“Pull, Breathe, Arms-over, Dive (Shoulders), Kick, Long”

Introduction to Butterfly

Some teachers say ‘forget the legs’, others ‘forget the arms.’ It depends rather on how advanced they are. For beginning emphasis on the kick and flude, snaking movement through the water. Then add the arms.

Once they are swimming fly and have the arm stroke telling them to ‘forget the legs’ can improve the timing of the kick.

On the Side of the Pool

Fig. 1 Dolphin Kick from ‘The Swimming Drill Book’  Ruben Guzman part 22

Take swimmers through the dolphin kick: from the hips.

Fig. 2 Dolphin Kick from ‘The Swimming Drill Book’  Ruben Guzman part 22

Demonstrate the kick action from the hips, then have them do the same in the water.

  • Hips back and forwards to kick like a dolphin or merman.

Beth Ross’s Fly Arms sequence

Lie on the side of the pool head over the edge.

  • Hands at side.
    • 1. Flick wrist
    • 2. Raise arm
    • 3. Bring arm over.
    • 4. Repeat

Dolphin resting on lane rope. Legs pointing straight down … as they have done poolside.

Kicking

  • Kick with Woggle: with arms out.
  • 1 x 25m Kick on Front (KOF)
  • 1 x 25m Kick on Back (KOB
  • 1 x 25m Kick on Front (KOF)
  • 1 x 25m Kick on Side (KOS)

Drills

  • Single arm fly.
  • 1+1+1 one right, one left, fullstroke.

G4 did a dive into fly with four kicks to the pull, counting out 4 kicks with 5th the arms in, and 6th the arm pull.

Dead swimmer (From ‘The Swim Drill Book’)

Then from the streamlined position then dolphin kick into FC shallow end and deep, on the ‘T’ or under the flags.

Part: Arms

  • Single Arm 6 kicks to one pull

Watch the straight arm as it comes over

“Kick the hand in, Kick the hand out”

Focus points : Timing of breathing/Rhythm

Whole: Full Stroke

  • From a dive.

Focus points : Hand entry position/Body movement and undulation

Turns : Transition into stroke.

Focus point : No breathing first stroke

Fun Activities

  • Bounce from a pencil jump
  • ‘Sea Otter’
  • Handstands
  • Somersaults
  • Mushroom float
  • Sitting/Lying on the bottom of the pool

Starts and Turns

Fig.1. The importance of streamlining. “Dead Swimmer’ sequence from ‘The Swim Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman

Warm Up

50s FC and BC with emphasis on smooth swimming and long legs. I run through in a multitude of adjectives:

  • Slinky
  • Smooth
  • Silent
I draw on drills from Ruben Guzman’s ‘The Swim Drill Book’
  • Smooth
  • Sneaky

Send them on a secret mission

What works wonders with the younger swimmers is to tell them that they are ‘secret agents’ on a ‘secret mission’ and have to swim in the dark without being seen or heard.The result can be highly controlled, smooth swimming – just the kind of thing you’d hope for from a squad rather than a teaching group.

I centre everything on streamlining in starts and turns so start off where I usually end with a streamlined bounce, a handstand with emphasis on long legs and pointy toes, then a cannon ball and somersault.

Fun activities include:

  • Streamlined bounce off the bottom. Jack in the box style trying to touch the 5m flags, or the length of the pool.
  • Mushroom float
  • Summersault
  • Canon-ball summersault over the side of the pool – taught in an ASA Course
  • Canon-ball backwards fall over the side of the pool
  • Sea Otter – a series of playful duck dives the length of the pool

The formal sequence into starts and turns:

  • glide out to the flags (or beyond)
  • glide and add a few dolphin kicks
  • then glide, dolphin kick a single stroke of FC and tumble (flip)
  • then glide, dolphin kick and two strokes.
  • do Fly here as it is appropriate to do so

Repeat on the back with backstroke

Then with breastroke.

