A well-executed butterfly stroke is one of the most beautiful things in all of sports, and swimming it can be an exhilarating experience that makes your spirit soar. Yet butterfly is also a uniquely demanding stroke because its two-arm, over-water recovery motion requires strength and flexibility that don’t come easily to many Masters swimmers. How can you provide adequate butterfly training for your athletes who struggle with this sublime stroke?
Last year at the USA Triathlon Art & Science of Coaching Symposium, the High Performance Director for USA Pentathlon, Dr. Genadijus Sokolovas (aka Dr. G.), presented his favorite freestyle drill. It soon became my favorite as well. I call it “Paddle-On-Head Drill,” but I have seen it referred to as the “Top Hat Drill” elsewhere, too. It helps swimmers maintain a straight head and body position during freestyle.