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Practice Groups

Training Group General Descriptions & Prerequisites

White 1

Age: Ages 6-11, typically.

Description: This is our entry level of the MLA competitive program.  There is no pressure for practice attendance or meet performance whatsoever.  The curriculum is designed to allow young swimmers to progress into White-1 directly from swim lessons or preferably our Swim America Swim School levels.  The White-1 level is focused on fundamentals, stroke drills and having fun in the water every practice!

Prerequisites: For placement into White-1:
  • Complete level 7 or higher in our SwimAmerica program or comparable OR;
  • 8 & Under swimmers must be able to complete 25 yds of Freestyle and Backstroke
  • Swimmers ages 9+ must be able to swim 50 yds of Freestyle and Backstroke.

Goals: The goals for this group are to have fun while developing great swimming technique in all competitive strokes, starts, and turns.  Selected meet events will include all IM Ready (IMR) events to ensure well-rounded development in all four strokes. 

Practices: White-1 will be offered four days a week, again, practice is encouraged not required!  The speed of development increases with the frequency of practice of your swimmer.

How do you get started? First time swimmers who have not participated in our SwimAmerica program will need to arrange an evaluation. Contact White Group Lead Coach Diana Simmons by email or by phone at (616) 393-7595 ext.107 for setting up an evaluation or for any program questions.​

When is White-1 Group's first practice? Spring/Summer practices will begin on the third Monday of April, Fall/Winter practices begin the first Tuesday of September each year.  You may register for MLA at anytime throughout the year as we are a year-round program with open enrollment.

Does my White-1 swimmer compete in meets? Of course! Meets are fun and a great way for your coaches to measure improvements along the way.  All WMSL Meets and several USA meets are open to White-1 each year.  

How much? Members Cost: $50, Resident: $60, Non-Resident: $70 per month, in addition to an annual club registration of $100 in the fall or $50 in the summer.

Where can we sign up?   Sign Up for MLA Here!


White 1  White 2

Age: Typical age of 10 years and older.  Exceptions are at the discretion of the MLA coaching staff.

Description: MLA's 10-14 year old swimmers looking to build technique and endurance and compete at local and regional meets.  This is the first true introduction to competitive swimming with MLA.  Swimmers will still find a heavy emphasis on stroke building and teamwork in this group rather than a training emphasis. 

Prerequisites: For advancement/placement into White-2:

  • 10&Under swimmers need to have multiple, "BB," Time Standards on the National Age Group Time Standards (NAGTS) list (click here).
  • Most 11-12 swimmers will begin their competitive swimming journey here!

​Goals: The goals for this group include completion of IMReady (IMR) and IMXtreme (IMX) events 

promoting well-rounded development of your swimmer.  Swimmers in this group have ambitions of competing in a Championship meet at the completion of each swim season. 

Practices: White-2 practices are offered five days a week.  As with White-1, practice is encouraged not required!

How do you get started? First time visitors to MLA will need to contact White Group Lead Coach Diana Simmons by email or by phone at (616) 393-7595 ext.107 for setting up an evaluation or for any program questions.

When is White-2 Group's first practice? Spring/Summer practices will begin on the third Monday of April, Fall/Winter practices begin the first Tuesday of September each year.  You may register for MLA at anytime throughout the year as we are a year-round program with open enrollment.

Does my White-2 swimmer compete in meets? Absolutely! This group is about teaching our young athletes what being a competitive swimmer is all about.  Meets are not only fun for your swimmer, but they act as progress reports for their MLA coaches who monitor their development daily.  All WMSL Meets and several USA meets are available for White-2 each year.  

How much? Members Cost: $60, Resident: $70, Non-Resident: $80 per month, in addition to an annual club registration of $100 in the fall or $50 in the summer.

Where can we sign up?   Sign Up for MLA Here!


White 1  White 2  Red 1

Age: Typical ages of 11-14 years old.  Exceptions are at the discretion of the MLA coaching staff.

