New York City's premiere racing, training and social club for triathletes of all ages and abilities.

Swim Instruction

Whether you’re training for your first triathlon, looking to improve your stroke or gain increased efficiency and speed in the water, Empire is excited to offer a range of options for swim instruction from small group swim camps, to open water clinics and private or semi-private coaching led by our stellar team of experienced swim coaches.  Read more about our swim coaches below.

Open Water Swim Clinics

Whether your a first-timer or a more experienced athlete, it’s more important than ever to prepare adequately for ALL legs of a triathlon, particularly the swim.  Swimming in a pool is VERY different from swimming in open water.  A triathlon swim start is often considered the most intimidating and stressful part of a triathlon.  Therefore, it is highly beneficial to incorporate open water swimming into your training plan so you can learn to improve technique, speed and efficiency under racing conditions.  Additionally, if you plan to wear a wetsuit on race day, it’s extremely important to swim in it prior to your event.

Empire Tri Club hosts 3-4 coached open water swim clinics per season. 2015 marks our 3rd season hosting these events.  In 2014 we had 50-75 atheltes at EACH session!  These clinics are the closest you will come to race-day conditions, and were voted the #1 most helpful event athletes attended in order to prepare for their race.  Additionally, 100% of attendees felt more prepared for their race after attending our clinic, and would recommend this clinic to a friend.

What: Open Water Swim Clinics
Where: Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Dates:  6/14, 6/28, 7/12, 8/9
Coach: Empire Tri Club Coaches & Ambassadors
Cost: $50- non-members; FREE- Empire members

NOTE: Empire Tri Club’s open water swim clinics meet the NYC Triathlon Swim Requirement.


or BECOME A MEMBER to attend for FREE!

Contact Us: If you have any trouble registering for the program, please email us at and we will get back to you as quickly as possible!

Private Swim Instruction

Take your swimming to the next level!  Train 1-on-1 with World Champion swimmers & coaches, Gino Ait & Leila Vaziri, to help you build confidence and skills in the pool.

What: Private or Semi-Private Swim Instruction
Where: Your own swim facility
Coach: Leila Vaziri or Gino Ait
Cost: $120/session

On the fence? Bring a friend and SPLIT the cost!
If you have questions, please email  Price does not include pool fees or guest passes to bring a coach.



Private/Small Group Open Water Swim Lessons

Swimming in a pool is very different than swimming in open water!  Are you nervous about your upcoming event?  Do you need to fulfill a swim requirement in order to compete in your next race?  Are you looking to gain confidence, skills and learn open water swim tips?!  Then open water swim lessons are just the thing for you!  Schedule a lesson with one of our top-notch coaches on YOUR time!  Our coaches will customize a lesson to meet your needs.  Some of the topics we’ll cover include: Wetsuits (how to put one on, how to ensure a proper fit), sighting, entering/exiting the water in a race, treading water, relaxation techniques to calm yourself down in a race, stroke technique, and more!

What: Private (1 swimmer), Semi-Private (2 swimmers), or Small Group (up to 4 swimmers)
Where: Coney Island – Brooklyn, NY  (we generally host open water swims by the NY Aquarium. However, if you would like to meet somewhere else, please email us)
Coach: Varies
Open Water Swim Pricing:
Private:  1 hour: $150 / 1.5 hours:  $175
Semi-Private:  1 hour: $100* / 1.5 hours:  $125*
Small Group:  1 hour: $75* / 1.5 hours: $100*
*Price per swimmer

Empire Tri Club offers private, semi-private, and small group swim instruction.  Ready to sign up?  Please to schedule your session.  If you have questions, please email

NOTE: Private / small group open water swim sessions will meet the NYC Triathlon Swim Requirement.

Meet the Coaches

Gino Ait:
Gino is a former Olympian.  He began swimming at the age of 4 and competing at the National Level by 14.  Gino won numerous medals in the individual 100M & 200M breaststroke event and championship medals as a member of the National Swim and Water Polo Team.  Gino’s coaching career began 25 years ago when he lead the Algerian National Swim Team in the African Championships.  Gino is an ASCA Level 3 Swimming Coach and holds 2 FINA Swimming Coach Certificates.  Gino was a coach at the Brigantine Aquatic Center and the FasTracKids School in Queens.  Gino enjoys working with students at all levels and is passionate about helping every student surpass their swimming goal.

