Monday, November 10, 1986

Kara B's letter to her former coach

 One of the best letters I ever got from one of the best swimmers I ever coached. It meant plenty to me then -- and it still does 30+ years later.
Front page:
Back page:

Notes from 2018:

The PAWW team was my "Dream Team." I had three great years in Peoria. Departing was hard. I went from $16,000 a year to a job that paid $22,000 for only nine months. 
I was the first full-time coach at New Trier Swim Club, NTSC. I stepped into a weird situation there and had one or more people on the seven person coaching staff who was a complete snake. 
As I was departing PAWW, I went far out of my way to recruit applications for my eventual successor. I put calls to Washington and strongly encouraged Mike Smithers to interview and take the position. Some months later he took the job and arrived in Peoria and developed his style and the team in ways that were different than what I was doing.

Reunion photo

Coach D. Amerman, Mark Rauterkus, Mike Herrin, Kara B, Erik Rauterkus
on the pool deck at Central Park Pool in Peoria, Illinois.

Wednesday, October 01, 1986

Why swim coaches scream

Why The Swim Coaches Scream!

Mark shares his ideas concerning poolside communications. A swim coach has many roles to play, and the two that Mark hates the most are Zookeeper and Policeman. The swimmers have to be in order and able to follow the directions from the leaders before the coaches really coach. But there is much more to this "screaming question."

For instance, the spectator in the stands sees the coaches communicate by screaming. However, one has to understand and consider the perspective of the swimmers'. The kids are packed into the lanes and elbow to elbow with numerous others who can make a world of distractions. Then, their ears are inches away from the sounds of rushing water often covered with sound-proof rubber caps, if not already plugged with water or putty. Most of all, the complete deftness of the aquatic sound barrier is always present. Additionally, the coaches are always a large vertical and horizontal distance away from the swimmers.

Then consider that these communications from the coaches are intended to be a process to incite actions. If the messages are lifeless, they are less of a motivational tool for the swimmers to further extend themselves in their efforts. Just wait till we start screaming our spirited cheers.

If some swimmers get more screaming than others, perhaps they are the most lucky, and the most coached. A coach who does not communicate is only a lifeguard. Hopefully, we will not need a lifeguard to coach or a cop for the lockerroom.

Tuesday, August 05, 1986

New Trier got my application.

I would get offered the job at New Trier as part of the New Trier Extension, its after-school / night school program. I'd be the head club coach, mostly with the duties to coach the 200 kids who were 8th grade and younger. Plus, I'd coach the high school swimmers when they were out of their high school season. 
But, this was only a 9 month position. Summers were off. And, it was for more money than I was making, by a bunch, in the Peoria Park District job for 12 months. 

I stepped into a quagmire that was only revealed to me some months later. Tony was a true snake as he was threatened and set many traps that were unavoidable. He aspired to be the girls head high school coach. He was a teacher and knew that Bruce was thinking of retiring due to some health worries. Bruce wouldn't need to stop coaching for many years to come. 

I began working more on the Great States Swimming News magazine and took a job at the computer store in Evanston, learning more about education sales and computers, desktop publishing and got to meet Catherine!