Thanks for the wonderful training opportunity at the Race Club. My daughter at 9 was apprehensive about going to train with a new coach and pool but Gary put her at ease with his wonderfully calm nature within the first 5 minutes of the first session. His ability to connect with young children is amazing.
We were at the pool twice a day for 5 days in a magical week of Olympic Swimming and it was a totally immersive swimming experience for all of us. We love that Gary encourages parents to be on deck and listen to his feedback so that we are another source of information in case our young swimmer forgets the lessons learned. Gary has a unique scientific perspective to swimming which clicked with our daughter who also wants to know the “why” on almost anything she does. Her technique substantially improved over the course of the week in all strokes and when we ended the last session with some races against the clock even she was surprised at what she had achieved. She is now a lot more confident about achieving her swim goals.
Gary also teaches lessons for life that will stand her in good stead across any endeavor. From the most important lesson of never cheating to win, to learning how to set goals, visualization of the event and techniques to focus , all what was explained by Gary is useful to any child (and grown up).
After 10 tiring sessions we thought our daughter would be dying to get back home but her disappointment on the last day of not being in the pool the next day with Gary’s voice in her ear through that remarkable headset was very apparent to us.
We also had Devin as a coach for 2 sessions and he is another amazing coach with young kids . He helped my daughter figure out how to get off the blocks with some interesting techniques rather than fall into the water like she usually does. This was her biggest mental block during training and it took a few days of Gary and Devin working her with part of every session to get her through it.
The Race Club and Islamorada is a fantastic training place for young swimmers (and their parents) and we hope to be able to come back every year.
Nikhil, father of Aryana Deshpande, age 9, from New Jersey