While most residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley are bemoaning their luck at being stuck in cold weather, Marietta Marlins swim coach Bill Bauer has been toasting in the sun.
Over the Christmas and New Year's holidays Bauer has been teaching a special swimming clinic at the Punahou School, a private college preparatory school in Honolulu, Hawaii.
"The weather is so nice here. It's 80 to 85 every day," Bauer laughed.
The swim clinic Bauer was teaching wrapped up last week as it ran from Christmas to New Year's.
His stay concludes on Friday as he wraps up a week of teaching the school's swim team in place of head coach Joe Glenn, who is out of the country.
During his stay in Hawaii at the Punahou School, a place Bauer has visited for five years, Bauer has been focused on helping competitive swimmers improve in the water.
Bauer has taught 67 kids during his clinic, and used his time to help the athletes improve by analytically examining their stroke.
"I'm doing a philosophy of swimming and the physiology of swimming (clinic)," Bauer said.
That focus extends to using video technology of the swimmers with Bauer explaining how to improve the individual's techniques.
It's not about jumping in the water and simply swimming 500 yards.
It's getting specific about each swimmer's technique so that they cane make those 500 yards a good 500 yard swim.
"A lot of it simply is moving your arms fast in the water and kicking your feet hard in the water doesn't necessarily make you a faster swimmer in the water," Bauer said. "I actually look at their stroke and start at the turns and really nitpick, like where the hands go in the water."
Bauer's clinic wasn't all smooth sailing as he had one major distraction to deal with.
Namely the two-week vacation of United States President Barack Obama in Honolulu before returning to Washington on Tuesday.
Obama was actually staying just a short distance away from Punahou Athletic Director Jeaney Garcia's house, Bauer said, making life a little more interesting during his stay. The president previously was a student at Punahou.
Each day during the clinic Bauer worked with his students on a specific swimming stroke.
An hour classroom session, which typically consisted of video detailing the stroke to be studied that day, was followed by two and a half hours in the pool applying the stroke dynamics that were learned during the video session.
After lunch, Bauer would return to work with the Punahou aquatic team so his entire day pretty much consisted of swimming.
"I get up in the morning and I try to do a little workout, then I go right to the pool and I work with the kids," Bauer said.
The first day of Bauer's clinic he spent his time on an overview of all the strokes student athletes would learn during his stay.
Day two focused on freestyle, while the third day was backstroke, the fourth was breast stroke and the fifth was the butterfly.
The final two days of the clinic were spent reviewing the techniques learned as well as working on the start to a race and the turns.
The final day also included a sort of mini-meet where Bauer broke the youngsters down into two teams to compete against each other and showcase what they had learned.
While Bauer may be spending his days in the sun in Hawaii, he hasn't forgotten his Marlin swimmers in Marietta.
Before leaving Bauer drew up workouts for each day and gave them to Marietta High School swim coach Walt Teer and Bauer's son, Grant.
"I just check with them daily to see how they're doing," Bauer said.
It was actually a former Marlin and Marietta Tiger who got Bauer started teaching at the Punahou School in Hawaii.
Ben Douglass, a graduate of Marietta High School and eventually Denison University in 2003, invited Bauer to Punahou and he has been a seasonal coach over the summer and Christmas break since.
"I kind of owe it all to him to get me involved in coming over here," Bauer said.
Working with the students at Punahou, Bauer has been exposed to the latest technologies and equipment to help improve swimming skills.
He hopes that one day soon the Marietta YMCA may have a few of those pieces of equipment, now that he's seen what they can do.
Spending time with other coaches at Punahou also provides a refresher course in coaching as well as boosting morale as Bauer returns home to Marietta, where he will pick up coaching the Marlins on Monday.
"It just seems to always generate my enthusiasm when I come back from here," Bauer said.
Bauer's experience as a coach at a school that has twice been ranked as the top high school athletics program in the country by Sports Illustrated benefits all parties involved, from Punahou to the Marlins.
"I think it's a win-win for both the YMCA and the state of Hawaii for him to go over there," said Mike Bishman, assistant executive director of the Marietta Family YMCA.
Having coached swimmers who have qualified for nationals and advanced on to succeed at the collegiate level, Bauer is definitely one of the best coaches in the state of Ohio, Bishman said.
"He is a great coach. That's just all there is to it. He relates to the kids. He knows what he's talking about," Bishman praised.