Black History Month – Meet USA Swim Team's Future Star Reece Whitley

Did you know that it is Black History Month? During the month of February we honor the achievements of African Americans and recognize their contributions to America.  Well this year, it just so happens to also be time for the Winter Olympics, so we also honor talented athletes.  Therefor, as an industry leader in the swimming pool industry, we at California Pools would love to recognize a very special young man who is a phenomenal swimmer and also African American.  His name is Reece Whitley! The Denver Post said that Whitley is “The future of U.S. swimming.”    


Getty Images

Getty Images

Reece Whitley, a native of Philadelphia, is 18 years old, 6’9” tall and currently attends the University of California at Berkeley.  In 2015, Sports Illustrated Kids named him “Sports Kid of the Year!”  At age 15, he won the silver medal in the 100 meter breaststroke at the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore, where he also finished 4th in the 200 meter breaststroke.  That same year, Reece won the 200 meter breaststroke at the Speedo Junior National Championships Long Course with a time of 2:12.17.  His 200 meter hard breaststroke time of 1:53.66 ranked him 8th Nationally.  Being the natural leader that he is, according to Swim Swam News, Reece was voted 1of 5 captains for the 2017 World Junior Championships.  At the championships, Reece raced 2 2nd place finishes in the 100 meter and 200 meter breast, giving lifetime bests in both. He also helped the mixed 4x100 medley relay to a silver medal as well! 

While certainly Reece Whitley’s swimming statistics prove he is definitely a talented and up and coming swimmer to watch, we know it isn’t always easy.  Training takes time, perseverance, dedication and a desire to never give up! According to a recent study by the USA Swimming Foundation, 64% of African American children have low to no swimming ability.  With a role-model like Reece, we sure do hope that more kids are inspired to learn not only how to swim, but how to break molds and reach for their dreams.  Swimming is a fantastic sport for boys and girls and men and women of all ages.  It can be fun or competitive and it always is a wonderful form of fitness.  

At California Pools, we take pride in following athletes in the swimming pool, and are so proud of the example that Reece Whitley is setting for all Americans.  Reece was quoted by the Denver Post when asked about his potential impact on swimming because of his skin color, he patiently responded “Right now it’s a relevant question, so I don’t take any shame in answering it,” he said. “At the end of my career, if I look back on it and that question is irrelevant, then that means I would have fulfilled my goals.”

What a wonderful young man and athlete and we are so fortunate he is setting the bar high and being a fantastic leader and inspiration for not only the African American population but for all Americans

Designing a Swimming Pool with Safety in Mind

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When you think of swimming pools most people immediately think of crystal clear blue waters with kids playing and having fun with their favorite friends.  Some might picture their kids on the latest super cool inflatable pirate ship skimming across the surface with several other kiddos engaged in a serious battle with water guns.  Others see themselves reading the latest top-selling novel as they relax poolside in their favorite lounge chair.  Some prefer to indulge in their thoughts of swimming laps with the warm sun hitting their back.  And others just bask in the shimmery reflection of the bright sunlight dancing across the pool surface.  Whatever images come to mind, we at California Pools are here to discuss more than just cannonballs and pool parties.  Let’s turn the corner and talk about designing a backyard swimming pool that is designed with safety in mind.  All of the fun things that a swimming pool provides for a family are amazing, but we strongly encourage you to research your design before you build.  Our priority is to build not only breathtaking and stunning outdoor living spaces, but to do so in such a way that your family is safe.  

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While designing your backyard oasis, one of the major selections that homeowners make is their coping selection.  The coping is the immediate hardscaping material surrounding the body of water.  It is crucial to choose a selection with a non-slippery surface.  As often as we tell our little ones, “don’t run around the pool’, it inevitably happens over and over again. We recommend using concrete, travertine or any other surface that is safe and practical around a swimming pool.  Porcelain or saltillo tiles would be an example of what not to use as pool coping as they tend to be slippery when wet.  

Another key concept in designing a safe swimming pool is to position the pool in such a way that you have a clear vision of the water from within the house.  Keeping an eye on your pool is critical.  Whether it is being used or not, have a sightline to your backyard pool is extremely important.  While of course, the common safety practices of always swimming with a friend and having an adult present in the pool at all times when little ones are swimming will always remain a safety standard for swimming pools as well.    

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A third safety concept to keep in mind when designing your swimming pool is to build it with in the industry standards for diving if you plan on allowing your swimmers to dive.  Not all pools are built for diving, and each homeowner should clarify that with their guests before swimming.  It is never safe to dive into any body of water that is not specifically designed for diving.  

Our last safety tip that we want to discuss is pool fencing.  Depending on where you live, there are rules, requirements and codes for swimming pool fencing.  Please do your homework and research what the rules are in your area.  Your swimming pool builder should know exactly what the codes are, so ask your builder to discuss fencing.  They provide an extra layer of protection and peace of mind knowing a protective barrier is in place to keep little ones out when you are not swimming.  

