Coach Retta's Butterfly Key Points

Butterfly can be intimidating to some swimmers, but it truly doesn't have to be. Making your stroke as efficient as possible will help reduce fatigue and let you go longer with less effort overall.

With that said, however, even elite swimmers rarely blast out multiple repeats of 100, 200 + butterfly in their workouts. Instead, concentrated, focused infusions of butterfly help maintain stroke precision and quality that then carries over to race time!

Just google videos of THE GOLD STANDARD that is Mr. Michael Phelps to see the most beautiful butterfly ever, but also take a look at international medalist mainstays Chad Le Clos, Tom Shields, Daiya Seto, Joseph Schooling, Laszlo Cseh, Katinka Hosszu, Kelsi Worrell, Dana Vollmer and Sarah Sjostrom, just to name a small few.

Key Points:

  • Feel as though you are leading with the top of your head, making sure you are looking down.
  • Stroke should have FORWARD momentum instead of up-and-down.
  • Shrug your shoulders as you reach forward, imagining you are trying to touch the wall to which you're headed.
  • Kick your hands in/kick your hands out, with each of the 2 fly kicks of equal amplitude.
  • Enter in line with shoulders so you are immediately in optimum catch position.
  • Arm pull includes lifting elbows (rotating medially), pointing fingers towards bottom and facing palms backwards.
  • Hands and forearms should round out in recovery.
  • Breathe forward, not up. Think of yourself as a turtle extending your neck forward, rather than lifting at the shoulders.
  • Imagine your chin skimming the surface of the water during the breath (chin surfing).
  • Pull yourself forward into the breath.


Posted on October 10, 2017 .