Reviews of Marcia
What Athletes are saying about Marcia Cleveland.
When training for the English Channel who are going to hire to help you? The person that wrote the book Dover Solo of course. I was looking for a coach who had inside knowledge of this niche event that not even the best Master swim coach would have. Best decision ever. Her progressive program was challenging but doable. She kept the winter miles in the pool interesting with varied workouts focusing on both speed and endurance. Transitioning to open water we worked on acclimating to cold water and drills and speed work to retain and build on the pool work. Unlike many coaches I have had in the past she responded to questions promptly, customized workouts to help cope with injuries and gave encouragement when I flagged. Several zoom meetings helped to build a relationship and answer questions. I have had a lot of coaches throughout my long athletic career and Marcia is the best I have worked with.
Marcia provides direct feedback and very specific coaching tips. She gives you plenty to think about without being overwhelming. She makes you work in the pool but also likes to have fun. Marcia challenges your body and your brain.
Marcia's coaching has provided me with the confidence to complete the swim portions of triathlons upon to the 1/2 Ironman distance. In addition to the confidence, I have improved my swim times measurably allowing me the opportunity to be competitive in my age group.
Is it possible to wake up before 5 am in the morning two days a week to swim and still be happy? The answer is “Yes,” when Marcia is leading the workout. Marcia is somehow able to motivate and give constructive advice to a group of swimmers across a wide range of abilities --- all in the same session. Over the last twelve months, I have become faster, and more importantly, more efficient in the water due to the instruction and guidance from Marcia. While I will never be confused with an “actual swimmer”, I feel WAY more comfortable and efficient in the water and have noticed my times (and effort required) going down markedly.
For those of us who do not come from a swimming background, Marcia is exceptional in her ability to observe stroke deficiencies and provide specific, personalized, and understandable corrections to improve technique. She does not provide generic, cookie-cutter instruction. Rather, she identifies your specific flaws and provides specific guidance to address them. Her coaching led to a greater understanding of correct technique, resulting in improvements.
Training for my 1st Ironman, as an average swimmer, I wanted to increase my confidence with a mass swim start and the 2.4m swim. Marcia's coaching helped optimize my efficiency in the water by dramatically improving my stroke and body position. Her workouts insured I was prepared from a fitness perspective and was comfortable swimming in a variety of conditions.
Best master's swim instructor. Period.
Thanks to Marcia, I arrived at the starting line fit and confident with a customized race-day swim strategy. I took an aggressive position and averted the chaos of a typical IM swim. I nailed my swim goal and exited the water feeling fresh and ready for the bike.
Trust Marcia and you'll drop time too.
Marcia is a very practical coach, which I love and appreciate as an IM athlete. She routinely asks for my training goals and works to that end, tailoring lessons to my overall training schedule and swimming weaknesses. In 8 months covering about 10 lessons, my 2.4mile swim time decreased by 8minutes/8%. Marcia inspired me to always practice hard and encouraged me to focus on the details: form, sighting, corner turns, and pacing in various situations. Marcia's attention to detail even included timing me using two different strokes to determine which worked best for me. Marcia's practices are my favorite!
Marcia’s coaching was instrumental in getting me through a tough 2.4 mile Ironman swim. She coaches from experience, has a playful demeanor and definitely helped me meet and exceed my Ironman swimming goal.
Marcia has a coaching style that is to the point and specific.
She meets you at your skill level and gives you specific pointers to maximize your efficiency with your body and your current level of fitness. Her analysis of my swimming helped me tremendously to gain body awareness in the water. She sets clear tasks for you to work on and then checks in on your improvement. Her experience with open water swimming is unmatched by any other coach in the area. Her open water clinics provide opportunities to gain comfort and experience in a fun and challenging atmosphere.
I had been swimming with a different group for several years, and I found that program very helpful for my triathlon training. So it was with some skepticism that I attended Marcia's swimming program a year ago. After the very first session, I was hooked. Somehow Marcia seems to take what to me is a pretty boring sport and inject it with humor, fun and camaraderie. The workouts are vigorous, but if I'm having a bad day, Marcia always manages to put a positive spin on it and never ever makes me feel like I'm not performing well. Each session is different and productive. Whereas I often dreaded my pool workouts, I now look forward to them and feel great about myself after I'm done. This is all Marcia. In addition, I have so much respect for Marcia, as a swimmer and a person. Her swimming and personal accomplishments are inspirational. I can't recommend this program highly enough.
I have worked on my swim skills, technique and speed with Marcia over the last two years. I am pleased to report that through her thoughtful critique, encouragement and coaching skill, I have improved considerable. Not only has my speed increased, but so have my efficiency and confidence. I am excited for more improvements that lay ahead with Marcia.
As a triathlete it is easy to get comfortable doing long sets and not learning how to swim fast. Marcia took me out of my comfort zone with structured workouts that not only push me but make me a better swimmer overall. My swimming skills have significantly improved this past year. My sense of pacing is much better and I am very cognizant of the importance and impact that proper technique has on my stroke. I learned how to actually race as opposed to just swim the swim leg of a triathlon.
Swimming with Marcia in one of her workouts (don't call it a class!) is always entertaining. She infuses her sense of humor into every session and ensures a good time is had by all. Every athlete gets personal attention regardless of how many participants are present; there is no hiding during her workouts. Her sharp swimming eye has been especially good for me in helping correct the many technique flaws I think I have.
I have worked with Marcia for 2 years. I started with a 2:15 pace/100yds and now swim at a 1:55 pace/100yds. I just finished IM Wisconsin and finished the swim at the top of my age group with ease. Marcia is certainly worth getting up to swim with at 5:30 in the morning!
When I first came to Marcia, I couldn't even swim from one end of the pool to the other. As soon as I would get into the water, I would get nervous, my heart would start pounding and I would get short of breath. Swimming was something I simply did not like; not at all. But I had my sights set on completing a full Ironman (2.4 mile swim) so – like it or not – I HAD to learn how to swim. Marcia did an amazing job with me. She was patient, understood my fears and truly catered to my style of learning. For me, I not only needed to learn all of the basic, physical mechanics of swimming, but also needed to discuss them with her. Often times, it was our discussions (verbal tips, visualization techniques, etc.) that helped me overcome my fears and allowed me to get comfortable in the water. I did my first 2.4 mile swim about 16 weeks after I met Marcia and proceeded to complete 4 triathlons over the course of the year… including the Ironman. The best part is, I actually LIKE to swim now!!! Marcia is one of the best coaches and teachers I've ever had. She loves what she does and her passion for swimming is contagious. If you or anyone you know needs help with swimming, call her.
Marcia totally saved my ass on race day - after 8 months of kicking it.
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