From the centre of the pool do turns into the wall, potentially with swimmers heading off to opposite ends of the pool and meeting in the middle. This can be done as a relay. A large float can be used for bouyancy.

Fig.2 Dive, flight, entry, glide. From ‘The Swim Drill Book’ by Ruben Guzman.

From a dive:

  • Glide
  • Glide and add the BR underwater stroke
  • the full BR transition
  • And from 10 m out all the turns.

And with time spare some fun activities and efforts to fault correct.

T1 Sunday 3rd May 2015

Our club top ‘training group’ – these are competitive standard swimmers who want to train but cannot commit to the more rigours demands of the squad training 8 hours or more per week. Swimming for fitness with occasional club competitions.

WARM UP
200 FC Drill/Smooth Reducing stroke count Sub-Total 200m <4 mins
MAIN SET Focus – long, streamlined transitions off
4 x 100 as 25 Fly 75 FC 2:00
3 x 100 as 25 Fly  75 BC 2:30
2 x 100 as 25 Fly 75 BR 2:15
1 x 100 as 25 FLY 75 CH
Sub-Total 1000m <24 mins
20 x 50 as off
1-4 1-4     FC Max 00:50
5-8 FC Breath every 5 strokes 01:00
9-12 BC Max 01:10
13-16 BC K 01:30
17-20 Choice 01:00
Sub-Total 1000m <24 mins

Swim Down

1 x 200m Choice Sub-Total 200m <4 mins
Totals Distance Duration
2.4k >56<60 mins

 

Training Group 2 Mixed 100s One Hour

T2 MIXED  100s One Hour Thursday 21st April 2015

 

WARM UP

 

3 x 100m FC

as 50m Swim, 50m Kick on 2.30 (or rest 10 seconds)

 

1 x 200m BC         Rest 30 seconds

 

1 x 100m BR          Rest 30 seconds

 

MAIN SET

 

6 x 50m CH as 25 Drill, 25 Fast on 1.30

1 x 100m CH Easy

 

4 x 25m IM order Lane Clear EASY SWIM

 

4 x 50m FC as 25 Drill, 25 Fast on 1.30

 

1 x 100m BR Easy

 

2 x 100m as 1st FC Drill (Zip up)

 

2 x 100m FC swim

 

SWIM DOWN

 

200m

 

TOTAL: 2km

How to teach backcrawl (BC) to swimmers age 7-12

Backstroke for 9-12 year olds, MSM Grades 4 and 5 (ASA equivalent NPTS 9 to 10) (+G8 additions)

Poolside

Image from ‘The Swimming Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman.

By the wall, left shoulder, palm facing thigh, rotate arm as if bringing it out of the water, rotate so that the palm faces the tiles, twist shoulder, drop and ‘pull’ down to the thigh. Repeat. x3. Then turn and face the other way. Use Ruben Guzman. To this I add practice of the ‘hesitation’ drill where the swim raising one arm to the perpendicular, counts ‘one mississippi’, rotates the hand, couns ‘two missippi’ then lowers the hand to the water little finger first. We do this drill during the session. Good to get an idea of how to do it correctly here.

On a bench, sitting over the edge of the pool.
Sitting down. Leg position. Long pointed toes. Flutter kick.

Image from ‘The Swimming Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman.

In the water

Streamlined push off in the water
Push and glide off the wall for start and turns.
Kick on the back with a float over the knees to reduce cycle of legs, with a float over the head, or as soon as they can as above in the streamlined position, even starting with a push, glide and dolphin kick.

Warm Up

1 x 50m BC

Emphasis on body position, head back as if resting on a pillow.

Main Set
2 x 50m BC kick
1 x 50m Float over knees. Knees should not touch, float should not bounce. Keep the legs long.
1 x 50m Ideally, kicker float above the head, held at sides.
Stretch. Body position flat on the water.

