MINI Neptunes Info
What are MINI Neptunes?
Here is some basic information about our MINI Neptunes swim program. We hope this helps you in deciding to participate in our program.
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1) MINI Neptunes range in age, but typically fall between 4-8 years old. Children must be potty-trained. They must be able to stand with the child's head above water in the shallow end of the pool. They must be able to separate from their parents with ease, and take direction from coaches.
2) The goal of our MINI Neptunes program isn't just to teach kids how to swim, but also feel part of the swim team family, so they want to return year after year. Positive adult and teen role models help to encourage the kids to want to return. Swim team is a great opportunity to have fun, make new friends, and develop positive attitudes.
3) Our MINIs adult coach is assisted by our teenage swimmers. These volunteers received instruction directly from the coach as they learn how to teach swimming and how to interact with young children Please be patient with our teens as they learn. They have varying levels of experience in working with kids, but they all want the best for our new swimmers. Without our teen volunteers, the MINI Neptunes program would not exist.
4) The coach will always make himself or herself available to any parent. Please wait until the end of a practice to speak with the coach. Our Team Rep and Board Members are always available to answer questions during practices.
5) MINI Neptunes are invited to our swim meets. NFST belongs to the Northern Virginia Swim League (A League). It is a competitive summer swim league that competes on Saturday mornings. We also belong to a secondary, developmental league (B league) - Springfield-Burke Swim League. B meets are on Monday nights. Our MINI Neptunes normally do a ceremonial lap ("lollipop swim") before the official start of our home swim meets (B meets on Monday nights and A meets on Saturday mornings) to show off their new skills to everyone. Our senior swimmers, with or without the use of kickboards, swim with the MINI Neptunes as we cheer them on. The "lollipop swim" begins 5-10 minutes before the meets start. All MINI Neptunes need to be at the pool for any meet they are requested to attend at least 15 minutes prior. Please speak with the coach about MINI Neptunes participation at the swim meets.
6) Team events are also meant for our MINI Neptunes swimmers. From the pep rallies, to the spaghetti dinner, to outings, the MINI Neptunes are invited. Anytime you see anything on the calendar or email for the team that isn't a swim meet, the MINI Neptunes are invited to come and play along.
7) Fees are set prior to the season. For 2019, the fees are $135 for the first Neptune or MINI Neptune, and $80 for each additional swimmer. Many families find our prices far more affordable than classes through Fairfax county.
8) The start of MINI Neptunes swim lessons depend on the last day of school. We strive for at least twenty (20) days of lessons at forty (40) minutes each lesson. For 2019, we will begin our formal swim lessons on Monday, June 24th and run through Friday, July 26th (5 weeks!!). Lessons are daily, Monday through Friday. Assessments will happen between Wed-Thurs, June 19-21, 2019. A TENTATIVE SCHEDULE is listed below. Once you have registered, we will email you with more details on assessments the week prior.
- Wednesday at 8:00 AM if your last name begins with A-L.
- Thursday at 8:00 AM if your last name begins with M-Z.
Assessments will be done in small groups for safety and so that our Minis Coach can get an idea of each swimmer's level, and they can be grouped with other kids of similar abilities. Have your Mini Swimmer ready to swim! (bathing suit, towel, goggles if you choose).
9) Weather and pool conditions can cause a class to be canceled. Compare our rates to Fairfax County Parks and you will see the money saved in our program. South Run Rec Center.
10) Volunteering for MINI Neptunes parents is very different than for Neptunes parents. We don't expect MINI Neptunes parents to work swim meets when they don't have children participating, and we don't require a Volunteer Fee Deposit. But we do encourage MINI Neptunes parents to help at the morning practices. There is no such thing as not enough volunteers or too many people signed up. Even if the website sign-up might be full, speaking with our volunteer coordinator in the mornings or a board member, we can easily find something you may help with. If you have any further questions about the volunteer program or points, please speak with a board member at the pool.
11) Understanding that swim team can be intimidating, we ask that you reach out and talk to us, and ask questions. It took us all years to finally figure it out. Don't be afraid to speak or ask questions. If you don't understand something, please reach out. Our Team Rep is your best resource. In 2019, our Team Rep is Tyler Wyllie. Feel free to email her directly at email@example.com. In addition, we have Board Members who can help to direct you and answer questions. We even hope to have nametags this year - so you can identify who is who. Please also remember that each year or so, our swim team board members change, and there is always a learning process. Volunteers are essential to the success of the swim team. Only the coaches are paid positions. So please, share your thoughts and ideas. And better yet, think about joining a committee and/or being a volunteer or board member.
We hope this helps to explain our MINI Neptunes program. Thank you for wanting to be part of our swim family. It's a wonderful opportunity to make friends with your neighbors!