Head Coach Charlie Alabanza
Coach Charlie grew up around the pool, whether it's swimming, lifeguarding, coaching, making new friends, learning and experiencing new things, the pool has been an amazing place for his personal and professional growth. As a coach with over 12 years of experience, Charlie has developed a coaching philosophy of teaching and coaching through constructive critique in terms of recognizing and bringing awareness to an individual’s mistakes/shortcomings to make each experience a teaching opportunity. This is to demonstrate ways to constantly and consistently improve and move forward
for a better future. He values the ability to recognize flaws/mistakes without dwelling on them and instead, using them as tools and starting points for improvement.
“Speed isn’t everything. Like a marathon, you train to finish, not to win”… Everyone trains at a different speed, in a different way specific to that individual; this club
is aimed to develop a program that relates to all young adults who have the will and desire to train for the better.
In addition, Head Coach Charlie, who graduated CSU
East Bay with a Communications Major, has extensive background and experience mentoring the youth through coaching, teaching, senior lifeguarding but also working with high school students, directing and coordinating youth and teen over-nighter camps. Charlie has a knack for understanding each swimmer and communicating appropriately and effectively with each individual to earn their trust and guide them in the best way possible.
We believe developing a trusting and effective form of communication with our swimmers and families is the
first step to building great swimmers and a great team.
Coach Charlie's favorite professional sports teams are the San Francisco Giants, 49ers, and the Lakers. He loves pho noodle soup on hot days and his favorite color is blue.
Assistant Head Coach Michelle Li
Coach Michelle is also a Bay Area native and started swimming at the age of 6 years with the Pinole Seals Swim Team where she achieved County times in all 5 events and was an influence to younger swimmers and teammates as a Junior Coach starting at age 13 years.
She continued to train with teams around the area including Orinda Aquatics and BEAR Swimming where she qualified and competed in Junior Olympics and Far Western Championships. Michelle swam a season with Diablo Valley College as part of their state championship team and later went to study Graphic Design and Advertising at the University of Southern California
in Los Angeles.
Today, Coach Michelle is continuing her education to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. She continues to maintain her fitness through weight-lifting and swimming where she finds inspiration for new and innovative drills to share with age-group swimmers. Her passion for competitive swimming as an outlet for young individuals to build character and develop life skills, self-discipline, confidence, mental and physical toughness and great work-ethic is what makes Coach Michelle a valuable asset.
"Improvement comes to those who crave and embrace the seemingly unreachable. Embrace it! Be certain about your goal, believe in your ability to get there and trust in the amazing journey."
Coach Michelle has 2 dogs and 2 cats. In addition to swimming, she is also (periodically) involved in Jiu Jitsu and Polynesian dance. Her favorite color is red.