Category Archives for Invites. Get involved. Join in.

Friday events at Mt. Lebanon swim pool for water polo and SKWIM with guardians

Lifeguards, triathletes, hockey players, basketball players and coaches as well as adults, parents, teachers, guardians and kids — of course — come to a fun water workout on Friday evenings when there isn’t a home football game at Mt. Lebanon’s indoor, new, high school swim pool from 7:30 to 9 pm. Show up at 7:15 if you can so we can transition into activities and have some time to chat before we begin.

More info at this page:

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%.

Swimmers in Pittsburgh: We’ve got some weekend fun on May 12, May 19 and June 2

SKWIM player at Brashear, SDA16

SKWIM disk toss from play in the pool.

The Saturday Swim School is a labor of love with Coach Mark Rauterkus and a crew of other volunteers. We’re looking for Scouts, summer-swimmers, future lifeguards, and former Summer Dreamers to come out and join us as well.

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11:30 am to 1 pm Oliver High School 2323 Brighton Road, Pgh 15212

11:30 am to 1 pm
Oliver High School
2323 Brighton Road, Pgh 15212

Team Meetings at Swim & Water Polo with SDA18 include CIRCLES

Coach Mark at team meeting at Camp Langley.

Expecting both team meetings and circle time in our Swim & Water Polo Camp in 2018. Ideas welcome.

With Summer Dreamers in 2018, #SDA18, our regular, daily, Swim & Water Polo Team Meeting is going to include some circle time. This new program wrinkle comes on the wake of a school district push to Restorative Justice.

Mindfulness history

A few years ago, a friend, Richard King, PhD, helped to launch and lead a practice with circles with the students in a program he championed, Mindful Gardening. He is not leading any SDA activities in 2018., sadly.

Wishing for sanity and dialog in recent seasons

In 2017 as well as in the early part of 2018, I would have welcomed the on going use of restorative practices within PPS programs. The kids were fine. I needed the circles among a few of the adults who were going in different directions.

Circles and community slide from PPS training.

 

This offers a dramatic mind shift for some at PPS. With us at the swim pool, not so much. Sure, it is a new wrinkle. New touchstones are going to be needed. But we have always had an approach that gives students a voice, some choices, and builds upon respect.

Ideas and tools to implement the new circle time at Swim & Water Polo are welcome. We hope to document the process and offer more examples.

Forming an All-Star Aquatics Team — Today. Heading to the PPS Middle School Swim Championships

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Same info, but without the PDF format follows.

 

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

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

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