FINIS Tip Of The Week: Breaststroke Kick W/ Sandals


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Welcome to the “FINIS Tip of the Week.” Swimming World will be bringing you a topic that we’ll explore with drills and concepts for you to implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), each tip is meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming. This tip of the week is a great way to teach breaststroke kick to beginners or those who struggle to generate power: breaststroke with sandals.

The drill is exactly as it sounds: wearing a pair of simple thong sandals, hop in the water and either start breaststroke kick or breaststroke swimming. Often, young swimmers will struggle with breaststroke kick because it is so fundamentally different than the other kicking styles. Instead of moving up and down, you are drawing your feet towards your body, turning your feet out, and then pressing against the water behind you to accelerate forward.

It’s that last step that is the most difficult. It is common to see novice swimmers either slicing through the water or not making proper contact with the water to propel themselves forward. This is where the sandals come in. In order to keep the sandals on your feet, you need to pressing your feet behind you through the entirety of the kick or they will come flying off.

While it may be frustrating to keep them on at first, ultimately it will be a great exercise to work on developing proper kick mechanics in a fun and different way. It is particularly effective with younger swimmers, where you can turn it into a game of who can make it the farthest without them flying off. Even with older swimmers, particularly IMer’s who struggle with breaststroke, this is a good drill to check in with the feel of their kick and make sure they are getting the most power possible.

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.