Navy Group Handbook

Printable PDF with Expecations Agreement, click here


Welcome to the Navy group! If you’re new, we’re glad to have you with us; to our returners, congratulations on last season, and we can’t wait to see what you do this year. Navy group will have a new lead coach this season, please welcome. Evganii Somov or his preferred name Yev. Yev will be our new lead coach of the Armada Navy group. Coach Yev previously worked with Oaklantis Swim Team and is a former collegiate and national level swimmer. Yev is a former Russian National Champion & World Junior Champion. Yev swam at the University of Louisville where he was  5XACC Champion and record holder. We are very excited to welcome Yev to our coaching staff and look forward to welcoming him to the Armada family. 


With the beginning of a new season, we want to take this opportunity to define the goals of the Navy group, describe the expectations, and explain some of the key terms we use. If you have any questions (parents or swimmers), please don’t hesitate to contact Yev.


Contact Information:

Email: (preferred mode of parent-coach contact for detailed communication). Swimmers writing by email must cc a parent, as per USA Swimming’s MAAPPS policy.


GroupMe: Navy group chat or direct message (preferred mode of swimmer-coach contact, especially to communicate absences). Please note that current MAAPPs hours for swimmer-coach contact are from 5:00am to 9:00pm.


Description: Navy group is designed for high school athletes who prioritize swimming and are committed to their training and long-term goals. Navy group athletes are committed to training all four strokes disciplines and are knowledgeable about all aspects of technique, training, and meet preparation; and are leaders of the Armada community, espousing what it means to be a champion for life. 


Group objectives:

  • Refine stroke biomechanics and mechanical habits

  • Work diligently towards setting down a highly competitive aerobic base

  • Work towards mastery of the mental aspect of the sport by marshaling knowledge of self and sports psychology

  • Develop and embody the ideals and values that shape Albany Armada Aquatics

  • Display mastery in competent and reliable communication to teammates and coaches

Age range: High school & Middle school athletes, 13-18 years old

Time standard objectives: A, AA

Practices per week: 4-5 workouts per week

Yardage: 3000/practice


Attendance requirements: Full-time swimmers 80% of sessions, including  dryland; multi-sport athletes (non-swimming) 70%.

Minimum entry set requirements:


15 x 100 @ FPSO +5

6 x 200 IM @ FPSO

5 x 100 primary nonfree @ FPSO




Fly*: 1:35, Back: 1:30, Breast: 1:40

*3rd 25 free




Fly*: 1:40, Back: 1:35, Breast: 1:45

*3rd 25 free


Minimum time standard requirements: at least one USA Swimming BB time achieved during most recent age group


Challenge sets: 25 x 100 @ FPSO +10, 8 x 200 IM @ FPSO +5, 5 x 100 FPSO for one non-free stroke, 20 x 100 best average, 400 KFT, 1 x 100 no breath



Attendance: Navy Group swimmers are expected to attend 80% of sessions, including goal-setting & dryland. Swimmers competing in another non-swimming high school sport are expected to make 70%. 

Conflicts: If there is an unavoidable conflict with practice time, such as a school meeting or doctor’s appointment, please communicate your absence and the reason why to Coach Yev in writing the day before. 

  • Illness or injury: If you are actively sick, have a fever or stomach problems, please stay at home and send a message about your absence. If you have the sniffles, it’s generally okay to come to practice (unless you suspect it to be COVID-19). If you have any injury that you feel might hinder your dryland or swimming performance, such as a twisted ankle, please communicate with Yev; it’s likely we’ll be able to find a substitute exercise so that you can still participate. 

  • Summer vacation: Summer is an important training block for us, and so we ask families to do their best to take all extended vacations during the Armada break. Remember, we want you to take time off during our scheduled breaks–don’t swim so you are ready to come back to practice rejuvenated.

Lastly, please remember that stretching is a non-negotiable part of our practice--all Navy swimmers are expected to arrive ten minutes early to each session to complete the stretching routine. 


Meet Participation: Navy Group swimmers are required to attend all of the practice meets and time trials we offer. When signing up for events, please check the focus event for the Navy group or reach out to Coach Yev about events. 


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. 

