San Bruno, CA

Past Clinic: 2019 Summer Elite Performance Racing Academy

Wed, Jul, 31 2019 - Sun, Aug, 04 2019

Capuchino High School
1501 Magnolia Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066

A description of what was covered at this past clinic is below the upcoming clinics.

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Within 250 miles of San Bruno, CA.

Starting Apr 17, 2021

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Starting Apr 24, 2021

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Past Clinic

Event Detail

2019 Summer Elite Performance Racing Academy (San Mateo, CA) – This Performance Racing Academy consists of five individual clinic sessions over five days to improve THE BROAD SPECTRUM of  competitive swim racing. The curriculum for this Academy will mirror the event schedule at USA Swimming’s Phillips 66 National Championships in Palo Alto, CA.

At checkout you can also add a BONUS ticket which includes a ticket to watch Finals at USA Swimming’s Phillips 66 National Championships the evening of the camp with your Elite Clinicians. You will also receive a Fitter and Faster limited addition t-shirt!

This is an “Elite” Academy which means that each session is limited to no more than 36 participants.

  • Day 1: Sprint vs distance freestyle training
  • Day 2: Training and racing the 200 freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke events.
  • Day 3: Dominate the 200 IM & 400 IM
  • Day 4: Training 100s of backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.
  • Day 5: Sprinting, starts, and relay exchanges.

The Academy will be led by Nick Thoman, Michael McBroom, and Austin Surhoff!  This group of accomplished swimmers and clinicians will bring unparalleled expertise and wisdom to your swimmer.  Nick is an Olympic gold medalist and World Champion… and a very experienced clinician who delivers results. He will be in the water leading all five days of the Academy.  American Record holder Michael McBroom will share his knowledge of distance and mid-distance swimming with participants on the first two days. National Champion IM’er and University of Virginia volunteer assistant coach Austin Surhoff will join Nick on the last three days.  Scroll down for more details on the curriculum.

Session Times (Each Day)
Ages 9-12: Check in 9:15 AM, Clinic 9:30 AM-11:30 AM
Ages 13 & Older: Check in 12:00 PM, Clinic 12:15 PM-3:15 PM

Suggested Participants

SAVE! Sign up before prices rise or the sessions fill up!

The Academy consists of five clinic sessions for swimmers ages 13 & over and five sessions for swimmers ages 9-12 who have at least two years of competitive experience. Swimmers younger than 9 years old are not recommended for these clinics without their coach’s endorsement.



Most people think of freestyle as one stroke, but there are a lot of differences both in technique and race strategy between sprint and distance freestyle. Learning how to prioritize tempo vs. length and speed vs. efficiency can make a big difference in increasing endurance in longer races.

  • PULL: Both distance and sprint freestyle strokes should have a long extension and powerful finish, but finding the sweet spot of the right tempo for your swimmer can be difficult. Your swimmer will learn tips and tricks to get more power out of every arm pull while also achieving the tempo that will help them drop time.
  • KICK: The technique AND timing in freestyle kick is very important! It’s important to save energy while kicking in longer races while still maintaining a connected stroke. Learn how and when to use different kick rhythms like two-beat or six-beat during distance races!
  • ROTATION: What is the driving force behind rotation - hips or shoulders? The answer depends on the race being swam! Your Elite Clinicians will lead participants through a series of drills designed to develop a powerful rotation for a balanced stroke.
  • PACING: With longer races, there are more opportunities for variation in race strategy. Focusing on maintaining consistent splits will help your swimmer avoid going too fast at the beginning of the race or slipping into a slower pace in the middle. Whether your swimmer goes out hard or finishes strong, having a race plan before a distance event is very important!


Races that are 200 yards or meters are some of the most difficult to swim because they are halfway between a sprint and a distance event. Your swimmer needs to have enough speed at the beginning of the race while also having enough energy at the end to finish strong. Because of this, our Elite Clinicians will give insight into different strategies for your swimmer to try in their 200 and see what works best for them!

  • RACE STRATEGY: In the 200 races, many swimmers will prioritize tempo over distance per stroke, which causes them to take a higher number of shorter strokes on each length. This is a very inefficient way to swim and can cause a swimmer to race much slower and fatigue quicker. At this session, we will help your swimmer refine their stroke count and tempo in the 200 freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke so that they can utilize their strengths to race faster!
  • DISTANCE PER STROKE: One way to increase efficiency is to take fewer strokes. Counting the number of strokes and improving technique to decrease that number will save energy. On the other side, it may be faster to take more strokes per length, especially in shorter events.
  • TEMPO: Your swimmer’s tempo is how fast or slow they complete each stroke. Having a slower tempo allows swimmers to conserve energy by taking fewer strokes, while a faster tempo is more tiring but much faster. Changing tempo based on event distance and fatigue level will help your swimmer swim as fast as possible.
  • KICK COUNT: Counting dolphin kicks off of each wall is another way your swimmer can switch up their strategy in the 200’s. By tracking how long they stay underwater, they will have a better streamline and breakout on each turn!


