Birthday: December 14, 1989
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
School: Texas A & M
2012 & 2016 Tongan Olympian
First Tongan swimmer to win a gold medal in international competition (50m breast at 2010 Oceania Swimming Championships) and only Tongan swimmer to hold dual Oceania and Pacific Games titles
Swimmers are “earners.” They spend early morning after early morning jumping into cold pools, night after night on foam rollers or in the gym. Be it through managing nutrition, pushing through tough sets, or devoting hours to recovery, each swimmer looks for ways to “earn” those time cuts, to take those small extra steps past their competitors. What if there was such a thing as free speed?
There is! It’s good technique: maximizing efficiency so that your hard work can be fully realized. Amini Fonua can help you tap into it.
“My favorite thing is seeing improvement in swimmers and watching their faces light up once they start zooming through the water because we’ve fixed their technique,” Amini says.
While this efficiency can ultimately make the stroke less laborious, finding that sweet spot is not always an easy task. Requiring a keen eye and an innate understanding of stroke mechanics, perfecting a young swimmer’s stroke is best left to the experts.
Enter Amini. An NCAA All-American and two-time Tongan Olympian, Amini has competed on some of the biggest stages in swimming. Not only that, but he’s also a self-proclaimed student of the sport who hopes to spark the same curiosity in his participants.
“I believe that good technique in practice leads to inevitable success in racing. At my clinics, I really emphasize practicing mindfulness in the water each and every day.”
Focusing on “listening as much as [he] speaks,” Amini actively engages participants to foster an ongoing conversation, one in which swimmers are able to think through critiques and ask questions. Building camaraderie and trust within the group, Amini crafts a fun and productive learning environment.
Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, Amini discovered his love for the water when his mother insisted he and his sister receive swim lessons. It wasn’t long before he found himself under the instruction of Donna Bouzaid, former Swimming New Zealand’s high performance coaching director. Taking his talents to the States for college, Amini continued to develop with a more western training style, exploring the sport from an entirely new perspective. These experiences shape his curriculum today, which is a unique mosaic of techniques and drills he has adopted from coaches around the world.
Encouraging participants to “compete with their hearts,” Amini also emphasizes the intangible aspects of the sport, which he believes prove invaluable later in life.
“I tell my participant to enjoy! Make sure you’re loving every second of the process and journey, including the painful parts. Then, give it your all. If you’re already doing your best, the battle is halfway done.”
Invest in your free speed today! Sign up for a clinic with Amini!
The Coach (Amini Fonua) was excellent!! He did a great job working with the kids. Amini made things easy to understand, was engaging, and kept my daughter’s attention throughout. He did a superb job of building up the skills needed for a good starting dive step-by-step, starting with simple drills and slowly putting it all together in a way that was highly effective. – Colin Donnaruma in Albany, NY