Shark (Part 6 of 6)

Goldfish“Sharks” are pre-competitive swimmers who aim to perfect their technique and master the most difficult of strokes – the butterfly.

1. Warm up with 40 yards of front crawl.

2. Practice the “finger-tip drag” drill by dragging your fingertips across the surface of the water with each stroke. This drill will extend your reach and force you to keep your elbows high during the front crawl. (20 yds.)

3. Practice the “rooster tail” drill by exaggerating your pull at the end of each stroke, so a splash appears like a tail behind you. This drill will help you get a feel for the water on your forearms while strengthening the force of your pull. (20 yds.)

4. Now, swimmers should practice the breaststroke pull-out. Swimmers are aloud one pull-out off of every wall while competing in the breaststroke. A pull-out is an underwater stroke that permits you to bring your arms all the way down to your sides in one exaggerated pull and complete one kick under the water before surfacing.

5. Swimmers who master the pull-out should practice 40 yds. of breaststroke, including a pull-out off of each wall.

6. Practice the “fashion model” drill to improve your shoulder rotation in the backstroke. Keep your hands on your hips, and rotate your shoulders while flutter kicking on your back.

7. Practice the “head, bottom, feet” drill in order to understand the body-motion of the Butterfly stroke. This will look like the dance move “the worm.” Your head should surface, then your bottom, then your feet.

8. Now add your arms. (1) Fingertips point straight out in front of you, (2) then straight down at the bottom of the pool, (3) finally thumbs hit your thighs and come out of the water. To start, imagine completing the front crawl with both arms at the same time.

9. As your Butterfly begins to feel more natural, your arms will begin to stay parallel with the surface whenever they come out of the water. If you were to give a “thumbs down,” your thumbs would drag across the surface with each new stroke.

10. If you are up for a challenge, practice an Individual Medley. Complete one length each of Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Front Crawl.

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