When doing drills, the main focus should be
breaking the stroke down and perfecting it. Don't rush drills -- good technique
is the important factor.
(25's @ :20 rest)
This drill works with all strokes and checks your position in the water
as well as helping maximize swimming effort. It is diagnostic in nature.
Many people swim with a very uneven stroke that pulls to one side which
reinforces bad habits and creates an imbalance during the swim. BE CAREFUL
OF OTHERS IN YOUR LANE! Let them know what you're doing ahead of time.
- Find out how straight you swim with your eyes closed and limited breathing.
Start very easy. If you are able to swim straight without running into
the lane line, pick up the speed.
- Sight-breathe one or two times per length to check how straight you
are swimming. Try not to lose your rhythm as you sight.
- If you find yourself pulling to one side or the other, ask your coach
to watch you swim to identify the cause of the unevenness.
I Dream of Jeannie Drill
This drill is for breaststroke and is named for the character in the
old TV series "I Dream of Jeannie" where Jeannie used to fold
her arms in front of her when performing a task. The drill enables swimmers
to maintain better balance with hips high in the water. Doing the breaststroke
kick with a kickboard often causes your hips to sink because of the unnatural
flotation given to the upper body. The drill also provides additional frontal
resistance and a method for maintaining high elbows while kicking. It discourages
sculling and pulling during the kick.
- Fold your arms in front of your head so each hand is lying on top of
the opposite elbow. Keep your elbows high so your forearms are parallel
to the surface of the water. Now kick breaststroke while holding your arms
in this "Jeannie" position.
Breaststroke Kick Drill
This drill encourages a narrow, propulsive breaststroke kick.
- Push off the wall and pull your arms to your side. Leave them there
and kick the length of the pool, touching your ankles to your fingertips
during the recovery.
- TIP: A wide breaststroke kick may feel stronger because your
legs encounter more resistance than with a narrow kick. However, it is
the propulsion that counts, and a narrower kick focuses more energy on
propelling the body forward.
Breaststroke Pull Drill
This drill works on developing a wave motion breaststroke
- Swim the length of the pool breaststroke, but use a single dolphin
kick to replace the regular breaststroke kick.
Breaststroke 2+2 Drill
This drill works on the similarities between the breaststroke and butterfly:
the undulation, on the outsweep catch on the pull, and on getting a deeper
insweep for the breaststroke.
- Do 2 strokes breaststroke with breaststroke kick, then 2 strokes butterfly
with the dolphin kick. Try to keep a steady rhythm going for the entire
length of the pool.
Short Axis Drill
This drill encourages you to use your body in the breaststroke and butterfly
and to get used to releasing the arms from all of the responsiblity of moving
you along. It's also good anerobic training because you will not be raising
your head to breathe during the cycle.
- Give a gentle push off the wall or bottom to get a little momentum
going. Stay balanced in the prone position with your arms back at your
- Push downward into the water with your chest, allowing your head to
relax up to the surface. Don't dive your nose into the water.
- Allow your hips to follow your chest down into deeper water. This will
begin to force yoru chest back up to the surface. The legs will follow
the hips and you will get a little forward movement. DO NOT KICK! Allow
your legs to follow you through the water.
- Your body will begin to rebalance, so get ready to start the process
all over again. Do this drill with constant rhythm through the core of
ytour body and don't hesitate during the cycle.
- You are not going to go fast in this drill. In fact, you'll go very
slowly. So focus on mastering the technique. Then in another part of the
practice, think about the drill as you practice breaststroke or butterfly.