Description: MLA's 11-14 year old swimmers looking to make their initial practice commitment to their swim careers and compete at the Michigan State Championship level.   

Prerequisites: For advancement/placement into Red-1:

  • Must be able to swim a legal 200 IM.
  • Swim freestyle in a variety of distances at 1:30 or faster.
  • Be able to kick 100 freestyle under 1:50 on repeats.
  • Compete in all IMX events regularly during the season.
  • Already have Junior Olympic (JO) or equivalent times.

Placement into Red-1 will require ALL of the above list, including their respective age group requirement listed below:

  • 11 year old swimmers will need to maintain multiple "A" Time Standards for placement into this group.
  • 12 year old swimmers will need to maintain "A" Time Standards for placement into this group.
  • 13-14 swimmers will need to maintain "BB" Time Standards for placement into this group. 

​Goals: Goals of this group are to develop an aerobic conditioning base and great stroke technique. Swimmers will begin to learn race strategies and how to be an active team member.  Competition goals include completion of IMXtreme (IMX) events as well as completion of seasonal goal sheets. 

Practices: Red-1 practices are offered six days a week.  Practice at this level may require an increased commitment, however, practices remain encouraged not required!

How do you get started? First time visitors to MLA will need to contact Red Group-1 Lead Coach Rachel Schlatter by email or by phone at (616) 393-7595 ext.120 for setting up an evaluation or for any program questions.

When is Red-1 Group's first practice? Spring/Summer practices will begin on the third Monday of April, Fall/Winter practices begin the first Tuesday of September each year.  You may register for MLA at anytime throughout the year as we are a year-round program with open enrollment.

Does my Red-1 swimmer compete in meets? MLA Red Groups are competitive training groups.  Roughly, monthly meet attendance is expected or close to it.  Meets at this level are progress reports for their MLA coaches who monitor their development daily.  All WMSL Meets and all USA meets are available for Red-1 each year.  Swimmers are expected to attend any achieved Championship meets.   

How much? Members Cost: $75, Resident: $85, Non-Resident: $95 per month, in addition to an annual club registration of $100 in the fall or $50 in the summer.

Where can we sign up?   Sign Up for MLA Here!


White 1  White 2  Red 1  Red 2

Age: Ages of 15-18 years old.  Exceptions are at the discretion of the MLA coaching staff.

Description: The Red-2 Group is designed around our high school aged swimmers.  There are multiple lanes/groups within Red-2 to accommodate for our athlete's needs creating a place to swim for every ability and commitment level.   

Prerequisites: For advancement/placement into Red-2:

  • Must be 15 years old or older.
  • Must be able to swim a legal 200 IM.
  • Swim freestyle in a variety of distances at 1:30 or faster.
  • Be able to kick 100 freestyle under 1:50 on repeats.
  • Compete in all IMX events regularly during the season. 

​Goals: Goals of this group are to prepare for JO, State, and Sectional level competition.  Swimmers achievements will include completion of IMXtreme (IMX) events as well as completion of seasonal goal sheets. Many swimmers within the Red-2 group are being prepared for their advancement into the High Performance Black group.  

Practices: Red-2 practices six days a week.  Practice at this level may require an increased commitment, however, practices are not required.  Communication with Red-2 athletes will include goal-setting, nutrition, injury prevention, and the impact on development of poor vs. good practice attendance.

How do you get started? First time visitors to MLA will need to contact Red Group-2 Lead Coach Jim Whitehead by email or by phone at (616) 393-7595 ext.118 for setting up an evaluation or for any program questions.

When is Red-2 Group's first practice? Spring/Summer practices will begin on the third Monday of April, Fall/Winter practices begin the first Tuesday of September each year.  You may register for MLA at anytime throughout the year as we are a year-round program with open enrollment.

Does my Red-2 swimmer compete in meets? MLA Red Groups are competitive training groups.  Roughly, monthly meet attendance is expected or close to it.  Meets at this level are progress reports for their MLA coaches who monitor their development daily.  All WMSL Meets and all USA meets are available for Red-1 each year.  Swimmers are expected to attend any achieved Championship meets.   

