Step #4: The Finish

So you really can’t talk about Breaststroke without talking about stroke tempo and timing. As we said at the very beginning of his presentation the breaststroke kick, determines the tempo for the entire stroke. So you kind of have to dissect well why is that in the ironic part of this is that most coaches teach it the opposite way around, which is why you’re getting a ton of kick out of kids stopping and not finishing their kick because they’re too worried about hurrying up into the pull and getting the arms moving. It doesn’t matter what type of Breaststroker you’re looking at, or Breaststroker technique, fast Breaststroker versus a slower Breaststroker that’s good for their age, every Breaststroker hits their body line during their stroke. Hitting your body line means that the body is under the surface of the water in a streamline, for like a split second, in the middle of that stroke. So you can either have a high up and down Breaststroke where you still hit your line, or you could have a long stroke press stroke. At the end of the day, if you hit your body line it doesn’t matter if you hit it for a second, or you hold it, that line is super important for each Breaststroker to hit at the end of their strokes. You want to think of your kick as the green light to let you know that your arms are available to open up on top. The kick starts a bit delayed compared to the arm, so the arms are out up top in a streamlined position and the legs are swinging around. If you don’t wait until the feet come around and they touch, then you open up the hands too early; I call this a starfish position. The head of your swimmer would be up here on the starfish and their arms are opening up, so the arms are going out this way, but the legs are coming together this way. As a result, you’ve made yourself big in the water, in just surface area, which is not the key to fast swimming. You want to hold the arms together until the feet come around and snap and touch so you can hit that line for however long you’re going to hold it, then you restart the whole thing. The faster you can get through your kick, the faster you can open up your arms. You don’t try to open up the arms too early because you might not have finished the kick in time.