Madeline Bartley

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Specialty:

  • Anxious Beginners (children and adults)

  • Competitive Age Group / 4-Stroke

  • Triathletes

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles

  • Liquid Bubbles

  • USA Swimming Certified

  • American Red Cross WSIT

  • American Red Cross LGI

Experience:

  • Swim Instructor (7 years)

  • Assistant Age Group Swim Coach (4 years)

  • Assistant High School Coach ( 4 years)

Contact: Madeline@LiquidLifestyles.com


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH MADELINE AT . . . 



Hi there! My name is Madeline Bartley and I joined the Liquid Lifestyles team of coaches in June of 2016. I am originally from Forest Grove - a small town near Portland, Oregon - where I started swimming at a very young age. I swam competitively on the local swim team for 6 years before heading off to a small school in Missouri called Cottey College. After I moved back to Oregon, I realized that I loved helping people learn how to swim and feel comfortable in the water, so I decided to pursue coaching on a more professional level. I really enjoyed my time working at the local aquatic center as a swim lesson instructor, assistant Swim Club coach, and assistant High School coach.

When my husband and I decided to move across the country to Cleveland I was excited to be able to continue doing what I love doing most with Liquid Lifestyles. Liquid Lifestyles has such a great vision for teaching even the most novice of swimmers how to swim smarter and more efficiently. I am proud to work with all of the other coaches here who share that vision. Helping people learn how to swim or just improve their swimming and also develop a better relationship to the water is something I love doing; I am so blessed to have this as my job!

My hobbies include: Hiking, cooking, watching movies, taking pictures, swimming (of course), crocheting, painting, singing, and cuddling with my dog.

Leah Bencivengo

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Specialty:

  • Anxious Beginners

  • Pre-School Age

  • Learn-to-swim children

  • Spanish

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®

  • Liquid Bubbles®

  • Baby Bubbles™

  • American Red Cross Lifeguard

Contact: leahb@liquidlifestyles.com


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH LEAH AT . . . 




I began my swimming journey in the early 2000’s by taking swim lessons at my community pool, and in 2008, I joined my first competitive summer recreation swim team. From 2009 - 2013, I swam competitively for North Olmsted High School.  During that time, I was also a swimming instructor for my local pool. I graduated from John Carroll University in May 2017 with a degree majored in Classical Languages and minored in Spanish. 

After teaching from 2009-2016, I was lucky enough to be hired on as a coach for Liquid Lifestyles. Liquid Lifestyles’ lessons are unlike any lessons I have ever taught before. The program is absolutely amazing, and the children I coach quickly become proficient in their swimming skills. My expertise with Baby Bubbles 1 and 2, as well as Liquid Bubbles 1, 2, and 3 curricula makes it simple for me to see the importance of each skill. My classes are filled with fun and energy to encourage children to be comfortable and enjoy their time in the water!

My mission is to help children grow in confidence for both swimming and everyday life. I love encouraging swimmers to challenge themselves and believe in their own capabilities. The progression of an anxious beginner is one of my favorite things to witness. To see a child who might have spent the first two lessons crying come to the third lesson with a smile on his or her face and an eagerness to swim is thrilling!

If you are interested in lessons fully in Spanish, or lessons that incorporate learning Spanish, let me know! I love combining my passion for languages with my passion for coaching.

Matt Benedict

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Specialty:

  • Learn to Swim Adults

  • Triathletes

  • Open Water

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®

Contact:

BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH MATT AT . . . 


It feels like just yesterday when I signed up for my first triathlon. I was confident I'd finish if I could just get out there and log some swimming hours. So there I was, day after day, in the nice calm, clear water of the pool. I swam 100 meters without stopping. Then 200 meters. Soon, I made it up to 800 meters and thought "now I'm ready for my first sprint triathlon." Problem was, I had not practiced in open water so as race day approached I decided to compete in the kayak division of the race. Everything went smoothly and I was hooked, but I had to figure out the swimming part. The very next day I found myself searching the internet for a solution. I found Liquid Lifestyles and booked my initial consultation. After a half a dozen private lessons in the pool and open water, I completed my first sprint triathlon. From that moment on I was addicted. Not only to triathlons, but to swimming as well. I continued to grow such a love for swimming that I found myself swimming twice a day. I would attend Liquid 'N Durance Lite on a Monday night, Liquid 'N Durance on Tuesday morning, and also attend a private lesson later that day. As my passion for swimming grew, so did my involvement with my son's swim team. It didn't take long to discover a deep desire to teach others and pursue coaching. I had the opportunity to work as an assistant coach for the Lake County YMCA West End Wildcats where I further developed a passion for coaching. I now hope to inspire Liquid Lifestyles clients the way I was inspired as a client. 

