MAST Update #5
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Dear MAST Athletes, Families, Coaches:
A BIG welcome to all the prospective new athletes and families who have expressed an interest in joining MAST this winter season. Many of you are receiving a MAST Update for the first time. After reading this you will wonder--like our veteran MAST families and Alumni community--how have the MAST UPDATES NOT been nominated for a Pulitzer?
Just so you know, all MAST Updates are archived on our website, including the first four of the 2020-21 season. Here is a link: MAST Updates. If you are new to MAST and have not filled out a MAST New Athlete Contact Information Form, please do so today. You will be helping us tremendously to prepare for the season and you will be assured to receive all MAST emails for the remainder of the season, or your lifetime. Here is a link: New Athlete Contact Form.
I. New Athlete/Family Orientation To Ski Racing And MAST Webinar
We will be holding our SECOND preseason MAST Webinar on Tuesday, October 6 at 7pm. (The first one on Alpine Ski Equipment was held last weekend and won an Emmy. It will be available online soon.) All prospective new athletes and families are invited to participate in Webinar #2. This webinar replaces our annual pre-season in-person orientation for new families. Our intent is to give you as much information as we can about high school ski racing and MAST--- all the Who, What, When, Where, How and even Why questions you might have as well as those you didn’t know you have. You will also be given the opportunity to ask questions. For this to work smoothly, you need to provide us with your athlete’s MPS Email Address. Most of you have done this already, but here is a link for those of you who haven’t yet: MPS Email Address Form.
The weekend before the webinar I will send an email with a link to join the webinar. However, I would ask that you watch as a family and log in using your athlete’s MPS EMAIL ADDRESS.
If you missed the Equipment Webinar last week, you might want to take a deep dive into our website and read the pages devoted to educating you about the equipment you need to ski race, how to size it, where and how to buy used, new, online and much more. Go to www.mplsalpineski.organd look at the subheadings under the Equipment header. Also, attached to this Update is the MAST Guide for Buying Skis and Boots.
III. Local Swaps and MAST Equipment Swaps
MAST will be holding an Equipment Swap on Saturday, October 24th at MAST Headquarters (4800 Harriet Ave). We will be outside, under canopy tents, socially distanced, and slobbered with sanitizer. You will be asked to make an appointment. If you have used equipment to sell, you will be asked to fill out a form in advance and submit photos. These sale items will be posted online in advance of the sale. Look for the form and instructions in a subsequent email.
Team Gilboa at Hyland has canceled its swap this year, but a few swaps at other ski areas remain on the calendar. We will try to keep an up to date posting of local swaps on our website HERE. After reading everything we have posted about equipment, please feel free to call me. Calling is better than emailing or texting when it comes to equipment because I will likely have questions for you as well.
IV. Help Needed: Volunteer Editor of the MAST Equipment Page.
Speaking of equipment, we need a volunteer to keep our Free and For Sale Equipment Page updated on our website. This includes helping us get the website ready for our Equipment Swap on October 24. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 612-275-8392 if you are interested in filling this career advancing position.
V. Hyland Season Pass
All MAST athletes will need a 2020-21 Hyland Hills Season Pass. The current price for an unlimited pass is $455. In the Spring, forty-two of you purchased a pass for the upcoming season. A list of those who did so is attached. For those who still need a pass, you can purchase your pass directly from Hyland Hills/Three Rivers Park District. Here is a link: Hyland Season Pass Sale. Click on “Adult” under Season Passes. Only use this method if you don’t think you pay enough in taxes.
Now, if you would like to save the expense of paying MN state sales tax on your purchase, you can let MAST purchase your pass. You just need to send a check for $455 to Mpls Alpine/ 4800 Harriet Ave, Mpls, MN 55419. Make checks payable to Mpls Alpine. DO NOT DROP OFF THE CHECK THIS YEAR. Too many thefts in the neighborhood this year. Please mail. You can bring payment to the Equipment Swap on Saturday, October 24. In fact, this is the last day that you can purchase a pass through MAST. From October 25th forward, you will need to purchase your pass directly from Hyland. Be aware that Hyland will be increasing the price of the pass on November 1 to $479.