Leila Vaziri:
Swim Coach Leila Vaziri, currently based in New York City, brings her experience as a competitive swimmer for over fifteen years and her love of the water to her coaching. Growing up in South Florida, Leila started in the sport of swimming at the age of 7. Over the next two decades her career led her to swim at Indiana University, win National and World Championships and World Record Holder titles.  Leila believes swimming regularly for exercise and fitness is beneficial regardless of age, ability, or stage of life. Being coached by the best in the sport, Leila pulls from her swimming mentors placing the highest significance on good form and practicing stroke awareness in the water. She believes you’ll benefit from the sport whether it be for cross training, preparing for your first triathlon, or learning to swim as an adult.

Sascha Kreideweis:
Sascha swam competitively in Germany since age 12.  He was 2nd fastest in the state in freestyle and butterfly, and 3rd in IM for short course swimming.  He competed in his first triathlon at the age of 14 (first out of the water) and has raced every distance from sprint to Ironman since.  Upon moving to the US, he competed over 30 triathlons including Ironman Florida (swim time: 57min), and became a USAT All-American triathlete in 2007.  Sascha is available for private, semi-private and small group lessons.  Contact him at to schedule.

Alison Kreideweis
Alison is the Head Coach for the Empire Tri Club and USAT Certified Triathlon Coach. She was a swimmer since age 3, competitive swimmer through high school (IM & butterfly), and has been competing in triathlons since 2000.  She consistently ranks top 5-10% her her field in the swim portion of triathlons, and has been the first female triathlete out of the water on numerous occasions (1:06 Ironman swim time). Alison has coached everyone from phobic swimmers who have never been in the deep end of a pool, to competitive triathletes.  Alison is available for private & semi-private Open Water Swim Lessons at Coney Island as well as pool sessions.  Email to schedule & for more info.

How to Self-Asses Your Ability Level:

Total Beginner
1. Has trouble swimming freestyle for more than a length or two without stopping
2. Has a fear of the deep end
3. Has trouble with breathing and doesn’t feel comfortable submerging the head or diving to the bottom of the pool
4. Has trouble treading water

1. Can swim continuous freestyle for at least 4 lengths
2. Has no or very little formal swim instruction
3. Stoke technique needs a lot of work

1. Can swim continuous freestyle for at least 8 lengths
2. Can tread water and submerge comfortably
3. May not have great stroke or technique, but can swim continuously for 15-20 min
4. May or may not have had previous instruction

1. Can swim continuously for an indefinite amount of time (at least 30 min)
2. Can do most basic drills
3. Can reach the bottom of the pool comfortably


We offer lessons, classes and workshops at a number of facilities around Manhattan.

Camps & Clinics: We host many of our camps and classes at NYSC on 63rd & West End Ave, John Jay College on 59th & 10th Avenue, as well as City College on 137th & Convent Avenue.  Additionally, the Empire Tri Club’s weekly group swim is held at Riverbank State Park on Wednesday mornings and no monthly membership is required ($3 per visit).  All of our Open Water Swim Clinics are held at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY.  Facility fees vary by location and time of year.

Private Lessons: We typically use Yorkshire Towers on 86th & 2nd Avenue.  The cost to use the facility is included in the price of the lesson.  It is a clean, bright 25 meter pool and an athlete / coach have a private lane each session.  Some coaches are also able to travel to your pool.  Facility and guest fees are covered by the athlete in addition to the cost of the lesson.  Travel fees might apply depending on the location of the pool.

Missed Class Policy: Empire Tri Club does not issue refunds or credits for missed classes.   For private lessons – There is a 24 hour cancellation policy.  Any sessions not cancelled with more than 24 hour notice will be forfeited.


DC:  I could not recommend Leila highly enough – I had a few sessions with her in the last 2 months and to say that she has transformed my swimming is an understatement.  If you feel your swimming could improve, she is the woman to do that!

GMT:  Lelia helped me tremendously for my first Escape from Alcatraz

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