In addition to coaching, I'm also a career firefighter/paramedic in the Cleveland area. When I'm not working, I enjoy multiple outdoor activities and continue to train regularly and compete in races. Swimming, triathlon, mountain biking, trail running, and whitewater kayaking are some of my favorites.

Whether you are looking to feel comfortable in and/or around the water, preparing for your very first triathlon, or you're an experienced athlete looking to fine tune your stroke before your next big race, I would love to help you archive your goals!

Mitch Berman

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Short Notice Lessons: The online scheduling tool shows if a coach is available, but won't allow online registration for lessons that are less than 18 hours in advance. Please contact your coach directly to coordinate short notice lessons.

Shannon Cogan

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Specialty:

  • Age Group & Competitive Swimmers

  • Adult 4-Stroke

  • Adult Freestyle

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®

  • USA Swimming Registered Coach

Experience: Assistant coach past 3 years for club swim team, working with age group & competitive swimmers

Contact:  Email Shannon


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH SHANNON AT . . . 

Currently not available for private lessons.



Mike Cousino

 Experienced Triathlete and Liquid Lifestyles Coach Since 2005

Experienced Triathlete and Liquid Lifestyles Coach Since 2005

Specialty: Triathletes & Adult Freestyle

Certifications: Liquid Lifestyles®, Total Immersion™

Experience: 70+ Triathlons: Sprint, Olympic, 70.3 & 140.6 – Liquid Lifestyles Coach since 2005

Email Mike

 


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH MIKE AT . . . 



When I did my first triathlon in 1991 I, like so many others, struggled to get through the swim. Back then my training plan was to just go to the pool and swim yards. The more the better and the harder the better, or so I thought. After several years of this strategy, I was experiencing a modest level of success relative to how I started. When I was introduced to Liquid Lifestyles through a triathlon swim group, circa 2004, I was hesitant. I reluctantly did the prescribed drills during practice and questioned the concepts and new focal points. I actually felt like I was going slower in the water until we started timing our sets. It was only then that I learned I was actually going faster with less effort! I was hooked. I trained with Liquid Lifestyles for a number of years with an entirely new mindset – one that was focused, critical and embraced the concepts that once seemed so counter-intuitive. My personal swimming experience has been incredibly rewarding since then and I’m excited to share the process of smart training and smart swimming with others. Since 2009 I’ve had the rewarding experience to assist at weekend workshops, open water clinics and offering private lessons to recreational swimmers, triathletes and beginners of all backgrounds and ability levels.

I have competed in over 70 triathlons (and counting) - everything from sprint distance to 140.6 full distance triathlons. Whether you are just getting started or stepping up to your first Half or Full Ironman I can help you reach your swimming goals and PR in any distance.

I shaved 15-20 seconds off my typical 100 yard time using “drive” and “flicking gum off my foot!” So awesome to be back in the pool with you! You always manage to put the pieces of the puzzle together in a manner that I can understand! Thank you!!
— Lisa S.

Vanja Dezelic

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Specialty:

  • High School & Competitive Swimmers

  • Adult 4-Stroke

  • Adult Freestyle and Triathlon

Certifications: Liquid Lifestyles®

Experience:Age Group, High School and Collegiate swimmer. Competed and many national and international meet in Europe and USA. 4 year All-American at NCAA Div II Nationals. Head Age group coach for HEAT and currently Head Coach for CFYN Tigersharks. Lake Erie coach for Open Water Team.

Contact: Vanja@LiquidLifestyles.com


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH VANJA AT . . . 


Vanja was born in Zagreb, Croatia. His love for swimming began from and early age of 3, but Vanja started swimming competitively at age 10.  He became Croatian National Champion in 200m, 400m and 1500m both short course and long course for 11-12, 13-14 and 15&O age group.  As a member of Croatian National Swim Team, Vanja competed at Youth Olympic Days, European Junior Championships, Mediterranean Games and many dual meets between Croatia and other European countries. 

After arriving in US, as a High School swimmer, Vanja earned North Dakota state championship titles in 200 and 500 free and 200 medley relay as a butterfly leg. During college, Vanja was a National Team Member for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) swim team and competed at NCAA Division II Nationals every year. He earned All-America Awards for 800 free relay as well as the individual All-America in 500 and 1650 yard free. in 2014 Vanja was inducted to Missouri S&T Sports Hall of Fame. Within all swimming accomplishments, Vanja earned his Doctorate in Mining Engineering and Geophysics and has worked in Earth Science field.

