How often and when is practice?
Practices are held Monday through Friday in the afternoon/evening and Saturday mornings. The available pool times vary between groups and can be found listed in registration packets on the MSST Dues Structure page. A practice schedule should also be posted on the team's bulletin board and website (click on "schedule" on the MSST home page). Swimmers that do not practice every day are encouraged to follow the set schedule, but may discuss an alternative schedule with the coaching staff to see if there may be lane available for your swimmer's skill level on one unscheduled day. No matter the level of your swimmer, they are all strongly encouraged to keep a regular practice routine.
Should I stay and watch a swim practice?
You're welcome to watch! This is also a good time to meet other parents and ask them questions that you may have. Please refrain from talking with the coach during practice. Practice is when the coach spends time with the swimmers. Please hold your questions for the coaches until after practice during their office hours. Coaching staff office hours may change from time to time, but they are posted on the website under the Schedule/Office Hours tab. We suggest that you sit in the bleacher area during the practice and engage them as they come off deck.
How do I find out if practice is cancelled?
With around 100 swimmers, making that many phone calls is impractical. We utilize group email lists and our website as the main means of communicating with parents quickly throughout the season. Thus, it is imperative to submit your email address when registering and to check our website (www.midnightsunswimteam.org) frequently. Sometimes during the year, Hamme Pool is closed for maintenance. During these times we practice at Wescott Pool in North Pole or coaches arrange a dry land exercise depending on weather conditions. Occasionally, there are sanitary incidents in the pool during Hamme Pool's swim lessons that cause a pool shut-down. Shutting down the pool is a decision made by Hamme Pool staff, not our coaches. If there is enough time before practice, Coach Gary will send out a mass email and will remain, regardless, at the pool during the regular scheduled practice time to inform all swimmers and their families. The Midnight Sun Facebook page is updated as frequently as possible.
Does MSST have a cold weather policy?
Yes, we have a cold weather policy. If the official temperature is -50° F at 12:00 noon we will cancel practice for that day. Call 458-3745 extension 1113 for the official weather used by MSST. Depending on the distance you need to travel, road conditions, your vehicle, and other factors, please make a safe decision whether you should travel to practice during periods of extreme cold. Travel to practice only when you feel it is safe to do so, please use good judgment.
Does the team practice year round?
Yes, MSST practices year round. However, several breaks and/or holidays are scattered throughout the year. If Hamme Pool closes for a holiday or maintenance there will be no practice. Our Head Coach is great about keeping us all up to date on scheduling matters with his weekly to twice-weekly emails.
Who do I notify if my swimmer needs to miss swimming?
Notify your coach when you are leaving for a week or more or are missing a meet due to illness but for one or two workouts, it is not necessary. It is imperative to notify our Treasurer if your swimmer will be gone a month or more, as a prolonged absence will affect billing. In such cases the dues will revert to a maintenance fee of $25 and reserve your swimmer’s spot on the team.
What are the different practice groups and their defining skill levels?
Novice I are swimmers building the required skills or stamina prior to becoming Novice II swimmers. Novice I swimmers meet during our Thursday practice. Novice II swimmers meet Tuesday and Thursday plus Saturday. Novice III swimmers meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, plus Saturday. Age Group, Junior, and Senior swimmers meet five days a week plus Saturday. Master swimmers have a flexible schedule and are charged for each time they swim. Check the bulletin board and the website for the current schedule.