Drills
2 x 25m Pull along the lane rope
Instruct them to swap arms / Help them get the drill right
or 2 x 50m from Grade 5 upwards.
i.e. pulling along the lane rope with one, then the other arms.
Watch out, some will use both arms!!
It doesn’t matter if they don’t actually pull, touching will do to get them to rotate and bend the arm on the pull.

Applied Fun

Double arm down the lane 1 x 25m
Emphasis on a steady flutter kick
Off the block with a pencil jump then streamlined bounce to the shallow en

Plastic cup balanced on the forehead + BC fullstroke
Great challenge and surprising how many can do it without losing their cup
2 x 25m

Sea Otter
1 x 25m
On front, duck dive to the bottom, up to the top, swim along on your back, roll over.
Swim it as short or long arm doggie paddle.
All about love for the water and fluidity. Duck five for tumble turns and diving, push of bottom for dives and turns too, rolling out the back and kick … all skills they need :)

G7+ (maybe stronge Grade 6)

Single arm BC – stretched out and under the water
Swap arm after 25m

Single arm BC – arm raised for entire length.
Swap arm after 25m

Push and glide on the back in the shallow end
Add a dolphin kick
Start the stroke with ONE arm while stretched out

Other Favourite Drills

2 x 25m Submarine periscope
During stroke HOLD the arm in the vertical, laser the ceiling, then continue the stroke
Emphasis on a steady flutter kick

Repeat 2 x 25m Typically have the best one demonstate
Emphasis on counting three seconds when the arm is raised

2 x 25m Have them go down in pairs, side by side, synchronising the raised arm

Start

Image from ‘The Swimming Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman.

BC Start
Hold the bar on the block
One foot slightly below the other
on ‘Take you marks’ both get into a ball AND put your head back
Backwards dive
Emphasis on holding the arms in the streamlined position
Add a few dolphin kicks
Start the stroke with one arm keeping the other raises.

Race Pace – can they retain skill when the speed up?
1 x 25m race pace BC
From the shallow end
Streamlined glide
Dolphin kick into stroke
Steady breathing

1 x 25m race pace BC

Using the grip on the block
Dive backwards into glide and dolphin kick

Fun end – Grade 6 and under
Handstand
Streamlined bounce
Mushroom float
Somersault

Swim Down – Grades 7+
As 4 x 25m
BC – BR – FC – FLY
BR – FC – FLY-BC
FC – FLY-BC-BR

Tips on teaching breaststroke

Fig.1. From ‘The Swimming Drills Book

“Pull, breathe, kick, glide.”

Repeat this until sticks in their heads and they do it in the pool!

Watch this animation from the BBC Sport

The body is horizontal in with the hips high, the head is steady and the chin tucked in – the breath in is short and explosive – the breath out underwater is a slow trickle. The arms reach forward out, pull out and scoop to the chest in one inverted heart-shape.

The stretch is most important in Breaststroke as it forms a vital part of the swim – you kick into the glide.

In breaststroke you are moving faster and more efficiently through the water when you are doing nothing at all – this streamline position is vital. The arm pull is short, the legs whip out against the water to get you into this sliding, gliding, streamlined position.

The session plan

Fig.2. Breaststroke Arms. From ‘The Swimming Drills Book.’

Poolside

Exercise 1
Breaststroke arms standing (poolside or shoulder high in water)

Establishes the correct arm action.Begins to address swimmers who pull down to the their thighs

Keep arms in front of shoulders.
“Like putting tomato sauce on a pizza?”
An upside down heartshape.
“Pull, sweap, sneeze!!”

FOCUS: Watch your hands, they should always be in front of your shoulders.

You may need to take their hands and move them through the stroke.

Warm up

FC/BC 50/100m smooth
BR 50/100m Observe their Breaststroke

Main Set
Pick through a choice of your favourite drills to fix observed problems (see suggestions by group grade below).

