About Us

Where Buffalo Learns to Swim!

Serving communities, schools, organizations, teams, and individuals throughout Western NY, Velocity Aquatics is dedicated to providing the best swim instruction services to non, new, and experienced swimmers of all ages and abilities via group lessons, private instruction, camps, clubs, clinics, and other programming.

“I was first introduced to the sport of swimming through the very same water safety instruction we offer at the Michael Phelps Swim School, and am proud to now be in a position where we can make this great programming available to even more people through the affiliation with Velocity Aquatics.” 

~ Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps Swim School (MPSS) is a learn-to-swim program for ALL ages and abilities! Swim classes include personal safety, stroke development, water sports and games, personal growth, and rescue skills. The top priority of the MPSS curriculum is to insure that each participant has an opportunity to become comfortable, confident and safe in and around the water.

This program has been carefully constructed over 30 years! It was originally launched under the name North Baltimore Swim School (NBSS) in the early 1980’s. Cathy Bennett (then Lears), with degrees in child psychology and early childhood education, developed a program that focused on building comfort, confidence and a feeling for the water in each child. A young Michael Phelps was one of the first students.

Over the years, the program continually evolved, providing countless unique and un-matched experiences with teaching all ages and abilities. These experiences became the DNA of our philosophies and methods.

In 2009, Michael Phelps returned to Baltimore, with Coach Bob Bowman, and began to invest in his dream, to grow the sport of swimming and get more children in the water. In the fall of 2009, Michael began to make his dream a reality, teaming up with NBSS to launch Michael Phelps Swim School and offer world-class swimming instruction.

Our Philosophy
We believe that swim instruction is based on the motor skills of swimming (kicking, stroking, and rhythmic breathing). In addition, and more importantly, we feel that our swimmers need to mentally understand the properties of water; the how's and why's. We feel it is paramount to develop the whole person mentally and physically. Understanding the properties of water helps the swimmer with the readiness to swim.

This is why our participants, in addition to learning personal safety, stroke technique, and rescue skills, also learn how we float, why we need to have certain body positions, why we breathe rhythmically, how we achieve balance in the water, and why we need to feel the water; just to name a few of the things we teach. But it's not all work! We've taken our time in selecting the most competent instructors, who we then train to introduce these concepts in fun and imaginative ways!

This combination of teaching physical and mental concepts has made our program a success for nearly 30 years and ensures each participant has the opportunity to become safe, comfortable, and confident in, and around, the water.

Our Staff
Our staff is what makes our program successful. We put a high priority on hiring the best and brightest employees who consistently demonstrate enthusiasm for working with children.

Our swim schools employees all share in Michael’s vision to grow the sport of swimming and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Our core curriculum founder (and former swim teacher of Michael Phelps) was a former school teacher and holds a degree in child psychology.

All MPSS swim teachers go through a custom Michael Phelps Swim School in-service training session. This is in addition to certain priority requirements and credentials they bring to the table. Our teachers build relationships with each participant, ensuring individual needs are met.

Staff Training
All Michael Phelps Swim School staff members complete an exclusive training program. The program covers the philosophy behind the style of teaching, the fundamentals of the curriculum of each “level”, and tips on how to construct a creative lesson plan [around the curriculum].

We believe that each instructor should be given the frame work to follow, but allow them a certain freedom within that framework to be creative. This allows them to put a personal touch on each lesson and the flexibility to meet each participant’s individual needs.

Michael Phelps Swim School has created manuals outlining our teaching methods and curriculum. These manuals have been developed and refined over a period of 30 years. Each employee is trained on the knowledge within this manual.

Questions, Email

Director of Operations & Business Development: Flynn Burroughs

Prior to becoming the Director of Operations & Business Development for Velocity Aquatics, LLC; Michael Phelps Swim School-NY, Coach Flynn spent the previous 15 years as a national development club coach for USA Swimming; 13 of those years as a head coach. Over that span, he helped develop Niagara Swim League, Junior Olympic, and Eastern Zone Champions, as well as Niagara District Record Holders, National Top-16 individual performers, Speedo, JR National, and US Open Qualifiers.

Coach Flynn also contributed to some of Section VI's premier High School Teams as either an Assistant or Head Coach. Many of his club swimmers have represented their High School programs as members of the Section VI, NYS High School Championship team - including six NYS State Champions and six High School All-Americans.

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