The Mehoks’ – Family Swim Camp

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Amy-Thank you very much for the wonderful week! You, Richard and of course GH Sr. were great hosts and fantastic instructors / coaches.
My girls asked me if we can come back next year…  I said, absolutely.
I thought the way you presented the concepts to the girls was excellent. Considering they are 9, and their attention span is less than that when measured in seconds; they absorbed a lot. In facts they spent the entire ride from Islamorada to the Miami airport telling [their mom] the stories GH Sr told them, every single one – they liked the one about him swimming in the Disneyland pool ;-)
What you guys taught them are fundamentals that will make a difference as the grow into the sport. Thank you.
When I asked the girls what they enjoyed most about the Keys, they said (in priority order), 1) parasailing with Dad, 2) Richard’s Bungee cords and 3) painting coconuts.  For the Race Club to make the top three is a huge accomplishment. Richard should be proud!
Thank you so much for the phenomenal week. I will stay in touch throughout the season.
Btw. I tried Gary’s sets below. But I chickened out my first day back this morning and instead did 20 50s free on a 86 stroke rate with high elbows and head down-made them all (no fins). It was tough especially after a 40 min dry land circuit.
21 point here I come :-)))

All the best,

Coach Nate Chessey North Coast Aquatics

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HI Race Club!

I have to first wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  I also want to thank you for all the videos/lectures you’ve been putting out into our swimming community as they’ve been valuable resources of information, and the application for my kids has been night and day different.

Yours in Swimming,

Nate Chessey

North Coast Aquatics, San Diego, CA

Henric Birrong – German Triathlete

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Hello Mr. Hall Senior,

I am a 50 year old German Triathlete who loves swimming and I want to congratulate you for the best swimming resource I found all around the web. Your explanations and videos are highly understandable and based on great knowledge and years of competitive swimming and practical coaching experience. I learned swimming by self-teaching me and sometimes I’m sad that in my early years I had no experienced coaching and no resources at all to have a serious look at the theory of swimming fast. And even today there is so much junk information for swimming all around the planet, that in worst case you get wrong advices and work completely the wrong way, or waste hours for little gains (f.e. Total Immersion, which completely ignores the absolutely vital high elbow pull!) Hope you continue your articles on the Race Club Website,

All the best,

Henric Birrong

Marco Rivera

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The Race Club: What did you think of Gary Hall Sr.? Marco Rivera

Rick Rivera (Marco’s Dad): It was amazing to observe the knowledge and experience being passed down to the students in such a manner that was easily understandable.

TRC: What did you think of The Race Club coaches and staff?

RR: Everyone was great.  The atmosphere was so relaxing and friendly.  Talk about feeling at home with all of the staff.  Richard was outstanding, the work he does with the athletes was great.

TRC: What did you think of your accommodation?

RR: We made use of our Hilton Honors Points and stayed at the Hampton Inn.  The lodging was great, maybe we will find a place with a kitchen next time.

TRC: Were your expectations of the camp fulfilled?

RR: Our expectations to include our swimmer Marco were fulfilled.  He was allowed to see a new aspect of training, one of which is not readily available to other people.  He was able to see the quality of training, instruction and swimmers that he was surrounded with.  The training, guidance and friendship displayed by Coach Gary and Richard was by far the most rewarding.

TRC: What was your favorite and least favorite part of the camp?

RR: Can’t say we had a least favorable moment.  Marco and ourselves knew what it would entail and expected exactly what we received.  Our favorite was the professionalism but yet home atmosphere you all have during the camp.  The other parents and you all treated us like we were one of you, like if we had been part of your team for years.

TRC: Did you take advantage of private sessions or video analysis during your swim camp?

RR: The private instruction was great.  Richard did an outstanding job with Marco.  He was patient and provided good guidance for him.  The video analysis was great.  Marco came back home and has made it a habit to view it before a swim meet to assure that he does it the TRC way.