VI. Coming Soon: MAST FACT SHEET
The 2019-20 MAST FACT SHEET is still posted online and is a good source of information about our team. However, a new 2020-21 MAST FACT SHEET is almost ready for publication. As soon as it is approved by our Board on Monday evening, I will send it out.
VII. Practice Times, MAST BE ON TIME Practice Policy, Training Time Survey
One area of discussion concerns practice times at Hyland, and I know this is a big question for the new families. Last year we introduced a 3:30-5:30 practice time for varsity/senior high athletes. We will likely be offering the same practice time slot this year in addition to the 5:00-7:15 and 6:30-8:45 sessions. We will be introducing a new policy this year, however. It is called the BE ON TIME policy. Each practice is carefully planned, starting with directed free skiing on the South Chairlift and then moving to carefully prescribed course sets to practice your emerging technical skills in a controlled turn environment, i.e., a slalom course. We do not want people joining a training session mid-stream this year.
What we have not decided is whether we need to assign athletes to a particular practice session or allow athletes to attend the practice session that works best with their needs. In the past, we have defined the earlier practice sessions for varsity skiers and the last practice session for junior varsity, with the caveat that you are welcome to attend whichever session works best. We may need to limit our numbers at each practice and, therefore, somehow assign certain groups within the team a particular training session. To help us determine the best way to proceed this season, I am asking every family to fill out YET ANOTHER FORM. The form is actually a survey (it is not anonymous). Hopefully this will help us understand when our athletes are available for training, how they get to practice, and how they would prefer practices to be organized. Again, we are trying to figure out how to best organize practice, avoid overcrowding, AND meet the development needs of all our skiers.
Here is a link to this very important survey: MAST Training Session Survey.
VIII. Registration Process
We have purposely delayed opening registration this year. The MN State High School League meets on October 1 to discuss the winter sports season for the first time. We have no reason to believe that the MSHSL will cancel the alpine season. Nonetheless, we want to wait to open registration until the MSHSL has confirmed that there will be a season. Even though we are waiting, you can find out about the registration process on our website. Here is a link: MAST FEES AND REGISTRATION
Please note the two-step registration process. The first step is to register with MAST. MAST will be asking athletes to pay two fees at the point of registration: a suggested team fee and the MPS Activity Fee of $75. The team fee has not been set yet but is likely to increase this year. You will NOT need to pay the MPS Activity Fee a second time when you register with MPS Athletics at your high school, even though the form asked you to do so.
IX. Qualifying Physical Examination Clearance Form
The one thing you can do NOW in anticipation of registration is to make sure that you have an up-to-date Physical Examination form on file with your HIGH SCHOOL athletic director. (One is attached.) This assumes that you are a returning MAST athlete. The forms have a shelf life of 3 years so if you last submitted a form before the 2018-19 season, you may need to submit a new one this season. Check with your athletic director. He or she keeps a record of these things. If you are new to MAST and did not play a high school sport this Fall, you will need to submit a Qualifying Physical Examination Form completed and signed by a qualified health care worker. Your physician will fill this out if you are not due for a physical. If you are due, then schedule an appointment for a physical and bring the attached form with you for your physician to complete. I strongly suggest that you take care of this now. If you are missing an up to date Qualifying Physical Exam Form when the season opens, you will not be allowed to participate in practices until you have submitted the form and the AD has cleared you to participate.
X. MAST Fundraising 2020-21
Coming Soon: More information about our Urban Ventures MAST Individual Fundraiser and our MinneSalsa MAST Team Fundraiser.
Already Scheduled for Wednesday, October 14: MAST(ets) Golf Tournament
Have you booked your tee time for the First Annual MAST(ers) Golf Tournament? Click HERE for more information about this fun new team fundraiser and how to register. Unskilled golfers welcome. We just want your money and companionship.
