Background[edit | edit source]

Coach Mark Rauterkus talks to some students before a day at Swim & Water Polo Camp.

  • This document needs to be reframed and discussed with the PPS Activity Teacher prior to providing to students. These expectations are realistic, however, not appropriate to deliver to the campers as is.
  • Documents used for handouts need to keep mind the age of the campers.
  • PPS wants to be strategic around communication about behaviors.

Links[edit | edit source]

Navigate to Swim & Water Polo Camp, SDA lesson #s: Overview, To Do List

Calendar span: M T W Th F
Week 1, June 26-June 30 1 2 3 4 5
Week 2, July 3, 4th = off, 5-7 6 off 7 8 9
Week 3, July 10-14 10 11 12 13 14
Week 4, July 17-21 15 16 17 18 19
Week 5, July 24-28 20 21 22 23 24
Week 6, July 31, August 1, 2 25 26 27

More events plus happenings in August and September and throughout the year are detailed at our calendar.

Navigate to the reflective writing input form. at

Behavior Insights[edit | edit source]

Constant energy, fluid, dynamic, movements, instructions, reactions.[edit | edit source]

An energy and buzz should occur in every minute in the pool. We connect brains and bodies within the aquatic setting with a purpose. Every day should include a time for a review of prior skills. Quick reviews are expected.

Every day should include challenges that are too difficult for most to do. Replace the words, "I can't do that" with "I'll try."

Trying is a key from the first moments. On the first week, swimmers are asked to try to do things that are more advanced and not yet taught. Show what you can do in trying a length of butterfly, for instance. Some participants might be able to do big things right away. We’ll have a lifeguard. Camp assistants can demonstrate. Campers can give it a whirl, straight up.

Behavior Expectations around the pool[edit | edit source]

Try. Try hard. You can do it.

Listen well. This team can listen. In this sport, in this setting, everyone must listen to the coaches. Heads up. Eyes on the coach.



Keep your hands to yourself. We don't wrestle in the pool. We have fun in other, better ways, not with rough housing, dunking and splashing. History: Mr. Ls' story. Oliver Bath House story.

Don't splash. Splashing is illegal in water polo.

Take your turn. Everyone gets a chance to perform. Be patient and spread out. Give the person ahead of you some space and time so you don't bump into each other. Collisions are not fun.

Retaliation madness. It is not okay to strike back just because someone hit you first. Forget it. Let it be. Move on. That person is being unkind. You be different. You rise above. You show courage to not strike back. You have discipline. You have strength that exceeds that prior foolishness. It is a fail to push one just because you were pushed first. That is a fail. We break that cycle here, at the pool, all the time. Our games teach teamwork. He or she is on your team. We have larger struggles to battle far beyond that classmate. We want to play against competitors around the world. Don't struggle against some pushy goofiness from those who don't get it yet. What matters is that we make big advances today. We have to surge in our behaviors, listening, challenges and rise up to battle against the top competitors. Our bigger victories are going to be when those folks are all on our side. When they are are friends and we are working hard together, that will be when the real fun comes. Some people are going to choose to hold you back. There is no satisfaction in letting them pull you down.

We need to learn about high performance. We need to be concerned with high performance. We need to be high performers. We all were once babies and toddlers. Childish ways have to into your realm of history. We are looking for varsity actions and more sophisticated behaviors and winning, proud, responsible, coach-able players who can lead squads to more adventure and places in life that are much father down the road of happiness and success. Let's make this about discovery and pushing back is going to teach you nothing new. Retaliation is going to to spin your tires while you go nowhere. Don't be stuck.

Years from now when you look back, you'll know that when you get pushed and you don't push back – the jag-offs that made life harder than needed gave you an opportunity to build your resolve and master your self-control and work on your mindfulness. Your concentration can be fierce and the meaningless noise is ignored and you can improve.

