Category Archives: Play

Thunderbirds hosting SKWIM & Water Polo — Special event on Saturday, July 15, at South Side’s PPS Cupples Stadium

Save the date. Saturday evening. Our athletes are getting to take the field at 5:30 pm with the professional team, the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds. Show up after 5 pm and before 5:30 to visit with the coach and volunteers.

Handout to Campers:

Our swimmers, water polo players, SKWIM athletes, staff and lifeguards — plus family and friends — are invited to join together for a special event this Saturday evening, tomorrow, July 15, 2017, at South Side’s PPS Cupples Stadium for interactions on the field with Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, a city’s professional ULTIMATE team.

Arrive after 5 pm to check in with Coach Mark, and be ready to hit the field from 5:30 to 6 pm with the players. Then we’ll stay to watch and cheer for the team at its 7 pm game.

Meet up at the gates of the stadium AFTER 5pm and before 5:30 pm. Youngsters should be accompanied by an adult. This is an optional event. Everyone has to get there on their own.

Tickets (generally $10 each) to the game between the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds vs. Detroit have be obtained by Coach Mark for our group. Everyone who can attend the game needs to reserve their family’s tickets by doing ONE of the following:

  • EMAIL Mark@Rauterkus.com with the names of the people who are attending.
  • TEXT Coach Mark at (412) 298-3432 with the names of the people attending. OR,
  • Go to the site, http://Play.CLOH.org/ (you are here) and do “web join” and then leave a comment with the names and number of tickets of those who are attending.

At the game, Coach Mark hopes to visit with guardians and players and share some other insights into additional activities to come in our normal sessions slated for this summer — plus some other optional activities too.

Thank you Pittsburgh Thunderbirds. The game of ULTIMATE is a disk-game much like our aquatic game of SKWIM. Seeing these players and their teamwork, passing, defense, hustle and sportsmanship can inspire our play and help us become better athletes.

In other news:

We’re going to be playing SKWIM and water polo from 6 to 7:45 pm every TUESDAY and THURSDAY evenings for the weeks to come at the outdoor Citiparks AMMON Swim Pool, Bedford Ave & Memory Lane, Hill District. — Weather permitting.

Mark Rauterkus     Mark@Rauterkus.com
 PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo Camp Executive Coach
 Swimming Coach with The Pittsburgh Project
 Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
 Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
 http://CLOH.org
 (412) 298-3432 = cell

 

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.

Recap: Special SKWIM event at the Oliver Bath House and post-game open house was a blast

Our event and visit to the historic, Citiparks’ Oliver Bath House on South Side was a big success.

Citiparks Lifeguards and VIPs from The Pittsburgh Project and Mel from PPS / State Rep Gainey’s office, along with hosts, Coach Mark of Pittsburgh Obama and Kevin, SKWIM’s inventor from Washington.

Extended Game Video

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Seeking test content: Got quiz?

We are seeking helpers and partners who have written tests, exams, quizzes and other clever-input, review, guessing-games that are freely able to be shared — especially in the subject area of sports, fitness, health, wellness, active-lifestyle and games. Youth technology and young career content welcomed too.

No promises, but we’d love to host your test or quiz on these pages and then share the process and results with you too.

Call Coach Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432.

Email is Mark -at- Bloomfield-Garfield dot org.

Thanks.

Shifting Sands N@

This article reflects upon the LRNG.org’s Partner Handbook, a guide for creating XPs, playlists and badges.

The CEO of Collective Shift, Connie Yowell, the company formed to launch LRNG.org, wants to transform learning into a lifestyle.

LRNG_Lifestyle1

 

Being active, fit, and an athlete is a lifestyle. Many of the “lifestyle sports” are included within the Play.CLOH.org grant proposals of 2016. Swimming, water polo, golf, kayaking, running and ultimate are certainly lifestyle sports. These activities have a lot going on, plenty of “mojo,” much to emulate.