Enough. Sorry for the long email but ski racing is complicated. You are all above average so this should be an easy read. Check our website regularly because it is being updated on a daily basis now.
Best wishes and get outside to ride, run, or skate. Build up your strength and stamina.
Mpls Alpine Ski Team
Just a quick clarification regarding the MAST(ers) Golf Tournament.
This is an adults only fundraising event. The athletes can already crush their parents in skiing, so we don't want to add to their humiliation by having them crush their parents in golf as well.
Here is a link again to register: Signup Link
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Hello MAST Families,
While 2020 has thrown us a number of curveballs, we’re looking forward to the ski season getting under way in a couple short months. One of those curveballs was how COVID took away some of our usual MAST fundraising activities (Goat Barn, Pierce Oktoberfest, Hoigaards’ Tent Sale, etc). The team relies on fundraising in order to provide the coaching and equipment we need on the hill six days/week during the season. So, in true COVID form, we’ve had to think differently about how we approach fundraising this year. Introducing the First Annual MAST(ers) Golf Tourney!
When: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
What: First tee time is at 3:00PM and are every 8 minutes after that. Round will take 2-2.5 hours. Informal reception on outdoor patio at Carbone’s on Cedar Ave to follow starting at 6:45PM
Where: Hiawatha Golf Course
Cost: $50/person (carts are an additional $12 if you want to ride)
The format will be a 9-hole, 4-person scramble, meaning that all players hit a shot, you choose which of the four balls is best, everyone picks up their balls and plays from the best spot and you continue until you get the ball in the hole. Your foursome will maintain a single score.
This will be a fun, casual event with very little golf experience required and will have some on-course competitions where you might win a prize! In fact, the only real golf experience you need is the ability to fork over some cash.
We currently have room for 32 people (8 foursomes), but if there is demand, we can add some tee times. No need to form foursomes – we’ll take care of that for you. However, if you are bringing a guest you want to golf with, we will accommodate. Just let us know.
All are welcome – no need to be part of the MAST family to be included!
Sign up at the link below and reach out to Aaron.Cherveny@gmail.com with any questions.
The MAST(ers) Board
MAST Pre-Season Webinar #1—EQUIPMENT
Sunday, September 20 from 6:00-7:00PM
All athletes who have submitted an MPSEDU.ORG email address should have received an invitation and link to join our Equipment Webinar on Google Meets tonight. I encourage all MAST families to log in and view the webinar Sunday evening at 6PM.
I would ask all families to log in using the student-athlete mpsedu.org email address. This will allow you to join our webinar more easily and limit the number of pop ups we have to deal with on our end as people join the meeting without an MPS address.
You can still submit your MPSEDU email address by filling out this form HERE.
Even if you don’t plan to attend the webinar, please make sure I have your MPS email address. We have additional webinars planned for the Fall and I have a feeling we will be utilizing this technology during the ski season as well.
Here is the link for the EQUIPMENT WEBINAR:
Join by phone
(US) +1 650-781-1315 PIN: 709 546 402#
Finally, attached are notes you can print and use to follow the webinar.
If you absolutely cannot access the webinar through your mpsedu.org email, you can use a different address to log in. Someone on our end will need to accept your request to join the meeting.
See you Sunday evening at 6PM sharp.
Our first webinar is THIS weekend.
Sunday, September 20 Webinar #1
Orientation to Ski Racing Equipment
Description: For new and returning families. The coaches will orient you to all the equipment you need to participate in the sport of ski racing. They will offer guidance on how to find used equipment that is suitable for you given your weight, height and experience. They will show you how to size boots to your foot and match the boot’s flex to your strength and experience level. They will also share some tips for buying new equipment as well. Unless you are an experienced racer with all your equipment needs met, you will likely learn something new.
In order to participate, I need the MPS email address of every athlete. I ask families to please log in to the webinar using your athlete's MPS email address. I will send an invite to join the meeting to everyone who has provided me with their MPS email address. To do so, please fill out this form:
MPS Email Address Form
Listed below are the 79 athletes who HAVE FILLED OUT the form as of 9:40pm on Thursday evening. Thank you for doing this. Impressive response after only one request. Let's keep that up. If your name is not on this list, please fill out the form now.