Having been in business since 1952, California Pools leads the industry with design, safety, and quality construction with each and every swimming pool we build.  Please call us for any questions regarding your swimming pool or one you might be building in your future.  We are here to help guide you in the right direction so your swimming in a safe and beautiful swimming pool.

*Watch California Pools episodes of Pool Kings on DIY Network*

Price Versus Value in the Swimming Pool Industry

Knoxville Swimming Pool Contractor

Purchasing a backyard swimming pool is living the American Dream!  Having a beautiful backyard full of amenities for your whole family to enjoy is such a fabulous gift not only for your family but also your friends too. Whether you build a swimming pool or spa, add some hardscaping, landscaping, an outdoor kitchen, maybe a waterslide or a swim up bar; the choices and options are endless and amazing.  There are so many choices and decisions to be made.  Building an in-ground swimming pool and creating a tropical oasis in your backyard is often one of the biggest investments a family makes, in addition to their home. Deciding how simple or how grand to build is an important part of the decision making process. At California Pools, we truly understand how making the decision to purchase a swimming pool requires some due diligence, and we definitely encourage you to do some research. 

West Knoxville Swimming Pool Contractor

Building a custom swimming pool is an investment.  It is an investment in the quality of your home, your health, your social life and the quality of life overall.  But sometimes, as you receive pool bids from different pool companies, homeowners might question the price versus the value of the product they are purchasing. While California Pools is typically not the most expensive swimming pool company, we are not the cheapest either.  There is a reason for that.  We only build swimming pools to last.  We are not building a product with the cheapest materials and coming in with the lowest price, in order to make a quick sale.  Our passion for beautiful backyards begins with high quality standards.  We use high quality, long lasting and durable products that will last for many years.  Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we strive to build every single pool so our customers are happy! We want our customers to feel absolutely confident that their investment was definitely worth it!

At California Pools, we make it pretty simple.  When you pay for the construction of a beautifully hand crafted swimming pool and spa, you better believe you are getting excellent quality product, superior craftsmanship, and a gorgeous backyard! We build swimming pools that we can be proud of! We want you to love your newly renovated backyard and know that it was the best decision you ever made!

Knoxville Swimming Pool Company

Looking into your backyard and seeing water pots overflowing with water, a fire pit glowing with warmth, your kids splashing and playing in the swimming pool and smiles on everybody's faces will surely solidify the fact that this investment was 100% worth it!

While you research what type of swimming pool you wish to build, and how much you want to spend, and which company to hire, just remember that California Pools is the worlds most distinguished builder of swimming pools and everything outdoors! Leading the pool industry since 1952 has given us the experience and knowledge to build superior backyards where the price you spend is worth the value you receive.  Don't hesitate to call us for any questions on swimming pools, this is our expertise! You can always trust California Pools to build your dream backyard!

*Watch California Pools episodes of Pool Kings on DIY Network*

The Progression of Swimming Pools!

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Can you believe that this swimming pool was the very first pool built by California Pools back in 1952? The progression of the swimming pool has come along way in over 65 years, but its classic style and beauty have always maintained a high level of standard to aesthetically please homeowners and provide a wonderful source of family entertainment as well as add character and style to their backyard living space.

Here are some more throwback pictures of swimming pools in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Pools were simple and modest but at the same time, created quite a bit of prestige if you were lucky enough to have one in your backyard.

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Families enjoyed quality time together with their children, relatives, friends and neighbors making unforgettable memories. People spent their days swimming, playing pool games, eating some barbeque from the grill and enjoying an ice cold soda. Although time seemed much simpler back then, one thing has definitely remained the same. People have been making sure to define the quality of their life. “You only live once” has been a famous saying for a very long time and it is held dear to many swimming pool owners. Take a deep breath and enjoy your days. Relax by the pool. Read a favorite novel. Simplify your priorities and strengthen the bonds with your loved ones. Play a little! Do some cannonballs with your kids. Float on a pink flamingo floatie with your little ones and show them how important quality time really is. A little relaxation is so good for the soul!

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As time has moved on, swimming pools continue to progress as well. The simple rectangle designs, or basic kidney shaped pool have taken a back seat while the creative side of designers, builders, and craftsman have dramatically brought the swimming pool industry to a whole new level! Dark pool bottoms, brick coping, and flagstone coping were very popular in the early 2000’s. Builders began putting in beach entries, boulders and waterfalls, and customers were thrilled with the changes from the common and ordinary designs. As time has moved forward, the ever classic rectangle swimming pool is once again in high demand. As you see, the progression of the swimming pool has come a very long way. Just as with fashion, some things come and go and even come back around again in style. But that is what makes backyard designs so much fun! Whatever you love, whatever you envision, whatever your style, California Pools can create that for you!

Today, as California Pools continues to build superior swimming pools and maintain their leadership roles in the swimming pool industry, you can definitely count on us to progress with the changing times and stay ahead of the most current design trends. Watch for our latest swimming pool designs and picturesque backyard living spaces on the hit reality show @The Pool Kings on the DIY Network! Our second season will begin airing this Spring, and you don’t want to miss you some pretty spectacular California pools backyards!

*Watch California Pools episodes of Pool Kings on DIY Network*