Category Archives for "outreach"

PIAA track logo with word, official

Wearable devices with Track & Field athletes in high school in PA

Elsewhere , Equipment , Marketing , outreach , T&F , Technology , Wearable

The availability of wearable technologies that allow individuals to monitor a variety of body functions, including but not limited to, heart rate, blood pressure, pace and distance traveled are readily available and cost effective. Nearly all these wearable technologies can both transmit and receive collected data from other mechanisms. This data can be used to evaluate how the body is performing, and the user can adjust as needed based on that data.

This type of technology is being incorporated into watches, garments, shoes and jewelry and, in most cases, is nearly impossible to distinguish from the same item type that does not include the technology (e.g., Apple watch vs. traditional watch).

NFHS Track and Field and Cross Country Rules do not prohibit the use of wearable technologies, but Rules 3-2-8a and 4-6-5d state that no competitor may receive electronically transmitted data from a coach or other third party. If such communication is observed by an official, the competitor should be disqualified.

While preventative officiating helps to avoid issues in any event, it is obvious that those trying to police wearable technologies by restricting what can be worn by competitors is asking event officials to perform an impossible task. Restricting the wearing of a watch because it contains GPS capability is futile when the same technology is available in the shoe, the sports bra they have on or the ring they are wearing.

The market for wearable technology is forecasted by most sales and marketing experts to continue to grow – some estimate that nearly 500 million wearables will be sold by 2021. This massive expansion creates the potential for more coaches and athletes to be "connected" through some type of wearable technology. It is important that all involved (administrators, coaches, parents, student-athletes) understand the privacy and legal issues surrounding the sharing of personal biometric information. Discussions and steps should be taken to ensure that compliance with any Federal and State policies or laws are addressed appropriately.


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Consumer Reports logo-lite

Recent coverage in Consumer Reports about hearing issues with expert quotes from Catherine Palmer

Elsewhere , outreach , Time Out! I Didn't Hear You

Don't Let Hearing Loss Hurt Your Relationships

The tools and communication strategies that can help

By Hallie Levine, November 04, 2017
“Hearing loss is a family issue, not just an individual one,” explains Catherine Palmer, P.h.D., director of audiology and hearing aids at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the U.K. research. “It’s long been understood that a person with hearing loss may start to withdraw from social situations, but there’s been less focus on the effects on their partners—the social isolation as well as the burden of being a loved ones ‘ears.’”

Do You Need a Hearing Test?

Expert advice on when—and how often—to get this vital sense checked

By Hallie Levine, January 22, 2019
In addition, it can be easy for people to miss subtle signs of hearing loss. “One of the barriers to care is that individuals with gradual, age-related hearing loss don’t realize they have it,” says Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., director of audiology and hearing aids at the University of Pittsburgh.
Most insurance—including Medicare—will cover the cost of a comprehensive hearing exam as long as you have a referral from your healthcare provider.

4 Things You Must Know About Hearing Aids

Be sure to ask the following before you buy

By Hallie Levine, September 08, 2017
Work with your audiologist to find the aid that feels the most comfortable, whether it’s behind your ear, on your ear, in your ear, or completely in your ear canal. And bear in mind that it may take several tries for the audiologist to fit the device in your ear properly.
Getting the right fit, both physically and acoustically, is “the most important predictor in performance,” says Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., director of Audiology and Hearing Aids at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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Setting Tomorrow’s Pace

Marketing , outreach , Tip

Original article by Matt Welsh, OAM

When people picture swimming training the images that come to mind usually include steam coming off the water before an early morning session, drink bottles lined up at the end of each lane, coaches walking back and forth watching the swimmers, and of course, you always need a pace clock.

Pace clocks are synonymous with swimming training. 

The coaches like pace clocks because they keep the practice session running on time and ensures that all the swimmers are spaced evenly rather that leaving at random times.

The swimmers like pace clocks as they give instant feedback on their progress and sometimes can even help count how many laps or repeats they have done.

Pace clock from Keifer at Wheeling, WV, The Lindsey School.

But pace clocks are so much more than that. Interval training is a vital part of improving your swimming fitness and efficiency. Getting the work/rest interval right is so important to the success of any session. Whether you want high intensity workouts with a longer recovery or you want to focus more on technique but keep the session moving along, the right time cycle ensures that you get the most from any session. Pearson’s Law states, “That which is measured improves”.

Although continuously swimming laps can be of some benefit, it can also be very boring. Interval training can not only help with fitness, but can also increase mental stimulation by breaking up the session. And even just keeping on the time cycle can keep your mind active and more focused.

Learning to use a pace clock to know when to leave, work out your lap times and how much rest you have should be part of any young swimmer’s development. Up until now almost all pace clocks have been the old analogue style, usually with two opposing hands so you can choose to leave on the ‘black top’ or the ‘red top’. While this type of pace clock has served us well for a long time more and more pools are now choosing a digital pace clock for many reasons.

The first reason is that the digital clocks are far more accurate. Now that might seem obvious and maybe not that important, as really, how different can they be?

But most swimmers will know when two pace clocks at either end of the pool are not synchronized it can be very difficult to know just when to leave.

Some digital pace clocks can even be synchronized remotely so you’re always
on time.

The digital pace clocks are also much easier to read. When a swimmer first looks up to the clock to see their time, they need to see the hand and where it is on the clock – which seems easy but with water in their face it can often take a second or two to get a good picture of their result.

With a digital pace clock the first view is precise, and instantly gives them the feedback on how good their swim was and how much rest they have before they need to leave again.

Analogue pace clocks are designed to be viewed from directly in front but often are viewed from multiple angles either from lane one to lane eight or from one end of the pool to the other. This change in angle can sometimes make it difficult to get an accurate reading. Digital pace clocks have a much larger viewing angle and show the same time no matter where you are in the pool.

