Mini Blue Group Handbook

Printable Copy with Expectation Agreement, click here


Hello Minis! We are very excited for the season ahead full of  learning and fun! For those new to the team welcome to Armada. For those returning,  welcome back and congrats on last season's accomplishments! We are happy to have you all here. Coach Jesus will take over as the lead coach of the Mini Blue Group. Please save his contact email [email protected]


We’d like to take this opportunity to review the goals of the Mini Blue Group, review our expectations and help make this a successful experience for your athlete and family. Please take time to review this important information for the year and take the time to review the relevant info to your athlete. If you have any questions, please direct them to Coach Jesus.


Prerequisite skills:

Intermediate level at Canyon Swim School; Level 4 at the Albany Aquatic Center; or other swim school equivalent. All incoming swimmers are required to complete a tryout evaluation and receive a team invite before registering for the team. Mini blue has limited space and there is a waiting list to join this group.

Freestyle: complete 25 yards of free w/ catch up free technique and side breathing

Backstroke: complete 25 yards of backstroke with a balanced body position

Breaststroke: breaststroke kick; with toes out and legs in sync - timing of arms and legs 

Butterfly: body dolphin kick with arms at side- whole stroke 


Exit skills

Freestyle: complete a 50-yard free in under :50 seconds in competition, with body balance and side 

breathing. Swimmers must be able to complete flip turns with a streamline and dolphin kicks. 

Backstroke: complete a 50-yard back in under 1:00 minute in competition, with body balance, shoulder 

rotation and straight leg kicking. Swimmers must be able to complete a legal backstroke turn with a 

streamline and dolphin kicks. 

Breaststroke: complete a 100-yard breast in competition, with legal kick and stroke timing. Swimmers must 

be able to complete a legal open turn with the underwater sequence of a breaststroke pulldown. 

Butterfly: complete a 50-yard fly in competition with legal form. Swimmers must be able to complete a legal 

open turn with underwater dolphin kicks.

Other standards: complete a 100-yard individual medley in competition with legal turns and finishes; be 

able to do 50s of kick in workout under 1:00; be involved in regular swim meet competition. 


The ideal candidate for promotion must listen well, follow directions, apply stroke instruction, and work well in a group setting.


Contact Information:

Email: [email protected]


Description: This group is designed for elementary school aged children 6-10 years old, who are learning and building their skills in the four competitive strokes. The emphasis will be on stroke technique and learning the Armada drill progressions that build proper form in each stroke. Swimmers will also learn basic competitive skills and enable them to compete in our  monthly meets. Swimmers will build self-esteem 

through skill acquisition while learning to practice in a training group. Our goal is to grow the child’s love for 

the sport and provide a foundation for their swimming path. Swimmers can expect to work hard, learn new skills, make friends with teammates and have fun!


Swimmer Attendance Expectations:  Swimmers should attend at least two out of the three available practices a week. Swimmers should plan to attend scheduled meets that are provided. We encourage all swimmers to participate in Saturday stroke clinics and take advantage of all possible opportunities to help enhance their knowledge and progression. 

Equipment: Swimmers are required to bring these items to practice everyday

  • Fins--recommended pair linked here

  • Kickboard--recommended one linked here

Meet Participation: Swimmers are required to attend all of the practice meets and are highly encouraged to participate in official scheduled meets. When signing up for events, the coaches will detail which events each swimmer should participate in “focus events”. Generally we select 1 event per day, then swimmers can select the other events. We recommend 3-4 events per swim meet day.  Oftentimes meets fill up quickly  best practice is to register as soon as a meet opens. If you have not received direction in event selection, please reach out to Coach Jesus via email before registration opens. 


Compliance forms: All swimmers and parents must comply with the AAA Code of Conduct at all times (swimmers linked here, parents linked here). Code of Conduct breaches can result in suspension or immediate dismissal from the team. 


