that there is a crisis in youth sports participation. To be sure, the levels of this crisis — or not — depend upon many factors including location, coaching, other opportunities, support from the society and culture, school district and more.

Chart of national retention percentages by years for swimmers in USA Swimming programs.

Click image for larger view. Source: USA Swimming. Chart of national retention percentages by years for swimmers in USA Swimming programs.

Overall retention has stayed pretty constant around 70%. USA Swimming had its second best year ever in 2017 with 74.2%. Basically means that 7 out of 10 athletes stay with the sport from one year to the next.

The 12-Under retention levels within USA Swimming hovers around 60%. Again 6-out-of-10 12-Unders athletes stay with the sport. Colleagues in other sports say they’d love to have that retention rate for younger kids.

​And most of you already know that if a 13-Over-Swimmer is with your team, they are more than likely to stay with your team,  since the retention hovers around 90%.

South Side House Tour

Tour is slated for Saturday, June 23, 2018, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The Home Tour Check-in: UPMC Mercy South Side 2000 Mary Street 15203

The 2018 Tour features 10 homes, and new this year, “Art Stops” throughout the neighborhood.
Over the years, the Home Tour has welcomed thousands of visitors into South Side homes where they have engaged with residents about the benefits of urban living. This year we plan to do more. In addition to showcasing where we live, we plan to highlight other amenities that the South Side has to offer as well. We want visitors to come for the homes, but stay for the experience.

Proceeds from the Historic South Side Home Tour help to fund initiatives and programs that make the South Side a more livable, beautiful and safe neighborhood. Through advocacy and collaboration, the South Side Community Council addresses the challenges facing our neighborhood ranging from public safety to parking to creating a thriving business district. Our programs, Green n’At and Graffiti Watch, help keep the community and our park areas vibrant and beautiful.

Opening Letter for Guardians of Campers at The Pittsburgh Project from the Head Lifeguard

Mark Rauterkus
Head Lifeguard, Swim Coach
The Pittsburgh Project
Mark@Rauterkus.com
cell: 412-298-3432

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

June 7, 2018

Dear Guardians and Friends of Water!

My life-long goal to further transform our aquatic settings and experiences in Pittsburgh, especially at The Pittsburgh Project’s swim pool, into an amazing, world-class center where everyone becomes an accomplished deep-water swimmers, competitive aquatic athletes with water polo and SKWIM, and aspires to become lifeguards.

Sadly, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children up to the age of four. For kids up to the age of 15, national statistics prove that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death. Everyone needs clear understandings and respects for water safety in all sorts of conditions – even beyond swimming pools.

As the head lifeguard, I promise to do my best with our staff and patrons to demand safety at the pool.

At the pool, our quest centers on “playing well with others.” I aspire to Create Literate Olympians Here. Expect coaching, fitness, instruction, support and competitive challenges this summer. I’ve been a college swim and water polo coach for nine seasons. I have coached athletes who have broken state records in a few different states. I published more than 100-titles for cutting-edge sports participants, and I’m also the Executive Director of a SKWIM USA, a non-profit that is striving to build a Water-Safe, Water-Smart, and Water-Strong Community.

Let’s build additional opportunities for our kids, including year-round swimming for those interested. Your help and support is welcomed. Call, text or email any time. Mark@Rauterkus.com, 412-298-3432.

This summer I want to provide city kids with more than 300, free, competitive Swim Suits – while supplies last – value estimate $35 for a girls suit. But, these swim suits must be earned, in-person at the swim pool and on-line. This are completely OPTIONAL activities if kids and guardians are willing to participate.

First step, sign up: PLAY.CLOH.org. (includes a photo release) This begins the process of getting digital badges and online courses called “Get Your Feet Wet – Swimming,” and a SKWIM quizzes, Levels 1 to 4.

Save the dates: Guardians and parents are invited to the swim pool on Friday afternoons (after camp day ends) for SKWIM games with the kids. Drop in!

Thanks for your ongoing help.

Mark Rauterkus

USA Swimming is addressing the Technical Swim Suit Policy and rules for younsters

It is crazy to spend $400 or $500 on a swimming suit, especially for a kid that is 10-years old.

Article in SwimSwam’s site.

Example

In running, the athlete can choose any shoe he or she desires and can afford.
In swimming, there are PURISTS who want ZERO tech suits. If they managed the rules for runners, everyone would need to compete in bare feet.

I offered the analogy, free of charge.

Pondering

I’m not certain if I agree or not with USA Swimming concerning its approach on these expensive swim suits and rules. I am not sure WHAT to think, just yet.

Parts of me are LIBERTARIAN and that means I’m not so fond of big-brothers over-reaching and telling others what to do — or not to do. But another part of me is super PRUDENT. Others might say worse.

As far as the leadership with the sport and the USA Swimming board — I do not like the idea of hiring consultants to do the heavy lifting and their homework, but, as far as who was hired, Stu Issac, well done. He did a fine job on the research and report.

1 2 3 12