Vanja's coaching and teaching specialty are age group swimmers as well as adults . He loves teaching all strokes in the pool environments as well as open water swimming. All levels of swimmers are welcome, as Vanja enjoys teaching the art of swimming to all. His ultimate goal and favorite thing about coaching,  is for people to enjoy the water and feel comfortable. Besides teaching swimming with Liquid Lifestyles Vanja isHead Coach for the CFYN Tigersharks Swim Team in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

Other than coaching, Vanja loves to spend time with his family, dogs and friends, hiking and traveling.  

Marisa Melchior

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Specialty:

  • Anxious Adults

  • Competitive Age Group / 4-stroke

Certifications: 

  • Liquid Lifestyles

Experience: I swam competitively at Euclid High School and then at Wright State University. 
I have been coaching since 2014 at Five Seasons swim club, Kettering YMCA and Magnificat High School. Before joining Liquid Lifestyles, I was also the Learn-to-Swim Director at the City of Wickliffe. 

Justin Mesker

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Specialty:

  • Pre-School

  • Children learn to swim ages 4-10

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®

  • Liquid Bubbles®

Email Justin


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH JUSTIN AT . . . 

Currently not available for private lessons.



I wanted to let you know how happy we are with the lessons Justin has given. My daughter was a complete non-swimmer and the amount of growth she has made in such a short time is remarkable! He makes her feel so comfortable and encouraged. We are so pleased and would recommend Liquid Lifestyles to anyone looking for a swim program.
— Jen S.
In just a few short months with Justin, our children have gained an enormous amount of confidence in the water, and developed the base they need to become proficient swimmers. He’s made each step in the process fun for them. They’re proud of their accomplishments and look forward to tackling the next challenge, rather than feeling intimidated and anxious. They love learning with Justin, and eagerly look forward to lessons each week.
— Erika M.

Leah Nyikes

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Specialty:

  • Learn to Swim Children

  • Age-group & Competitive Swimmers

  • Adult 4-Stroke

  • Adult Freestyle and Triathlon

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®

  • Liquid Bubbles®

  • Total Immersion™ Master Coach

  • USMS Master Coach Level II

Contact: Leah@LiquidLifestyles.com



BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH LEAH AT . . . 

Currently not available for private lessons.



Growing up “fishlike”

Swimming will always be a cornerstone of who I am. At the age of seven I joined the local swim team and excelled in the freestyle and backstroke events. The reality of bringing home a medal at the YMCA State Championships that first year was enough to get me hooked. I dedicated myself to the sport for the next eleven years. As a result of quality coaching and exceptional skill-based training I experienced the excitement of competing in the Ohio high-school state championships, winning conference titles, and setting high-school records.

My most influential swimming experiences developed under the direction of two prominent Total Immersion head coaches, Gary Fahey and Gene Mills. Their extensive knowledge of the sport, cutting-edge technique training, and thought-provoking practices were the impetus in my desire to succeed and subsequently coach years later. Despite our less-than-ideal training conditions; a pool that’s water was murky at best, temperatures that fluctuated daily, and air that hung low and thick, our coaches taught us how to find inspiration in ourselves and turn weaknesses into competitive strengths. The “Last Resort,” as we called it, became our experimental lab for developing new techniques, drills and kinesthetic awareness. Most importantly, we were encouraged to work with our teammates daily. We tested, analyzed and creatively communicated with each other new ideas –constantly in pursuit of a competitive advantage. Never settling with “good enough” our team soon dominated the local swim scene.

Solving swimming mysteries one student at a time

At the age of fourteen I volunteered as an assistant coach on our local summer rec. team. Using the core principles of self-discipline, responsibility and patience we explored innovative solutions to solving some of swimming’s most puzzling questions. The following year I experimented with these non-traditional training techniques privately, offering lessons to children that required more specific, goal-oriented instruction. By the third summer my parent’s backyard pool had become the local hub for summer swimming lessons. Happy children and pleased parents spread the word quickly and it wasn’t long before I was averaging 45 hours per week of private lessons and loving every minute of it.

After graduating from Miami University in 2004 with a degree in architecture, I announced my profound desire and dedication to swimming and pursued a full-time career in coaching. Collaborating with Total Immersion’s founder, Terry Laughlin, I was invited to become a licensed instructor of their internationally renowned training techniques and assumed the position of Regional Director in the Midwest. From Seattle to Dallas from New York to San Juan, I’ve worked side-by side with some of the nation’s best coaches while exchanging ideas and continually learning unique methods for improvement.