Or, if you start to mix it up and we've got two who choose to be jerks, then you are out. Done. Ejected. Over. Cut. If you doing your own thing and not able to do what the team is doing and be coached, then you won't make it back for next week and you won't make it at the next level.

We can't take a team out to compete until we have the same understanding of how to behave when a confrontation comes. In hockey, if a player gets hooked or slashes, the champions still do their best to control the puck, advance to the net, assist others and score. They don't complain. They don't take a dive. They don't badger the officials, referees or cry a river – especially in the game. Perhaps there is a place and a time to square things up with the video replay and highlight films after the game – but not in the middle of playing as a player. Players play. Coaches coach. Officials keep the score. The one with the whistle blows the whistle and the player in the game doesn't have that role and responsibility to worry about all the others. Play on.

The confrontations are going to come from the other teams. When we go to North Park and play in an all-deep swim pool, a struggle is going to come with gravity, the water, the coldness, the wind and your heart, lungs and muscles. Then we put in the ball, a good goalie to shoot against, a defender who seems to be right on top of you and can swim like a fish – then it gets more demanding. Some kids in California play water polo for four hours a day. They're big, strong, fit, fast and don't like to give up a point. They know teamwork. They have advanced plays and none of the players on their teams are weak links.

We took a new team from Pittsburgh from a small school out of state a few years ago to play against a giant school. That team had four goalies. They had scholarships. None of the players on that team were competitive swimmers because they all just played water polo. Our best players were the kids who swam on the swim team too. Chatham played Univ. of Michigan in its first game of water polo as a varsity sport. In another game, this other school played against Indiana University and I.U. was so strong and so good that the other team couldn't get past half-pool. They never got close to the goal, even without the ball. When half-court shots are your only offense, there is no hope of winning that game.

Never bounce nor dribble the water polo balls on the pavement.

Balls in the water stay at the surface, with a bit of the ball's surface touching the air. Ball under is bad. Seldom do we sit upon the ball and sink them. In a game, if the goalie sinks the ball it is a 5-meter penalty shot and that generally results in a goal for the other team. Bad habits are hard to break.

In water polo and SKWIM, you can't grab an opponent, especially from behind. You can't go over a person. You need to go around. You want to go and they are in the way, juke around. Cut quickly. Evade to the side and chug your arms and legs.

Keep horizontal. If you are up and down, you get pushed to the bottom of the pool. You can't move. You can't help your team.

We can't have food at the pool. Too messy. No glass, of course. Don't chew gum as that might cause a dangerous choke hazzard.

Report any trouble to the coaches immediately. Don't go and run off into the locker areas by yourself. Stay on the pool deck with the coaches and lifeguards until they give you instructions.

Bring your own suit, towel and goggles. Swim caps are also good for some.

Your hair is going to get wet. Bags on your hair don't work. Save fancy nails, hair and other body changes to weeks beyond our camp.

Behavior expectations beyond the pool.[edit | edit source]

Use the bathroom facilities before going to the pool area.

If possible, wear your swim suit under your clothing and then you can easily change in seconds.

Never bring anything of value to the pool locker area or to the pool. If you have a lock, that is good too.

Turn off all cell phones. Personal devices can be used in team meetings and on the bus for accessing our digital content.

We can't have food at the pool nor on the bus. Too messy. No glass, of course.

We don't wrestle.[edit | edit source]

Free swim and practice times are different. There is plenty of time on weekends and in the evenings for free time. At practice times with the coaches, we coach.

In the video below, one coach is with what seems like a dozen kids on his back. It is playful. It is fun. But, those kids are not learning how to swim. Later in the video, the other coach is helping a different student get into the floating position. They are working to improve their swimming. Let's focus on swimming and game play that isn't anything like the first crew.


The worst ill is when the people who are not doing the right things get in the way with the other students and teachers who are trying to learn.

  1. It is bad to get in your own way.
  2. It is worse to get in the way of others.
  3. It is the worst yet to get in the way of all the others in the group and be a behavior distraction that takes time away from everyone's learning and fun.
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