Mini Blue Group Handbook


Hello Mini’s! Excited for another year of learning and fun! Welcome, we are excited to have you all here. The goal of this handbook is to help you all understand what the group is, what our goals are, and provide both swimmers and parents with important information for the year. If you have any questions, please direct them to Coach Jesus.


Prerequisite skills:

Passage of level 4 lessons at the Albany aquatic center or Intermediate level at canyon swim school or equivalent. 

Required skills:

Freestyle -  complete 25 yards of free w/ balance and side breathing

Backstroke -  complete 25 yards of backstroke, 

Breaststroke- legal kick and stroke timing- 15 yards 

Butterfly - dolphin kick 15 yards


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


Contact Information:

Email: [email protected]. Swimmers writing by email must cc a parent, as per USA Swimming’s MAAPPS policy.

*Please note that current MAAPPs hours for swimmer-coach contact are from 5:00am to 9:00pm.

Description: This group is designed for elementary school aged children 6-10 year old, who are still learning the basics of the competitive strokes. The emphasis will be put on building self-esteem, learning to practice in a training group, and forming proper stroke technique habits. Athletes in this group will learn that making new friends and having fun are an important part of growing the child’s love of the sport. 

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 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 provide a handout for which events each swimmer should participate in. If you have not received direction in event selection, please reach out to Coach Jesus via email before registering. 


Compliance forms: All swimmers are required to fill out COVID waivers and follow all COVID protocol established by Albany Armada Aquatics and Alameda County. 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


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. 

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


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: Begin in the 11 position, kick 3 times, take 1 straight arm stroke. Kick 3 more times, then recover the arm bk to the starting 11 position, and alternate the arms. 

123 - push to side kick 456 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.

3 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. 

3 kick lift push switch 



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.