Equipment List:

Swimmers are required to have a mesh bag with the required equipment at the pool every day. Mesh bags can be left on the hooks provided at the pool. Equipment includes: 

  • Mesh bag--recommended one linked here

  • Fins--recommended pair linked here

  • Paddles--recommended pair linked here

  • Snorkel--recommended one linked here

  • Pull buoy--recommended one linked here

  • Kickboard--recommended one linked here

  • Plastic workout sheet (provided)

Please order all gear from the team store when possible. If you do not have the required gear, please order any missing items as soon as possible. If that is not feasible for your family, please communicate with the coaches and we will figure out a way to get you the missing gear. If a swimmer is consistently coming to practice without the required gear, a swimmer-parent-coach meeting will be called to understand the issue. 


Navy Group Glossary


BP: Body position, usually body position kick. Body position kick for fly is head down, hands in 11-position; side-kick for backstroke, working on pressing the shoulders into the water; head down, hands at side for breaststroke; and side-kick for freestyle, working on pressing the chest down.

CH: Stands for choice, i.e., 200 ch(oice).

DK: Stands for dolphin kicks.

DPS: Stands for distance per stroke. The least amount of strokes you can do per lap without having an abnormal kick pattern. 

EVF: Stands for early vertical forearm. The initial catch phase of every stroke where the shoulder, lat, and bicep muscles are activated and the elbow pops up, allowing the forearm and the hand to get into a 90 degree position to push water behind you.

FPSO: Stands for fastest possible send-off, referring to your fastest possible interval for 5 x 100s. FPSO + 5 is your fastest possible interval plus 5 seconds per 100, and FPSO + 10 is your fastest possible interval plus 10 seconds per 100. See chart on page 8. 

HR: Stands for heart rate. You get your heart rate by counting the beats of your pulse for 6 seconds and multiplying by 10. Start by counting the first beat as 0. 

Primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary: Neutral words used in place of calling strokes “best” or “worst.” Not placing value judgments on your strokes allows you to have an open mind about working on less intuitive strokes.  

NFR: Stands for non-free.

RIMO/IMO: Stands for reverse IM order (RIMO) or IM order (IMO). 

SC: Stands for stroke count, the number of strokes you take in one lap.

SKDS: Stands for scull, kick, drill, swim.



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. 

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. 

Decompression: Opening up the ribcage--moving the ribs away from the pelvis--to take a breath that allows you to engage more of your core. 

Engage/activate/turn on: Synonyms for flexing muscles, i.e., engage your core, activate your lets, etc. 

Foot touch: Finishing with a turn instead of with your hands. All race pace work is done to a foot touch.

Gear-shifting: Changing speeds at different points in a set, distance, or race. You gear-shift by rotating faster in freestyle in backstroke, initiating your roll sooner in fly, and lifting your heels quicker in breaststroke. You can also accelerate into the wall to use the turn to gear-shift.

Negative split: Last half of your race is faster than the first. Even split means both halves of your race were the same time. 

Race pace: Your goal splits for any distance, usually expressed as a 50 or 100 time. 

Recovery: The part of the arm phase that happens outside the water. 

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

Drill Index


Body position kick: Hands in 11 position. Kick in the roll-snap rhythm. 

Underwater recovery: Start with hands in 11 position. Chest press, then catch with the hands and snap the feet. Hands slide under the water back into 11 position. 

Flutterbutter: Flutter kick with butterfly arms. Work soft landing with hands and X-shaped pull pattern.

1-arm: One arm at side, one arm straight out in front. Chest press, then pull with front arm, snap legs, and recover. Use arm at side to get the chest deep during the press; having both arms in front makes the chest press more shallowly. 



Rotation kick: Hands at side. Five kicks on side and then a crossover kick. Use the crossover kick to initiate the turn of hips and shoulders. Shoulder should finish underneath the chin. Don’t forget to engage core. 

2-beat/4-beat kick/6-beat kick: 2-beat kick is one kick per arm stroke. 4-beat kick is two kicks per arm stroke, with kicks 1 & 2 coming from one leg and kicks 3 & 4 coming from the other leg. 6-beat kick is three kicks per arm stroke, alternating one kick from each leg. If you’re doing 2-beat, both kicks will be crossover kicks; in 4-beat, kicks #2 and #4 are the crossover kicks; in 6-beat, kicks #3 & #6 are the crossover kicks. 

1-arm: Start in side position. Lift and pull with one arm, making sure to connect the finish of the catch and the crossover kick. One shoulder should come out of the water as you begin the catch, and then the other shoulder should come out of the water as you finish the catch.

Backstroke w/ a dolphin kick: Works on connecting the hand and the foot and establishing tempo. 

Kickboard drill: Kickboard between legs. Touch the part of the board that’s underneath the water as you finish the catch. Make sure you are rotating your hips and shoulders. 