Athletes With Submitted MPS Email Addresses
Good Morning MAST!
Yesterday I sent a brief email to you. Part of that email discussed equipment. I recommended using Pierce Skate and Ski if you are interested in buying any new equipment. I also told you that Pierce is selling skis and boots by appointment only. If you have other equipment needs you can walk-in without an appointment.
MAST Pierce Skate and Ski Equipment Day
Wednesday, October 7
10AM to 9PM
Today, I am announcing that Pierce has set aside 21 fitting sessions on Wednesday, October 7 for MAST athletes and families. You still need to call Pierce and reserve an appointment. If enough MAST families take advantage of these slots, I plan to be in the store that day and evening to help you and the staff make the right equipment call. Hopefully a few other MAST coaches can join the fun for a couple of shifts as well. We did this last year and it was a fun evening and productive. Pierce will add more evening slots and call in additional staff if the evening slots fill. Each appointment is scheduled for one and a half hours. It can and often does take that long to find the right model and fit in skis and boots. When you call, whether it is for Oct 7th or any other day, be sure to indicate you are on MAST.
Call 952-884-1990 to schedule a fitting for boots/skis.
3 slots: 10:00 - 11:30am
3 slots: 11:30 - 1:00pm
3 slots: 1:00 - 2:30pm
3 slots: 2:30 - 4:00pm
3 slots: 5:00 - 6:30pm
3 slots: 6:30 - 7:45pm
3 slots: 7:45 - 9:00pm
Address: 208 West 98th Street, Bloomington.
One other note: Pierce is taking Covid-19 seriously. They follow a strict cleaning protocol with their equipment. Masks are required of course.
Finally, I have to thank everyone who has supplied me with your mpsedu email address so far. Great work. Very helpful. Here is the link if you haven't done this already.
MPSEDU Email Address Form
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Dear MAST Athletes, Parents and Coaches:
With school opening (albeit online) and cooler, rainy weather settling in this week, we pass two markers that signal a new ski season is just around the corner. This looooong email will hopefully answer a lot of the questions that are probably bubbling around in your head. Before you continue reading, however, I ask you to please follow the link below. I need EVERY athlete/family to supply me with the MPS assigned student email address, the one ending in @mpsedu.org. You will understand why I need this once your read the entire email. Thank you.
MAST Athlete MPS Student Email Contact Form
Now back to UPDATE #4.
I. WHAT will the 2020-21 ski season will look like for MAST coaches, athletes and parents?
The good news is that ski areas are planning to open. We remain hopeful that the school district and the MN State High School League will allow the season to take place. More good news: It does not appear that the Fall sports season has contributed to the spread of the virus. The bad news is that changes and restrictions have been and will be instituted that will impact how we gather, educate, train, race and celebrate this season.
A. Announced and Proposed Restrictions and Changes To The Alpine Season
Some ski areas have started to publish their plans for opening and I have had a few conversations with people in the industry. Some of the changes I have seen announced or discussed so far are:
Hyland is waiting as long as possible to announce any final decisions about any restrictions they will be imposing, other than abiding by current State mandates (such as limiting building occupancy to 50% of the published building occupancy level). I would anticipate that many of the changes listed above will be our reality at Hyland as well.
B. MAST Changes: Confirmed and Anticipated
These are the changes MAST has had to make thus far, as well as some that we need to be prepared to swallow down the road.
1. No Giants Ridge Camp
I am sorry to report that the Giants Ridge Camp is CANCELLED for the 2020-21 season.
Camp Chicagami is closed. I spoke with Randy and he does not see how he will be able to host teams for overnight lodging for the foreseeable future. I know that this is a treasured experience for so many of you, coaches included. Let’s hope we can return in 2021-22. I am so sorry. Even at my advanced age, I look forward to going to camp with you every year. I assure you that I am just as disappointed as any one of you might be. Chins up. We march forward. We can still have a great season on the hill.
