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Do I have to know how to swim and all the strokes to join?
Yes,... and No.  With the CARC now complete, the Manta Rays have transitioned from a recreational team to a competitive team.  Swimmers must know the strokes based upon their age.  Please reference our How To Join page for more information on what strokes and distances a swimmer must be able to demonstrate in order to join the team.  If a swimmer cannot demonstrate the strokes and distances required to the coach's satisfaction, then swim lessons at the CARC would be appropriate.  Once the strokes are known, try out again for the team!
For clarity, the Manta Ray Swim Team no longer teaches basic swimming.  The CARC now fulfills that function.
Do I have to make every practice?
No!  We recognize the various demands placed on our swimmers today, whether it is school work, extra-curricular activities, other sports, community involvement, family, and the list goes on!  We hope each swimmer will make as many practices as possible, especially those who are competing in meets (for competition swimmers, this is very important).  Please remember, however, that fees are NOT prorated for missed practices.
Does everyone swim the same thing in practices?
No.  Generally, workouts are structured into three groups: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced.  The volume (length) and intensity of the workouts increase as you move up in the groups.  Novice swimmers concentrate on stroke technique and smaller distances while, hopefully, having a lot of fun along the way.  Intermediate swimmers refine strokes and swim medium distances with a little fun along the way.  Advanced swimmers refine strokes, swim longer most intense distances, and have occasional fun.
Within each group, we try to customize the workouts if practical to the individual swimmer.
What are the fees associated with the swim team?
There are three sets of fees:  CARC membership fees, Manta Ray Swim Team Fees, and YMCA Competition Fees.
CARC Fees.  Every swimmer must be a member of the CARC in good standing.  In addition to the standard CARC fees, the Manta Rays have negotiated special rates for our swimmers.  Please see our Fees Document on our "How To Join" tab for more information.  Please remember that CARC fees can be reduced based upon financial need.  Please discuss this with the CARC if needed.
Manta Ray Swim Team Fees.  These can vary from season to season, but cover the cost of coaching and insurance.  There are discounts for each additional swimmer on the team.  These can be paid at the beginning of the season (preferred) or split half at the start of the season, the remainder 45 days later.  Please see our Fees Document for more information.
YMCA Competition Fees.  The YMCA charges fees for swimmers to compete as part of the YMCA.  For those swimmers who want to compete in swim meets (and we hope everyone does), these fees must be paid to the YMCA.  Please see our Fees Document for more information.
Are fees pro-rated for missed practices/meets?
No.  The coaches have to be on deck regardless of whether a swimmer is at a practice/meet.  The insurance still has to be paid.  As a result, there is no proration in fees for missed practices/meets.
Do I have to buy a team swim suit?
A team suit is encouraged, but not required.  We purchase in bulk at the beginning of every season from High Mountain Sports (HMS), a local merchant.  For those swimmers who are Practice Only, almost any 'ole suit will do (check out HMS MRST specials or SwimOutlet's/Keifer's 'Grab Bag' specials).  For those swimmers who are Winter Competition Swimmers, remember to get a CUY Otter's suit (check with the YMCA for details).
Do I have to buy equipment?

Yes.  Effective 10/1/2013 all swimmers must purchase equipment.  This is to ensure general cleanliness and hygiene of equipment and to keep MRST fees lower for everyone over the long term.  We purchase in bulk at the beginning of every season from High Mountain Sports (HMS), a local merchant.  HMS generally carries the equipment we need during the season as well (at a MRST special discount).  Please reference the equipment tab for more information.

Note:  We recognize that purchasing ALL the equipment can be challenging.  With that said, every swimmer must have at least a practice swim suit (there are no options on this issue...).  After that, ultimately, the equipment is strongly encouraged.  MRST workouts will call for use of the equipment.  If the swimmer does not have it, they will be able to complete the workout, but it will be a little more challenging (for example, a kick set with fins and kickboard is easier than the same kick set without fins and kickboard).

How do you communicate with the team and parents?
We rely 100% on electronic communication.  This is done via email, the website Announcements page, facebook, and text messaging.