with Braden Holloway,
North Carolina State Head Coach (Mens & Womens);
2013 ACC Men's Swim Coach of the Year; 5x All American swimmer at NC State
Swimming butterfly effectively is all about rhythm and timing and maintaining a great body fulcrum and body line. It is the most complicated stroke in swimming and often feels unnatural to beginners.
By breaking the stroke into its components, Coach Holloway explains how to teach each part of the stroke until it feels natural to the swimmer and then how to put the components together for a stroke that has great power and rhythm. He teaches drills at high speed so swimmers can translate the feel of the drill to race conditions. He also teaches drills with resistance so the swimmer can feel where in the stroke they are weak or are letting the water "slip."
The first crucial component of great butterfly is finding and holding the right body line. Holloway uses five drills with a focus on kicking and eye placement to create the correct body position to help swimmers maximize efficiency and minimize drag. Drills are performed with a flutter kick to enable the swimmer to work on holding a low body line to minimize drag, and with a fly kick to build power. Alternating the two kicks helps the swimmer capitalize on the powerful wave motion of fly without creating too much resistance for maximum sustainable speed.
The catch is a critical stroke component that sets up the power phase of each stroke. During this segment of the video, five drills are used to enhance proper hand entry placement in the catch phase while maintaining a flat body line. Drills like "Block Drill" and "Alligator Drill" are effective for swimmers at all levels when learning the proper high-elevation set up for a powerful pull.
Perhaps the most difficult part of butterfly to master is the timing. Great timing is critical as it provides maximum power in a fluid motion. Two surf drills help swimmers develop timing. The first, "Surf Chin Drill," helps the swimmer know when and how to take a breath in the stroke. The second, "Surf Hip Drill," helps get the eyes back to the bottom of the pool with the second kick, which helps the swimmer return to the ideal line as quickly as possible after the breath. The "Explode Drill" helps build the kicks, especially the second kick, so it's helpful for building timing but also to work the exit kick for great breakouts off starts and turns.
In butterfly, it is a common mistake to only use one kick or only focus on kicking in one direction. The first and second kick should be of equal size and power, and both kicks should generate as much distance and force in both the up and the down kick. Coach Holloway shows the "Wall Kick" and the "Fish Kick" drills which emphasize the feel of kicking in both directions. He also reviews how his kick training transitions as the season progresses.
Once all of the butterfly stroke the components come together it's time to focus on speed. Here Coach Holloway uses five drills to build hand and foot speed without sacrificing efficiency. His swimmers learn how to add more force per stroke to increase speed.
Learn start methods for both a traditional block and a block with the back foot wedge. Holloway details the set up position for the track start beginning with a solid base and with the swimmer in a comfortable, stable position. Foot positioning is discussed along with ideal leg angles.
You'll also learn strategies for leaving the blocks in a position that lines up the body for a low resistance entry into the water. With an established start technique, Holloway proceeds to connect the great dive with the butterfly stroke, which includes carrying the speed and power from the start entry into a fast and powerful kick-out and stroke breakout.
The challenge of the turn is trying to carry speed from the swim into the wall and reverse direction without sacrificing speed. Staying on a line into and out of the wall is critical. He teaches how to best use the head and shoulders to generate speed in the directional change.
Coach Holloway's motto for efficient butterfly finishes is, "do not finish into resistance." To accomplish this goal it is imperative to teach the swimmer to stay on a ‘line' rather than finishing down and then into the wall. Holloway offers simple tips for teaching the swimmer how to finish on a full stroke.
Perhaps the most useful segment of the video is the conclusion. Coach Holloway and swimmer Barrett Miesfeld discuss the changes Barrett made that made him a championship-caliber collegiate swimmer. Before attending North Carolina State, Barrett was an Arizona State Champion and had attended Jr Nationals and Sr Nationals. Despite his previous success, Barrett was willing to make changes to his stroke to go even faster. He discusses how he learned to engage his mind in his swimming. This increased his speed, but it also helped him tune out distractions at meets because he learned to focus on technique in practice.
Using the techniques and drills on this video, you can help your swimmers establish a low-resistance body line and use power intelligently to create force within a fluid motion for maximum sustainable speed.
103 minutes. 2015.