Throwing in an extra kick to your butterfly can teach you a lot about how important keeping the head down on your breakouts is.
Why do it:
Most of the time, you only get one opportunity per length to work on your butterfly breakout, this drill allows you many opportunities.
How to do it:
1 – Start with a solid pushoff, and a great head down breakout.
2 – After your first stroke, go back underwater for three dolphin kicks.
3 – Approach the surface for your stroke like you would on your breakout.
4 – Repeat
How to do it really well (the fine points):
Don’t go too deep after your stroke, you’re trying to learn how to merge your body with the surface, not explode up and over it.
Alternate a stroke of no breathe, with a breathe. See if your body goes a bit out of balance during the breathing stroke. If you’re feeling awkward, or your legs dragging on the breathing stroke, then you know you may need to keep the head down, even on the last breakout of your 200 fly.
If you can work a smooth breath into the alternating strokes, there may be the option to breathe on the breakout, but ONLY after you’ve really mastered it, and worked out the details with your coach.
While many would say this is a bad option, IF the swimmer can maintain better velocity in the underwater dolphin, but then needs air immediately, the best combination must be found by the team of coach and swimmer.