July 25, 2023 - Butterfly Release - What We Taught at Summer Camp

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July 25, 2023 - Butterfly Release - What We Taught at Summer Camp

What We Taught at Summer Swim Camp: Butterfly Early Release

At summer swim camp, we have limited time to devote to each of the strokes, so we have to be strategic about what we teach. We search for the ONE THING that will bring the most improvement to the most swimmers. For butterfly it’s a no brainer: Early Release.


Butterfly Drills: Short Release

This focus point can be imperceptible to the naked eye, but the feeling to the swimmer may be a game changer.


:36 - exit the hands OUT not back


Steve Haufler: Getting Stuck at the Back

Steve shows how a simple switch from extended release to early release of the hands can transform your butterfly.


:17 - even trying to do it wrong Steve still exits wrist first

:19 - manipulation

:24 - exit the hands to the sides

:29 - send the hands out while still in the water

:36 - review angel

:44 - back scull

1:15 - palms facing back on exit


Butterfly Basics: Float, Diamond, Angel, Swim

Float. Diamond. Angel. Swing.  It’s a mantra we learned from Steve Haufler and it really works for imprinting a proper butterfly pull with an early release of the hands.


:14 - Float

:16 - diamond from front

:21 - angel

:24 - swing

:34 - diamond is in front of the shoulders

1:04 - watching the shadow


Butterfly Basics: Vertical Butterfly Jumps

This drill is addictive…and possibly the best way to learn an effective butterfly pull and recovery, with an early release.


:06 - Float

:07 - Diamond

:08 - Angel

:09 - Swing above water

:29 - Float

:33 - try to keep the hands stationary

:44 - hands out to the sides to swing

1:06 - build a rhythm

1:10 - swing from above

1:24 - Diamond from the side


This overhead footage of Olympian Kim Vandenberg, shows how an early release of the hands can create flow, rhythm, and ease.


Show in app - Kim at 21.9 seconds


Kaitlin Sandeno: Slow-Motion Butterfly

Kaitlin Sandeno’s effortless butterfly from every angle. Notice how she rounds out the pull for an early release.


Show in app - Kaitlin at 1:36.21


Kelse (Worrell) Dahlia: 3-3-3 Butterfly

Olympian Kelsi Dahlia shares one of the best drills for working on butterfly early release without letting the stroke fall apart.


:33 - Float - Diamond - Angel - Swing - Play slow

:42 - Angel 


Misty Hyman: Release the Hands Early

Olympic 200 fly champion Misty Hyman finds that an early release helps the hands accelerate as they leave the water. This gives her a quicker rhythm and lets her attack forward as the hands enter.


:51 - 

James Guy: Butterfly Full Body

James thinks about sweeping the hands back and OUT.


Wu Peng

Notice the acceleration of Wu’s hands as they finish the pull and then snap out of the water. The snap comes from an early release.