BSN Sports Swim Team of the Week: Team Santa Monica

This week’s BSN Sports Swim Team of the is Team Santa Monica. Located in Santa Monica, CA, and serving the surrounding area, Team Santa Monica is committed to providing youth  an opportunity to pursue excellence through the sport of swimming and to develop the character, technical skill, and commitment necessary to compete at their highest levels.

Team Santa Monica is led by Mohammad Khadembsahi, who took over head coaching duties this fall from longtime head-coach Dave Kelsheimer, who now focuses on the team’s national group.

Kelsheimer has coached swimmers at the Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, and Olympic Games, and recently has coached USA national team distance stars like Brendan Casey and Jordan Wilimovsky.

BSN Sports Team Ambassador Jessica Hardy spoke with Kelsheimer to get some of insights he’s gleaned over his year of coaching, as well as some thoughts on what makes Team Santa Monica special.

Asked to describe his coaching philosophy, Kelsheimer explained that, “I strive to teach sometimes unwilling and eventually more willing swimmers to do the possible and eventually the impossible.”

Casey and Wilimovsky are known for the open water and distance events, reflecting a Team Santa Monica emphasis and tying back to something that Kelsheimer pointed to when asked about what makes Team Santa Monica special.

We are a distance based team. Our focus is on the longer events so it creates a different mindset and therefore a unique culture. Our swimmers respect and even expect toughness and long term focus.

That toughness is also part of the way that the Team Santa Monica coaches encourage their swimmers to become future leaders in all areas of life.

We expect our swimmers to lead by example. You have an obligation to your teammates to do your best to encourage them to do their best. Competition is encouragement. The ultimate goal is for your competition in workout to swim better than they ever have so you have to swim your best in order to beat them. Excellence breeds excellence.

As Kelsheimer mentioned, Team Santa Monica keeps the focus on distance events, especially for its elite swimmers, and while that’s brought a lot of success, it also poses challenges for coaches.

I think the challenge is keeping it fresh and different without deviating from the plan. Swimming the events my athletes do requires endurance and that requires some degree of volume.

With decades of coaching experience, Kelsheimer has plenty of great coaching memories, but when pressed for his favorite one, he went with the memory from the biggest stage in swimming.

It’s hard to not mention being a part of the 2016 USA Olympic team and the privilege of wearing the same team uniform as those athletes. It was an amazing honor and an incredible experience.


Founded in 1972 as a factory-direct equipment company, today BSN SPORTS is the largest distributor of team sports apparel and equipment in the United States, with over 3,000 employees across 80 regional offices. At BSN SPORTS we believe that sports have the power to change lives. At the heart of what makes sports happen are the coaches, teachers and mentors who work with young and old alike to build meaningful lifelong experiences. That’s why our mission is simple. The more time we save coaches with everything they do off the deck, the more time they can spend changing lives. And that’s the real final score.

Get your swimmers in custom team gear with your team’s logo. My Team shop provides a one-stop-shop solution to custom apparel, suits, footwear, equipment and accessories. It’s simple to setup and the My Team Shop platform can even serve as a fundraising solution to earn dollars for your program. To set one up today email us at [email protected] or call 1-877-217-9027.

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