Welcome to my swim coaching blog

Welcome to my blog.  I write my experiences and thoughts on swim coaching and swim technique.  I am an international swim coach (GB team Sydney 2000 & Athens 2004) and former international swimmer (Canadian team 1988 Seoul).

I currently run a swim school with my wife Alison Sheppard MBE.  I run swim clinics, swim camps and conduct private lessons in addition to the swimming lessons in our swim school.  The scope of these activities gives me a unique perspective of swimming ranging from two year olds screeching due to their face getting wet to retired adults who are terrified of the water all the way to swimmers who have been ranked number one in the world and others who have won para-Olympic medals.

The increasingly large number of clients that I work with in a one to one capacity teach me how to solve the myriad of issues that arise in swim training and technique that I previously had not been able to solve in a group setting.  I share this information with people who are interested in swimming.  It is very interesting to me the interest in swimming that covers the globe.  Hundreds of readers come from every conceivable country, from Bolivia, Iraq, French Guiana and Uzbekistan to Isle of Man, Lithuania, Myanmar, Grenada and Poland.  In total there have been readers from 136 countries.

I am also an artist and you are welcome to purchase a notebook with a copy of the cover art:

Backstroker “BACKSTROKER”

outside smoke


The Qualifier


If you would like one of these notebooks, they are A5 size.  These make great gifts for aspiring swimmers or coaches to take notes. Just leave a comment. 

I am also interested in painting. You can view my work by going to this link: 


About Coach Gary

I competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul representing Canada and coached in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics for Great Britain. I have a degree in History and a minor degree in Psychology from University of Calgary. I have travelled extensively and have been very lucky to see so much of the world while representing Canada and Great Britain at swimming competitions. I am very proud of the fact that I coached a swimmer to become number one in the world in the fastest swimming race in 2002. I pride myself in my ability to find new and interesting ways to teach swimming. I am an accomplished artist specialising in sculpture, I have another blog called 'swimmingart' where I publish some of my swimming drawings. I have three young children; all boys. I have recently taken up painting and yoga....but not at the same time. You can see my new paintings at: https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/gary_Vandermeulen
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