Monday, July 17, 2006

Water Polo Clinic for 3 days to close out Crafton's season

Playing water polo and looking for the goal.

I've got the 'green light' to go ahead and promote a three day water polo clinic I'll be hosting at Crafton with our swim team.

The final two swim meets of the summer for the Crafton Crocs are the Championship Meet on Saturday, July 22 and the All Stars on Wednesday, July 26. However, the final swim meets do not mean everything ends. The coaches have been cooking up a few extra events. Thanks for the consideration and quick feedback.

Soon after talking about these season ending activities, we've got to think about swimming in the fall and throughout the year as well. For now, here is a close look at the final stages of the summer season.

Monday, July 24.

7:30 to 9 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School
9:30 to 11:30, swim practice at Crafton Pool

Swimmers who are NOT in the All Star Meet can still come to swim practice at
the High School, and/or come to practices and conditioning at Crafton
from 9:30 to 11:30.

Monday EVENING, July 24 -- CRAFTON Swim Team Fun Night at Crafton Pool at 8 pm.
All swimmers and families can attend.

Tuesday, July 25.
7:30 to 9 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School
9:30 to 11:30, swim practice at Crafton Pool

Wednesday, July 26.
7:30 to 9 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School
9:30 to 11:30, swim practice at Crafton Pool

Wednesday, July 26, All Star Swim Meet in the EVENING at South
Fayette. Swimmers show up at 5:15 pm.

Thursday, July 27
7:30 to 9:30 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School (Last practice
at the High School this summer.)

9:30 am to 11:30 am, WATER POLO Clinic and WORKOUT at Crafton Swim
Pool with all coaches. Open to all swimmers who want to play water polo.

Friday, July 28
8:30 am to 10:00 am, WATER POLO Clinic and WORKOUT at Crafton Swim Pool with Coach Mark. Open to all swimmers who want to play water polo.

Saturday, July 29
9:30 am to 11:30 am, WATER POLO Clinic and WORKOUT at Crafton Swim
Pool with Coach Mark. - Scrimmage Saturday Open to all swimmers
who want to play water polo and were able to attend on one of the
previous two days.
Swimmers who attended the clinic can be part of the scrimmages.

Sunday, July 30,
Swim Team Banquet for the Crafton Swim Team is at 6 pm at Crafton Park.


From Monday, August 7 to Friday, August 11, Coach Mark is hopeful that we'll be able to hold another water polo clinic at another facility, such as the city's MOORE PARK swim pool on Pioneer Avenue, OR at Dormont's pool, or Green Tree's pool or the Crafton Swim Pool? Those clinic times would be in the morning. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

More background:

July 17, 2006

Dear Swimmers and Families,

It has been a wonderful summer swim season . As a new coach to the
team, I've been fortunate to meet a group of wonderful kids this
summer. Thanks for welcoming me and my kids onto your team this
summer. It is always a pleasure to work with Coach Mike. He has done a
wonderful job, as always, especially with those meet line-ups. So far,
so good, but I'm not willing to 'rest' just yet.

As a coach, recreational leader, and even in my role as a dad, I know that there is still a lot to do. This letter shares part of a vision to share understandings of how good these kids of ours really are. As
we focus on swimming fast at the last meets, and winning them if
possible, allow a moment to reflect on this swimming community and
some added opportunities we can mix into our swim experiences.

We have a great group of kids. Plenty of new swimmers came onto the
scene and made great improvements in a few weeks. There are plenty of
talented swimmers on our team. There are plenty of kids who are
devoted to the sport too. A big group of our kids could grow into fine
championship swimmers in seasons to come.

I've very please with the progress of the kids and want to give them more -- as challenges and experiences for personal and team growth.

Presently, the Crocs have a lot of boys on the team. This asset to
the program counters a shortage of guys in age group swimming in the
region. We can do better than the others if we offer different
opportunities to satisfy and keep kids engaged and excited.

I've had fun working with these kids, and I'm sure Jen and Mike and
Steve share these feelings too. I want to keep them engaged and don't
want them to drift away for the next ten months.

So, let's play water polo this summer. We can pull together a real
water polo clinic and make for some interesting, extra conditioning as
a bonus to this summer.

The North Allegheny H.S. varsity water polo team keeps many boys swimming in the competitive season just to excel in water polo.

