Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Butterfly Stroke

Yesterday I visited a small town in the Rocky Mountains called Estes Park. It is the last town just before entering the Rocky Mountain National Park. By now you must be saying,”Ok, so what does this have to do with butterfly stroke?” I took a photo of the majesty and power of this huge mountain. It was  awesome!


Then today I visited the Denver Aquarium with my grandchildren and watched the power and majesty of some of the most powerful fish in the world they to were awesome! And I thought to myself as awesome as the mountain was and as awesome as the fish  were, I tied the two together and thought a bit about butterfly stroke

A green sea turtle swims past a school of Raccoon Butterflyfish near Hawaii.

  Now this may seem as a weird analogy, but I think that you treat the butterfly stroke as that mountain to climb with it’s high peaks and slippery slopes. Then I think about how peaceful the fish were and how easily they moved through the water no matter how big they were or how powerful they were. They all had a feel for the water and used their body motion to move them swiftly and effortlessly.

If you use your body in a undulating motion keeping your weight up front and kicking from your hip using your legs as a whip. This motion alone will move you through the water. You have to relax and feel the water, not fight it!

A good drill that I have used with my age groupers was a drill that used fins. I would have them put their hands at their sides and keeping their feet together move their body’s in a see-saw motion pushing their chest down into the water and their butt popping up out of the water. This undulating motion moved them across the pool in a butterfly motion and gave them a feel for the water….try it, it may work for you, and don’t make it a mountain to climb, just relax and enjoy it. 

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Age Group, Stroke Technique | Leave a comment