Breaststroke - Timing Your Breath
When swimmers are learning breaststroke, they generally follow their instinct when it's time to breathe. This focal point can help you determine if you're going to air at the most efficient spot in your stroke.
Why Do It:
Breaststroke can frequently turn into a "muscle" stroke rather than a "finesse" stroke and this simple point can help you determine which way you're headed when swimming breaststroke... toward muscling the stroke, or finessing it.
How to Do It:
1. Start swimming breaststroke the way you normally do, and you're going to focus all your attention on your hands.
2. As you start your pull, lift yourself directly to air. If this feels absolutely normal to you, chances are you're putting way too much emphasis on the outsweep, and using this to climb up to air. This is instinct, and uses a lot of energy, or muscle. Chances are the eyes are up too early as well.
3. Swim a bit more breaststroke, and allow the hands to sweep out, and go UP to air as the hands start their insweep, or catch. This means your head will need to stay down a bit longer than you're probably used to.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
As in other breaststroke drills, pay attention to what your eyes are doing. Make sure you don't actually SEE your arms during the outsweep Instead, keep your eyes below the arms until you feel the arms starting to come in or back. Alternating between breathing during the outsweep, or breathing during the insweep, will make you more aware of what you're doing in breaststroke, and help you discover a more efficient stroke.