Digital pace clocks are also more versatile. They not only can show seconds, but also minutes and even hours. And when linked in with a timing system can even show a swimmer’s exact time from the coaches stop watch.

Often, when a group of swimmers leave on ‘the black top’ there will usually be a spread of a couple of seconds. Some will leave early and others a little late. However, when a digital pace clock is used the swimmers usually all leave on the correct time, meaning that the time they see when they return is an accurate one.

Some pace clocks can even be linked to a speaker giving the swimmers an audible indication of when to leave, making their pace even more reliable and more accurate.

Digital Pace Clocks :
  • Are more accurate
  • Can be synchronized with ease
  • Are easier to read
  • Have a greater viewing angle
  • Can sometimes be linked to a speaker or timing system

Pace clocks are one of the best pieces of equipment at the pool. 

They can help your improvement like none other. Analogue clocks have been an integral part of swimming training for years and now digital pace clocks with their versatility, accuracy and added functionality are moving interval training to the next level.

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Aquatic leadership: Assist and help to craft smart questions for the open-source swim knowledge exams

eBook , Marketing , outreach , Quiz , Test Set , Tip

Test sets don't always need to be physical feats.

Our test sets have many dimensions and being smarter, with more knowledge and of better judgement in and around the water can lead to smarter individuals and communities. 

Taking care of oneself begins with better awareness of self as well as other facts and understandings of the world. 

Early and existing water safety quizzes

All are invited to take the online, water safety tests that accompany the four levels of certification with Experience the four different quizzes, each with 25 questions. Progress from Level 1 to Level 4, gaining access to the next level after successfully passing the prior quiz. 

Another aquatic quiz experience resides within the online course at called, Get Your Feet Wet -- Swimming.  

Make Your Own Quiz

All are invited to use the following form and submit your questions so that a custom test can be made for your students and community. 


Written name goes above
Email will get occasional news from

Make up a name, such as "Coach Jane's Age Group Swim Rules Awareness Test."
Drop down menu
Type in the new topic area.

Submit your question and answers:

Subjective Evaluation

Express what you think of the question.

Is it easy or hard to answer?

Is it a high quality question?

How hard is this question? Simple is 1. Nearly impossible is 10.
Is this question something to make you proud?

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Special event in Baltimore with WNBA super-star and insights into Sports Communications

Elsewhere , Marketing , outreach , Time Out! I Didn't Hear You , Tip

Be there. Baltimore, Maryland, at this free event.

Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., Director of Audiology at UPMC Medical Center and professor at University of Pittsburgh, as well as Grant Rauterkus, lead author of the new edition of the ebook, <strong>Time Out! I Didn't Hear You</strong>, are presenting too.

No RSVP needed. Just show up. No charge to attend.

This is a special outreach event organized with the professional medical meeting at the same time and location.

Sporting in Silence - Sunday, Feb 10, 6:30 pm

Click image for full size view.

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Cover of Test Set eBook

Call to interact about swimming test sets


You are invited to participate in an open-source project for sharing various “test sets.”

  • Test sets can provide coaches and swimmers a tighter grip on the use of and effectiveness of time. Measured items have better hopes for receiving attention and improvement.
  • Inventory and document your favorite test sets. Describe your familiar test sets and experiences, as swimmer and coach — good and bad.
  • Explore the wide range of test sets from others.
  • Decide upon what test sets to deploy within your team(s) and program(s).
  • Let’s think again. Evaluate. Modernize.
  • Schedule. Deploy. Deliver. Document. Analyze.
  • With an open-source opportunity, offer and receive peer review.
  • Rinse and repeat.
Team huddle around coaches to talk about next date.

Team huddles to talk about what is next.


Swimmers, coaches and teams often perform workout challenges and test sets. A wide range of different test sets are used with various programs. Test sets are often documented and detailed in log books, so 1970s.

An initial step of the coaching puzzle is deciding upon what test sets to deploy. Obtaining data in an accurate manner while at the pool is another challenge. PDF forms for printing on paper, web forms, mobile apps and other digital widgets can assist with the recording, charting, transmitting, sharing. preserving and evaluating.

Vision and Expectations:

This page launches an enhanced way to share swimming test sets and associated utilities among coaches that builds upon the comments from the Facebook group called the Swim Coaches Idea Exchange group.

Form data goes to this site’s organizer,, 412-298-3432 = cell. Call or email with further questions. Expect summary posts and a working catalog soon.


Don’t input any information that you don’t want to share with the world. If you do not desire the information to be made public, then exit without pressing the submit button below. Names, but no email addresses, are made public by the webmaster. Terms are subject to change. This URL is subject to change, and spam prevention measures are expected. Input form to close at the end of January, 2019.

Input form stays live for your open-source contributions until the end of January, 2019.

Complete the form to begin the process.

What do you call this test set? Insert a NAME.
What size workout group performs this set when conducted?
How many times per year does the team do this set?
What are the instructions given to the swimmers?
Could be time, distance, degrees, etc. What are all the variables that need to be recorded?
What, where and how should the results be handled?
Any algorithms, data manipulations, conversions, charts?

100% Money Back Guarantee


There is no charge to participate. No money is being collected. This is an open-source effort that is due to be a part of a summary document and ebook due in early 2019. Some or all of the submitted “test sets” may or may not appear as a web and/or mobile app, with or without ongoing, email consultation with the coach who made the original submission. All of the suitable contributions will appear in an archive and be shared back with the closed Facebook group in February 2019. Coach email addresses will be used by the organizer, not shared with others, and not made public. Names, as input in the form, will be published.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Rauterkus of Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Swim coach at The Ellis School,
Founder of, Webmaster


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