These are typically:

  • Dropping the hands to the waist
  • Kick Problems: not symmetrical, screw kick/side kick, not a whip kick.
  • Head tipping back and forth.
  • Hips are low in the water
  • Breathing in and out with equal force. It must be an explosive inhale and a slow ‘trickle’ exhale.

Apply the drills. See ‘The Swim Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman

Adjust drills according to how they respond

A choice of drills based on the problems they’re having and grade:

Breaststroke arms with a woggle tucked under their arms
An excellent way to give swimmers a physical barrier to their arms dropping to the waist.
Push off gently so you don’t lose your noodle. Hand out only one colour to avoid hassle who gets what colour!

Breaststroke Arms with flutter kick
Keeps the body horizontal and moving forward making it easier to develop what may at first be a weak arm stroke in front of the shoulders.
Keep the flutter kick steady. Wear fins if you have them. A dolphin kick is a good alternative.

Breaststroke Kick with a float

Hands over the top. Use as pullbuoy as a variation on this and before kicking without a float at all.

Steady kick. Always kick into a streamlined glide.
Explosive inhale, blow out slowly.

2K1P
Two Kicks One Armpull

To develop the kick and put emphasis on the gliding action.
Make them work. Do it a few times, as 25m, 50m or 100m until they do the drill perfectly.

Extended glide
Glide for one, or two seconds counting ‘One Mississippi’- start the count once in the streamlined position not before. They will cheat!
Many cheat and so making it a two second glide is more likely to achieve the desired effect. Be emphatic about streamlining the glide.

Breaststroke leg kick on your back.

Higher grades with arms extended above the head.
Also Old English Backstroke.
Aim to keep the knees below the surface bringing the ankle into the bum

Tougher drills:

1D1U
One down, one up
Only with top grades and training groups

This alternates the arm stroke to the waste (for transition) with the surface stroke to encourage undulation

Some struggled to get it. Relax, drop to the bottom, pull to the surface

1A1L
One arm, one leg!
Take the left leg with the right arm (or vice versa) and swim 25m breaststroke with only one leg and one arm!

Encourages coordination and being flat on the water.

A good fun one, serious though. Some do it brilliantly, others struggle.

Reference

The Swimming Drill Book. R. Guzman

Some useful video clips to watch

How to do the breaststroke (development)

How to swim breaststroke arms (competitive)

Breaststroke Animation: Side one

Common breaststroke mistakes

How to kick breaststroke – frog kick

Bend, Open, Snap – Breaststroke Frog Kick demonstrated

Teaching Breaststroke by Gator Swim Team

About Swimming Breaststroke

From ‘Swim Fastest” Maglischo

THE SESSION PLAN (Download from Google Docs)

“Pull, breathe, kick, glide.”

Key Points:

  1. The body is horizontal in with the hips high, the head is steady and the chin tucked in – the breath in is short and explosive – the breath out underwater is a slow trickle. The arms reach forward out, pull out and scoop to the chest in one inverted heart-shape.
  2. The stretch is most important in Breaststroke as it forms a vital part of the swim – you kick into the glide.
  3. In breaststroke you are moving faster and more efficiently through the water when you are doing nothing at all – this streamline position is vital. The arm pull is short, the legs whip out against the water to get you into this sliding, gliding, streamlined position.

 

Poolside

Breaststroke arms standing (poolside or shoulder high in water)

Establishes the correct arm action.Begins to address swimmers who pull down to the their thighs

Keep arms in front of shoulders.

“Like putting tomato sauce on a pizza?”

An upside down heartshape.

“Pull, sweap, sneeze!!”

 

Focus: Watch your hands, they should always be in front of your shoulders.

 

Warm up

FC/BC 50/100m smooth

BR 50/100m

Observe their Breaststroke

 

Main Set

Pick through a choice of your favourite drills to fix observed problems

 

Breaststroke arms with a woggle tucked under their arms

An excellent way to give swimmers a physical barrier to their arms dropping to the waist.

