May 2, 2023 - Underwater Dolphin Transitions Zoom

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May 2, 2023 - Underwater Dolphin Transitions Zoom

Theme of the Week

Underwater Dolphins: Managing the Transitions into Breakout – Freestyle and Butterfly

Learning how to dolphin off every wall is only the beginning. Real underwater mastery comes when you learn how to make the transitions that carry you from dolphin to breakout, in both freestyle and butterfly. Five Olympians help us explore the possibilities.


Ricky Berens: Dolphin Kicks Off Walls

Ricky Berens shares his thought process on transitioning from underwater dolphin to flutter kick, in both the 100 and 200 free. It’s complicated – and not just about a number!


:08 - no gap between dolphins and flutter

:18 - play at .2x - recover one foot up to transition

Maintain the rhythm - but with one leg

:27 - play at .2x - recover one foot up to transition - maintain rhythm

:47 - faster rate - smaller initial flutter

1:01 - look at breakout spot

1:26 - while still dolphin - initiate the first arm-pull

1:26 - recover first leg up while arm pull starts

1:36 - hand starts while legs are at their lowest point

1:37 - no dead spot - hand starts while legs are setting up

1:37 - left hand pulls while right foot sets up kick

1:39 - 2-flutter kicks before first hand finishes

1:49 - play slow


https://youtu.be/Pe3I8NkR5oQ?t=450 - 4

https://youtu.be/Pe3I8NkR5oQ?t=477 - 6


https://youtu.be/Pe3I8NkR5oQ?t=606 - Phelps's hand


Joao de Lucca: Flip Turn Step #6

The transition from dolphin kick to flutter kick should be seamless. Olympian Joao de Lucca shows us how.


:12 - initiates the hand at the bottom of the final dolphin

:12 - lifts the left leg while pulling with the right arm

:13 - 2-flutter kicks before first-hand finishes

:28 - hand breaks streamline

:29 - starts to catch when the legs are at their lowest point


Jason Lezak: Turns

For Jason Lezak, it’s two dolphins into flutter kick. And the dolphins start almost immediately after the pushoff.


:14 - transitions to flutter with no pull

:31 - nearly immediate dolphin off wall

:35 - 2 dolphins then into flutter with no arm pull

:40 - 6 flutters prior to arm pull

1:03 - nearly immediate dolphin and only 2 dolphins

1:31 - quick 2 dolphins

1:39 - 3- flutters into first pull



Kara Lynn Joyce: Take Advantage of the Turn

This is one of our go-to videos for teaching the flip turn itself. This time, watch it for Kara Lynn Joyce’s transitions from dolphin to flutter to breakout.


:24 - 3 dolphins

:29 - catch is initiated with the top hand

2:19 - pushes off on her back

2:23 - initiates first dolphin on her side

2:31 - angles downward

2:34 - hands separate at the initiation of the 3rd kick

2:35 - pulls with right hand, sets up left leg for first kick

Starts catch at the bottom of the last dolphin

2:36 - 2 pull kicks before 1st stroke finishes


Turns – Practice Underwater Dolphins

Start with the end in mind, the breakout. We love this progression for teaching the underwater dolphin and the transitions from dolphin to flutter to breakout.


:07 - Dolphin to flutter streamline to breakout

:17 - Initiating 1st stroke at the bottom of last dolphin

:28 - flutter to breakout

:35 - carry the speed from the wall into the breakout

:39 - dolphin to flutter streamline to breakout

:46 - start to merge the dolphin flutter and stroke together

1:00 - fairly close to the first stroke at the end of the last dolphin

1:00 - two flutters before end of first stroke


James Guy: Butterfly Breakout

Olympic Medalist James Guy shows how to be excellent when transitioning from underwater dolphin to butterfly.


:09 - start the pull prior to breaking the surface

:19 - slightly downward push

1:13 - hands separate at the top of the kick

1:16 - staying down with his head he sets the first stroke with the poster child of great butterfly

1:39 - face low and scraping on the surface

1:40 - imagine how much of his body is above the surface

2:02 - surfs the face on the surface

Low means forward


Kristian Gkolomeev: Streamlined Flutter Kick to Swim

We love this Kristian Gkolomeev drill for practicing the “other” transition: from flutter kick into the freestyle breakout.


:07 - shaping the breakout

:20 - horizontal breakout practice

:36 - drive the extended hand forward

:42 - increasing the pace does not POP him up

1:01 - a bit more sprint timing of the first 2 strokes

1:06 - Fast breakout

1:12 - Fast breakout


Butterfly Drills: Triple Kick Breakout Practice



10:07:52 From Dimitris ATHYMARITIS : Hi Glen it's nice to see you . I will see the presentation later because i am in the middle of the evening workout

10:19:51 From Dan Jimar To Glenn Mills(privately) : (Was going to send this a couple of days ago, but did not get to it)   Have a breakout video with Dressel, he does fly kicks through his breakout stroke - https://youtu.be/aM26Btib6gM

10:26:49 From Melinda Wolff : WHo is this gal swimmer?

10:33:13 From Melinda Wolff : Are some swimmers faster flutter kickers than dolphin kickers underwater? ie - not a combo, just all flutter because for some reason, their underwater dolphins are weak / slow?

10:42:19 From Melinda Wolff To Glenn Mills(privately) : Off topic of the day - but I loved seeing the scaps pinching on the back (reflected from the underwater view) of the fly transition video! Doing this takes a huge strain off the shoulders. Wish I was taught this when training - could have avoided shoulder surgeries! This is "one of the most important" things! ha ha

10:46:03 From Dan Jimar To Glenn Mills(privately) : I was not able to find a better video for Ricky's relay swim for that last turn

10:54:41 From Camy Gitwenty : Muscular or lean bodies : is there a difference in the optimum number of kicks ?

10:57:17 From Mike Koleber : Gotta jump on another one. You all are awesome! Keep it up!! Until next time.

10:59:44 From Ruth Cheung : YAY!!!

11:00:06 From Camy Gitwenty : Laure Manaudou was a olympic 2beat kick champion

11:00:22 From Ruth Cheung : I’m sooo looking forward to this topic.

11:00:45 From Nora Stoycheva : Bye bye

11:00:46 From Charlie McCanless : Thanks for the call!

11:00:47 From Corinne Machoud : Thank you so much Glenn and Barbara

11:00:53 From Anne- Marie corroon : thank you