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Lake Forest Swim Club FAQs

General Club Information:

1. Who is the Lake Forest Swim Club?

The Lake Forest Swim Club (LFSC) is a private year-round USA Swimming program wholly supported by membership fees and the fundraising efforts of our members.  We are a club with high goals and ambitions, seeking excellence in all aspects of the program.

Founded in 1958, we are the oldest and most successful swim club in Lake County.

2. Who are the coaches?

Together our coaching staff has over a 100+ years of experience, working with developing swimmers as well as with the most elite coaches and athletes in the country.

Our Head Coach and Executive Director is Michael Lawrence.  Our Senior Assistant Coach is Laurel Liberty.  Maureen Sheehan is our Coach Emeritus.  To learn more about our coaches, please click HERE.

3. Where is the LFSC located?

Coaches’ offices and most swim practices are located on the South Campus of Lake Forest College in the Lake Forest College Sports and Recreation Center.  The Sports Center is on the corner of N. Sheridan and Maplewood in Lake Forest. 

4. How do I contact the coaches?

The best way to reach Coach Michael or Coach Laurel is by e-mail. 

Our office phone number is (847) 735-5372 and our mailing address is 555 N. Sheridan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045.

General:         [email protected]

Coach Laurel:           [email protected]

Coach Michael:        [email protected]

Practice Squads:

1. What are the different practice squads at the LFSC?

We have restructured our practice squads:

Swimmers age 12& younger will comprise our Novice and Age Group Squads. Our Age Group program is skill oriented with a gradual increase in the emphasis on physical conditioning.  

Swimmers age 13&older will comprise our Senior and National Squads. The Senior program progresses in a similar fashion with an increase in both physical demand and commitment.

The Mighty Ducks and Mini Ducks comprise our Developmental Programs.

For more details on the different squads, please go HERE.  

To be placed on our mailing list, please go HERE.

2. How do I know what squad I should sign up for?

If you are interested in one of our Developmental Programs, the Mini or the Mighty Ducks, please go HERE and register for our waiting list.

If you are interested in joining our competitive team, please fill out the form HERE and you will be contacted when we are able to conduct new swimmer evaluations.


1. When are practices?

Practice times, days and locations are located on our calendar.  These days and times are subject to change.  Please continue to check this link for current practice conditions. 

2. Where are practices?

During the school year, LFSC practices at Lake Forest College and Lake Forest Academy, located at 1500 W Kennedy Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045.  In the summer months, some of our competitive squads use the outdoor pool in Lake Bluff located at 355 W. Washington Ave., Lake Bluff, IL 60044.

Check the LFSC calendar on our website for exact practice locations for each day.

Swimmers in all levels should regularly check the calendar as last minute changes to times and locations can occur.

3. How long do practices last?

The length of the practice depends on the squad, but ranges from an hour to two hours. 

4. What should I bring to practice?

Swimmers at every level should bring a cap, goggles, competitive suit, and fins.  A kickboard is also recommended.  Swimmers on the Novice Squad should also bring a snorkel and those on the Age Group Squad and up should bring a snorkel and paddles.  You can purchase any of this equipment at Kiddles Sports in Lake Forest or go HERE for more information.


Due to the current global pandemic, the planning and structure of swim meets is uncertain.  As information becomes available, the coaches will contact swimmers with schedules, rules and procedures.  In addition, the Lake Forest Swim Club will plan certain intrasquad competitions during the season.  Participating in these meets is not required, but is very strongly recommended.

Below are some basic questions that will apply to any meets held:

1. How do I sign up for club meets?

When you are logged into your account, go to the “Meet Sign Up” tab under "Member Information."  This page will list all of the meets the LFSC is participating in.  Click on the “attend/decline” button below the meet you want to attend, and then click on your swimmer’s name.  In the drop down, select “yes, please sign up for this meet.”  Leave a note in the “notes” section if you have special instructions, i.e., can only attend one day of the meet. The coaches will place your swimmer in the events.

2. When should I sign up?

Each meet will have a deadline, please pay close attention to this date as it may be difficult to enter you in a meet after the deadline for scheduling purposes.  You will receive an e-mail 7 days prior to the entry deadline to remind you.

3. When should I arrive at a meet?

Prior to the meet, the “Meet Sign Up” tab will have warm-up time.  Arrive in time to get settled and check-in before warm-up begins.

4. What should I bring to a meet?

Bring your team suit and cap, goggles, towels, t-shirts, warm-ups, etc.  If there is a Heat Sheet, be sure to download it and print it before the meet.


1.   How do I sign up?

Due to the current global pandemic, we have a limited number of spots available on all squads.  Please go to our website at and click on the “Team Registration" button found on the right hand side of the home page or in the drop down under "Join the Team" and follow the prompts.  Be sure to complete all required information including waivers. We cannot allow a child to practice until registration is fully complete, all fees are paid and all waivers are signed.  There are no exceptions.

If our squads are full, you can place your name on our waitlist.  This includes a $150 fee to hold your spot.  If no spots become available, we will refund the $150.

Once you have registered, you will have a team account that you can use to pay bills or track your swimmer's times.  See our Financial Policies for more information about monthly bills.  

2. What are the rates?

Rates will vary depending your squad and which membership you choose.  Please contact Coach Laurel or Coach Michael for further details.

3. Ok, so what are the different types of memberships?

a.  For the Senior and National Squads, we are offering an Annual Membership only.  This membership will run from September 2020-August 2021. 

b.  For the Age Group Squad, we are offering either an Annual Committment (also from September 2020-August 2021) OR a Seasonal Committment from September 2020-March 2021 and March 2021-August 2021.  The September-March dates comprise our "Short Course Season" and the March-August dates comprise our "Long Course Season." 

