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Underwater Pullout Teaching Progression
Step #2: Pull Down

Step #2 of the breaststroke pullout is to Pull Down. When teaching the pulldown to beginning breaststrokers, I start on land in a standing streamline.

As I demonstrate in front of them, I say “streamline, missile… press and hold at “11.”

Now bend at the elbow and press your forearms until they are parallel to the ground…now pull and push to your legs.

We also practice the recovery -- the sneak -- to get the arms back up to streamline, and then practice this multiple times…so they get the feel of the movement.

When we go to the water I’ve learned to keep it as simple as possible for the swimmers. I don’t want them thinking too much. I want them to feel the water.

I demonstrate…

And then I say, “Streamline glide… and then pull both arms all the way to your legs. I just want you to move forward.”

Give feedback.

Tell them to stop at the “11” and then pull straight back to their legs.

If they lead with their elbows, it’s best to tell them to pull back with straight arms. These swimmers will often bend their arms correctly when they think their arms are straight.

Sometimes it’s best to move their arms through the correct movement.

Then have them try it on their own.

Practice gliding for 2 seconds, without doing the dolphin kick. The swimmer should be in a perfect, horizontal, head-leading streamline.