Swim Drill Of The Week: Tennis Ball Breaststroke


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 Tennis Ball Breaststroke. In this drill, swimmers will hold a tennis ball under their chin as they swim down the pool breaststroke, working on keeping the tennis ball in place in order to set proper head position.

This is a great drill for younger swimmers who have learned the mechanics of breaststroke but are still working on the finer details of body and head position. Out of all four strokes, breaststroke relies the most on minimizing resistance with each stroke cycle, and a huge part of minimizing that resistance is keeping your head in line with the rest of your body to ensure a forward drive in the stroke.

In young swimmers who are still mastering breaststroke it can be very common to see them swimming with their head in an upright position. That forward looking position will often feel natural to do, but in reality slows down the stroke by limiting the propulsion and glide phase at the end of every kick. However, when teaching proper head position, it can be easy for swimmers to exaggerate tucking their chin and end up with a head position that it too low. The tennis ball helps to find that sweet spot in the middle while also reinforcing the low head position as they finish each stroke. If they try to lift their heads up at any point in the stroke the tennis ball will fall out and they will know that position is incorrect.

A great way to incorporate this drill is to create a competition on who can keep their tennis in for the longest. You can start with a 25 and go from there, seeing who can keep the tennis ball in place for the most 25 repeats or the longest distance. 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.


    • Maria Vitazka

      Fast jag vet inte om ett helt pass är det allra bästa fysiologiskt ?

  1. Len Iglar

    Heather Moyer Iglar

    • Nadja Wortel

      Hmm morgen maar eens toepassen ?

    • Nadja Wortel

      Nee mijn hoofd is niet goed gestroomlijnd, ik kijk bijna recht vooruit blijkbaar

    • Selene Wortel

      Dan moet je doen alsof je een tennisbal vast moet houden

  2. Jessica Richards

    Cecilia Benedict we need some tennis balls at work!

  3. Nicole Vivienne

    Badger week one back to term with the turtles? Lol

  4. Donna Maller Hawkins

    Connie Matheis this is the drill I told you Alex had to do years ago

  5. Sally Taylor

    Bianca this sounds interesting

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