The MLA Basics

MLA 101: The Basics

Understanding the two swimming seasons:

You may join MLA at any time during the calendar year.  During our COVID re-opening season, our registration may be "closed," from time-to-time, in order to help monitor roster sizes to uphold social distancing requirements.  In a normal calendar year, the competitive swimming year is broken into two seasons: Short Course Yards (SCY) season, and Long Course Meter (LCM) season.  

The Short Course (25y pool length) swim season begins at the end of September. The season concludes in late February and/or mid March for swimmers attending championship meets. 

The Long Course (50m pool length) swim season begins in mid-April and concludes at the end of July with Championship season.  There will be plenty of meets and practices still being swam short course yards during this season, especially for our younger athletes.  This upcoming 2021 LCM season, there will be a higher emphasis on SCY competitions as our athletes have effectively missed an entire SCY season due to COVID distractions.  

How much does is cost? 

Depending on the age and level of experience, the monthly cost vary from $100 to $175 for coaching.

There are also a few house-keeping items:  

  • MLA Team Registration Fee of $130.  This payment includes USA Swimming's annual membership and insurance fee, our season's team shirt, endless team caps, and for our end-of-season MLA Awards Banquet.

‚ÄčNote: High School Swim Team members may pay a reduced rate during their HS season if they wish to continue to attend some MLA workouts.  This rate allows the swimmer to attend eight (8) monthly workouts with MLA and attend two USA Swim meets allowable by Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) guidelines.  This price option is available by request during their HS seasons. 

Practice: When and where, and are they mandatory?

Practices are held at the Holland Community Aquatic Center located at 550 Maple Ave., Holland MI 49423.  We do have hope of opening another location in the Spring Lake / Grand Haven area in the near future. 

Practice times may vary depending on high school, middle school, and Hope College swim/dive meets held at the facility, but typically speaking, practices for our 15&Over swimmers are 4pm-6pm, and our 14 and younger swimmers, 6pm-7:45pm. The practice schedule can be found by Clicking here.  

Our program does not have a practice expectancy for any group, with the exception being the High Performance group.  For all other groups, we believe that it is the responsibility of our coaching staff to create a practice environment that your swimmers will WANT to attend regularly. Generally speaking, the more your athlete attends practices is directly related to the speed of development. 

What are the MLA training groups?

The goal of the MLA structure is for athletes to have advancement opportunities each season or two. We find, this perpetual advancement keeps the sport fresh and also allows your swimmer to be coached by several qualified coaches whom each excel in their own areas.  From time to time, we like to cycle group coaches and athletes within those groups to other groups to give them new feedback and experiences in their development. 

The coaching staff evaluates the following criteria when determining groups: proficiency of skills, attendance at practices and competitions, maturity, and goals. Also, within each training group, swimmers may placed into a certain lane based on their ability and gender. Check out our practice groups here.  ‚Äč 

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