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hooked-on-swimming
December 1st, 2004, 01:06 AM
I decided to learn butterfly this week(so far I have been swimming freestyle and breaststroke).I watched a ton of videos of butterfly and know the basics of that stroke.However, I was wondering if some people here remember their first time trying to swim it and how soon after you first tried it you figured it out, because I don't seem to coordinate all the movements right and my effort is pretyy much over once i throw my hands over the water for the first time(that's when i lose my kick).I thought maybe I should do it in phases, so I would like to see if someone could suggest some separate drills or something that would gradually lead to a better feel of the entire stroke.
Thanks a lot.

mattson
December 1st, 2004, 08:32 AM
My first time swimming it was age 6. The end of practice was a bunch of relays (like 8 people per lane), including butterfly. I told the coach I had never swum butterfly, and he said to imitate the others.

I remember at age 11, a coach decided my stroke was wrong, and got me to breath during the armstroke recovery. :mad:

Needless to say, I've never gotten fly, although I am getting closer now that a lot of bad habits are being broken. If you find the magic incantation that fixes your fly, please share. :)

aquageek
December 1st, 2004, 08:36 AM
Butterfly isn't too complicated but can look intimidating. I suggest you go to a stroke clinic or hire a coach for a private lesson for an hour or so. I went to a clinic this summer to bone up on some things and learned a whole lot. I've been much more comfortable since.

Seagurl51
December 1st, 2004, 10:36 AM
For me butterfly has always been grueling, hard, complicated, a pain in the neck, and never very good....so I do it all the time because I love the challenge that is presents me with!! When I first started to learn fly, it was pretty bad. So what I did was break it down into the individual parts. First I made sure I had the kick down, then tried the arms, and finally tried to add them all together. It took me forever to learn fly, then I stopped swimming for 3 yrs, and it took me forever to learn it again. But I kept doing it and my fly is better now than it ever has been. So try breaking it down, that my help, or get a lesson, then someone can actually tell you what you need to fix rather you try and guess (which is especially hard because you can't see yourself:p )

~Kyra

GOOD LUCK!!

EyeoreSAM
December 1st, 2004, 12:43 PM
For me, fly was the first stroke that I learned how to swim at 5. I don't find it that challenging, but I do really hate doing long distances of it because I just don't like doing fly or breaststroke for that matter.

thisgirl13
December 1st, 2004, 12:54 PM
My first experience with fly came at age 9....and let's just say it still isn't my favorite stroke......I could never seem to get it "just right", and ended up looking like a total fool, no matter what we tried.

Finally, (there's a positive side to this story, I swear!) we went through and did a bunch of drills to get my kick down (breaststroke pull with butterfly kick was a favorite) and did some one arm drills (Catch-up) and, believe it or not, pull-buoys and hand paddles also came into play trying to get this poor girl to learn butterfly.

The kick drill is still my favorite though.

laineybug
December 1st, 2004, 01:07 PM
I really like the TI short axis stroke pool side primer. It has progressive drills so that all the movements and breating are intergrated appropriately... AND the book is laminated so you can keep it at the end of the lane while you are practicing!

hooked-on-swimming
December 2nd, 2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by aquageek
Butterfly isn't too complicated but can look intimidating. I suggest you go to a stroke clinic or hire a coach for a private lesson for an hour or so. I went to a clinic this summer to bone up on some things and learned a whole lot. I've been much more comfortable since.

I keep hearing about stroke clinics and stuff like that but I am so new to swimming that I have to admit I am not quite aware of what that exactly is and how it works.Is that expensive?
Thanks.

EyeoreSAM
December 2nd, 2004, 11:25 AM
Dima--

There is a stroke clinic at the U on April 16th. That is a while away, but thats the only one that I know about right now. I am for sure going to go!!

hooked-on-swimming
December 2nd, 2004, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by EyeoreSAM
Dima--

There is a stroke clinic at the U on April 16th. That is a while away, but thats the only one that I know about right now. I am for sure going to go!!

Awesome!!!I'll go!Are stroke clinics all about correcting the stroke or also instructing how to do the stroke to those who never tried it before?How can I find out more info about it?How much does it usually cost?
Thanks

thinkersw
December 2nd, 2004, 12:41 PM
My favorite tip for teaching butterfly timing is to have the swimmer think of a teeter-totter, which I have no idea how to spell. Anyway, the image works because when your head is down, your feet are up and when your head is up (breathing) your feet are down. As you get more comfortable with the timing, this image has less of an impact, but it is a good place to start.

jpjackson76
December 2nd, 2004, 12:58 PM
I've always been partial to one arm fly to really feel the undulation effect(teeter-totter <me too sp?>) Keep one hand extended in front of you while you cycle thru your stroke with one arm. I do one arm down the lane and the opposite one back. Good luck hooked-on, when my butterfly is feeling good I feel powerful in the water, and I feel like I'm in good shape.

Kevin in MD
December 2nd, 2004, 02:51 PM
I've yet to find anything else that can take someone from a swim idiot to a passable stroke in a few weeks. For the basics they seem to have a good system.

At any rate, the book would be swimming made easy and the accompanying dvd would be 4 strokes made easy. Both are available at www.totalimmersion.net.

I worked through their drill progression and learned a passable fly stroke. Not awesome by any respect, but it's certainly a start.

