Swim Drill Of The Week: Breaststroke Timing Progression

Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week”. Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill is a breaststroke timing progression that moves through three drills: separation drill, 2 kick/1 pull breaststroke, and 3-2-1 count breaststroke. Take a look at the progression below and tips on using it with your swimmers:

2 x 25’s as separation drill

2 x 25’s as 2 kicks/1 pull

2 x 25’s as 3-2-1 count

2 x 25’s swim breaststroke

This drill progression is designed to develop a connected and well-timed breaststroke by starting with a drill that totally disconnects their stroke. Separation drill will make your athletes more aware of the “dead” spot that occurs when there is a pause between the pull and the kick, an awareness they should watch for as they move through 2 kicks/1 pull and 3-2-1 count and gradually build their stroke back together.

While these drills all play with the timing of the pull and kick to varying degrees, watch to make sure they are maintaining a good body line and pushing fast through the middle of their pull. Thoughtful practice of these drills will teach your swimmers how to find that smooth breaststroke quicker in warm-up and get them ready to swim fast and efficient. Happy swimming!

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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