All Blog Posts (325)

A Different Approach to Rehabilitating our Wounded Soldiers

The cost of war is high.  As of April 2012, approximately 633,000 veterans — one out of every four of the 2.3 million who…


Added by Paul Graves on March 13, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments


Industry trade shows serve a good purpose. Anyone who attends typically comes away feeling like they've been bettered by the personal interaction and camaraderie that shows engender. This week's AOAP show is a good example. By all accounts it was a great sophomore effort. To put it simply: Everyone loves a good show.

But what happens when there's not just one show, but four, or eight or 12 or 24? That's the reality for a…


Added by Gary Thill on March 7, 2013 at 3:41pm — 5 Comments

Are Your Arms Paddles or Propellers?

For decades swimmers have been taught that freestyle, AKA “front crawl,” involves keeping their elbows high and using their arms to make an S-shaped pattern underwater.  Known as “sculling,” this technique was developed by Doc Counsilman and helped Indiana University win 6 consecutive NCAA…


Added by Paul Graves on March 5, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Will the Olympics Come Back to the US?

2024 is eleven years away but that hasn’t deterred the US Olympic Committee (USOC) from thinking about the future.  After a two repeated failed bid attempts (New York City in 2012 and Chicago 2016), the USOC recently sent letters to 35 mayors, inviting them to consider bidding for the 2024 Olympics.…


Added by Paul Graves on February 26, 2013 at 11:44pm — No Comments

Look Who's NOT Talking

The contrast could not have been more stark. I was standing at the Pool & Spa News booth at the International Expo talking to an icon of the…


Added by Gary Thill on February 26, 2013 at 4:31pm — 2 Comments

The Value of Public Speaking and Leadership

Making a new pool presentation? Signing a new customer to a pool service route? Giving a seminar at a pool and spa trade show? Speaking at your local Rotary club?

Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. – A. Lincoln

Whether you are planning a speaking engagement, or just prefer to appear more professional, here are a few thoughts on the value of public speaking and leadership.

I was at Parents Night to get introduced to…


Added by Tom Lachocki on February 20, 2013 at 1:09pm — No Comments

The Power of the Secondary Lifeguard

Instructor reviewing how to assist the primary lifeguard. (Photo credits: Emily Plurkowski, Mills College)

My boss referred me to a quote from Aristotle, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” One could…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on February 19, 2013 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

March is the Month for Opportunity!!!

Two exciting conferences are coming up soon and all aquatic professionals should do their best to be there. One is the Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP), March 3 March 6 in Austin, TX and the other is National Drowning Prevention Alliance(NDPA) in Ft. Lauderdale March 13-15, 2013. While both conferences offer excellent educational and networking possibilities, they do cater to slightly different audiences.  AOAP tends to draw aquatic professionals working at municipal pools, YMCA,…


Added by Tom Griffiths on February 11, 2013 at 9:20am — 2 Comments

When it comes to your EAP - Don't Blow it!

As we prepare for summer and reexamine our Emergency Action Plans (EAP), I believe the trusty lifeguard whistle should now be scrutinized for its role when a catastrophe strikes. When investigations take place after a drowning or other serious water emergency, the actual use of the whistle often comes into question.  Because the whistle is used in aquatic facilities for a variety of reasons (communications, rule enforcement, emergencies) often there is misuse and miscommunication surrounding…


Added by Tom Griffiths on January 28, 2013 at 10:12am — 5 Comments

Raise Your Voice

When I announced my departure as editor of Aquatics International, I assured everyone that in my new role, I'd continue to to have a voice for the industry. This blog is a fulfillment of that promise. Starting today, I'll be blogging weekly on AI Connect each Monday. I hope you'll bookmark my blog and continue checking back for my latest posts. But I know everyone's busy. So to make sure you don't miss this blog and select posts from industry thought leaders such as Tom Griffiths, we'll be…


Added by Gary Thill on January 28, 2013 at 8:00am — No Comments

When was the last time you had some training?

As aquatic professionals we owe it to ourselves and the public we serve to take part in regular professional development. In March the Association of Aquatic Professionals will be hosting their second annual conference in Austin, Texas. The first conference last year was a great event and the line up of speakers and traininers looks great again this year.