Separation breaststroke: Arms pull while the legs stay straight and together, then legs kick while the arms and head remain in a “shoot position.” 

Adam Peaty drill: Arms initiate pull. As soon as hands get to the stocks position, heels lift. Then finish the catch, then finish the kick. Works on quick heels. 

Breaststroke w/ a dolphin kick: Works on getting chest to press after shoot, and hips to come in towards the hands during stocks position and then out of the water after shoot. 

2-kick breaststroke: Done with two breaststroke kicks or one dolphin + one breaststroke. First variation works on a streamlined shoot position, second works on establishing hip movement.

Casting drill: Start in shoot position. Move hands up over the water toward head, then slam them through the water as hard as you can, trying to use the momentum to get the hips out of the water. 

Breaststroke pull on a kickboard: Works stocks position and EVF. 

Breaststroke w/ a flutter kick: Six kicks in the shoot position, six kicks through the outsweep position, and six total kicks through the catch and shoot. Works the fast shoot.



2-beat/4-beat/6-beat kick: see same entry for backstroke. 

Kickboard drill: Kickboard between legs. As one hand enters the water, the other finishes the stroke and then taps the part of the kickboard that’s above the water.  

Fingertip drag: Drag fingertips along the surface of the water during the recovery, keeping the elbow pointed to the sky. 

10-count freestyle: Start in side position. Two counts with elbow slightly lifted out of water; move elbow between side and head and hold for two counts; move elbow directly over head and hold for two counts; move elbow in front of head and hold for two counts; then allow hand to enter the water and pull with the opposite arm. 

6-kick switch: Start in side position and kick six times. Seventh kick is a crossover kick and a stroke.

Links & Literature

Important links: The team website. Use the AAA Schedule tab to see the practice schedule; use the Events & Calendar to find out more information about meets or team events, including meet sheets and job sign ups. GroupMe chat for Navy group. All urgent communication passes through there first. Ask Miriam to be added to the chat. 

Swimmer’s Corner. Shared Google Drive where the pre-race, post-race, and goal-setting worksheets live. Meet and practice results are also there, as are meet and time qualifying standards. Swimmer’s Corner is organized by year (i.e., 2021-2022) and then by season (Fall 2021). Ask Miriam to be added to the GDrive.   

USA Swimming Individual Times Search: Search engine that pulls up all the times you’ve ever swum at sanctioned meets. Click “Show only fastest by event” in the search tool to show only your best times ever. Great resource for seeing news from the LSC, as well as top times and time standards.


Recommended reading, if you’re interested:

Four Champions, One Gold Medal by Chuck Warner: The best book about distance swimming ever. 

Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox: One of the most accomplished female open water swimmers of all time. If you think the Albany pool is cold, read this. 

Young Woman and the Sea by Glenn Stout: Inspiring story about the first woman to swim the English Channel while setting both women’s and men’s records in the process. 

Why We Swim by Armada parent Bonnie Tsui: A bigger picture look at what the water can be for us beyond goals and times. 

The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey: How-to guide to being nonjudgmental about your performance, which unlocks your brain’s ability to learn and grow. 

Mindset by Carol Dweck: Growth mindset bible. 


Expectations Agreements


For Coaches

  1. We will be prepared for practice. We will be on time and have a thoughtfully prepared workout for you each day. We will be mentally present, excited to share and learn with you all, and actively search for opportunities to help you improve. 

  2. Using your thoughts and experiences as our guide, we will provide individualized feedback.

  3. We will listen to you with an open mind to understand the whole picture, and be committed to finding solutions to help us move forward. 

  4. We will strive to find ways to connect the group and create a fun, positive environment for all swimmers. 

  5. We will work with you as a partner to achieve your competitive swimming goals and support you in any way you need outside of the pool. 


For Athletes

  1. You will be physically prepared for practice. You will be on time, with all your equipment and a fueled body; and you will have done your best to recover from previous practices. You will have stretched prior to entering the water. 

  2. You will be mentally prepared for practice. You will be prepared to give your best effort and learn no matter what. 

  3. You will actively communicate with us about absences, how training is going, and if we do or say something that you feel isn’t benefiting you. 

  4. You will be a supportive teammate to each and every person on Armada, and understand that being the best teammate you can be makes the whole team better, including yourself.  

  5. You will receive feedback from us and yourself, and do your best to have a growth mindset by understanding that each day is a new chance to learn and be better than the day before. 


Please detach the following page from your packet and return to Coach Yev. If you have questions or concerns about the document as a whole, please reach out to me individually.