Discover your hidden talents!

To have discovered a career path so early in life that I can embrace with enthusiasm each day is very fortunate. It’s exciting and rewarding to work with swimmers of all ages and ability levels; students from non-competitive backgrounds, multi-sport athletes, adults with water phobia and children just learning their ABC’s. I find the teacher-student symbiotic relationship enlightening; continually awakened and constantly intrigued by the various learning styles of individuals. There is never a shortage of new questions and coaching challenges, however, with well-guided swimming advice, a bit of intuition and a willingness to investigate together we will find uniquely creative solutions to solving YOUR swimming obstacles.

Your swimming goals are attainable! Believe in yourself and anything is possible!

Thom Parsons

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Specialty:

  • Babies

  • Anxious Beginners

  • Pre-School Age

  • Special Needs

  • Adult Freestyle and Triathlon

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®

  • Liquid Bubbles®

  • Total Immersion™ Level II Certified Coach

  • American RedCross WSI

  • American RedCross LIfeguard/Lifeguard Instructor

Contact: Thom@LiquidLifestyles.com


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH THOM AT . . . 


I would love the opportunity to share my passion with you.

That “CLICK”.  That moment the light switches on and everything falls into place.  All the repetition, all the drills, all of the encouragement and then the payoff.  The moment a young beginner final “gets it “ finally puts the pieces together and swims on their own is a magical moment.  For some the moment comes quickly and for others it takes a bit longer. One thing is certain. There is always that moment.  I consider myself lucky that I get to be there, in the pool, to witness that magic over and over again.  To be able to teach a lifelong skill to a child and know that skill will last a lifetime is a wonderful gift.

I remember my very first private lesson with Mrs. Olie Olson in Athens, Ohio.  I was four years old and smitten with Olie and instantly hooked on swimming.  I took lessons every summer for several years.  By the time I was 17 I had become a lifeguard and also taught my first private swim lessons.  I will never forget that first lesson.  I remember every detail.  I was scared to death.  The lesson went very well and by the end I could not wait for the next one.  I didn’t realize at the time that I had just found my niche.

After being severely injured in an automobile accident I was looking for something I could do part time to keep busy.  I thought about my own children’s swimming lessons and reflected on how I knew I could do it better than their instructor.  That was the answer, the “ah ha” moment.  I would start teaching swimming again.  It took awhile for me to get going but once I developed my method, business really took off.  That was in Florida.  I have since relocated twice.  From Florida we moved to Wisconsin and from Wisconsin back to Ohio.  All the while continuing to teach swimming.   This is what I do.  This is my passion. 

I received my TI coach certification in 2014, it was the completion a goal I’ve had for many years. Upon researching the Total Immersion methods I realized that I had been using many of the same concepts in my own instruction.  However, I never really sought to better my own swimming, I just swam laps, never consistently working to improve my own skills.  With TI I have become a better, more efficient, more purposeful swimmer.   Striving for self-improvement and learning new skills has certainly bettered me as an individual and reignited my passion for teaching.

 

 

Joy Presley

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Specialty:

  • Anxious Beginners

  • Learn to Swim Children

  • Pre-School Age

  • Age Group & Competitive Swimmers

Certifications: Liquid Lifestyles®

Experience:

  • Swim Instructor (7 years)

  • Former Age Group Swim Coach (8 years)

  • Previous High School Assistant Coach ( 4 years)

  • Current Avon High School Assistant Coach

Contact: Joy@LiquidLifestyles.com

Kevin Rapien

  Coach Kevin is full time coach for Cleveland State University Swimming and due to NCAA recruiting rules and regulations, cannot give lessons to high school age persons.

Coach Kevin is full time coach for Cleveland State University Swimming and due to NCAA recruiting rules and regulations, cannot give lessons to high school age persons.

Specialty:

  • Competitive Swimmers
  • Adult 4-Stroke
  • Adult Freestyle
  • Triathletes

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles®
  • USA Swimming Certification
  • American Swim Coaches Association(ASCA) Level II

Experience:

  • Sr. Assistant Swim Coach Cleveland State University 2012-Present
  • Sr. Assistant Swim Coach University of North Dakota 2010-2012

Email Kevin

Ann Skerkoski

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Specialty:
Competitive Age Group / 4-Stroke
Liquid 'N Durance Masters
Adults
Triathletes

Certifications: 
Liquid Lifestyles®
American Red Cross Lifeguard
American Red Cross CPR/AED/First AID
American Red Cross LGI
American Red Cross WSI

Experience:
Head Coach –Summer Swim League
 Assistant Coach – High School Swimming
Assistant Coach – United States Swimming (USS) team
Assistant Coach – Masters Swimming
3 –time IRONMAN Finisher
3-time Masters National Champion
Open Water Zones team member (5k)


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH ANN AT . . . 


