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Step #5: Teach Breaststroke Breathing/Timing
To teach breaststroke breathing, I have the swimmer pull without breathing and ask them to be aware of the natural rise of the body that occurs on the scoop phase. We practice this without the kick.
Next, after a demonstration, I ask them to breathe every other stroke, and without changing their head position when going to air.
I tell them to feel the rise on the first non-breathing stroke and then, on the next stroke, just continue moving up and forward and out of the water for a breath.
She should be taking the breath during the natural rise.
I assist with the timing and head position, like this. I hold her head in line with her spine and raise her upper body as a unit during the scoop phase.
The head rises and falls with the shoulders. There’s no need for an independent head action.
One way to help the swimmer feel this is to have them swim breaststroke while holding a tennis ball under the chin.
I tell her to pull her hips forward as she pulls and goes to air. I want her to feel there is a connection between her hands, head, and hips when going to air.