U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, Tom Dolan, is excited to bring you the Tom Dolan Swim School. Providing a state of the art purpose-built swim school facility and system that teaches swimmers – from 3 months all the way up to adults—solid fundamentals that are essential for water-safety, recreational and competitive swimming.
The Tom Dolan Swim School’s main goal, as highlighted in our tag line ‘Swim Thru Life’, is to provide our customers with water-safety education, self-esteem and confidence in the water – safety skills and life lessons that will stay with your kids forever.
It is never too late for you or your children to learn the essential life skill of swimming. Being safe and confident in the water is an important skill for everyone!
Swim Thru Life
Tom believes that the school’s tag line, Swim Thru Life, best encapsulates his passion for the sport of swimming in the light that best represents it: a life skill, not just an activity. Swim Thru Life is not about winning races and medals, it is about having the confidence to be a champion in life! Our facility and staff are here to instill the fundamentals, fun and confidence in an environment maximized for teaching and self-discovery.
Our program of levels begins with the Water Comfort levels. These are for babies and children of all ages that need to master the first and most important step to swim thru life: water acclimation and confidence.
Our second program of levels is Stroke Development. These levels begin to focus on proper head and body position with a strong, consistent kick, and eventually a focus on freestyle and backstroke technique. The final level in the Stroke Development program will introduce breaststroke and butterfly.
Our third program of levels is Stroke Enhancement. These levels continue to fine tune freestyle and backstroke technique, while using drills to break down the elements that make up a technically sound breaststroke and butterfly. As the Stroke Enhancement levels progress, so too does the aerobic base thru proper and efficient swimming.
Our fourth and final program of levels is Adult Swimming. This program includes a beginner and advanced level and will help adults enjoy the benefits of swimming for exercise or competition, as well as introduce those with little to no background to the fundamentals of safety and technique in the water.
Our facility helps promote the Swim Thru Life philosophy by providing family friendly features such as wide doorways for strollers, plenty of family change rooms, on deck showers, 90 degree pool water and a state of the art filtration system. We have three pools that are specifically built with varying shallow depths in order to tailor classes to respective age ranges and skill levels.
In order to promote the Swim Thru Life philosophy of providing our customers with the proper skillset, we also pay specific attention to the distances swum in each level. Tom Dolan grew up as a distance swimmer and, as a result, is more than used to training for hours on end and swimming long distances. While this may be the case for athletes preparing for the Olympic Games, children learning how to swim or enhancing their technique need only swim the distance that they swim technically correct. Muscle memory is an amazing benefit and aide when kids learn how to swim or when we are correcting technical flaws, but that same muscle memory works to a child’s detriment when they are swimming incorrectly. By properly swimming shorter distances, kids will learn faster and ultimately use less energy to go further distances. This is where the knowledge of an Olympic gold medalist comes in handy!
Tom is excited to use his extensive swimming background to bring you the Tom Dolan Swim School.
Come join us at the Tom Dolan Swim School and become part of the next chapter of Tom’s amazing journey!
The Tom Dolan Swim School may have officially opened on February 1, 2012, but the story began in 1980 when Tom Dolan started swimming.
Tom enjoyed tremendous success in the pool and had the wonderful opportunity to travel and compete around the world. This also provided him with a unique perspective to be able to see how important learning to swim is for kids worldwide.
Tom became a back-to-back Olympic gold medalist in the 400 Individual Medley in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. Tom also won a Silver Medal in the 200 Individual Medley in 2000. Tom held the 400 Individual Medley World Record for nine years. Tom also won two Gold Medals at the World Championships and helped lead his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to a NCAA team title in 1995 while winning nine NCAA titles as a student-athlete. Tom was also a 14-time US National Champion and the face on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the Wheaties box. These accomplishments, along with being inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, have brought Tom on a whirlwind ride from learning to swim in Arlington, Virginia to being one of the best all-around swimmers in the history of the sport.
When his run at the elite level of swimming was complete, Tom decided to focus his attention on the grassroots, educational side of the sport. His belief was that the US as a whole, and specifically, the Washington, DC region, was without a proper platform on which to teach parents with young kids how and when they should begin to pass along the life skill of learning how to swim.
Tom has been fortunate enough to gain additional swimming knowledge from other learn-to-swim experts around the world. Today, he is excited to use his extensive swimming background to bring you the Tom Dolan Swim School.