Gerry’s greatest gift as a coach is how attentive he is to every swimmer in the pool. He very quickly gets to know the ability and potential of each individual swimmer, and then tailors swim sets to the individuals in the pool at that particular workout. As challenging as his workouts can be, he is surprisingly receptive and understanding to all, those who might be trying to balance work, family and other obligations with our swimming goals–he helps us make it work. In short, he is an incredibly versatile coach, who is able to be equally effective with all swimmers, from hardcore fanatics and ex-Olympians to those just seeking a good workout, to beginners and laid-back weekend warriors who want a fun workout.
Gerry is truly a student of the sport and is always keeping up with the latest breakthroughs in exercise science and innovations in stroke technique. In addition, he is a true “fan,” and I will never forget the enthusiasm he showed when recounting his experience attending the 200 meter freestyle finals at the Olympic Games in Athens as being one of the greatest races he’d ever seen. On the deck, all of this knowledge and expertise shows through in his coaching, and if anyone asks him for help with a specific issue he immediately pinpoints the area that needs work. People notice this enthusiasm for the sport, and it is infectious.
As skilled a technician as Gerry is, coaching is as much an art as it is a science, and I really do see him as an artist. A challenging Gerry workout is really a beautiful thing, with a unique blend of sometimes gut-wrenching aerobic/anaerobic threshold work, with just barely the right amount of recovery to create a perfect symmetry. It’s always been uncanny to notice just how creative Gerry’s swim sets are, because he never stops finding ways to make swim sets fresh and exciting, whether it is sprint or endurance work or open water-oriented sets. They can be intricate puzzles or bold stress tests, but they are always original and challenging.