The terms "Short Course" and "Long Course" refer to the size of the pool we compete in during that part of the year.  Short course is a 25-yard pool, long course is a 50-meter pool.

c.  Our Novice Squad will be divided up into sessions, each one requiring a separate registration and payment.  This allows flexibility for our younger swimmers.  The dates tentatively scheduled for these sessions are:

--September 14, 2020-October 26, 2020

--November 2, 2020-December 21, 2020

--January 11, 2021-February 22, 2021

Please contact Coach Laurel or Coach Michael for more detailed information on costs.

Financial and Billing Policies

1. Can I cancel my membership at any time?  Do I get a refund?

a. Due to the current global pandemic, we are currently requiring that anyone who registers pay a non refundable $150 committment fee.  This fee will be applied in full to any membership fees due.  If you decide not to fully register, this fee is forfeited.

b. Once full dues are paid (either annual or seasonal), you have two weeks after the first practice of the season to request withdrawal from the team.  Written notification of withdrawal must be made to Head Coach Michael Lawrence.  If the request is timely, you will receive a refund once all outstanding fees (if any) are paid. 

c. There will be NO refunds for swimmers choosing to leave the team after this initial two week period.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  For further information, please refer to our financial policies HERE

2. What if I have not yet registered for the team, can my child still practice?

No.  All swimmers MUST be fully registered, with all waivers signed and all registration fees paid before a child is allowed to practice.  For legal and insurance purposes, we cannot allow a child in the water if these conditions have not been met.  There are no exceptions.

3. What are all the charges on my bill?

The Lake Forest Swim club requires that all families have a valid, active credit card on file.  By registering a swimmer, a family agrees for this card to be used for "on demand" charges such as merchandise, meet entry fees, USA Swimming dues and coaches expenses.  For a more detailed explanation of these charges, please see our financial policies HERE

4. Can I pay my monthly bills with a check?

No. The Lake Forest Swim Club requires payments be made via the Online Payment System through our website.  Either ACH Transfer or Credit Card payment is available.  We do not accept checks except by special arrangement with a coach.  If this permission is granted, the check must be received prior to a swimmer being allowed to practice or swim in a meet.  

Other Club Policies:

1. Are we allowed to use the facilities at Lake Forest College (LFC) and the Lake Forest Academy (LFA)?

Due to the current global pandemic, please be aware that parents are not allowed at any time, for any reason, inside any of the facilities where practices are being held.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  By allowing us to use the facilities, LFC and LFA require us to follow all local and state health guidelines and policies related to COVID-19.  We cannot deviate from these rules in any way and thus cannot allow any parent access to the buildings.

Children MUST be independent enough to enter the building, enter the pool area, use the bathroom (in an emergency only) and exit the building without assistance of a parent or other adult.  Swimmers must always enter the building at the entrance indicated and proceed directly to the pool area.  They should not go in any other areas of the facilities.

Please also note that locker rooms will not be available before or after practices at any facility.  Swimmers in all squads must come already dressed in their suits and they cannot change after practice, on deck or in a locker room.  There are no exceptions to this policy.

It is important to remember that we are guests of both LFC and LFA.  Swimmers, parents, siblings and caretakers must always respect the property and students/patrons of these facilities.  Failure to do so could result in our not being able to use these facilities.

2.  Do I have to volunteer for anything?

Yes!   Once we are able to resume hosting meets, we do require parents to volunteer.

Swim meets hosted by LFSC are an important source of revenue for our non-profit club.  We host four meets annually and Championship meets as awarded.  Hosting these prestigious meets requires the dedicated efforts and support of our coaches, Board of Directors and Members. Therefore, members are required to provide minimum support as follows:

a. Families with a child participating in a meet are required to provide one worker (age 14 and up) for each session the child participates in.

b. For championship meets we ask for, but do not require your support.

Also, we are often asked to provide a few parent volunteers at meets we do not host.  While this is not required of every parent who has a child swimming in the meet, we are required to provide some assistance to the host club.  Please consider volunteering at these meets as well.

3. What kinds of jobs are there?  Do I need any experience?

Most jobs at meets do not require any kind of experience.  We need timers, safety marshals, concessions workers, runners, etc.  You can sign up for a specific job prior to the meet.  The sign up is on our website under the “Meet Sign Up” tab

4. What if I can’t be at a meet my child is swimming in to volunteer?

If we do not have enough parent volunteers at any particular session of a hosted meet, we contract with various local groups to fill positions as necessary.  Each position we hire has an additional $80/position negative impact on our profit. We understand that the club event calendar may come into conflict with the family calendar and simply ask that families unable to provide support at a particular meet offset the financial impact to the club.


1. What kind of fundraising does LFSC do?

Because LFSC is a private club wholly supported by membership fees and fundraising (we do not receive funds from a school district or a park district), we do a number of different fundraisers throughout the year.

  • Our biggest fundraiser is our Golf Outing held in late May or early June each year.


  • In October of each year we host our annual Duck-a-thon.  This is a fun night where swimmers at all levels can swim laps to raise money for LFSC.


  • We have opportunities for team sponsorships available; please see Coach Michael for details.


  • Finally we have our Annual Giving Campaign in late fall each year.                                                                                                                                      

2. How can I help?

Please see our website at the “Fundraising” tab for more details on all our fundraising efforts.