Triathlon and Swim Coaching

A Master of Public Health in Physical Activity, Certified Level II USA Triathlon Coach, Certified USA Masters Swimming Levels 1 & 2 Coach, former USA Swimming Coach, 2019-2020 USA Triathlon Ambassador, NCAA Division 1 collegiate athlete, Ironman 70.3 2013 World qualifier, 2013 Bronze Ironman All World athlete, former board member of Baltimore Area Triathlon Club, a swim coach since 2003, and triathlon-specific coach for eight years, I delight in coaching swimmers and triathletes. During my graduate career, I taught at the George Washington University’s exercise physiology test, where my advanced physiology coursework and practical laboratory experience led me to develop a scientific basis for using data to inform training periodization, recovery principles, and injury prevention. I’ve taught personal and small group swim sessions to children as young as two all the way through older adults since 2002, and triathletes ranging from collegiate club (shoutout to George Washington University!) to age group in sprint and full Ironman distance. My swim coaching includes age group USA swimming and US Master’s swimming. I love watching people fall in the love the water- or take their first steps of courage in being willing to learn. My coaching philosophy draws upon Self Determination Theory, Achievement Goal Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, and Fun Integration Theory. My commitment to the science and nutritional basis of training, as evidenced through annual continuing education units and workshops, as well as an evaluation feedback loop from the athletes I coach, along with the aforementioned theoretical constructs (which foster autonomy, self efficacy, and fun) allow me to focus on maximal physiological adaptations and improvements along with retention and empowerment of athletes. Please let me know if I can help you achieve your personal swimming or triathlon goals. I offer a variety of in-person and online coaching options. Sliding scale fees are available on an as-needed basis. References are available upon request. Please reach out via melissaotterbein at or use the form below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Melissa, 2013 70.3 World Championships

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