Gabriel Fantoni is a versatile athlete, swimming backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle in international competition as a representative of his home country of Brazil, and in college at Indiana University.
Gabriel enjoys working with young athletes, saying “when you work with age group swimmers they can absorb the most and improve the most.” Gabriel recalls a pivotal moment in his swimming career when he was an age group swimmer himself. “When I was about 12 and was swimming with my club team, we had a clinic with the senior group. My club is one of the biggest in Brazil, and one that produces a lot of Olympians. They put the South American backstroke record holder in my lane and he taught me something that changed my approach to swimming; underwaters, and how strong underwaters can make you a better swimmer. That experience changed my point of view of swimming, and I started understanding the fundamentals of swimming.”
In his Fitter & Faster camps, Gabriel emphasizes the importance of fundamentals such as starts, turns, and underwaters and how those elements can dramatically improve a swimmer’s performance. Gabriel likes to break each element down into three drills and then put it all together so that camp participants can understand the element and how to do it properly. He provides individual attention to Fitter & Faster camp participants by correcting form, when necessary. “My approach is to explain the drill, have participants swim a 25, and see how each swimmer is doing. If someone is struggling or not performing the drill correctly, I pull them aside, explain the drill, and correct as much as possible while keeping an eye on the group.” To keep camps interactive, Gabriel likes to get in the water with participants. “When I’m in the water I get the attention of the kids, and it makes it fun.”
Gabriel closes his camps by talking to Fitter & Faster camp participants, and their parents, about the habits of successful athletes. He says, “in swimming, you have to think about what you do”.