All posts by admin

About admin

Swim & Water Polo Coach in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Connected Writing Ideas

Students and even coaches are encouraged to write within the Swim & Water Polo program. Open ended questions follow:

How did practice go today?

Was it good? — That’s sorta boring. Why was it decent, or amazing, or not. However today’s practice was for you, try to learn from it. What did you gain? Can you turn a bad practice-frown upside down? Can you capitalize on the momentum of a good workout?

What are some of the things you need to do to guarantee that you’ll have a great practice the next time you are at the pool — or even in the classroom?

What about sleep? Can you put yourself to bed early? Sleep is often the best supplement for your growth and improvement. If you are training hard, you need quality sleep too. Play hard and rest hard.

Do you have a favorite going to bed routine? A favorite pillow? Do you have a favorite blanket? How can you get two extra hours of sleep tonight? With good sleep, you recover more deeply and improve brain functions. You’ll be more focused and attentive in training and boost your immune system.

Talk about water. How about hydration? Can you drink a bunch of water today?

Do not drink the pool water, of course. But, drink from the fountain. Drink at meals. Drink from your own water bottle. Take care of it. Don’t play with it, but treat it as a valued asset to guard and consume. It’s hard to remember to drink an adequate amount of water over the course of the day. Being properly soaked with water, inside and out, makes for a great day.

Performance declines happen when you sweat and body weight drops. Cramps and headaches can be more frequent. And your rate of perceived effort goes up. That means you think your efforts are hard. Don’t make the hard workout feel harder than it has to feel. Hydrate!

Write a goal for your next practice.

Most campers walk into an activity and can only brace themselves for the challenges ahead. You can do more to prepare so you are ready to perform. Don’t just react to everything that comes you way. Be brave getting in. Decide that for yourself. Be attentive to the coaches and instructors and absorb every word they say. Start to listen to them even before they speak. Be ready to catch on what comes next.

Go to practice with a specific goal in mind. The goal doesn’t have to be crazy. Tell yourself to do extra dolphin kicks on push offs the wall. Setting yourself a little goal will give you a sense of ownership and pride in your swimming. Sit down with some paper or onto the web site or tablet and make a training journal note. Write what you are going to accomplish tomorrow.

Tell the world a few things you are grateful for.

As you communicate your ideas about the things in your life you are grateful for, you’ll find that you’re doing one of the best stress-busting techniques ever. Keep perspective. Be grateful.

Writing down a few things you are grateful helps us stay positive.

Pick one piece of self-talk you want to change.

Becoming a mentally tougher is a challenge. Learning how to struggle without quitting. Press on when your heart and chest are telling you to take a break. Use visualization to help remind ourselves what we were saying to ourselves in these battles. What can we do for ourselves to be better for the next competition?

One thing you can do now and write about is to pick a piece of self-talk to use at practice tomorrow.

Controlling your self-talk is one of the biggest steps in developing a tougher, high-performance mindset.

What are some of the things you have said to yourself or others during tough practices in the pool? What negative things went through your mind? Write it out, and do some mental judo to give that negative self-talk a positive tone.

“I’m tired and I don’t feel like I can go faster…”

Vs.

“I’m tired, but so is everyone else. Let’s give the next play an awesome effort and take things from there.”

Write about the future and explain what tomorrow’s great workout can look like.

Visualization and imagination are big concepts that can be used to improve yourself. Just “daydream” about your swimming. Then daydream about tomorrow’s time at the pool. Instead of goofy daydreaming, take control of it.

Spend a few minutes visualizing what you want your stroke to feel like in pool tomorrow. See in your mind’s eye, the top-of-the-water, clean, smooth energy with your arms and legs. Picture your body zooming along the surface.

Go!

Link to input form.

Quiz Pre-flight for SKWIM Level 1 to Level 4

Test your knowledge, and the delivery of these questions and answers concerning aquatic’s safety and surf knowledge by taking these four multiple choice quizzes for a whirl. They are new and may need to be edited. Your suggestions and feedback is desired.

Every question has an opportunity to comment. You do need to register with a username and password. You need to take the tests in order.

Level 1 Quiz for SKWIM’s surf safety:


Level 2 Quiz for SKWIM’s surf safety:


Level 3 Quiz for SKWIM’s surf safety:

Level 4 Quiz for SKWIM’s surf safety:

Opportunities and improvements to Pittsburgh’s scholastic sports amounts to a wicked design challenge.

