Commit Swimming Set Of The Week: Dolphin Diving Into A Butterfly Set

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome to Swimming World’s Set of the Week sponsored by Commit Swimming.com! This week’s set is a long course butterfly set that mixes in a little bit of everything to work on maintaining a smooth and consistent butterfly:

2 Rounds:

200 as 50 dolphin dives/50 fly drill/50 dolphin dive/50 fly smooth/
6 x 50’s (odds = fly descend, even = smooth choice
2 x 200 as #1 – kick fly/sw fr by 50, #2 – swim fly/kick fr by 50
2 x 100 fly negative split
100 smooth

The set uses dolphin dives to kick things off to break up what can be an otherwise pretty butterfly heavy set. Frame them as an opportunity to find your swimmer’s feel for the water and undulation that is inherent in butterfly and try to translate that into the full stroke butterfly they’ll encounter later in the set. Happy swimming!

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This set moves through 2 rounds of kicking that should be done main stroke. The first 4 x 50’s are 25 drill/25 fast kick, working on getting the legs going while using the drill as active recovery. The next 2 x 100’s are negative split, with the first 50 moderate and the second 50 fast to keep working the legs. The last 8 x 25’s shift to an underwater focus, with the odd 25’s being all out underwater kicks to 15 meters and the even 25’s just as easy kicking.

This is a great set for butterfliers and backstrokers in particular, as it mixes in fast underwater kicking with fast kicking on top of the water. For breaststrokers, you can modify the 8 x 25’s to multiple pull-outs, increasing the distance to entire length or making them do double pull-outs on all the 25’s. Happy swimming!

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All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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