Andy Clifford, Aquatic Teams Director

Andy Clifford started swimming at the age of six, which kicked-off a lifelong love of the sport. Andy believes in developing confident, well-rounded swimmers. He believes that not only do swimmers learn the fundamentals of the sport at Ladera Oaks, they also learn life skills such as setting goals, working towards them and handling the bumps along the way. 

[h2] What is your background in swimming? Well, I’ve been on or around a pool deck for most of my life! 1972 – 1984        Summer league swimmer for Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club 1975 – 1977        AAU (currently USA Swimming) swimmer for Ladera Oaks Aquatic Club 1979 – 1982        Stanford Club Water Polo team member 1980 – 1984        Men’s Varsity Swimming for Woodside and Menlo-Atherton High Schools 1983 – 1984        Assistant Swim Coach for Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club 1987 – 1990        Assistant Group Coach for Ladera Oaks PSA Team 1991 – 1996        Head Swim Coach/Pool Manager for Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club 1997 – 2003        Head Assistant Swim coach for Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Club 2003 – Present   Aquatic Teams Director for Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Club 1985 – Present   Swim Instructor  When did you decide that coaching/instructing was for you? After college, I came home and started teaching swimming and coaching for Ladera Oaks. I had already done a lot of coaching and teaching by that point, but decided to try it for a year or two on a year-round basis. I realized that I enjoyed the work and discovered that I was pretty good at it, too! At that point, I had an opportunity to become Head Coach for a local team. I had good success with that team and decided to continue coaching and reevaluate every three years. Then I returned to Ladera Oaks and enjoyed several years of really being able to learn the coaching profession. As time passed, I felt that it was important for me to continue my work in swimming and I made it my lifelong career.   What is special about Ladera Oaks' program and what makes Ladera Oaks so unique to the sport? Ladera Oaks is a wonderful family club with a close-knit community. At Ladera Oaks, all of our swimmers swim at the same location and the whole team has a lot of opportunity to interact with each other. Our swim team community is able to see our swimmers grow and develop as swimmers and people over their careers. I think it is the close interpersonal nature of Ladera Oaks that makes it so satisfying to be here.   What is the most important thing you can leave your athletes? My main goal with the youth swim program is to help each individual swimmer reach his or her potential in the sport of swimming and provide them with the tools needed to enjoy a lifetime of swimming. Just as important is the goal of helping to develop young people into wonderful, mature and successful high school students, college students and members of society.    

[h2] What is your background in swimming?

Well, I’ve been on or around a pool deck for most of my life!

1972 – 1984        Summer league swimmer for Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club

1975 – 1977        AAU (currently USA Swimming) swimmer for Ladera Oaks Aquatic Club

1979 – 1982        Stanford Club Water Polo team member

1980 – 1984        Men’s Varsity Swimming for Woodside and Menlo-Atherton High Schools

1983 – 1984        Assistant Swim Coach for Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club

1987 – 1990        Assistant Group Coach for Ladera Oaks PSA Team

1991 – 1996        Head Swim Coach/Pool Manager for Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club

1997 – 2003        Head Assistant Swim coach for Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Club

2003 – Present   Aquatic Teams Director for Ladera Oaks Swim and Tennis Club

1985 – Present   Swim Instructor 

When did you decide that coaching/instructing was for you?

After college, I came home and started teaching swimming and coaching for Ladera Oaks. I had already done a lot of coaching and teaching by that point, but decided to try it for a year or two on a year-round basis. I realized that I enjoyed the work and discovered that I was pretty good at it, too! At that point, I had an opportunity to become Head Coach for a local team. I had good success with that team and decided to continue coaching and reevaluate every three years. Then I returned to Ladera Oaks and enjoyed several years of really being able to learn the coaching profession. As time passed, I felt that it was important for me to continue my work in swimming and I made it my lifelong career.

 

What is special about Ladera Oaks' program and what makes Ladera Oaks so unique to the sport?

Ladera Oaks is a wonderful family club with a close-knit community. At Ladera Oaks, all of our swimmers swim at the same location and the whole team has a lot of opportunity to interact with each other. Our swim team community is able to see our swimmers grow and develop as swimmers and people over their careers. I think it is the close interpersonal nature of Ladera Oaks that makes it so satisfying to be here.

 

What is the most important thing you can leave your athletes?

My main goal with the youth swim program is to help each individual swimmer reach his or her potential in the sport of swimming and provide them with the tools needed to enjoy a lifetime of swimming. Just as important is the goal of helping to develop young people into wonderful, mature and successful high school students, college students and members of society.