-Marco Rivera, 15

Valerie Hensal

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Dear Mr. Hall,

I’m writing this email because my daughter, Paige, came home from middle school yesterday with an essay published in the school literary magazine.  Apparently she had written it in the beginning of the year and had never shown it to me, until yesterday.  The essay was entitled, Never Give Up.  At the age of 5, Paige was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and shortly after her diagnosis, had the opportunity to meet your son, Gary Jr., at the St. Barnabas Ambulatory Health Center where your son gave a speech on diabetes.  Paige also had the opportunity to meet Gary one on one.  He talked to her about sports and he let her wear his medals, which she described as “heavy as elephants”.  The following is the last paragraph of her essay:

“Gary Hall has changed my life.  I will always think of him when I get frustrated about something related to my diabetes.  He inspired me that even though I am diabetic, I can do most things other kids can do.  I won’t let my diabetes stop me from what I love to do.”

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank your son for inspiring my daughter to do what she loves and I am proud to say she is a Bronze Level USAIGC competitive gymnast who will be attending her first USAIGC Nationals in Florida.

With the most sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart,

Valerie Hensal

Alexa and Lily Turco

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The Race Club: What did you think of Coach Gary Hall Sr.?

Suzanne Turco: Gary is a caring and wonderful man.  When he explained something he always showed the girls why his way was the right way rather than just telling them to do something.   They understood and it was easy for them to make the correction.

TRC: What did you think of the Swim Sessions?

ST: All the sessions were awesome.  Alexa is feeling very confident with her starts which is something in the past she has struggled with.  Richard worked with Alexa during her privates and by the end of the hour she was able to feel good about it.  She has continued to do it at home at her meets since we have been back.  Gary and Richard used different training techniques to make the sets interesting during all the swim sessions.

TRC: What did you think of Islamorada?

ST: We loved the area there was so much to do.  Unfortunately, we did not get to do everything we wanted so when we return we can pick up where we left off.

TRC: Were your expectations of the camp fulfilled?

ST: Yes all of our expectations were fulfilled.  We especially enjoyed spending time with the other families who were participating in the camp.  We are hoping to meet up in June of 2015.

TRC: Did you get everything you wanted out of the swim sessions?:

ST: Yes, the girls got everything they wanted out of the sessions. We were there for 8 sessions and all the disciplines were covered and each day Gary would do a recap of the day before to make sure the kids did not forget.

TRC: Did you take advantage of any private sessions?

ST: Yes, Alexa did two private sessions with Richard and they were awesome.  She learned so much in two hours.

Alexa, 13 Lily, 9

Sophia Herring

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Sophia HerringDear Amy,

We really had the best time at the Race Club. You and your lovely parents could not have provided a more stimulating, fun, informative, and happy atmosphere. I felt like I attended Swim-University, and Sophia learned more in those three days of swimming than she has in a long time! Gary Hall Sr. is an amazing instructor who not only shares his expertise so insightfully with anyone who wants to learn, but also has the ability to inspire, instill confidence and show the beauty of it all.  The gorgeous surroundings made it feel like a mini-vacation on top of it. On Monday morning, bracing myself for our long trip home, I took a last walk on the beach and saw two little dolphins frolicking in the water. What a nice way to say good-bye to Islamorada! We will undoubtedly never forget this trip.

Best wishes to all of you,

Anne Herring (mom)

Sophia Herring, 17

John Bell

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The Race Club: What do you think of Coach Gary Hall Sr.?  John Bell

John Bell: Gary has a tremendous amount of knowledge, skill and experience in effectively and efficiently teaching stroke technique. He is quick to see stroke faults and patiently work with his swimmers to correct them.

TRC: What do you think of Islamorada?

JB: Islamorada is the gem of the Florida Keys. I wish I would have scheduled several days just to relax and dive.

TRC: Were your expectations of the camp fulfilled?

JB: I was not only a satisfied customer, but a delighted one. I learned what not to do and took away at least three techniques on all four strokes with drills to practice.

TRC: What was your favorite and least favorite part of the camp?