Aquatics have been a fixture in my life for almost my entire existence.  I excelled as an “8 and under” on my local summer swim team and couldn’t get enough.  As a result, I joined the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins and began my adventure as a year round swimmer.  The next step was joining my high school swim team where I set multiple school records, become the team captain and Most Valuable Swimmer.

With that experience under my belt, I earned a spot on the John Carroll University swim team, where I earned high point awards, All-Conference recognition, swimmer of the week, a school record and, my most coveted honor, team captain. 

Once I graduated from college, I knew that couldn’t be the end of my swimming career.  This was a lifelong sport, after-all!  That is where I got my first taste of USA Masters Swimming while in Graduate School.  As a member of the Kentucky Wildcats Masters Team, I earned 3-National Championships and multiple meet records.

Throughout every team and experience, I made friendships that will last of lifetime and I feel as though this is the most amazing aspect of the sport of swimming. I want others to get to experience this type of connection and passion in their lives. I credit much of my success in school to swimming since it taught me discipline and time management skills.

My most recent endeavor has been the sport of triathlon.  Having a swimming background has put me at a major advantage over most triathletes who are scared to death of the water.  With 3 IRONMAN finishes and 4 X 70.3 finishes, I have a passion for open water swimming and teaching athletes how to fine tune their techniques in open water environments. 

Due to the fact that I fell in love with swimming, I naturally decided that lifeguarding would be a solid fit. I become a lifeguard and lessons instructor and eventually added coaching to my resume. I started coaching summer league and then gradually added high school, USS and Masters Teams to my coaching collection. In addition, I was an Aquatics Graduate Assistant at the University of Kentucky which led to further certifications in the realm of Aquatics. I was a certified LGI (Lifeguard Instructor), Water Safety Instructor (WSI) and also taught and certified students in CPR/First Aid and AED.

 

 

 

Summer Stearns

Specialty:

  • Anxious Beginner

  • Preschool Learn to Swim (ages 2-5)

  • Youth Learn to swim (ages 5-12)

Certifications:

  • Liquid Lifestyles

  • Liquid Bubbles

  • American Red Cross Lifeguard

Contact:  Summer@liquidlifestyles.com


BOOK A PRIVATE LESSON WITH COACH SUMMER AT . . . 



Thank you for your help! We had tried for several years to get Blake to learn to swim using both group and private lessons at our local community pool, without success. By word of mouth, we had heard of Liquid Lifestyles and their successful swimming programs. We convinced him to try one more time to try to learn to swim. This past summer was a complete turnaround, with him now having both the confidence and the desire to want to swim! We attribute this to your program and especially Coach Summer’s work with him. Blake developed both confidence and trust in Coach Summer and what she would ask of him to do. Again, thank you and Coach Summer!
— Bob D.

Hello! My name is Summer Stearns, I joined the Liquid Lifestyles crew in March of 2017 and I love it! Before I became a professional swim instructor I was once a kid learning to swim myself! In my early years I lived in Deerfield Beach of South Florida. My family and I lived just a fifteen minute bike ride from the beach and were around pools ALL THE TIME. At about 9 years old I joined my school's swim team because of my love for swimming. Turns out my dislike for competition at the time outweighed my love of swimming, so after one season I stuck to recreational swimming and splashing.

When I was about 10 years old my mom and dad decided they wanted to get out of the heat and move to North East Ohio. North Olmsted to be exact and that is where I spent my middle school and high school years. My sophomore year however, my mom decided I needed to get a job. As reluctant as I was, I took the American Red Cross Life guarding class at my local YMCA and received my certification. From there, I applied at my local recreation center and began life guarding at age 15. About a month in, my boss asked me if I was interested in teaching swim lessons as well. I said, "Yeah! That's got to be more interesting than sitting in a chair all day!" Thus my love for teaching swim lessons was created.

I taught lessons for 5 years at my local recreation center and decided I needed a change, so I applied for Liquid Lifestyles. I saw Liquid's Coaches working with kids while life guarding and was so impressed I needed to know more. Now working with the team, I know I was right to be impressed. These coaches are professional, experienced and completely passionate about helping children and adults learn one of life's most important skills, swimming.  It is this fiercely important feeling about water safety skills that connected me to the rest of the team, and I hope to share that connection with you!