As we work together to make learning a lifestyle, let’s work within the lifestyle sports and insure that learning is included there, in obvious ways, so that plenty of others can join, follow-along, and embrace this lifestyle of learning. To create lifelong learning, use recreation.

Giving young people better tools in their preparation for life gets top billing at Play.CLOH.org. A robust suite of additional enrichment activities and experiences for better preparing youngsters is needed and welcomed.

Sadly, many of the opportunities provided for inter-city kids are frail. Often, the institutional hurdles are high and frequent. Our swim team can’t have practices on Saturdays and Sundays. Go figure. The older kids can’t be fooled. Perpetual defeat is a buzz kill.

Let’s support the drive and desire for being dedicated, determined and disciplined. Athletes have those passions, especially when they’re improving, having fun and a sense of fairness comes within their competitive landscapes. Our kids should feel the support – then, they rise to meet challenges. Here, we can compete with anyone, anywhere. Kids, you can receive the help to become the best you can be, and that means that some are sure to become the best in the world. For everyone on the team in the community, that makes life exciting. That’s the fun lifestyle that trains minds and bodies.

High school kids who come to understand and trust the vision of Creating Literate Olympians Here can make it so. The mind leads and the body follows. They go together. The mind never leaves the body. The learning never stops. Play.CLOH.org aims to better align-and-unify mind-and-body. Play.CLOH.org prevents the divorce between the two.

Learning, teaching and playing is for the young and not-so-young. The target market for LRNG.org is 13 to 24. Why stop at 24? The system of digital badges at Play.CLOH.org champions lifelong learning for those who want to live a long life. Play unifies the young and not-so-young and prevents the divorce among the age groups. It is important to engage the kids, and everyone else.

Coach and camper
Coach and camper.

Plenty of opportunities are within these plans that speak directly to the circle of life. In Pittsburgh, our co-ed masters’ water polo team generally beats the region’s best high school boys’ team. It was an epic moral victory, and lots of fun, when the North Allegheny high school boys squad tied the Pittsburgh Masters squad at a game in the 2016 CMU tournament.

Play.CLOH.org efforts make spaces and interesting challenges so that the seasoned 50-year-olds get to buck up with the youngsters in their prime in underwater hockey, speed golf, aquatic SKWIM, ultimate, pull-ups, goal-setting, sport-first-aid, computer animation and app development. Learning lifetime-and-lifestyle lessons goes beyond age 24. Health and wellness is not a guarantee for many in communities where violence, drug use and poverty are pervasive.

Some XPs, playlists, pathways and badges within Play.CLOH.org are tagged #Lifelong_LRNG_Lifestyle when suited for inter-generational settings.

Home quote
Home quote from their handbook.

The Introduction’s “home base” can’t be confused with “home plate” nor “base camp.”

Baseball has a different concept of being “home.” In baseball, one must summon sizable amounts of courage to step-up-to-the-plate at home. Getting to home as a base runner signals a long-trip around the diamond’s three other bases. Regardless of the illustration and baseball’s vocabulary, Play.CLOH.org makes loud calls for great teams of people to step out of their comfort zones, to be present elsewhere, to be prepared by thinking ahead and to reflect, log and digitize their insights along their ways.

Both LRNG and Play.CLOH.org aim to connect communities around shared goals. The design pillars of LRNG match well among the goals and quarters of Play.CLOH.org. The over-arching goal is playing well with others. LRNG and Play.CLOH.org play well together.

LRNG’s four design pillars: Craft Experiences, Gather Communities, Build the World, and Unlock Opportunities

Play.CLOH.org features four design pillars too within its playlist for the Tech Captains badge. Plenty of overlap and common ground exists. The Play.CLOH.org “pillars” are called “quarters.” Quarter One is Present. Quarter Two is Play. Quarter Three is Technology. Quarter Four is Development. Plenty of common ground exists.

The alignment of the LRNG.org pillars and Play.CLOH.org quarters are slightly different, but the sequence of the pillars as well as quarters are not paramount.

 

Play.CLOH.org efforts consider “Why” first. “How” should be informed by “Why.” In other words, the method and activities should be informed by the purpose.