John BellJB: My most favorite part of the camp was the individual instruction from Gary and his staff. Everyone made sure that I had some “take home value” which I could drill and improve in the future. My least favorite part was getting beat by all of the teenagers, but I am old enough to be their grandfather.

TRC: Did you take advantage of any private sessions or video analysis?

JB: The private lessons and video sessions were outstanding. Gary and his staff have the gift or recognizing stroke faults and then immediately correcting them with you patiently and professionally.

John Bell, 71


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I just want to say how much ___ and I both appreciate the time and effort you put into working with ____.  It is obvious how much you care about giving ____ everything possible to help her become a more successful swimmer and athlete.  The sessions went far beyond both of our expectations for clarity of points made, reasoning behind the approach and pragmatic steps that she can take to improve herself, not just physically and technically, but even mentally.

____’s spirits are high tonight and she reports that she was able to maintain streamlined breakouts throughout the workout.
I am helping ____ select a subset important focus points before going off to [her team] work-outs such as:

Break Out
1) Tight steam line and strong dolphin kicks right-away (strong both up and down motion)

Freestyle, High-Elbow Style:
1) Arm stays in line with shoulder in the pull (does not cross under body during breath!)
2) Focus on shoulder rotation

Breast Stroke

   1) Knees together

   2) Chin Down

   3) Dive/Snap head down

1) 120 degree arm bend in pull
2) Increase shoulder rotation

1) Head snap down and up
2) Chin up – glide over water

That’s only a subset – I will help her cycle through more points as she progresses (and will be here to help her with flexibility/strength exercises for core and for kicking).

I have read up on the visualization (VNT) instructions and loaded the sound tracks – plus the instructions – into her phone.  She is going to leverage that tool as well.  I think “Peak Performance” with Program 7 looks like a good one for her.  “Breathing Skills for Readiness” looks like good fundamentals (zen-like).  “Cool, Calm and Ready” might be good for her to combat fear.  “Mind over Matter” looks like good instruction to avoid negative thoughts as well.

Again, can’t thank you enough for your attention to ____ as a student.  It was such a treat to work with you!

All our best!  And look forward to seeing you again.


(They came to train for 6 private sessions and learned all this and more. The swimmer was 12 years old)


Marshal and Orion Wang

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The Race Club: What did you think of Coach Gary Hall Sr.?

Marshal and OrionChen Wang (Marshal and Orion’s dad): Unparallel. Legendary. Drive and self-driven. Humorous. Big vision and attention to details. Amazing combination of noble spirits and humble attitude.

TRC: What did you think of TRC Coaches and Staff?

CW: Well orchestrated team. All dedicated and complement each other perfectly.

TRC: What did you think of the swim sessions:

CW: Balanced technical and yardage. Efficient. Diversified swimmers, so observe, learn and share among them.

TRC: What did you think of Islamorada?

CW: Been there 5 times before. But sorry, no down time this time. [This means they signed up for only 5 sessions for Marshal and they ended up doing 13 sessions for Marshal and 7 sessions for Orion]


Orion, second from left. Marshal, on right.

TRC: Were your expectations of the camp fulfilled?  In what ways did TRC fulfill or not fulfill these expectations?

CW: Yes. Technical part is quite obvious. Plus, “Life is worth swimming”, the attitude towards the sport.

Marshal, age 11 and Orion, age 8 from New Jersey

Text to Amy from Chen during the camp, on Marshal’s birthday/New Years Day:

“You all made a special day for [Marshal]. He is a little bit shy sometimes but will remember this a long time. Nothing better than listening to your Daddy’s life experience sharing story. This is more attractive than the Seven Mile Bridge, or Key West’s sunset. People back home in NJ would think it’s crazy for not visiting those places, your folks made a swimming pool a magnet to let us forget those must see places. Absolutely admire and inspired by you, Richard, Mary and of course, Gary. We are not only talking about swimming, we are learning an attitude, a methodology to deal with our day to day life. What really touched us is the passion, the dedication and seriousness you folks have demonstrated. It’s our fortune to know you and learn from you. Thanks again and Happy New Year! Chen Wang