Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the overall Pre-Team Philosophy?
A: The Pre-Team program’s philosophy is to create a safe and fun environment to prepare swimmers for the competitive team. This program is not designed to be long-term, it is meant to prepare swimmers for an eventual move onto the competitive team.
Q: How does my swimmer move from the Pre-Team to the Competitive Team?
A: Our Pre-Team program operates on a cycle of skills that takes about 8 weeks to complete. As the end of each skill cycle approaches, our pre-team coaches will evaluate each individual’s level of preparedness for the Competitive team. If the coaches believe an individual swimmer is ready for the Competitive team, they will initiate contact with the swimmer’s family to discuss the transition from Pre-Team to Competitive Team.
Q: How long will my swimmer stay in Pre-Team?
A: Our skills cycle is about 8 weeks in duration. At the end of 8 weeks the swimmers will be evaluated for preparedness and then given a recommendation. Some swimmers will be prepared after one cycle, while other may take several. Younger swimmers are likely to take multiple skill cycles before they are prepared.
Q: How much does it cost to be in the Pre-Team Program?
A: The cost is $60 per month to be on the Pre-Team. There is no additional registration fee for Pre-Team.
Q: How are monthly dues paid? What if we choose to suspend our account?
A: Beginning the 2nd month, the regular monthly swim fee is required. We use a direct charge to your specified credit or debit card as our method for paying dues. When initially registering online, you will have to choose credit card, but you can change to ACH after the registration is complete by logging into your account and using the “Set-Up Autopay” link under “My Account”. If for any reason you need or wish to leave the team, you can suspend your membership by notifying our billing administrator via email by the 25th of the preceding month in which you want it stopped. Our billing administrator is Jessica Barisano and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not notify her by the 25th, you will automatically be charged for the following month.
Q: What if we want to rejoin the Pre-Team?
A: To reactivate your PCST account, please DO NOT re-register your swimmer online. Simply email our Team Administrator at email@example.com to activate your previous account and swimmer's membership. You will be responsible for a $25 re-activation fee, and your swimmer's monthly group dues.
Q: How does communication occur with the team?
A: The team has a website (www.panamacityswimteam.com) that is maintained regularly and the coaching staff and board of directors send out emails often with important information. It is critical as a member of PCST to check emails regularly.
Q: How do I contact my swimmer’s coach?
A: The coaches have a compacted schedule while on deck, often coaching from group after group, and it serves the athletes well if our attention is focused towards the group. For this reason, we prefer that you contact your coach through email. Each coach’s email address is found under the “Coaches” link on our website. From time to time your child’s coach will make himself/herself available for a few quick minutes between practices, after a practice if no other scheduled practice right away, etc. If the coach looks free, please feel free to approach the coach and ask if they have a moment to answer your question. Please do not attempt to contact the coach during a practice.
Q: Does the Pre-Team practice year round?
A: Yes, PCST practices year round. We do take team “breaks” a few times a year to allow the swimmers time to rest and recharge. These can range between a few days off to as much as two weeks off depending on the time of year and the group each athlete is in.
Q: Is there a plan/objective for each practice?
A: Yes, Pre-Team is focused on a specific set of skills and each practice will be designed to help impart those skills to the swimmers. In addition to teaching new skills, old ones will be constantly reviewed and repeated so that they turn into good habits helping the swimmers long term.
Q: What is my role during my athlete’s practice?
A: You are always welcome to view the practice from the bleachers, but are not required to stay in the swim area during your athlete’s practice. However, we do ask that you pick up your child from practice on time. Please refrain from coaching from the bleachers, giving hand signals, getting their attention, or otherwise disrupting the group. We try hard to keep their attention, and we don’t need the added competition from the bleachers, behind the coaches, or at the end of the pool.
Q: What are the RIGHT and WRONG ways to view a practice?
A: The wrong way is to sit in the bleachers and critique what the group, the coach, and/or the athletes are doing wrong and how you believe it could be done better. The right way: Resist the temptation to get pulled into “discussions” like that. Better yet, take a stand for youth sports and speak up if you hear another parent going down the negative path. Let them know that it is not appropriate and you don’t appreciate it. Taking a positive approach will result in a better outcome for us all.
Q: Is practice attendance mandatory?
A: Attendance at practice is not mandatory; however, your swimmer will be impacted by missing the curriculum taught during that practice. They may feel behind or confused at future practices because they were not present at the previous practice. With only two practices per week it is strongly recommended that swimmers attend all scheduled practices
Q: Is it OK to come to practice if we are going to be late?
A: Yes. While we prefer each athlete to be on time, we understand that they are not in control of the time they get to the front door. We ask our families to do everything possible to avoid getting to practice late (aside from the few things that drivers can’t adjust such as unusual traffic), as being late can heighten the athlete’s anxiety and therefore start the practice on the wrong foot. If your athlete has to be late, they become in charge of their time once they walk through the door. We expect them to hustle to the locker area, get changed, and walk quickly to their group. The coach will let the athlete know what the group is doing.
Q: Are the pools heated over the winter?
A: Yes, all of our facilities are heated year-round.
Q: Are there makeup practices if we miss one?
A: Makeup practices will only be offered if practice is cancelled due circumstances beyond our control (i.e. facility issues, weather). We do not offer make ups for missed practices.
Q: Can my swimmer come to a different practice than the one he/she is signed up for?
A: No. In order to keep swimmer to coach ratios low and we ask that swimmers attend the practices chosen during registration.