How much? Members Cost: $95, Resident: $105, Non-Resident: $115 per month, in addition to an annual club registration of $100 in the fall or $50 in the summer.

Where can we sign up?   Sign Up for MLA Here!


White 1  White 2  Red 1  Red 2

                                     HP-Blue

High Performance Blue

Age: Ages of 12-14 years old.  Exceptions are at the discretion of the MLA coaching staff.

Description: The HP-Blue Group is our first level of the High Performance growth track.  Swimmers in this group are working to make the commitment of National-Level senior swimming.  Technique, 400 IM, and 500 FR are general conditioning focuses of the group.

Prerequisites: For advancement/placement into HP-Blue: (Advancements could come from either Red-1 or equivalent)

  • Must already have and maintain (AA) time standards in their respective age. 
  • Must be able to maintain a freestyle practice pace of 1:20 or faster.
  • Be able to kick 100 freestyle under 1:40 on practice repeats
  • Compete in all IMX events regularly during the season. 

​Goals: Swimmers in this group focus on preparing for State Finals, Sectionals, and further.  This group is trained being prepared for their advancement into the High Performance Black group.  

Practices: HP-Blue practices six days a week.  Practice at this level may require an increased commitment, however, practices are not required.  Communication with Blue athletes will include quadrennial planning, goal-setting, nutrition, injury prevention, and the impact on development of poor vs. good practice attendance.

How do you get started? First time visitors to MLA will need to contact HP-Blue Lead Coach Rachel Schlatter by email or by phone at (616) 393-7595 ext.120 for setting up an evaluation or for any program questions.

When is HP-Blue Group's first practice? Spring/Summer practices will begin on the third Monday of April, Fall/Winter practices begin the first Tuesday of September each year.  You may register for MLA at anytime throughout the year as we are a year-round program with open enrollment.

Does my HP-Blue swimmer compete in meets? MLA High Performance Groups are expected at monthly meets or close to it.  Meets at this level are progress reports for their MLA coaches who monitor their development daily.  All WMSL Meets and all USA meets are available for Blue each year.  Swimmers are expected to attend any achieved Championship meets.   

How much? Members Cost: $80, Resident: $90, Non-Resident: $100 per month, in addition to an annual club registration of $100 in the fall or $50 in the summer.

Where can we sign up?   Sign Up for MLA Here!


White 1  White 2  Red 1  Red 2

                                      HP-Blue  HP-Black

High Performance Black

Age: Typically at least 15 years old.  Exceptions are at the discretion of the MLA coaching staff.

Description: The HP-Blue Group is our first level of the High Performance growth track.  Swimmers in this group are working to make the commitment of National-Level senior swimming.  Technique, 400 IM, and 500 FR are general conditioning focuses of the group.

Prerequisites: Entrance intp MLA's Black (National) group will be determined by swimming history, training speeds, competition results, and referral from the Head Coach.  High School swimmers will be required to join training immediately following their high school season.

  • Annual commitment to the MLA USA swim program.
  • 6-8 practices per week; time management skills are necessary.
  • Swimmers are required to maintain IMX Rankings.
  • Swimmers must currently have and maintain:
    • ​AAAA times or AAA and be a Senior in HS
  • Commitment to all Championship meets qualified for.

​Goals: Training will be focused on competing at the championship level including State Championships, Senior Sectionals, USA Swimming Jr. Nationals and Nationals.  

Practices:Practices will be offered 6 - 10 times per week and 95% attendance required.

How do you get started? First time visitors to MLA will need to contact HP-Blue Lead Coach Rachel Schlatter by email or by phone at (616) 393-7595 ext.120 for setting up an evaluation or for any program questions.

How much? Members Cost: $105, Resident: $115, Non-Resident: $125 per month, in addition to an annual club registration of $100 in the fall or $50 in the summer.

Where can we sign up?   Sign Up for MLA Here!

 
Links
Making+Waves
Michigan+Swimming
USA+Swimming