 

Pittsburgh, a sports town, needs to support its citizens, families and athletes in efficient, economical ways so programs and individuals thrive. Improving the city’s recreational landscape, especially for the often neglected sectors of the city, requires the building of the appropriate  political will in these human endeavors. Furthermore, the building and changes must include a suite of collective beliefs in technical aspects.

All in all, the quagmire becomes a design problem with complicated, multi-dimensional aspects that spans age groups, abilities, interests, facilities, institutions, and budgets.

Pittsburgh’s sports overhaul is a wicked design challenge.

A report on design thinking defines wicked design challenges as a “class of social system problems which are ill-formulated, where the information is confusing, where there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values, and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing” (Churchman, 1967 , p. 141).

One positive outcome is the building of a collective belief, especially among consequential stakeholders. Municipal government, county services, school districts, coaches, volunteers, college admissions officers, employers, educators, families and learners are needed for engagement and eventual prosperity.

The challenge of building a collective belief is a far more complicated design challenge than making a new slogan with team t-shirts.

The courses, interactions, pathways, playlists and experiences at Play.CLOH.org offer visual designs with digital badges, yet the movement is surprisingly complex. Badge system design demands more effort than a series of web activities and services. As Play.CLOH.org efforts are designed to function across institutional and other types of boundaries, the meta mission with an entire open badge infrastructure makes the complexity of the struggle and its design task exponentially confusing.

With the Penguins in the playoffs, let’s do this online course, “Future Goals”

 

All are invited to take this online course.

Try it. Leave a message in the comments and let others know what you think.

The efforts within the course circle around hockey’s landscape. Even if hockey isn’t your go-to-game, all students, players, coaches and fans are going to learn and review plenty of math and science. This  mini-course, Future Goals – Hockey Scholar, delivers excellent graphics and lessons for learning learning and reviewing academic skills in math and science. The course takes about three hours to complete.

Kids from across Pennsylvania are starting to use Future Goals – Hockey Scholar to boost Science and Math Pennsylvania standards using this digital environment. Each 20-minute lesson resembles a virtual lab where students build their vocabulary and background knowledge, test variables, and draw conclusions from data. The modules contain self-grading assessments and help provide the “why” behind science and math topics.

Registration ID: 36ce56eb

Tip: Copy the registration ID:

36ce56eb

Create an EverFi account the first time by going to http://www.everfi.com/login and click Register. Then enter 36ce56eb and click Next.

If you already have an account at Everfi, login to the account and enter d79ea057 in the top right corner.

Click here to get to the log-in page!


A Battle of the Keystone State is Here

In order to support education and Pittsburgh Penguins, we are excited to partner with students and families in the community to take advantage of this virtual challenge and suite of classes concerning science, math within a hockey-centered setting.

Thanks to the NHL and the smart instructors and designers of Everfi. Links to insights from the publisher.

Handout with our passcode, a 2-page PDF.

Hockey-scholars-w_CLOH

OPTIONAL Swim & Water Polo Activities: Downtown Parade

These events are optional and extra and are NOT a part of the normal Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers events. Families are invited to participate in the following community events on your own. No transportation is provided by PPS. Questions should be sent to Coach Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432, (cell) or Mark@Rauterkus.com.

Downtown Parade for Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial down Liberty Avenue, Saturday, July 9, 2016. Arrive after 10 am. Parade begins at 11 am. After the parade, play aquatic games at Northside, Citiparks’ Sue Murray Swim Pool, Cedar Avenue, across from the Giant Eagle / Sunoco gas station.

Tip: Our parade position and meet-up is going to be at Liberty Ave and 11th Street. We will meet behind a school bus that is to be decorated for PPS and the Pittsburgh Promise.

Tip 2: Park your car, if you drive, near CAPA or else on the Northside by the swim pool. then walk to Liberty Avenue and 11th, near the Strip District.

Swim pool
Northside’s Sue Murray Swim Pool has plenty of space for various aquatic games in deep, middle and shallow water.

Swimmers from Summer Dreamers with Athletes United for Clean Air are going to march with Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Promise to celebrate the city’s history. 

Update: Due to parade protocol, the message for the parade is about Pittsburgh Public Schools and Summer Dreamers — and not about, “Go USA! Go Leah!”

