Nazareth Easton YMCA Blue Fins

A member of YMCA & USA Competitive Swimming

The Coaches

Dennis Drake – Head Coach

Coach Drake loves to swim and coach!  🙂

Whether it was swimming on State Championship winning teams during high school, competing on a newly aspiring USA club team, or swimming on a small Division I college team, he learned from a variety of coaches how to build a successful swim program.

From this, he took his passion and  knowledge to successfully help transform two teams. First, the St. Peter’s University team, his alma mater. As a swimmer, assistant coach, and interim head coach, he helped take a team that was winless for consecutive seasons, to one that was competitive in its conference and winning many more meets than previously attained. Second, the Lopatcong Community Swim Team. As the Head Coach he took this age group team which had lost every single meet for ten years in row, to one that earned consecutive winning records and team trophies. More importantly though, is the pride he takes in helping to mold and develop swimmers in and out of the water. That is, he believes in developing the whole swimmer. Actually, his coaching philosophy is based around an idea you might often hear him say, “Coach the swimmer, not the stroke.” By this, he means there is more than one way to successfully train a swimmer, and training swimmers is more than just technique and yardage. It also encompasses the development of confidence, sportsmanship, team play, and character within each athlete.

Currently, as the Nazareth YMCA Head Coach, he is loving every minute of it and looks forward to seeing all the swimmers at practice and meets!

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Carlton Taylor – Assistant Coach

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Katie Spengler – Assistant Coach

I began swimming competitively at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love with the sport! I continued swimming through high school and was a state finalist (top 6) in both the 100 fly and 200 free. I coached summer leagues throughout high school and college and have been coaching on and off for the past 15 years. I have coached YMCA teams, club teams, and the Nazareth high school team.

I believe proper stroke technique needs to be taught, and learned, from a young age. The more efficient the swimmer is, the faster they will swim! I believe setting training and competition goals are essential.  Working towards something allows the swimmer to have a great drive to succeed! Every swimmer needs to feel they are part of the team. I believe, most importantly, that swimmers should want to come to practice because they enjoy the sport of swimming!

I have a Masters degree in education and have been teaching for 10 years. I currently teach high school Spanish, but I have also have taught middle school and elementary school. I live in Nazareth with my husband and our 3 children, ages 7, 4, and 5 months!

I look forward to working with our swimmers to help them achieve their swimming goals!

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