2. Other Cancelled MAST Events
MAST Ice Cream Social, Hoigaards Tent Sale Fundraiser, Pierce OktoberFest Fundraiser, Parent Social. We are hoping to offer one or two new team fundraisers and working to preserve the Urban Ventures Coffee Sale Individual Fundraiser.
3. Pre-Season Meetings, Orientations and Training Moved Online
Webinar dates and topics are listed below and on our website.
4. Limited Field Sizes At Races
I anticipate that if we do have opportunities to compete against other teams this year that the field sizes will be limited: fewer teams and fewer racers entered. US Ski and Snowboard is limiting the number of competitors to 100 athletes for each race day and venue. The usual number: 300-400. We should expect that high school racing will also impose limitations on field size this year. This means that all invitationals will likely be cancelled and there is the possibility that the section champs and state meet will be cancelled as well.
5. Changes To Coach-Athlete Instruction and Feedback
We are likely to reduce our face-to-face, coach-athlete interactions, demonstrations, and on-hill feedback and instead utilize social media more to communicate our training plans, drills, observations and feedback. This means you will be asked to take more control of your learning on the hill: knowing which directed free skiing drills are assigned each night, understanding the training plan for the evening, and more aggressively utilizing Sprongo to analyze your skiing technique and tactics. We will continue to offer feedback, but we will have to do it differently. Maybe we will continue to use google-meets to hold video review and feedback sessions within training groups. Man, that is a good idea. Note to coaches.
6. Changes To Transportation For Races and Supplemental Training
We may not be able to pack onto a bus for supplemental training or even races this season. We may need to recruit parents to drive athlete “pods” to races and/or supplemental training, if we decide that we can offer these opportunities safely. More to come on this issue.
7. Limits To Athlete Numbers At Training Sessions
Hyland may ask us to limit the number of athletes at each practice this season. Or, we may need to do this on our own in order to maintain some semblance of social distancing at Hyland. As our returning athletes know, it can get very crowded at the top of a lane waiting for your turn in the course. We may be able to adapt by offering more practice times, but it might also mean that we will have designated practices for certain groups during the week. Everyone may not be able to train six days a week as we have in the past. Hopefully this won’t be the case, but it is a possibility.
I share these scenarios and changes with you to alert you to how this season might be different from last season. Before you purchase equipment or a season pass, you need to know just how impactful the changes could be. The coaches will be just as committed as ever to helping you improve and achieve your goals for the season. My hope is that your desire to ski and train will be just as strong as it has been in the past, maybe even stronger since we have been sheltered in place more or less for the last six months.
C. New Practice Commitment and Participation Policy
For these reasons, I am implementing a new practice commitment and participation policy defining coaches' expectations around attendance and commitment. If you can’t make this level of commitment this season, please don’t take up a roster spot. This may seem harsh, but we are a competitive, varsity and junior varsity, high school sports team, not a recreational ski club. Unlike other sports, we do not require our athletes to tryout. We take students of all ability levels. In return, we ask for a commitment to regular attendance, sustained hard work, and a desire to develop into an exceptional skier. Think of it this way. How long would you stay on the roster of the Southwest girls’ varsity soccer team or the Washburn boys’ basketball team if you skip 50% of the practices? Even 25% of practices. If you walked away during the middle of practice to eat an order of french fries? Not long. This year, if you need to fuel up during practice, then make a sandwich at home, stuff it in your jacket, and eat it on a chair ride.
What do I mean by attending practice on a regular basis? The coaches will expect:
The bottom line is that the coaches expect athletes to show up often and train hard for the full practice. No riding in the terrain park during practice. No hanging out in the chalet checking social media. Train and have fun doing it... regularly.
III. Pre-Season Events and Webinar Logistics
Live webinars will be hosted using Google Meets through Minneapolis Public Schools. In order to participate, every family will need to utilize the ATHLETE’S MPS email account. You will not be able to participate using a personal or work email address. I know that some athletes may not wish to share your login and password with your parents. Nonetheless, my expectation is that you will log in using your MPS address and participate in the webinars with your parents. I would ask that you set your parents up with access to your email so that they can participate. We will try to post recorded webinars to Sprongo or YouTube to access later if you cannot attend live.
