Category Archives for Goals

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%.

Happy New Year. Here comes 2018.

CLOH .org = Caring, Loving, Open, Honest.

On this first day of the new year, let’s consider the first concept, CARING.

Comment from Kevin DeForrest via a Facebook post.

That’s a contract. “If you _____, then I’ll ______.” A covenant, on the other hand, says “I will _______ no matter what you do.” Caring is covenantal, not contractual.

Dictionary for convental: Of or pertaining to a covenant.

covenant (from Websters)

    • a binding and solemn agreement to do or keep from doing a specified thing; compact
    • an agreement among members of a church to defend and maintain its doctrines, polity, and faith
      • [C-] an agreement of Presbyterians in Scotland in 1638 to oppose episcopacy
        also called National Covenant
      • [C-] an agreement between the parliaments of Scotland and England in 1643 to extend and preserve Presbyterianism
        also called Solemn League and Covenant

LAW

    • a formal, sealed contract
    • a clause of such a contract
    • a suit for damages for violation of such a contract

THEOL.

  • the promise made by God to humanity and the relationship it established, as described in the Bible

Expect Great Things, the slogan of Dr. Anthony Hamlet, superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Hamlet at podium

Dr. Hamlet, superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, opens the Maker Space at Obama Academy in December 2017. Dr. Hamlet has branded the expression, Expect Great Things, into the mission of the district since his arrival.

The psychology and deeper meaning of the new vision for Pittsburgh Public Schools has merit, if it is put into practice. The slogan is being put everywhere, such as on the web site, on stationary and on posters throughout the district. The slogan is getting plenty of practice, as it is repeated often. But is its message being implemented?

The motivational message makes sense. Furthermore, the actions need to speak volumes too. Words and deeds are both required.

Headline: Expectations leads to manifestation. 

You get what you expect. Your expectations are the source code of your creative possibilities.

We are all swimming in a soup of sensory inputs. So focus is needed. Easy to understand that the leaders of Pittsburgh Public Schools are confronted with a seemingly endless set of challenges. The leaders are putting out fires on multiple fronts any given week, day and hour. But, what are they really hoping to accomplish and what is expected?

What the leaders pay attention to is what they see and hear. Sadly, it seems to me, the leaders do not pay much attention to the support of those who are expecting greatness.

Understanding the power of expectations comes with both opportunity and warning.

My mission and what I’m looking for with PPS builds upon the concept of “summer dreamers” and goes to “year-round achievers.” I expect great things and have always lead the struggle to bring brushes of greatness to the students, through sports and swimming programs. Our holistic approach offers championship competitive swimming, but it goes to personal improvements and building upon our shared community capacity of playing well with others.

Part 2 goes to leadership.

Our swimmers are intellectual bloomers. We have the magic sauce for the self-fulfilling prophecy that has proven itself every year, to a certain extent, with most of our student-athletes on the varsity swimming team. 

Agents and management have to understand the power of expectation and also keep grounded in the real world. When we have coaches and principals with ordinary track records and below satisfaction results, be done and find others who want to reach and want to aspire to the performance high bar.

Message from Dr. Hamlet at the opening of the maker space at PPS Obama Academy in December 2017