Mini Blue Group Glossary


Position 11: Arms extended at shoulder width. Head below the elbows with high shoulders.

Catch: The pull; the part of the pull that happens against the water. 

Championship finish: Four-step finish. 1) No breath from the flags into the wall. 2) Finish deep, don’t gutter grab. 3) Extend into the wall. 4) Kick hard. 

Drill: A modification of a stroke to help teach 1 concept or practice one movement to help with teaching the whole stroke 

Down / crossover kick: The kick in freestyle and backstroke that occurs at the same time the hand is pulling. In freestyle, the left arm is pulling while the right leg is kicking, and vice versa, which creates a crossbody connection. In backstroke, the left arm is pulling while the left leg is kicking, and vice versa. 

Flip turns: This skill is done for freestyle and backstroke events, swimmers will use a somersault motion to transition from one lap to the next.

Listening position: one hand on a wall or lane line, eye and ears above water on the coach. 

Ready position: the action of being ready to push off the wall. One hand with the other arm extended toward the opposite end of the wall. Always positioned the right side of the lane. Feet on the wall ready to push/jump away. 

Rocket bobs: Streamline jumps off bottom of the pool to practice how to use your legs on a push off. 

Sculling: the action of applying pressure to the water in a tight sweeping motion. Works on finding powerful catch positions in each stroke. 

Sink down push offs: The way to leave the wall from an open/IM turn. In the order - Sink/Streamline/ Push.

Splits: The pace it takes to go your goal time in any given race. Splits can be any distance--25s, 50s, 100s, 500s. 

Streamline: This is a position that you should be in every time you leave the wall or from a dive. This  involves a swimmer to overlap their hands, create 3 points of contact- thumb lock, elbow squeeze and trap head and shoulder squeezing the back of their neck.  

Variable: This is when you change speeds/vary in one set. Ez-fast/Fast - ez/Ez/Fast


Drills Index



Position 11: Arms extended at shoulder width. Head below the elbows with high shoulders.

Inline kick: one arm by cheek, other arm on side, belly button facing the side of the pool, with eyes facing the bottom of the pool. 

Rotation kick: both arms by sides. Six kicks with the belly button facing one side of the pool, rotate belly button to face the other side of the pool for another six kicks. Eyes facing the bottom of the pool.

Bubble arm breathe arm: Take a stroke (eyes down, blow bubbles), take the next stroke to breathe.

Side 11 Freestyle 2 kicks : Begin in the 11 position, kick three times, take one straight arm stroke. Kick three more times, then recover the arm bk to the starting 11 position, and alternate the arms. Count to 1, 2, 3; push to side, kick 4, 5, 6 and lift. 



Inline kick: one arm behind neck, other arm on side, belly button facing the side of the pool, with eyes facing the sky. 

Rotation kick: both arms by sides. Six kicks with the belly button facing one side of the pool, rotate the belly button to face the other side of the pool for another six kicks. Eyes facing the sky.

L-switch: waiting for the bottom arm to raise into L-position (arm directly above eyes, other arm behind neck) before pulling with the top arm.

6 kick switch: begin in the inline position, add 3 kicks on your side, recover the arm and push the water to switch the side you are on and push the water. 



Kick: suit (heels to suit); circle (draw circle with heels); squeeze (bring legs together and squeeze)

Body position kick: thumbs interlocked with head down and arms stretched in front of body. Breaststroke kick, gliding for 2-Armada in between each kick.

Separation Breaststroke: begin in a missile position float bubbles. Pull breathe and get back to missle position quickly, add kick glide blow bubbles 



Y-position kick: body at surface, arms outstretched with fingertips lying slightly outside shoulder width.

Body roll kick: body at surface, arms by sides. Pressing the chest to lift the hips, then squeezing hips down back in line. 

Separation Butterfly: begin in a Y floating position, bend at your waist, press chest below surface and press legs down. Float back on the surface and then initiate pull. Recover back to start.