WELCOME PARENTS

Welcome back Shark Parents old and new! The Mount Desert Island YMCA is proud to have such a dedicated swim team filled with community youth and their parents. The MDI YMCA Sharks has been a staple of the Mount Desert Island community for decades, representing the Y and the island throughout Maine all the way to the Y Nationals. Thank you for joining the Y community!

WHAT IS THE MDI YMCA SHARKS SWIM TEAM? A recreational based team from ages 6-18 with a wide range of abilities. The MDI YMCA Sharks Swim Team competes in both YMCA and USA Swimming competitions. 

WHEN IS THE SWIM SEASON? Regular swim season takes place from October - March. This is sometimes called Winter Swim or Regular Season in MDI YMCA program brochures. Throughout the year there are optional swim teams in Fall, Spring, and Summer for the kids who want to keep swimming. These sessions are not as intense as the Regular Season and but do have a few competitive swimming opportunities. Many swimmers swim for Winter only and many swim all year round. 

WHAT IS THE SHARKS' COACHING PHILOSOPHY? The intention of the Sharks swim team is to teach the skills of competitive swimming, build enthusiasm for the sport and foster the comradely of a team of young athletes. We want each Shark team member to feel part of a group where teamwork and individual effort are both valued. The philosophy of the Sharks is to treat each swimmer as an individual and to build their self-confidence and self-esteem through personal accomplishment each time they swim. Each swimmer has goals to improve times, learn new strokes, build their techniques, and practice good sportsmanship and the Y Core Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. 

WHEN ARE PRACTICES? Practices are posted on the Pool Bulletin Board, Facebook, and the Sharks Home Page at the MDI YMCA website. Practices are updated as quickly as possible, contact the Welcome Center of the Y or Jim if there are any questions.

ARE THERE PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS? Yes. Green Team members are asked to make practices 2x/week; Gold Team members are asked to make practices 3x/week; and Senior Team members are asked to make practices 4x/week. Sharks can only improve and the team can only get stronger by practicing and building team spirit together.

HOW MANY MEETS ARE THERE DURING REGULAR SEASON? There are 5 Dual Meets that the Sharks participate in. This year it is 2 away and 3 home. All team members are encouraged to participate in at least 1 of these meets. Other meets throughout the years are Invitational, meaning they are optional meets for the Sharks. The State meet takes place up at UMaine. Sharks wanting to swim in the State meet will have to have competed in a minimum of 3 Y meets. 

HOW CAN I HELP AS A PARENT? Volunteer! The best and easiest ways to volunteer is with Timing at meets or by cooking or manning the concession stand at home meets. Other ways parents can help is encouraging their child to get to practice on time, to try their best, and to practice good sportsmanship and the Y Core Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.

WHY DOES MY CHILD NEED A Y MEMBERSHIP IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE? As the swim team is a club of a YMCA which competes at Y National events, Maine State Y Swim League requires that everyone on the team be members. The MDI YMCA offers Youth only memberships as well as various membership and program scholarships. The MDI YMCA participates in Membership For All, an initiative to ensure no one gets turned away from the Y because of their inability to pay. Please contact Bob Huff, Membership Director, for more information. 

Further information can be found in the Parent Handbook. Other questions can be directed to Head Coach Jim Willis at sharks@mdiymca.org. See our Swim Suit Policy regarding suits. As a USA Swimming team we adhere and follow their policy for Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention

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