Coach Carla O'Brien

Hi Everyone!

A great business always starts with a strong "why". My "WHY" has two parts.


First I think the swim lesson industry in a bit of a farce.  Many popular swim schools corral you into YEARS of lessons and the swimmers that they turn out are not strong and often have bad habits.  It doesn't take years to learn to swim. Sure lessons can be a nice activity, and if that is cool then yeah. But if you are thinking that your child needs to start lessons at age 1 and never stop, that's just not true!  They can learn in a season and for some in just a few weeks. Age matters for developmental readiness, anywhere from 3 on up is faster and better.  Earlier lessons are not necessarily damaging, but bad teaching environments can be.


My second "why: has to do with those that just don't learn in regular lessons (any age).   As the Mom of "different functioners, and a lifetime swim coach, I saw and also experienced first hand in many situations, a lack of understanding of how to help "the different" to learn to do stuff. As a parent it was frustrating and maybe even damaging for my kids to fail again and again or to be mishandled and judged for being who they were..

There is a huge need for our kids specifically to become strong swimmers as they are naturally drawn to the water! The number 1 cause of death for people with Autism is drowning.  No one was getting it done, so I did! 

The Carla Swim Methodology is way more than swim progression, because our kids and fearful adults need a specific skill set to be taught.  It's time that our exploding population of people who truly function and learn differently to have swim lessons that work!



Coach Sam O'Brien

Sam at OT.jpg

Sam O'Brien is a Graduate this year  of Loudoun Valley High School!   He was just voted "Best Athlete" at Valley for his Sr year! 


He is a nationally ranked swimmer, 11th in the nation in 200 backstroke, and ranked #3 in Virginia for college recruiting.  He just returned from Olympic Trials in Omaha Wave 1, and was  has been teaching and coaching at Carla Swim for 4 years, launching his own program "Swim Fast With Sam" in summer 2020.  


In February 2021 he became a two time champion at the VHSL Class 4 State Championships and set both District and Regional Records in the 100 Backstroke, and 500 Freestyle.  

He is also a USA Swimming Scholastic All American and 2 time captain of the Loudoun Valley Swim Team.  

In the Fall, Sam will be attending the University of North Carolina in Wilmington to both swim and major in Business & Psychology.