Accomplished swimmer

David Kahn, Pro Triathlete

Experience: ,

After 25 years of being a pool swimmer Gerry has changed my open water mindset by encouraging me to think outside of the pool. Gerry has educated me on the strategies necessary to succeed and has taught me how to modify my pool skills in order to reach my potential as an open water swimmer. In addition to being an experienced and knowledgeable coach, Gerry is also a great human being who cares greatly about all of his athletes. I am fortunate to have Gerry as a resource and friend and look forward to working more with him in the future.

Glen Christiansen

Experience: , ,

Excellent website for a great program with a fantastic Coach!!!!

Olympic swimmer 1980
Olympic Coach 1996
World Masters Champion 1986, 1988, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2010

Ryan Vaughn


I love Gerry’s coaching.  I swam competitively from 6 years old to 18 years old, and I swam masters at UCSD for 4 years in college.  My entire swim career up to his program had been about endurance and training.  Gerry brought an understanding of technique to my swimming that I never had before.  I learned more about improving my stroke in the 2 years I swam with him, than in all of the previous years combined.  

I always felt his workouts to be reasoned and structured and never randomly assigned.  It was great to always feel like we were working towards a goal, whether it is an open water challenge, distance charity event, or a sprint meet.

I train hard, and I am often injured, and he always made it easy to modify a workout to my condition while allowing me to stay in the lane I was accustomed to.  The friends you make at workout are important so it’s good to be able to stick by them.

 Good luck at the Palisades Gerry.  If I strike it rich and get a house up there you know I’d be in your pool in a second.

Alex Gudmundsson


I swam for Coach Gerry at UCLA masters for 3 years (more sporadically for 5) and I still cannot find a Masters Swim Team that I enjoy as much. While many of my fellow high school swimmers were burnt out and quit swimming, I kept swimming and improved from my competitive high school swimming because of Gerry. Each workout was dynamic, interesting and hard! There were no workouts written on a whiteboard that you had to figure out yourself, which I have encountered at other masters teams. I went to work outs because of the team atmosphere that Gerry created and I was pushed to improve by Gerry’s creative, awesome coaching. Gerry made ocean workouts available in the summer which was a great way to improve fitness while trying something new. I improved my swimming after high school because of the attention I got from Gerry and also because I wanted to go to practice and actually try because I could see improvement in my stroke and swimming style that I did not see after swimming on a high school swim team, playing water polo, and swimming on an age group swim team for 8 years.

I wish I lived closer to the Palisades so I could swim at the new team.

Brent Blackman


Gerry is simply the best open water swim coach I have ever had.

When I moved to LA in 1995, I quickly realized that open water swimming is very different than pool swimming. Gerry taught me that being a fast pool swimmer does not necessarily translate to being successful in open water. Within three months of joining Gerry’s team, his focused workouts helped me improve from 8th to 3rd at the Pier-to-Pier swim and 1st overall at the 2.4 mile ‘Aumakau Swim in Maui. I highly recommend Gerry to all open water swimmers and triathletes who want to improve.

Jim Nash


Princeton University Men’s Varsity Swimming 1997-2001.

Coach Gerry has unparalleled skill in teaching stroke technique and in aerobic conditioning.  He guided me during the collegiate off season which contributed heavily to my success during the dual meet season where I won several races.  He also corrected my freestyle body position which really helped on the back half of the 200 freestyle. PS. He taught me to swim when I was five!

John Amuedo


President, Signal Inference, Los Angeles, CA.

I swam in Gerry’s masters programs for 10 years. Gerry is unquestionably the finest collegiate masters coach I have been fortunate to swim with. This observation is based on my long-time (20 year) participation in masters programs at Stanford, Harvard, MIT, USC and UCSD.

Gerry brings a unique combination of talents and qualifications to swim coaching — he is a nationally ranked pool and ocean swimmer himself who provides mechanically grounded technical instruction to all who will listen.  Gerry maintains a perpetually optimistic and motivational coaching style on deck, while continuously strives to incorporate new insight and technical innovations into his instruction.

I can recommend Gerry without qualification as a superb swim coach.  Before swimming with Gerry at UCLA, I competed as a sprint butterfly and breaststroker with SCAQ, but was a mediocre freestyle swimmer.  Gerry encouraged me to train for the annual one-hour postal swim (I had never swum continuously that long before), but to my surprise was able to finish it with a time not too much slower than Mark Spitz (at age 50).

I very much look forward to swimming with Gerry again.  Palisades is lucky to have attracted Gerry, and I hope they will make every effort to support him.

Greg Pottie

Professor, UCLA EE Department
Coach Gerry generates infectious enthusiasm. A colleague who was already in the
club recruited me to start swimming again after 22 years since last being coached.
Obviously there were quite a few things to correct in my strokes, not least since the
theory of proper form had changed quite a bit, and I’d been practicing things incorrectly.
In a year my sprints were almost as fast as when I was a teenager, and I even
had a top 10 national time in the 100 fly in my age group.  The workouts were
varied and fun.  I’m now hooked on master’s swimming for life.

Steve Munatones


Gerry teaches the same techniques, skills and tactics during his Tower 26 workouts as he recently taught to Eva Fabian, a then 5′-1″ 15-year-old who burst upon the world’s scene in marathon swimming. These skills and techniques are quite developed and specialized just as is the ability to compete in the Tour de France requires endurance, tactics and skills.

If you are a 1.5 kilometer swimmer who swims in 30 minutes, but wants to do it in 26 minutes, go to Gerry’s Tower 26 workouts. If you are a 26-minute swimmer, but want to do it in 23 minutes, talk to Gerry. If you are a 23-minute swimmer who wants to do it in 19 minutes, listen to Gerry. Eva did it and she has propelled herself among the world’s elites.

Disclaimer: I have traveled the world reporting on open water swimmers and ocean events, observing hundreds of coaches in action, but I consider Gerry a good friend and colleague.

Jay Dixon


Gerry Rodrigues is the best coach I’ve ever had. I started with him while doing a Ph.D. in Economics at UCLA (a top 10 program), and I’m not sure I would’ve survived it without him. After a frustrating day slaving over Bellman equations, I really looked forward to taking it all out in his workouts. They were always challenging and, more important, always interesting. The best thing is the attention Gerry paid to the needs of each and everyone of his swimmers: I’m faster than most, not as fast as some, but in a full pool of 30+ swimmers of all different capabilities, he had the yards and times that were just right for me. I’ve since moved from California, but I still long for Gerry’s workouts, and hope to be back with him some day.