HLA Mission and Vision

To develop swimmers to their fullest capabilities, and in the process, teach life balance, citizenship, and dedication to the rewarding sport of competitive swimming.

To foster a team environment where swimmers strive to meet or exceed personal goals and to continually improve themselves as athletes and individuals. We do this through:

• Stroke development and refinement

• Conditioning and athletic education

• Goal-setting and self-discipline

• Offering multiple practice opportunities

• Competing in local, regional, and national meets

• Promoting swimming as a lifelong sport


Our Philosophy

Good People
Our job as a youth swim team, is to teach our swimmers how to become quality individuals. Be respectful, be kind, be generous, be caring, be supportive, be encouraging, be disciplined, be passionate. Our philosophy is different than many teams, whose main purpose is to produce athletes who simply win the race. Our swimmers will win just as many races (LSC's, State, Zones, Regionals, Nationals, etc.), but we emphasize that our swimming champions will be champion people as well.

Well Rounded Individuals
Swimming can often be one sided—yards, yards, yards. Heartland Aquatics has a diverse focus: spirit of athletics, technique, goals, and teamwork, as well as important issues not on deck. Young athletes have many demands on their lives varying from schoolwork to family obligations. Heartland coaches will encourage hard work in all areas of life, and do their best to help athletes succeed in them. Balance in the water is important; balance in life is crucial.

Team spirit goes beyond "cheers," and can be felt on the deck and in the water at a good swimming practice. Helping young athletes understand why they are training is just as important as the training itself. The spirit of athletics includes motivation, discipline, enthusiasm, fitness, teamwork, precision, and FUN. Athletes patting each other on the back, or trying to encourage each other during practice are examples. Cheers are only a part of team spirit, in fact, team spirit needs to be at its strongest between cheers to ensure the success of an organization.

We've always used the analogy, "Would you rather take your Mack truck and stomp on the gas until the engine blows up, or would you like to spend some time, build a Ferrari, then go racing?" Technique in swimming is every bit as important as building an aerobic base. It's the piece of the puzzle that makes State Runner-Ups into State Champions, and takes kids without confidence in the water and puts them in charge of their own swimming. The thrill of stroke refinement is what makes swimming a life long sport—teaching athletes how to best achieve this is Heartland Aquatics coaches' jobs!

If you ask athletes from all over the world who have been swimming for five years or more, why they stayed with it, the number one response—BY FAR—will be, "because it's fun!" Swimming is the hardest sport on the planet, so it needs to be fun. Being fun doesn't mean that we play games all day long, rather it means that we maintain a positive attitude, talk with people, encourage teamwork, and teach all swimmers how to appreciate the most beautiful sport on Earth!

Hard Work
Swimming isn't unlike any other sport or activity; to succeed at it you need to work hard. Swimming, however, places athletes into a new medium—water. This forces the athlete to focus more intensely, push themselves harder, and to unlearn what their body has learned over years of "land living". Swimming is tough. That's why we love it so much. It allows for a terrific sense of accomplishment when we achieve our goals in it. We appreciate the demands of it, and encourage the athletes to do the same.

Heartland Aquatics strives to foster of sense of family within the swim team. Athletes often spend more time with each other at the pool than they do with any other individual each day. It's important that the swim team act as a supportive unit of caring people who can listen well, give guidance, and simply love the kids involved. The old statement that "it takes a village to raise a child" applies to swimming as well, and with the help of the parents, coaches, and athletes, Heartland Aquatics will be the strongest family around!