The 200 IM and 400 IM are two of swimming’s most challenging, strategic, and grueling races, so this Academy will spend a full session learning how to train and race these events. With so many different pieces to master - four strokes, transitions, endurance, and speed - there are a lot of ways to get faster in these events. Learning how to swim the 200 and 400 IM will make your swimmer a better all-around athlete!

  • TRAINING: There are many different ways to train for the IMs, but one of the most effective strategies is to train for the 200 of each stroke. This will give your swimmer the endurance to dominate each leg of the race. Focusing on training the weakest of the four strokes is one of the easiest ways to improve in the individual medley.
  • IM TRANSITIONS: Swimmers don’t have as many chances to practice transition turns in practice, so taking the time to learn proper technique can help make their IM even faster. The cross over turn is one of the most challenging skills to learn, but our clinicians will break down each movement step-by-step.
  • MINDSET: It’s difficult to train and race the 200 & 400 IM, so having the right mindset is essential! Most swimmers are afraid to swim the them, but by embracing the challenge and being mentally tough, your swimmer will have an advantage before they even dive in!
  • RACING: Once your swimmer has mastered the training and technique of the 200 & 400 IM, it’s time to race! It’s important to start the race relaxed and get faster through each leg. A lot of swimmers even negative split each stroke! Some swimmers barely kick the first half of the race, instead saving their legs to power their breaststroke and freestyle in the second half of the race. It’s all about finding what works and what doesn’t for each swimmer!


The difference between the 100 and 200 is not just half the distance, but a different approach and different race strategy. Technique is tweaked to provide more power for the shorter events, and taking advantage of the start and streamline off each wall has a larger impact. Trying to find the perfect balance between staying underwater, maintaining speed on the surface, and keeping a strong breathing pattern is difficult, but our Elite Clinicians are some of the best instructors to help teach your swimmer.

  • PACING: Like the 200, pacing for races 100 yards or meters can be broken up many ways. Nick and Austin will present different strategies on how to swim 100s: some swimmers focus on each 50, balancing “front end speed” and “back end speed”. Experimenting and learning new techniques will allow your swimmer to improve their 100 of any stroke!
  • BUTTERFLY: Perfect the complexities of balancing power and fluid rhythm in one of the most dynamic athletic strokes. Elite butterfliers maintain forward momentum by setting an immediate high catch with a perfectly timed kick. They are committed to a breathing pattering, balancing their distance per stroke, and maintaining a horizontal body position. Our clinicians will help your swimmer become committed to these same skills to create better habits every time they swim butterfly!
  • UNDERWATER DOLPHIN KICKING: In a short course 100 yard race, swimmers can swim up to 60 yards underwater, so learning to maximize their dolphin kicks can have a big impact! Nick and Austin will teach participants the proper dolphin kicking technique as well how to time the breakout before your swimmer begins to slow down underwater.
  • BREASTSTROKE PULLOUTS: Similar to underwater dolphin kicking, strong pullouts are the secret weapon in any breaststroke event! Nick and Austin will cover the complicated timing of pullouts, when to take the pull, dolphin kick, and how far to glide, with a series of drills to make this skill one of your swimmer’s strengths.


The Academy will end with some fast sprinting and explosive starts! The start is the fastest your swimmer will be moving during the race, so taking advantage of that momentum with a perfect streamline and explosive breakout will set them up for a great race. While swimming as fast as you can may seem like an easy race strategy, having perfect technique is difficult while maintaining a high speed.

  • SPRINTING: Sprinting is all about swimming with “controlled aggression!” Our Elite Clinicians will demonstrate how to swim with power, while also being relaxed - having too much tension will make your swimmer slip in the water and slow down. Swimmers will observe how to tweak their strokes to make them quick yet efficient - increasing tempo, shortening the breath, and a strong connected kick will lead to an explosive 50!
  • STARTS: Your swimmer’s proper hand and foot placement on the block can allow them to drive forward with a lot of explosive power. Nick and Austin will work with your swimmer to find the best position on the block as well as how to launch their body forward efficiently into a tight streamline and enter the water through a small hole.
  • RELAY EXCHANGES: Relays are often the most exciting races to watch and the most fun races to swim, and having great relay exchanges will take your team’s performance to the next level. Our clinicians will work with your swimmer on both sides of the relay start - swimming into the finish on a full stroke and timing the take off from the block for a fast start. Your swimmer will learn how to step forward on the block, swing their arms, and take advantage of that momentum into a powerful dive, streamline, and breakout.


Each day, swimmers and parents are invited to ask Nick, Michael, and Austin questions during a Q&A session. Gain insight into their training and coaching philosophies, diet and nutrition, and recovery tactics.


Observe Nick, Michael, and Austin swim at full speed and demonstrate a progression of perfectly executed drills to achieve powerful, efficient, and fast swimming.


Swimmers will get to practice what they’ve learned by taking their stroke to top speed! They’ll work on holding onto their form while challenging themselves.

Take a photo with Nick, Michael, and Austin, get autographs, and a gift from our sponsors!

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