Olympic schedule insights:

Cheer for Leah Smith and Katie Ledecki as they race together in Rio on:

  • Sunday, August 7th – women’s 400m freestyle prelims/final
  • Wednesday, August 10th – women’s 800m freestyle relay prelims/final
  • Thursday, August 11th – women’s 800m freestyle prelims
  • Friday, August 12th – women’s 800m freestyle finals
  • Prelims begin at 10 am EASTERN time while Semis & Finals begin at 7 pm EASTERN.

More Swimming, Water Polo and SKWIM opportunities in Pittsburgh this summer:

  • Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 pm, Citiparks Ammon Rec Pool, Bedford & Memory Lane, Hill District
  • Wednesdays, 6 to 7:30 pm, Citiparks Ammon Rec Pool, Bedford & Memory Lane, Hill District
  • Thursdays, 6 to 7:30 pm, Citiparks Sue Murray Pool, Cedar Ave. Northside

* Additional events always published at the open google calendar at CLOH.org.

Warm Up Arm Swing Routine

See the 47 exercises in the warm-up routine. This is the first post that blends the  wiki and the blog. Photos and videos for all exercises are expected in the days and weeks to come.

Routine

1) Gentle Neck Rolls (exercise)

Start with the chin on the chest. Slowly, easily, calm-like, move the head around the shoulders.
Do some to the one direction and then reverse. Okay to look far to the right, then far to the left.
Okay to look far up, and then far down. Heads need to be attached to the bodies. When the neck is hurt or injured, comfort is absent. The mind leads, the body follows.

2) Reverse Gentle Neck Rolls

Could do variation with 1 roll to right and then 1 roll to left. Body is complicated in holding one’s head in place. We need our heads to be in the game. Water polo players have head on a swivel!

3) Trunk twists (exercise)

Put both arms on one side of body. Kick opposite leg to the arm side while swinging the arms in front to the side of the kicking leg while standing on the other leg. Kick higher. Twist farther. Kick and hold for 3 seconds. Kick and re-kick higher. Point toes on kick. Flex foot on kick.
The spine and back are precious, often a place for injury, especially if conditioning isn’t done. Have a backbone!

4)Reverse Trunk Twists

Other direction with other leg and motion.

5) Leg swing forward and back (exercise)Edit

Stand on one leg. Swing the other forward and then backwards in toe to heel directions.

6) Other leg swings forward and back

7) Leg swings lateral with abductor and adductor motions (exercise)

8) Switch legs and swing laterally.

9) Foot Spins (exercise)

While seated hold two hands on one foot with one hand on toes and other hand on the heel. Spin to loosen foot, ankle and other soft tissue for increase flexibility and warm-up. Often done while sitting. Could be done while standing. Kicking speed is about flexible flippers. The tail fin of a fish or shark moves the water for propulsion.

10) Foot Spins with same foot in the other direction.

Spin the toes in the other direction. Change to or from counter-clockwise to the other direction.
Could micro-manage what foot to grasp and what direction to spin.

11) Foot Spins on other foot

12) Foot Spins on other foot other direction

13) Kneeling position (exercise)

Place tops of feet and toe nails onto ground with knees bent and body weight on the feet. Works on toe point and quad flexibility. Can have a soft surface or towel, with or without shoes. Can ask swimmers to lay back with head then shoulders to the ground with legs bent fully at the knees.
Legs! Feet! Whatever is tight gets attention with this position. Do it at night and in the morning in a soft bed or with a pillow and improve your comfort in a week’s time.

14) Right Arm forward Arm Swing (exercise)

Full range of motion with shoulder swinging so it touches the ear. Hand goes past hip at bottom of circle. Do some slow, some medium and some fast. With or without milk jugs as weights.
ROM = Range Of Motion. Shoulders and backs are points of power when attached to the base of the body and core.

15) Left Arm Forward Arm Swing

16) Right Arm Backwards Arm Swing (exercise)

17) Left Arm Backwards

18) Right arm swing in a Sideways Figure 8 Motion (exercise)

The sideways 8 is also a math symbol for infinity.

19) Right Arm Figure 8 in the Reverse Direction

20) Left Arm Figure 8

21) Left Arm Figure 8 Reverse

22) Up the Sides with both arms (exercise)

Begin with hand down with hands near pockets. Swing arms up the sides and touch overhead with the back of the hands together. Shrug the shoulders and pinch the ears with every movement.

23) Up the Front Arm Swings (exercise)

Hold one thumb in the other hand and keep the arms straight. Lift the arms from the shoulder and back. At the bottom, let go of the thumb and allow the arm to swing past the hips to the back before stopping.

