This post is courtesy of Abbie Fish of RITTER Sports Performance. From qualifying for the Olympic Trials to working at USA Swimming’s headquarters, Abbie has been on all sides of swimming. Abbie is a stroke mechanics guru and believes anyone with the heart to train can benefit from technical advice! [CLICK HERE] for a FREE stroke technique lesson from Coach Abbie!
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As we said in Part I, Butterfly is a leg driven stroke. Up to 80%of the propulsion created in Fly can be generated from your legs! Basically, however fast you move your legs dictates how quickly your body and arms move. That is why it's super important when you’re teaching young swimmers the Butterfly stroke that they get the correct timing of their kicks. It’s the propulsion created from the kick that helps get the arms through the recovery back into another propulsive phase. Without a strong dolphin kick, you'll see all different types of arm recoveries, misaligned bodies, and "forced" butterfly strokes.
As stated in Part II--“With each stroke in fly, swimmers get a kick at the top (when the hands enter the water, after they finish the recovery) and a second kick as the hands finish their pull—passing by their bellybuttons. It is the presence and intensity of the second kick that allows a swimmer to finish with a strong pull and have a “relaxed” recovery.”
As much as “we” (coaches) understand that paragraph on timing, it’s really important we convey the correct timing in butterfly in terms they understand.
Next time you’re at practice, get your swimmers out of the water and run through this Butterfly Kick Timing Drill:
This Butterfly Timing Drill is a great way for swimmers to understand that the kick, pull, and breath are all interconnected. If any of these three aspects are initiated outside of its’ sequence—the whole stroke rhythm falls apart.
Common Kicking Timing Errors Seen in Butterfly:
With incorrect kick timing, it’s virtually impossible to swim an “easy” Fly. That is why a consistent and constant dolphin kickis the secret to a faster Butterfly stroke.
Until Next Time,
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