Every MAST athlete/family must fill out this form that will collect the MPS email address of every new and returning athlete. ClickHERE to complete the form. The email address you submit on this form should end in @mpsedu.org.
An invitation, including the webinar’s Google Meet link, will be sent to each @mpsedu.org email address registered. . Please do NOT try to link to the webinar using a personal or work email address. This will only complicate and delay the webinar. See the Pre-Season Events page on the MAST website for more information.
IV. Webinar Dates: Mark Your Calendars
Additional Webinars will be offered in November and December on the following topics:
It is time to be looking for equipment. If you are a returning athlete, try on your boots. Make sure they still fit. If you need to replace or find equipment, you need to get started now. We have good information on our website about what equipment you need, where to find it, and how to size it. Here is a link: https://www.mplsalpineski.org/
A. Local Equipment Swaps
So far, I only know of two swaps being held this Fall. I do see anything posted about a swap at Afton this year. Here are the two that are announced to date.
September 25-27, 2020.
Buck Hill Tent Sale
Here is a link for more information about the Buck Hill Tent Sale.
October 23-25, 2020
Team Gilboa Equipment Swap
Here is a link for more information about the Team Gilboa Ski Swap.
B. MAST Equipment Swap
Saturday, October 10 (tentative)
If we are holding a swap, it will be on Saturday Oct 10. Stay tuned.
C. Buying New: Pierce Skate and Ski
If you are buying any NEW equipment this season, I highly recommend scheduling an appointment with Pierce Skate and Ski in Bloomington. I have great confidence in the staff to properly match and fit you in the equipment that will serve you best. Appointments are required for those needing to purchase skis or boots. Walk-ins are welcome for those shopping for clothing, helmets, goggles, protective gear or tuning supplies.
Pierce Skate and Ski offers something it calls Flex pricing which gives 25% to 40% discounts off of Suggested Retail pricing on select race products from Atomic, Fischer, Head, Lange, Leki, Marker, Nordica, Rossignol & Swix. You will have to ask in the store for details.
Pierce also offers a package price on the 2019-20 Fischer FIS SL (sizes 155, 158 & 165) with bindings, race prep & binding installation at $999.95. These are "new" in the sense of "never been sold or used". This has proven to be a solid option for many high school racers as it is in the "medium" flex category which enables skiers who may not be highly skilled racers to roll the ski on edge and get it to arc. While $999.95 is a lot of money, unfortunately in the world of ski racing it is considered "reasonable".
One request that comes from me and me alone: This year, if you do not intend to purchase new, I would ask that you not use Pierce for the sole purpose of sizing equipment to purchase somewhere else. In the past, Pierce has been very kind to help our families find the right boot size or ski model and length in order for them to find the “correct” size in something used at a ski swap or online at a cheaper price. With Covid and the need to maintain social distancing and limit customer traffic in the store, we should not use valuable appointment times unless we are at least open to buying new from Pierce. For those who haven’t been to Pierce before, an appointment can take one and a half to two hours easily. The staff puts a lot of time into matching each customer with the right equipment. Of course, you are under no obligation to buy if you do schedule an appointment, but if you have no intention of purchasing boots or skis, please refrain from making an appointment in the first place. Hope this request on my part makes sense. If you aren looking for used equipment and are uncertain about what equipment to buy, how to select the right brand, model and size, and how to properly fit boots, then you need to be sure to participate in MAST Webinar #1.
Finally, the season opens Monday, November 9. Be sure to get out four to five times a week to exercise if you are not in a Fall sport.
In the next update, look for information about...
Call or email if you have questions. And don’t forget that our website contains a lot of information about our team and ski racing in general. We are updating it multiple times a week now. So keep checking back. Take a deep dive: www.mplsalpineski.org.
Have a great week.