Breststroke

By Brad Mori of Killarney Swimming

5 Technical Aspects

1. Start

2. Streamline and Transition

3. Stroke

4. Turn

5. Finish


START - Track Start

Body Position on the blocks in the Ready Moment
•    Head Neutral, Hips High, Chest Low, Shoulders over Wrists, Back foot positioned on balls of your feet with heel up, front foot toes curled around the front of the block.
The line of attack, or otherwise known as the angle or degree at which the hand enters the water, is now set.

On the Go!
•    Push with the back foot, Drive the head forward on the attack line.
•    Common mistakes, lifting the chest and head away from the line of attack (pike dive)
•    Drive the hands into streamline position, squeeze the head tight, keep head neutral.
•    Pull the front leg up to the back leg, legs streamline
•    Rip the entry like you are a diver!
•    Entry line will be sharper and Deeper than Freestyle.

STREAMLINE

Streamline Checklist
•    Squeeze the head tight with your arms
•    Hands are overlapping, locked with the thumb grip, fingers pointed
•    Head neutral
•    Ankle together, Knees tight, toes pointed
•    Squeeze your butt tight
•    Streamline depth 1m below surface or deeper.
•    Do this check list every time you push off the wall and starting block

TRANSITION

•    Push the wall maximally every time.
•    Glide in the streamline moment for about a 3 count.
•    Initiate the underwater pullout. The Pullout Arm pattern will occur like a flat lined fly pull.  Arms will catch light, High elbow, deep fingertips, Catch should occur before the shoulders,  Increase the pressure on the forearms as your body moves by this point in time.  Feel like you are pushing stronger as the hands move by the belly button towards the hips.  The Fly kick action will occur as the hands move by the belly button such that the kick and hands are completed their respective movements at the same time.  The Fly kick is more of a flick from the knees down.  Not a body dolphin fly kick.
•    Head First Streamline  is held for about a 2 count; arms tight against the body. Keep your head neutral.
•    Recover the hands close to the body; as the hands extend forward kick and glide one second as you continue to move down the pool.
•    Main point, break out at the speed in which your are going to swim. You don’t want to have to speed up again after you break out.
•    10 to 15 degree angle of attack for the breakout again the race is forward.
•    Keep the Head Neutral; common mistake is to look for the surface.

STROKE TECHNIQUE

Kicking
•    Recover the legs behind the body. A common mistake occurs when the knees separate to wide as heels come to butt.
•    Grab the water with the ankles. Push until heels touch; then bring the toes into the pointed streamline position.

Pulling
•    Out sweep with light pressure on your forearms.  Out sweep with straight arms, thumbs pitched down.  Keep your head neutral during the out sweep.
•    The Catch will occur once the hands are well outside the shoulders.  The body should be in the shape of the letter Y.
•    Catch by turning the fingertips down and getting the elbows high. Pressure increases as you move through the in sweep and accelerate the hands recover forward along the surface to extension.

Breathing
•    Keep the Head in a neutral position, once the Hands turn for the Catch phase then the head can begin to rise for the breath.
•    The breath should occur at once the hands are together under the chin and prepared to slide forward for extension.

Body Position
•    The Race is forward, the less you can deviate from the forward line with your energy expenditure the more efficient you will be.  Try not to Lift excessively for the breath, or dive to deep on the stretch.  The back of the head and hips should stay relatively close to the surface.

Stroke Timing
•    Pull, Breath, Kick, Glide

TURN

•    Approach the wall with speed
•    Touch the wall at the surface with both fingertips; touch on a full stroke; Keep your head down.
•    Immediately drop on arm by your side and at the same time bring your knees directly under your body.
•    Once you see your knees rotate onto your side as you bring your feet to the  wall.  Plant your feet on the wall almost stacked on top of each other.
•    Just prior to your feet arriving at the wall, release the wall with your touching hand, recovering it over the water.  During the rotation stay low in the water.
•    Take a breath as your head is sinking backwards.
•    Push the wall from a position directly on your side; as you push begin to rotate onto your front.

FINISH

•    Be mentally tough; you should be struggling to hold it together as you have pushed yourself to the max.  Desire the win, the best time!
•    Touch on a full extension
•    Accelerate your hands to the wall even faster than a normal stroke rate.