As a high school student, Craig Strong experienced his first setback as an athlete – he swam backwards. And from that setback, he learned to move forward, both in and out of the pool. Working with his coaches, Strong dedicated himself physically and mentally to strengthening his swim skills and encountered a philosophy that he brings to every client: You get what you give. And if you give it everything, you’ll get the results you want.
While still honing his own athletic skills, Strong also figured out a few things about coaching, most of which his athletes carry with them both on and off the race course. A certified mental coach, Strong’s athletes respond to his calming presence and ability to find the source of an obstacle, provide solutions and get them back on course. “He knows me not only as an athlete, but as a person. He always knew when to push me and when to back off,” says an athlete that qualified for Kona after her first Ironman. “When I got to the finish line, he was the first person I saw. He earned the first place trophy as much as I did.”
For more than 20 years, Strong has coached swimming, including USA Swimming Senior National and NCAA Division I athletes. Strong expanded his focus in 2001 to help Triathletes, runners and cyclists achieve new gains in technique, strength and endurance. In addition to overseeing a successful crossing of the English Channel, Strong’s protégés have qualified for U.S. Masters National Swimming Championships, USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals, Boston Marathon, Ironman Hawaii, 70.3 and Olympic Distance Age Group Championships.
Strong holds Level II certification by USA Triathlon, Level IV certification by American Swim Coaches Association and Level II certification by USA Cycling. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Philosophy from West Chester University, PA in 1995. A longtime swimmer and Triathlete, Strong’s personal athletic achievements include qualifying for national age group national championship Olympic and 70.3 distance races, completing five marathons (including the Boston Marathon) and five Ironman distance races (and counting!). Strong resides in Evanston with his wife and two sons.