Push off gently so you don’t lose your noodle.

 

Breaststroke Kick with a float

Hands over the top. Use as pullbuoy as a variation on this and before kicking without a float at all.

Steady kick. Always kick into a streamlined glide.

Explosive inhale, blow out slowly.

 

Breaststroke Arms with flutter kick

Keeps the body horizontal and moving forward making it easier to develop what may at first be a weak arm stroke in front of the shoulders.

Keep the flutter kick steady.

 

2K1P

Two Kicks One Armpull

To develop the kick and put emphasis on the gliding action.

Make them work. Do it a few times, as 25m, 50m or 100m until they do the drill perfectly.

 

Extended glide

Glide for one, or two seconds counting ‘One Mississippi’- start the count once in the streamlined position not before. They will cheat!

Many cheat and so making it a two second glide is more likely to achieve the desired effect. Be emphatic about streamlining the glide.

 

Breaststroke leg kick on your back.

Higher grades with arms extended above the head.

 

Also Old English Backstroke.

Aim to keep the knees below the surface bringing the ankle into the bum

Tougher drills:

 

1D1U

One down, one up

Only with top grades and training groups

This alternates the arm stroke to the waste (for transition) with the surface stroke to encourage undulation

Some struggled to get it. Relax, drop to the bottom, pull to the surface

 

1A1L

One arm, one leg!

Take the left leg with the right arm (or vice versa) and swim 25m breaststroke with only one leg and one arm!

Encourages coordination and being flat on the water.

A good fun one, serious though. Some do it brilliantly, others struggle.

Teaching FC and FC Turns to 7-12 year old

Saturday 11th April, WC 13/4/15 MSM SC Teaching FC and FC Turns

Our Grades 3-6. This is my cheat sheet with added notes.

Streamlining – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’

Against the wall
Ensure ankles are against the walls, shoulders are against the wall, then stretch into the streamlined position – arms above the head. Check that one hand is over the other and they can lock this.

Also, in another session, to help with diving and turns, they jump on the spot in this position – away from the wall.

Correct Flutter Kick – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
Feet dipped in the pool – if feasible. Buttocks on the edge of the pool, legs long and straight, toes pointed and ‘make the water boil’ … slowly speed up and try to limit any cycling of the legs.

Then enter the water

Warm Up
FC kick – with a kicker float held in front
BC kick with float over knees – if it jiggles about they are cycling their legs.
FC kick with long arm doggie paddle – correct hand shape, head steady.

Push and glide – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
Bounce – standing jump in the streamlined position.
Handstand – with long legs and pointed toes
Push off the wall – one hand in the gutter, the other in front. Push and glide.
Tumble against the wall – somersault more than an arm’s length from the wall. Place feet on wall. Push off the wall into a streamlined position.

For the next session add:
Add dolphin kick
Add FC kick
Add three kicks and flip
Swim to the end. End ‘feet on wall.’

Sea Otter – all important ‘fun one’
Six duck dives over 25m by another name. A game. They pretend to be a sea otter pulling up mussels from the seabed. They swim doggie paddle, duck dive, retrieve their mussels, comes to the surface, turn on their back to smash open the shells and eat the contents, then roll back onto their fronts, swim along and repeat :)

FC full stoke
Smooth, silent, slinky …
Swim along the black line – keeping it symmetrical, as if down a pipe.
Bilateral breathing
FC zip it up drill – envisaging a zip on their hip that they zip up to the ear.

Dead Swimmer into FC – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
On the ‘T’ at the end of the lane go into ‘dead swimmer’.
From this floating position slowly raise the arms, then the legs until streamlined.
Then add a dolphin kick and turn it into 25m of FC.

Dive and glide into FC
Jumps – ‘Hamster thing’ – jumping in and not getting your head wet! Pencil jump. Star jump. – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
Tumbles – somersaults
Dives and glides – push and glide, dive and glide into a kick.