I think it started to make sense to me when I realized that viewed from the side your trunk makes a sine wave; but the important bit was realizing that the main thrust of your pull should come just as your trunk is starting to move UP the sine wave. Pulling in other positions our arms are fighting your body.

EyeoreSAM
December 2nd, 2004, 02:53 PM
Awesome!!!I'll go!Are stroke clinics all about correcting the stroke or also instructing how to do the stroke to those who never tried it before?How can I find out more info about it?How much does it usually cost?


The class is for many levels and I found out it when I was looking to join a masters team. I think that if you go to the minnesota swimming web site at this address you should be able to find out more information. It is for all ages and they have 8 lanes of different levels. It sounds like it will be fun!!

http://www.mnswim.org/Athletes/

laineybug
December 2nd, 2004, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by Kevin in MD
I've yet to find anything else that can take someone from a swim idiot to a passable stroke in a few weeks. For the basics they seem to have a good system.

At any rate, the book would be swimming made easy and the accompanying dvd would be 4 strokes made easy. Both are available at www.totalimmersion.net.

I worked through their drill progression and learned a passable fly stroke. Not awesome by any respect, but it's certainly a start.



I like the DVD too, and as I posted before the TI waterproof short-axis stroke primer has the drills, insequence, complete with pics, also in sequence, and trouble shooting tips, that you can take to the pool with you.

Fred Johnson
December 4th, 2004, 12:41 PM
When I was a young age grouper (about 11) my coach saw that my "butterfly" was missing something. Specifically, it was missing the second kick. My coach explained that for every arm pull, I was dolphin kicking one time. Simple enough, but wrong. Butterfly is in fact two kicks for each arm pull. I was mostly pulling myself through the water rather than kicking and pulling myself.

Here's the remedy he devised: he made me swim butterfly by holding my arms outstretched in front until I kicked two dolphin kicks. Then I pulled my arms through one complete stroke to the start (outstretched in front of me) where I held them again. Then I kicked two dolphin kicks. Then I pulled my arms through to the starting position (outstretched in front). And so on and so on. In order to do this, I had to grab my thumbs to keep from pulling until I had kicked twice. What eventually happened was my arms would begin their pull while I was making the second kick. As I began to adjust to the rhythm of the timing sequence, my fly developed into the normal two-kick, one-pull stroke its supposed to be. I also realized I had more endurance because I was kicking twice as much, giving my arms a break. The short axis motion/rotation developed along with this drill.

It worked pretty well for me and I became a decent butteflyer in my teens. At 40, I need more lung capacity, need to strengthen my abs and lose my beer belly. But the rhythm is still there.

Good luck with your quest.

hooked-on-swimming
December 5th, 2004, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by Fred Johnson


Here's the remedy he devised: he made me swim butterfly by holding my arms outstretched in front until I kicked two dolphin kicks. Then I pulled my arms through one complete stroke to the start (outstretched in front of me) where I held them again. Then I kicked two dolphin kicks. Then I pulled my arms through to the starting position (outstretched in front). And so on and so on. In order to do this, I had to grab my thumbs to keep from pulling until I had kicked twice. What eventually happened was my arms would begin their pull while I was making the second kick. As I began to adjust to the rhythm of the timing sequence, my fly developed into the normal two-kick, one-pull stroke its supposed to be

That was one AWESOME advice!I tried it and i finally found the rhythm, it felt so cool!And I could do two kicks per pull too!!!One problem I encounterd though was not that great of a rhythm when I had to breathe, but when I kept my head underwater, it was so uch better.Maybe I am raising my chin too high, I will fix that soon.
Thanks a bunch!

Fred Johnson
December 6th, 2004, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by hooked-on-swimming
That was one AWESOME advice!I tried it and i finally found the rhythm, it felt so cool!And I could do two kicks per pull too!!!One problem I encounterd though was not that great of a rhythm when I had to breathe, but when I kept my head underwater, it was so uch better.Maybe I am raising my chin too high, I will fix that soon.
Thanks a bunch!

So happy to hear this was not just drivel.

The thanks go to my first true swim coach, Bill Malchow, where ever he is today. (That's only the tip of the ice berg of the guidance he gave me - much of which had little to do with swimming - like how to burp really loud!).

Breathing comes from kicking (Confusious say....). What I think this means is the stronger the second kick, the further out of the water your upper torso (including your head) rise out of the water. (Can you see it?) The second kick propels your upper body out of the water for the air you crave! This is a matter of (1) strength in your legs, abs and torso, and (2) lung capacity (to hold on until you get clear of the surface). But all of this activity is a matter of training. The rhythm is the start; the strength comes as you practice. I should not have implied that it comes quickly; it doesn't. You may swallow a lot of water (I did) but if it worked initially, keep pushing.

Good luck.

LindsayNB
December 12th, 2004, 03:05 PM
I don't know how helpful it is in the learning process but one of the main things that distinguishes butterfly from butterstruggle is whether the butt break the surface. Most people who haven't got the stroke down yet never get their hips up to the surface. It's a relatively easy thing to check as you try to figure out how your stroke is developing.

Another thing to be aware of is the one kick versus two kick stroke. The TI approach develops a one kick stroke and if you are not aware of that it can be confusing.