The why behind the digital badges called Tech Captains becomes clear as dozens of high school students are hired to serve as coaches, instructors, lifeguards and camp leaders for Swim & Water Polo Camp. All workers are not equal.

In 2015, 40+ employees coached more than 200 students at 10 different pools. The best employees have been high school swimmers on the Obama varsity swim team. Other athletes, but not full-time swimmers, have been great workers too. Of course the varsity swimmers know the routines, expectations and drills of the head coach. Having played the games and understanding the rules matters. They know the communication style of the boss, can read emails and be responsible to their duties. The more valuable employees have been the ones with a prior relationships with the program leader, their fellow workers and the activities. The greatness days at camp come when varsity swimmers perform and lead the younger students in grades 3 to 7.

Pittsburgh has a proven demand and available facilities to train more than 2,000 youngsters in a Swim & Water Polo Camp in the summers. Throughout the winter, Pittsburgh has the available facilities to train more than 6,000 swimmers.

Sticking points for growing the programs to reach thousands of kids are a shortage of coaches for staff positions and a lacking political will by certain individuals in high positions. The awarding of educational grants would help to sway the opinions among certain administration in the school district.

Throughout the school year, about 40 kids are involved in the varsity swim teams, boys and girls at Obama. In the district of 30,000 students, Pittsburgh has about 250 swimmers among all the schools and grades.

However, a staff of more than 100 would be needed to lead campers by the thousands. The pathway to to the Tech Captains badges can help to develop the individuals who can join the staff for future camps.

Hamstring Stretch in Homewood with Water Polo Players
Hamstring Stretch in Homewood with Water Polo Players

An All-City Sports Camp has been proposed. However, other posts are already being filled in the community. Citiparks, the YMCA, Sarah Heinz House, Hosanna House, Pittsburgh Ultimate, Venture Outdoors, Big Leagues, First Tee of Pittsburgh and our Swim & Water Polo Camp hire camp instructors. The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation and the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center hire about 150 kids, ages 14 to 21, for the city’s summer youth employment program.

In 2017 and beyond, it would be great if the individuals who have LRNG digital badges could take a merit-based bypass of the job lottery. Not all the kids get hired with the city’s youth job program called Learn & Earn. Those with digital badges should get hired first. That way, digital badges would unlock opportunities.

Every youngster in Pittsburgh could learn to swim and be a part of the sportsmanship and teamwork experiences of an All City Sports Camp after 400 participants have been trained in the process of playing well with others in the quest for Play.CLOH.org Tech Captain digital badges. But there is more. Existing camp experiences are already offered in the community by many of the supporting agencies and institutions within the Play.CLOH.org network. Those camps hire high school students. Every camp can benefit with more enhanced staff preparations with year-round XPs.

The Tech Captains digital badges help to tighten the circle of life. Consider the growth of a youngster who is a camper at age 10 and then becomes a motivated learner at age 13 and grows into a valued junior instructor in a camp at age 15 to then hooks up in a camp-coaching role at age 17.

Running-straight_stamp-speed

For the high school students, fitting in the time for training, playing, competing, studying, resting, planning, socializing, learning, and instructing other youngsters is demanding work that can be made somewhat less burdensome with the hope of a pathway charted to meaningful badges from Play.CLOH.org.

Many of the young adults at age 19 are doing college internships.

The connected learning approach prioritizes experience over knowledge transfer, formation over facts. It centralizes the importance of community connections, real-world relevancy and digital technologies. The approach bridges connections between communities, content, and practitioners. When successful, it brings together learner’s passions, people, and paths.

Pittsburgh’s shared passions: Sports, Technology, Our Children. Pittsburgh is a sports town. Pittsburgh is also a technology town. Our kids are a passion for many too. Play.CLOH.org connects these common passions of sports, fitness and wellness to technology for our kids. With this approach, the entire community can be responsible. Schools, nonprofits, companies, gamers, governments, caregivers, mentors, and peers are all involved in Play.CLOH.org.