SwimLabs Swim School?s instructors have two priorities: teaching kids and adults how to swim and helping competitive swimmers optimize their strokes. In addition to CPR and first-aid certifications backed by years of experience, the instructors are aided by swimming-pool technology. Their private and small-group lessons take place in SwimLabs Pools with adjustable currents, each about 10?x16? and heated to 90?92 degrees to prevent polar-bear infestations. The custom currents can give beginner students a boost or challenge advanced swimmers with more forceful resistance waves. As swimmers paddle against the current, the staff records their strokes with Dartfish video technology. They then analyze the results together, comparing the swimmer?s form to a video of proper technique.
Located within the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, JCC Sports & Fitness welcomes people of all religions, ethnicities, genders, and walks of life. Inside, members audition new sweatbands atop Precor, Cybex, StairMaster, and other cardio machines, or head to the weight room to test their strength by arm-wrestling equipment by Cybex and FreeMotion. Between the spinning, heated yoga, and group exercise studios, instructors teach more than 100 group classes each week, but personal trainers are also available for one-on-one or small-group training.
Parents on their way to the full-size gymnasium or indoor or outdoor pools can drop their kids off at the childcare center, or suit up alongside them to wade in the kiddie pool. Steam rooms and whirlpools help men and women relax and shed stress after a long day of work, and men can also head into a traditional shvitz, or steam bath.
The Colorado Springs Recreation Center entertains parents and progeny with a variety of surf-and-turf activities and exercise classes. Finned kids can breathe easy in the children’s pool, featuring a shallow play area, a two-story twisting water slide, and gentle spray showers for kids who prefer to sing in public. Adults can perfect frog strokes in the 25-yard lap lanes, relax exhausted muscles and minds in the 102-degree hot tub, or experience life as a salmon by walking against the tide in the current river.
Patrolled by mermaids and people walking atop the water in huge, transparent bubbles, the pool inside Donna's Dolphins Swim School seems to be more of a wonderland than an academy. Employees oversee games at birthday parties or outfit guests in a fitted mermaid tail for whimsical dives and gliding choreography. Poolside carousers can even move across the surface of the pool at a walk or trot with the help of W.O.W.—Walk On Water—bubbles.
At the heart of all the fun and games, however, the highly trained staff’s main focus is to ensure that safety always comes before each splash. In swim classes, staffers employ the swim-float-swim approach—a method condoned by the United States Swim School Association—when teaching students in their group and private lessons. The lessons emphasize muscle memory so that children as young as 6 months can absorb techniques such as the starfish float for use in aquatic emergencies. They also assign seasoned mentors to coach special-needs students, making sure every kid gets a chance to embark on aquatic adventures.
Throughout each class, instructors motivate pupils with encouragement and prizes, awarding them a different colored bracelet on a traffic-light system to denote their skill level. Students graduate from red to yellow to green, and finally to blue, which signals that they can demonstrate all four strokes, execute flip turns, and remain safe in potentially dangerous situations by drinking all of the pool water.
Through their event promotion and community outreach, the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation dedicates their time to recognizing local athletes and coaches, as well as improving lives of the region's citizens. Serving as a liaison between civic leaders and sporting organizations, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization has helped stage events that include State Games of America, U.S. Women's Open, USA Pro Challenge, and the Rocky Mountain State Games.
Admitting Colorado residents of all ages and athletic abilities, the Rocky Mountain State Games is a multi-sport festival recognized by the NCAA. Organized and managed by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, approximately 9,000 athletes complete across 40 venues that include Memorial Park, Colorado College and others in the Pikes Peak Region. The State Games concept was developed in New York with the 1978 Empire State Games. Today, more than 400,000 athletes each year compete in State Games nationwide, including those with physical disabilities and visual impairment. State Games feature various sports from Pan American Games programs, as well as ones with regional popularity.
Pikes Peak Athletics founders Anna and George Heidinger are a real power couple: he's worked for years as a strength conditioning and swim trainer, she as a swim club coach and former Olympic Trails qualifier. But their decades of aquatic achievement haven't made them narrowly focused swimmers whose skin starts shriveling on dry land. In small-group and private lessons, they view even the most advanced students not as swimmers but as "people who swim," and, consequently, take a relationship-first approach to instruction.
The Heidingers are aided by a squad of experienced junior and senior coaches, each certified in CPR, first aid, and water safety—and each extensively shadowed by a head instructor and a benevolent water spirit before being turned loose to instruct on their own. Beyond basic lessons and intensive coaching, staff also organize seasonal swim teams, and lead an annual swim camp that helps students hone the four major strokes and other aquatic competition skills using video playback.