MSA Aquatic Program

Small Class Sizes

At MSA, the instructor led classes in our Otter Pups and Otter Trotter series classes are limited to a maximum of 4 swimmers per class.  It is essential that we limit the number of swimmers in a class in order to ensure the success of each child.  With the class size low, your child will be able to receive more attention and have additional opportunities to repeat skills with the instructor.  The ultimate goal is to cater to the needs of each individual swimmer and set them up to succeed. With the regulation of class sizes, your child will benefit from the ability to watch and emulate peers, while at the same time receiving enough undivided attention to excel at their own determined pace.

Warm Water

At MSA, the temperature of the pool water is maintained at a consistent 88°F in our indoor facilities.  The importance of this warm water to our swim program cannot be emphasized enough. The warm water creates an enjoyable, relaxed environment for our young swimmers.  Instructors and children are really able to focus all of their attention on learning skills in the water instead of worrying about the possibility of being cold and uncomfortable.  The inviting climate that MSA creates is especially important for our Otter Babies class.  Babies really benefit from having relaxed muscles and it is particularly valuable for them to establish positive memory recognition in these early stages in the water.

Progress Reports

  • Your child will receive a progress report every 3 months during the months of November, February, May and August.  We are continually tracking progress however, so if you would like to know where your child is at any point in time, the Deck Supervisor is alsways happy to talk to you about your child's specific skills.  

Maddy the Otter Passports

  • When your child joins the MSA program, he/she will receive a complimentary Passport from Maddy the Otter.  Each time your child accomplishes a swim skill, they are given a sticker to place on the corresponding skill in their passport.  This passport quickly becomes a record of their progress as well as a treasured keepsake of all their accomplishments and hard work.   If a replacement Passport is needed they can be purchased at the front desk for $10.  

Research Based Program

The Madison Swim Academy program has been tested and proven to be a comprehensive and methodical approach to learning to swim.  While the emphasis in the beginning of the program is put on safety survival skills, an underlying theme is present in all levels.  That theme is the introduction and maintenance of balance in the water.  The importance of balance cannot be stressed enough as it creates proper head position and orientation, leading to successful stroke technique as the swimmer advances.  At MSA, a foundation is built from the very beginning and skills are added like building blocks upon each other.  The result is a swimmer that is not only safe and confident in the water, but also able to succeed in a competitive swim environment if he or she chooses to do so.

Confidence Building Curriculum

Our swim instructors are selectively chosen based on specific criteria.  An instructor with an accomplished swim background is definitely a plus, but more importantly we are interested in someone who is ready to encourage your child right out of the gate.  Our curriculum is centered around our instructors having the abilty to bring enthusiasm and positive energy to every class.  We are able to make these individuals experts in the water by putting them through MSA's Otter University.  Each instructor goes through an extensive training program, resulting in a polished individual prepared to teach your child with confidence.  These teachers are role models, and in some cases, the first adult besides mom or dad that is interacting with them on such a level.  Our instructors will connect with your child, guide your child and ultimately praise them for their efforts.  As with learning any new skill, small success build confidence and this confidence is invaluable in a young child. 

Skill Tracking System

MSA has created and maintained a successful system to track each swimmer's progress. At any point in time, an instructor can view the record of a child's skill set from a sheet that is kept poolside during their class.  These sheets become a "snapshot" of each swimmer and their most recent accomplishments.  Instructors are constantly evaluating each child's progress and instead of having that information lost at the end of every class, it is continuously recorded.  This information can then be used by the instructor so they can maximize each class and ensure that every swimmer works on what will most benefit them.  It also creates an environment conducive to ongoing feedback for parents.  This system becomes especially valuable if your child has a different instructor for a class or series of classes.   Time is not wasted while an instructor goes through a learning curve of testing out your child in every skill before determining what areas to target during a lesson. The instructor is immediately aware of what skilll your child has already acquired and where to best direct their attention. If and when you decide to take time away from lessons, your child's information is kept on file and can be accessed upon your return.