Teaching Butterfly

Butterfly Drill #1 - Body Dolphin (Focus on undulating at the surface)

Keeping the body on the surface during all the hustle of butterfly is the first step. Practicing a good amplitude without going vertical or dolphin diving. Don't worry about timing yet.


Butterfly Drill 2: Breathe, Pull, Glide (Focus on timing)

Timing is everything is butterfly! Focus on BPG (breathe, pull, glide) timing and the arms and head will all move at the right pace. Practice in the shallow end without moving at first.


Butterfly Drill 3: 3 Kicks 1 Pull (Focus on slowing down the stroke)

Teaching butterfly is tough because there aren't many stepping stones between drill and swimming. 3k1p (3 kicks 1 pull) helps us swim the stroke, but slower and easier to put together the body position and timing. 


Butterfly Drill 4: 3 Left 3 Right 3 Full (333) (Focus on rhythm)

Butterfly requires rhythm, and 333 helps set the rhythm with single strokes and hold it on the full strokes. Don't use this as a replacement for real butterfly! 


Butterfly Drill 5: Fly to Streamline (Focus on return to streamline)

We want the stroke to return to as much as a streamlined position as possible during every stroke. F2S (fly to streamline) drill helps force kids to return to the streamline every stroke.


Optional drills are not for every day use. They can cause more problems than they solve. We use them to fix specific problems. Just a tool in the toolbox.


Optional Butterfly Drill: Butterfly with Freestyle Kick (Focus on faster tempo)

By swimming butterfly with freestyle feet, you can practice increasing the arm tempo if kids tend to be dolphin diving and taking a break in between strokes.


Optional Butterfly Drill: Thumb Drag (Focus on low arm recovery)

Thumb drag drill can help teach kids to recover their arms low to the water as they try to drag their thumbs through the surface.


Optional Butterfly Drill: Wrist Slap (Focus on reaching high in the water)

When the arms land in the water, they should land high and reach forward, not down. Connecting the wrists over the water helps teach that.