24) Horizontal Arm Swings (exercise)

Start in a T position with hands outstretched. Bring the hands together, always keeping them as high as the shoulders. Hug yourself. Swing them apart and try to clap and touch the hands together at shoulder height.

25) Opposites Arm Swings (exercise)

One arm swings forward while the other swings backwards, in the opposite direction.

26) Opposite-Opposites Arm Swings (exercise)

The one arm that was moving forward goes in reverse and the opposite arm goes the opposite direction too.

27) Wrist, door-knob open (exercise)

The rotator cuff gets attention with arm forward and slightly down. Twist.

28) Wrist door-knob closeEdit

Close the door knob.

29) Wrist range of motion (exercise)

Handshake up motion. Quickly lift the hand. Shake.
Handshake down.
With wrist range of motion, spin or twist wrist, both directions. Stretch fingers to back of forearms of both tops and bottoms. Do one hand. Or, do both hands together.
Palm up motion with hands. Sculling and pulling on the water takes strong forearm coordination to get the hands pitched in the proper positions throughout the underwater pulling stroke.
Palm down shake. Passing the ball and even a disk ends with the finger tips and wrist flick.

30) Other wrist range of motion

Hands control our pencils, keyboards, water polo balls and even give a grip on the water — one of the hardest elements to grab and control.

31) Sit ups (exercise)

Do sit ups all different ways. Bent leg, straight leg, crunches, legs apart, twisting at top. twisting at bottom, pike, and elevated flutter kicks, and rower style are a few.

32) Yoga Cobra (Exercise)

Lay on floor with face down. Interlock fingers under the chin. Keep hips down but lift upper body and shoulders so the elbows get straight and hands are stationary. Look to the sky. Look to the sides. Stretch the abs and move the back with smooth and slower motions.

33) Rattle Snakes (exercise)

Prone, with head and upper body down along the floor, lift your thighs and feet up. Do both legs. Then single leg lifts.

34) Hamstring Stretch with Legs in Figure 4 (exercise)

Sit with one leg straight. The other leg bends at the knee and the foot of the bent leg crosses onto or else over the straight leg. Bend your head lower to the straight knee. Hold the stretch for time, even up to 2 minutes.

35) Other Side, 4 for Legs

Switch legs so the other leg gets straight and move to stetch that hamstring.

36) Yoga Butterfly Stretch (exercise)

In a sitting position, bend both knees and put the soles of the feet against each other. Pull your feet close to your bottom. Gently stretch by pressing the bent knees closer to the floor. Easy on the groin muscles.

37) Knee to ear (exercise)Edit

Sitting, bring a bent knee to touch the ear.
Hold knee to ear. Then twist and touch the knee to the other ear.
Could be done standing if advanced for balance.

38) Other knee to each ear

Do the same with the other leg to one ear, then the other ear. Inserts a twist to the back and neck.

39) Butterfly arm motion (exercise)

Standing, swing arms in the butterfly stroke. Be powerful like Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte.

40) Backstroke arm motion (exercise)

Standing, move arms in a backstroke form like Missy Franklin. The recover with fast handspped so quickly that the fingers are a blur. Then do some double-arm backstroke to cool down. Make a bent elbow pull.

41) Breastroke arm motion (exercise)

Standing, do the motions for a breastroke underwater pull out that follows a dive: Dive, glide, pull, glide, kick-arm-head, come to the top, start to swim. Then do 15 strokes of breastroke making a small pulling pattern and breath with every pull. Glide with hands forward in a “V.”

42) Freestyle arm motion (exercise)

Standing, make the arms swim like freestyle as fast as Cullen Jones. Take 10 strokes without a breath and the head looking forward and still. Then breath on one side. Other side. Then both sides, ever 5th arm recover. Then 3rd. Finish the race with out a breath, touching the wall on your side and then give a fist pump and sign of emotion.

43) Toe raises (exercise)

Stand on one leg and lift the toes of that standing leg off of the ground to balance on the heel.

44) Other leg toe raises

45) Heel raises (exercise)

Stand on one leg and lift the heel of that standing leg off of the floor. Balance on the toes.

46) Heel raises with other leg

47) Squat stoop (exercise)

Feet flat on the floor, bend down into a deep squat like the Pirates starting catcher, #55, Russell Martin. Stay there for extended time. Put knees apart then together. Keep feet flat.