~Two Other Strokes~

Butterfly and Breastroke

There are two other competitive strokes in the sport of
swimming, butterfly and breastroke. They are the two
most difficult strokes to learn, but are among the most

Patrick Faulk, former competitive swimmer and assistant
coach for his high school, his favorite stroke is butterfly
because it is hard, yet fun, and it is also one of the
prettiest strokes you can have in the water.

Breastroke and butterfly are used with freestyle and
backstroke for the Individual Medley events. The IM
race has varying lengths, including the 100 yards for
younger kids, and 200, 400 and 800 yards/meters in
advanced competition.

Breastroke is commonly used in recreational swimming
and during triathalons. When done slowly, it takes little
to do the stroke. However, when swum fast and in competition,
it is one of the most tiring strokes. It is also one of the most
difficult to learn because of the synchronization of the arm
stroke, kick and breathing patterns.

Drills for Butterfly and Breastroke

A common drill to practice butterfly is the 1-2-1 drill.
To do the drill, simply do one stroke of butterfly using
one arm, another stroke using the other arm, and then
one stroke using both arms. This drill is meant to
practice the dolphin movement of the stroke, which is
often difficult to master.

A common drill to practice breastroke is the 2 kicks
and 1 pull drill. To do the drill, simply do two breastroke
kicks while holding a streamline under the water, and then
come up for a breath and do one breastroke pull. This drill
is meant to work on getting the swimmer used to getting as
much momentum out of the pull as possible, and building
a strong kick.