2020 ASCA Age Group Coach of the Year Finalist Spotlight: Gabriela Sofia

By Fitter and Faster Staff

Gabriela Sofia

Long Island Aquatic Club.East Meadow, NY

12 Different Athletes in Top 20

36 Top 20 Rankings

Gabi is the Head Age Group Coach at Long Island Aquatic Club (LIAC) in Long Island, New York.  I was born and raised in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Gabi says, “I fell in love with the water at the age of 8, kickstarting my swimming career and building it over years all the way up to competing for the Lithuanian National Team.”  Gabi moved to the US in 2003 to provide better opportunities for her children and has been working at LIAC since 2007 and in that time, worked  with swimmers of every level in LIAC program — from developmental novices to high-achieving National level athletes. As a result, Gabi was named the Head Age Group Coach in 2017 — a role she is proud to play in the Club to this day.  LIAC’s Age Group Program has steadily grown over the last few years, culminating into 12 individuals Nationally Ranked for this past season, 11 individual swims in the Top 10 this season.  Aside from being a swim coach, Gabi is also a certified Sports Nutritionist and ASCA Level 4 coach. Gabi says, “I strive to cultivate an environment of success for our Age Group staff and myself, but I find it even more important to grow our young athletes into successful individuals — both inside and outside of the pool.  Being an Age Group coach is exciting — in addition to teaching the athletes the ins-and-outs of swimming, I am given the opportunity to help them build the tools, learn the skills, and live the experiences that will let them grow into the best versions of themselves!”