Maybe you can't afford to go to Texas to train, if so then I  still encourage you to find something closer to home. Local…


Added by Jim Wheeler on January 27, 2013 at 9:29am — 1 Comment

Modern Swimming Pool Concrete and Its Ancient Past

Beneath the water and under the plaster and tile finish lays the fundamental element in most swimming pools: concrete. It has been used to reinforce a pool’s structural shell for over 2,500 years; the Ancient Romans were the first to use it in their baths. But what is it about concrete that has…


Added by Paul Graves on January 24, 2013 at 9:18am — No Comments

Back to Basics

 Instructor reviewing primary assessment with lifeguards. (Photo(s) credits: Carol Berendsen, Emily Plurkowski, Mills College)

As we move closer to summer, it’s time to energize the winter staff and get them working as a well-oiled lifeguarding machine. There are several dry land skills that every lifeguard should be proficient…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on January 21, 2013 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

What is Your New Year’s Resolution for Your Aquatic Facility/Program?

Some people say that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t any good.  They don’t work and they won’t last. But I disagree.  For quite some time now I have picked a professional project to initiate as my New Year’s Resolution.

I actually came up with this idea at my very first job as a young adolescent working at a lake in New Jersey. Frank Murray was an apple farmer who could not swim but he ran one heck of a swimming hole that turned into a prototype for today’s water…


Added by Tom Griffiths on January 15, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Show Us Your Stuff!

We often see words that don't sink in.  Most of our press releases point out that people from over 83 countries have taken NSPF courses.  The more I think about it, the more amazing it is to me.  We have the privilege to contribute to pool, spa and aquatic professionals on every corner of this amazing world.  Thank you for the faith you put in NSPF training materials.  We take that confidence seriously and are committed to constant improvement.  You deserve no less!!!

Help us…


Added by Tom Lachocki on January 15, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Puerto Rico Near-Drowning: What Lifeguards & Instructors Can Learn

A teachable moment for swim instructors and lifeguards has arisen from a heroic rescue of a drowning teenager in Puerto Rico by a tourist on the shore.

Jean Pendrich, a former champion swimmer for Scotland, swam through 5 foot waves to reach the boy

and tow him back. She said of the rescue, "“I reassured him everything would be all right but I was exhausted. I was swallowing lots of water and he was in such shock he couldn’t kick his legs."

The magical…


Added by Melon Dash on January 15, 2013 at 8:18am — No Comments

The Worldwide Aquatic News Incident Database launched by NSPF, gives FREE Access to all

This is great news for much needed information that can help empower us to seek answers and solutions to problems.

Here's the Media Advisory from National Swimming Pool Foundation - please tell us what you think!

New Searchable Database,, Tracks Aquatic-Related Incidents Worldwide

National Swimming Pool Foundation® provides access free, because information…


Added by Laurie Batter on December 20, 2012 at 9:58am — No Comments

Follow-up on Fortifying your Facility: How to scale up the training for 40-60 lifeguards

Recreation Coordinator II, Beth Frazer, from Consumnes Community Service District, emailed me and commented, “…You have a curriculum for the training and how long it takes for 10 lifeguards… We have 40-60 lifeguards per training, so it would be nice to know how much time to add for each additional lifeguard, or maybe each additional 5 or 10 lifeguards.”

There are several ways to scale up the training to allow for large staff participation: Increase the time allocated for the training…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on December 19, 2012 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

A Challenging Transition

I am starting a new chapter in my career. Transitioning from the public to the private sector.


It's a little awkward. 


You see, Oklahoma is sort of a strange place in the aquatics industry, at least to me. It's dominated by the public sector like most of the mid-west is I'm sure. So that's what has made this such a strange transition.

I decided that leaving my cushy public sector job with a city government for a risky private sector job…


Added by Chris Griffith on December 9, 2012 at 10:36am — 2 Comments

Fortifying your Facility

Instructor reviews rescue technique with…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on December 3, 2012 at 9:00am — 5 Comments

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