Progression training has been a staple of John’s athletic philosophy since the early 1980s. As a professional tennis player and USPTR certified instructor, and after training with world renowned Dennis Vandermer in Hilton Head South Carolina, John brought his professional athletic experiences to Connecticut where he took a position as Director of the Copper Valley Swim and Tennis Club in Cheshire, CT. He then went on to become the Director of Operations at the Rocky Hill Tennis and Fitness Center and Sugar Hollow Tennis Club located in Ridgefield, CT. John developed successful training programs for all levels of athletes at each of these clubs. These same training strategies are now employed at Thames Aquatic Club, producing successful athletes. John has 20 years swim coaching experience and is a USA registered coach and coaches the Thames Aquatic Club boys program. He has coached numerous age group and Senior championship qualifiers as well as Sectional, National and college level, from Division 1 through 3, swimmers.
Anne Vitale, Head Coach
With 14 years of coaching experience, Coach Anne provides the ultimate TAC training philosophy of technique through progression, race strategy and intensity. In addition to having coached swimmers to the Junior National and National level, as well as local age group and sectional qualifying levels, Coach Anne brings to TAC her knowledge of preparation for competition beginning with the age group swimmers and up through college level swimming. Coach Anne has achieved ASCA Level 2 Certification and is an ASCA Certified Stroke Technician. Anne also holds certifications as a Starfish Aquatics Institute instructor and instructor trainer. She is also a Certified Pool Operator.
About Thames Aquatic Club
Thames Aquatic Club is privately owned and operated by the Vitale Family. TAC is a competitive and recreational swim team in eastern Connecticut, with a thriving Learn to Swim program. TAC is a member of CT Swimming, the LSC of USA Swimming.
Thames Aquatics was originally founded with 2 major principles in mind; introducing competitive swimming to eastern Connecticut and encouraging children to have fun while working hard to achieve their individual goals!
Since 2009, TAC has evolved into a thriving learn to swim provider of the Starfish Aquatics methodology of swimming. TAC also offers a recreational swimming program for those swimmers who desire the benefit of swimming in organized practices, but who do not wish to compete presently.
The philosophy of TAC's administration is when is more too much? Does sitting in a hot pool for 12 hours per week watching your child swim back and forth mindlessly sound like too much? Does spending every other weekend at meets, hour after hour for 6-8 hours per day sound like too much? Does working at these meets, hour after hour sound like too much? Or how about....does paying a premium price for all this hour after hour sound like too much?
Thames Aquatic Club eliminates all of that! We have developed a swimmer and parent friendly approach to practicing the right amount of time and attending the right amount of swim meets, all at a family friendly price.
Interested in learning more?
Committed to helping our members achieve their goals!
Thames Aquatic Club, LLC is a competitive and recreational swim program designed to encourage fun, friendship and fast swimming in a safe and positive environment. TAC is aimed at offering high-quality, reasonably priced, swim instruction and athlete and personal development.
Erica Burke, Assistant Director
Age Group Coach
Coach Erica brings to TAC, a fierce competitive edge that had made her a successful Division 1 scholarship swimmer. Erica demands from the swimmers, the same intensity and committment that she had made to her own swimming. During her 16 years of competitive swimming, Erica has amassed numerous championship first place finishes, record breaking performances, and sectional and national YMCA level qualifying swims. Erica was a 3 year MAAC league championship finalist and ECAC championship finalist in numerous events. She was named Most Valuable Swimmer for 2 years in a row and Rookie of the Year after her freshman year at Canisius College. She finished her college career as Captain of the 3 time MAAC Championship team, Marist College Women's Swimming and Diving. Coach Erica brings 9 years of teaching swim lessons and competitive coaching to the TAC deck. After coaching with Red Fox Swim Club's swimmers, we are excited to have Erica back to work with our swimmers to bring out their competitive edge! Erica is a USA Swimming certified coach and American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor. Erica also has a Master's degree in education.
Swim Coach/Administrative Assistant:
Coach Rachel, a former competitive swimmer, has 8 years of competitive coaching and swim instruction. Rachel is a certified Starfish Aquatics instructor, as well as an instructor trainer. She has intensive training in the internationally recognized SAI progressive swim training and safety instruction methodologies. Rachel has worked and continues to work with our younger and most inexperienced swimmers; those ranging in age from 18 months through 8 years old. She also works with our experienced competitive swimmers, instructing in drills and intensity training which is a staple of Thames Aquatic training. Rachel also is a certified lifeguard, a USA Swimming registered coach and a Certified Pool Operator. She is currently working on her undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Management.
Swim Coach/ Marketing Coordinator
Coach Samantha joined the TAC coaching staff in 2013 to assist in the development of our Nautilus swimmers. She also is a member of the Learn to Swim staff who provides swim lessons for children ages 2-10. Samantha, also a former competitive swimmer, is a registered and certified American Red Cross lifeguard and holds USA Swimming Coaching credentials. She is currently working on her Undergraduate degree in Marketing and Public Relations
Kristen Vitale, Swim Coach:
Coach Kristen, also a decorated collegiate swimmer, is an integral part of TAC’s junior swim programs. Kristen’s love of teaching and experience working with younger swimmers, is evident as she is seen on deck teaching our newest, competitive swimmers the ins and outs of competitive swimming. She has a decade of coaching experience and is a registered and certified American Red Cross lifeguard and holds USA Swimming Coaching credentials. Kristen recently graduated from Providence College with a master’s Degree in history and is working on her doctorate degree at UCONN Storrs.
An accomplished Division 1, scholarship swimmer and graduate of Saint Leo University, Alexandra began her coaching experiences at the Greater Providence YMCA. Teaching lessons and coaching swimmers ages 4-18 at the YMCA prepared her for her coaching responsibilities at Thames Aquatic Club. Alexandra also has extensive experience guarding the east coast beaches. She completed her master’s Degree at Bay State University in Communications Management.