Coaches and Instructors

Coaches and Instructors

Front row: Giuliana Gigliotti (Gigi), Andrew Tollefson, Henry Tollefson, Elizabeth Lofgren

Back Row: Noah Pritchard, Steve Machlin, Roger Dent

Henry Tollefson, Head Coach, LI – Henry has been coaching for over 10 years and the past six for TOLL. He’s a lifelong competitive swimmer through high school and began coaching summer swimming in MCSL while still in high school. He currently can also be found coaching the CCRA Stingrays in the summer. Henry has a passion for inspiring swimmers to be the best possible athletes they can be through commitment and motivation. He strongly believes in technical feedback and helping swimmers grow throughout each season. In L1, he will focus on advanced skill development in underwaters, IM, and training for longer events. There is a focus on qualifying for top-level competitions such as JOs, IMX, ISCA, and Zones. Besides coaching, Henry enjoys reading, exercising, and playing with his cat, Oreo.

Andrew Tollefson, T Group – This is Andrew’s eighth year coaching for TOLL, and his fifth year heading up T Group. As a lifelong swimmer, Andrew made it all the way to the Junior Olympic level and had a collegiate career swimming for NC State (Go Wolfpack!). For the past six summers he’s also had head coaching duties for MCSL and CCSDA. In T Group, Andrew will focus on getting his swimmers to qualify for sectional, Junior National and National level meets and ensuring that the summers are prepared for success inside and outside the pool. He believes that Tollefson swimmers are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to provided they are eager to learn new methods and adaptive, efficient swimming technique. Every swimmer is different and will need different training styles,which is why building relationships within the group helps tailor coaching styles for maximum growth. Andrew can also be found enjoying coffee, traveling, reading, staying active, and teaching middle school history in MCPS. Remember, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Elizabeth Sudassy, L2, Senior Development, Asst. Minis – Elizabeth has been with Tollefson Swimming since 2003 teaching stroke classes and training and endurance, and she began working with Team TOLL the year it was started in 2010. Overall she has more than 25 years of coaching and teaching experience in the pool. Elizabeth is also a lifelong swimmer, growing up competing in MCSL, swimming in high school and all 4 years of college at Loyola University. Using her own passion for swimming, she hopes to inspire swimmers to work consistently and patiently on their technique for a lifetime of fun and fitness. In L2, they will focus on building advanced skills for each stroke, starts and turns as well as pacing for longer distances.  Individual swimmers should aim to qualify for top-level competitions such as JOs, IMX, ISCA, and Zones. In Senior Development, the focus is on solidifying efficient strokes technique, building stamina and increasing speed with the ultimate goal of swimming open meets and qualifying for some higher level ones. Elizabeth feels a sincere, caring relationship with each swimmer is a key element to keeping swimmers coming to practice and working hard. She is known for incorporating silly swims as a way to reward swimmers after a challenging set and sometimes cannot help dancing around on the deck. Besides coaching, Elizabeth enjoys reading, hiking, swimming, biking and spending time in nature. And chocolate. And baked goods. YUM.

Steve Machlin, O Group – This is Steve’s third year as a TOLL coach. He, too, is a lifelong swimmer with many years of MCSL experience as a swimmer, coach, and official. He’s also been active with various Masters groups in the area. Steve loves working with kids regardless of their innate ability of prior swimming experience and finding ways to facilitate both individual and group progress. Swimming involves much hard work, patience and persistence but even small improvements in conditioning, techniques or times can be very gratifying with both current and long-term benefits for our swimmers. Besides coaching, I enjoy swimming at least 3x per week (like O Group!), biking, walking/hiking, reading and traveling. He loves chocolate like Elizabeth but unlike Andrew he does NOT enjoy coffee.

Noah Pritchard – Junior 1, T&E, stroke instructor – Noah has been with Tollefson for two years now. He swam club for the Columbia Clippers and was recruited to Towson University for Fly, Back, IM, and distance Free. He’s been coaching for 12 years and just finished his first summer as head coach for Tilden Woods. Noah aims to instill a strong foundation in his swimmers of the basics – streamlines, turns, and underwaters. From there he believes hard work and dedication will lead to building lifelong swimmers who also enjoy the sport and the process for growing and expanding their skill set. In his free time, Noah is a â€‹videogame content creator for an esports organization. He enjoys video editing and everything it takes to create colorful entertainment.

Roger Dent – AGD Coach, T&E, stroke instructor – Roger is excited to be in his first year as a coach for Tollefson Swimming. He’s been swimming competitively since he was 7 and was eventually recruited to swim Butterfly, Breast, and IM at the University of Maryland. From there he’s competed at multiple national and international meets including Olympic Trials in 2012. He has been coaching various swim clinics and such in the area for a while now as well just finishing his first summer as head coach for the Somerset Dolphins. Roger’s coaching philosophy is that when you focus on strong fundamentals you will always set yourself up for success. While swimming is a sport of delayed gratification, he knows how important the accumulation of work throughout a season that will eventually get swimmers to reach their goals. Besides coaching, Roger enjoys swimming, outdoor exercise, and playing with his cat (Blue) who thinks he is a dog. He also likes to compete in open water races ranging from 800m to 10k as well as triathlons. In January he and his wife will be welcoming a baby boy to their family!

Gigi Gigliotti – Junior2, Minis, T&E, Stroke, and In-Water Classes – This is Gigi’s first official year with Tollefson as a coach. She was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has been a competitive swimmer since she was 10 years old. Gigi was also a member of  the  Brazilian Swim national team and represented Brazil in both national and international competitions. A full scholarship to the University of Utah brought Gigi to the US where she excelled as a swimmer, improving times and qualifying for NCAA D1 meets. In additional to teaching her swimmers to master the basics and proper technique, especially water safety for in-water classes, Gigi brings a desire to teach proper breathing – it’s not just about taking air in and out of the lungs, it’s a complex, intelligent process that gives an advantage to swimmers, and makes them perform better in and out of water. Aside from coaching, she enjoys exercising, traveling and dancing. 

TOLL Coaches, Stroke Instructors, In-Water Instructors

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