In swimming there is no stroke harder to learn then the Butterfly
stroke. This is the stroke where the swimmer swims kicking like a dolphin
and pulling with his or her hands at the same time under the water and
recovering for the next stroke above water with both arms at the same
time in an almost circular motion. There are many steps in learning how to
execute this stroke correctly. These steps are called drills, when you
perform them in the pool. The first drill you should learn is the Kick drill.
In this drill you learn to kick with your feet like a dolphin, making sure not
to flutter kick with your feet, to move smoothly through the water with
your head connected with your spine; this is the position your head is in
when you stand with good posture, and make one smooth motion with
your arms at your side thrusting only your hips, making a smooth relaxed
shallow rolling motion through the water. Also, only one part of your
body at a time should be slightly out of the water, starting from the back
of your head, and continued down your back to your feet.
The next drill to learn is the balance drill. This drill, to me, was
extremely difficult to do. The balance drill is almost the same as the kick
drill, only the swimmer puts his or her arms out in front of them with one
hand on top of the other squeezing his or her head with their arms just
behind the ears, remembering the kick drill to keep your head connected
with your spine. Make the same smooth rolling motion only this time
making sure your fingers are always pointing perpendicular to the wall of
the pool, beginning with the back of your arms and head slightly out of the
Continued down your back and to your feet. When trying this drill,
I always moved my hands up and down as I did the rolling motion and it
did nothing but make me dive deeper under the water then I wanted to,
thus making me go slower. When you can do this drill without drowning
yourself, your ready to start your pull drill.
The pull drill you should do, is a one arm pull drill. This drill is
supposed to help make your shoulders and pectoral muscles more
flexible. While flutter kicking, keeping your head connected with your
spine, with you arms out in front of you, with one arm, point your hand
down perpendicular to the bottom of the pool.
Pull back with your elbow
bent at about 90. With your tricep level with the surface of the water
until your forearm is pointing straight towards the bottom of the pool, or
when your hand is straight with your forearm, then you start to make a
pushing motion like your trying to push something down into a hole with
one hand at your side until your elbow is straight. Then you recover, with
your arm straight. Bring your arm up and over the surface of the water
back to the starting position. Repeat this motion, alternating arms until
your ready to add the kick.
Adding the kick to the stroke is hard to explain but I found that it
came quit naturally.
It seems that every time you kick, after your head has
been briefly part way out of the water, you pull with one arm, and when
you recover you should have completed one smooth kick and as you
bring you arm over to their starting position, it should seem like the
momentum of your arm recovery will give your next kick a jump start.
Then, repeat this motion alternating each arm. After all these drills you
should be ready to put together the whole stroke which presents new
problems. I will start you at the starting block to bring you through step
by step a 50 yard butterfly stroke.
You’re up behind the starting block the announcer says
Swimmers step up. You step up on the block, bent over ready to
grab the front of the starting block, with one foot in front of the other, the
toes of your front foot gripping the front of the starting block or both feet
together with toes griping the front of the block.
Looking about 6 or 7
feet out into the water, or the place you’re gonna dive into out in the
water. The starter says,