In California, some combination swim and water polo clubs have more
than 1,000 kids engaged in their programs. This is far more than a fad

At the college level, women's water polo has been the fastest growth
sport among all NCAA programs. Univ. of Dayton, for example, started a
water polo program and is giving college scholarships to women polo

Water polo, an Olympic sport, is played around the world. When we
were in China, I got to play on a regular basis -- as guys scrimmaged
a new college women's squad. (I've got the photos to prove it.)

When I published and edited books, we did a 400-page text book with a four-time Olympic polo coach. More copies were given away than sold in Pennsylvania, but it was in demand worldwide. Knowledge and videos are
on hand.

I started community water polo at Plum in 1990. Jay became a 4-year
polo player at Bucknell Univ. and then coached and officiated the
sport at top programs.

Water polo is about teamwork. Its a ball sport. It is physical, like
basketball, but without the head impacts of soccer, football and

Like swimming, polo is a technical sport and takes top conditioning to play successfully. It is a workout and lots of fun.

In Pittsburgh, once we get good enough, and build our group of
players on a regular basis, we could enter a league with teams
throughout the eastern states and attend a few weekend tournaments.

In Australia, guys in their 30s, 40s, and 50s play at high levels -- making interesting interactions with the teens. Polo is an
intergenerational game -- and both boys and girls can workout together
in a blended program. Some girls can play right along with the best
boy players, no doubt.

The wee ones down under play a modified game, 'flipper ball.' Rookie
swimmers can slip on fins to give a "leg up" on counter attacks.

I've got a set of the caps and a few water polo balls. We can easily
use a park bench as temporary goals. They work just fine. So, start up
costs are nil.

Some people shouldn't play water polo -- if you can't swim, don't
want to or perhaps you have a blind eye. Water polo is a great sport,
but it isn't for everyone.

We won't be playing a version of 'animal ball.' We'll be doing
drills, skills and situation plays. We'll learn the game and build our
conditioning, understandings and tactics. So, participants need to
hustle and listen.

Soccer, lacrosse and hockey players can make the transition to water polo. All are goalie sports. Basketball, volleyball, baseball and
football players can get into polo for its ball handling.

Gold Medal Olympian Matt Biondi played on polo teams before getting
into big-time competitive swimming. He played NCAA polo while
swimming at Cal.

Chartiers Valley HS has played water polo for years. When we played
at Plum HS, word spread and kids from various schools came (Gateway,
Kiski, Penn Trafford). Fox Chapel came to Carlynton HS once for a polo
fun day. When I coached the Foxes, we devoted one extra AM practice a
week to polo, for the sake of variety. Two did a 'senior project'
centered on water polo that year.

Water polo is one extra activity of an action-packed aquatic program. Let's build up an interest in polo and then expand programming
activities further. Of course swim lessons, swim team and lifeguard
training are the basics. But future years could include lifeguard
competitions, Junior Lifeguard Camps, triathlons, open water swimming,
fin swimming, underwater hockey, and kayak/canoe polo.

This summer, a group of the swimmers began using the weight room on a
regular basis and we did some dry-lands and running. I feel that the
athletes and coaches are eager to evolve the range of activities and
make increases in strength and conditioning throughout the program.

Exciting accomplishments need year-round attention. Since some of the kids are charged up now – I have a sense of duty to keep them going.
Building positive peer pressure is good too.

If any mom or dad or uncle or big brothers might like to assist or
play, contact us.

Recap: Water polo happens from 9:30 to 11:30 on Thur., Fri. and Sat.
July 27, 28 and 29. If possible, another clinic could be played in
the mornings from August 7 to 11, times and places unsure. Stay tuned.

Winter Swimming: Being a part of the year-round team is fun. I hope to
continue coaching most of the swimmers on a year-round basis. You'll
improve, and it will be interesting and challenging.

Thanks for the consideration and effort!

Coach Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432

PS: Not overwhelmed? Ask Erik or I about the 140-mile, 2 day, camp in
a tent, bike ride on September 9 & 10, 2006 – called, "That Dam Ride."
Cost $60 per person.

From August 19-Sept 2, Erik, Grant and I are going to Canada for a
swim and sports camp,. Plan to join us next year,