Team Partners

NOVICE PROGRAM: Director Bert Bergen
Coach Jessica Chene
(Space is limited and not all groups have space available).  We have worked hard to create a schedule with as many options as possible. Groups and times may not be mixed. Please don’t ask for exceptions. In order to maintain practice quality, swimmers must attend at the time for which they are registered.

Mini Tritons (Ages 5-8)

General Curriculum and Skills

To qualify for Mini-Tritons, a swimmer must complete one length (25 yards) of Freestyle with beginner side breath AND one length (25 yards) of Backstroke.

If your swim practice is canceled due to a SCA team event ONLY (i.e. Halloween Party, Holiday event, Team Photo Day, etc.), you may attend practice on another day that week.  For example, if you swim MW at 5:00 and we cancel swimming on Wednesday, your swimmer can swim on either Tuesday or Thursday of that week (at 5:00-same time).  Illnesses, out-of-town commitments,  desire to try a new group, and/or homework issues are not acceptable reasons to attempt to attend a different practice.  Thank you for your understanding!

Training Schedule
Monday/Wednesday Program        Tuesday/Thursday Program    
4:00-4:30 pm Mini Tritons L2  #1 4:00-4:30 pm Mini Tritons L2 #2
4:30-5:00 pm Mini Tritons L2 #3  4:30-5:00 pm Mini Tritons L2 #4
5:00-5:30 pm Mini Tritons L2 #5 5:00-5:30 pm Mini Tritons L2 #6
5:30-6:00 pm Mini Tritons L2 #7 5:30-6:00 pm Mini Tritons L2 #8
Curriculum:  In a small group setting, young swimmers are taught the fundamentals of stroke development through drills and technique that set the stage for proper swimming biomechanics. Quality coaching and a low swimmer-to-coach ratio (7:1) make this program a great introduction to San Clemente Aquatics.  Our Mini-Tritons are our youngest team members!  When a group reaches 7 swimmers, the group will be closed to new registrations until a space becomes available.

Kicking Skills:

Emphasize proper body positioning through various kicking methods

  • Traditional freestyle (flutter) kick with a board or buoy, long straight arms and a low head
  • Kick on side, ear to shoulder, arm extended in streamline, one goggle in one goggle out.
  • Head lead body balance—working not to lift the head in front, booty high
  • Streamline kicking on back, arms over head with biceps touching back of ears
  • Kicking on back for four kicks, rotating shoulders and hips, as head remains still
  • Beginning dolphin kick with feet together, arms at side, practicing “worm drill”
  • Beginning breaststroke or "frog" kick, with feet turned out, practicing gliding.

Swimming Drills:


  • Training bi-lateral breathing and hip rotation, turning head only to side breathe
  • Catch-up Stroke working on longer strokes while "anchoring" hand in front, pulling through with a relaxed high elbow recovery or "shark fin!"
  • Left Arm lead/Right Arm Lead; switch lead at 25 yds


  • "Penguin Drill" -- Shoulder roll kicking with head still, rolling shoulders eand hips every four kicks.
  • “Cannon Drill" -- Reach high, back down with straight arm loading the cannon (no spaghetti arms!), then fast around!  Always emphasize "thumb out, pinky in" on exit and entry. 
  • 1-Arm Drill -- With trailing arm at side, stroke with one arm working on deep catch, shoulder/hip rotation and push at bottom.  No snaking, high tempo and Kick, Kick, Kick!!

We have many more drills and methods to help the swimmers learn and enjoy this amazing sport!


Criteria to Move from Mini Tritons to Bronze Group

Swimmer must be at least 6 years old.

Swimmer must be able to follow coach directive 90% of time during workouts.

Swimmer must be on time for workouts 90% of time.

Swimmer must understand Breaststroke and be able to swim 25 yards with a legal kick.

Swimmer must be able to swim 25 yards of continuous Backstroke demonstrating a legal stroke and finishing on their back.

Swimmer must be able to swim 4-25 yard(s) of Freestyle on the :40 interval.

Swimmer must be USA Swimming dive certified.

Swimmer must understand the concept of streamline and be able to demonstrate streamline during practice 100% of the time.

Swimmer must understand the concept of ready, set, go.