SEE and FIX Basics

Bill Moorcroft Swimming



STREAMLINE your body – minimize drag
     Hip flexion begins the downward drive of the leg (with bent knee) and knee

extension completes the movement

     Water is pushed backward/downward off an extended foot position

     Six beat kicking appears to be continuous

     2 and 4 beat have slight pause when right/left feet at opposite extreme of


     Regardless of tempo, downbeat of right leg will coincide with finishing movement of right arm stroke

Knees pump in and out under

body in a ‘bicycling’ fashion

Kick drills on back should help correct this
Knees bent on upsweep with

foot lifted right out of the water

Feel muscles in back of leg keeping it straight as it begins up-


Toes are hooked not pointed,

possible inflexible ankles

Increase ankle stretch where

possible and point toes

Poor kicking strength, tight


Use fins to assist kicking (gently)

will also improve ankle flexibility

Straight leg down beat Bend knee down kick (Think of

kicking a ball down to the bottom of the pool)

     Turning head to one side to breathe performed with natural roll of trunk

     Breathe with little lifting of head to maintain body position

Turning to breathe too late Increase body roll, adjust timing to allow full breath
Putting face in water too early
One side breathing with

uneven body roll

Increase body roll to non- breathing side
Lifting head up to breathe Side kick drill (fins) head on side

to breathe

     As arm is extended forward from the shoulder, elbow higher than hand as

pressure develops on hand – “catch”

position. Delay pull to allow stroking in front quadrangle.

     Hand sweeps down while elbow stays in a high stable position

     From deepest point hand sweeps inward and upward until upper

arm/forearm angle is 90-110 degrees

     From mid-stroke point – backward and outward sweep of hand with significant acceleration

     Finishing upsweep of hand completes the pattern with hand past hip as it

breaks water surface

Elbow dropping or slips back

towards body loosing propulsive force

Maintain high elbow position, consider chicken wings
Arm swings wide creating

fishtailing, excess drag

Increase body roll, extend arm

straight ahead. Delay pull.

Hand swings high, windmill

style – body forced deeper into water. Less effective catch, hand slap on entry

Lift elbow bent at 90 degrees

Keep elbow above hand, increase body roll

Short arm stroke entry,

especially in sprinting, increasing number of strokes

Increase body roll with arm

extension concentrate on length of stroke. Glide or catch-up

Pulling with bent elbows, but

no curved pathway

Fully extend arm forward with

body roll, pull back “S” shape

Pulling with straight arm. Bobbing action. Less powerful than bent arm Lift elbow bent at 90 degrees

Keep elbow above hand, increase body roll

Hand ‘slips’ across centre

line as swimmer turns to breathe

Increase body roll with arm extended forward in front of


Elbow not the hand leading

backward movement of pull

Increase hand pull “feel” water

pressure pushing back with hand

A smooth rolling action of the trunk (about the long axis of the body) of approximately 45 degrees to either

side will assist in positioning the shoulder for both arm recovery and application of propulsive force. Rolling of the trunk also combines with turning the head to facilitate breathing without altering the body’s axis from the horizontal



     Alternating legs: On the upbeat, water pressure is on

the front of the leg, shin and


     On the downbeat, pressure is on the back of the leg

     Leg bends slightly on upbeat

     Toes follow through, snapping knee straight

     Downbeat is with a straight leg

     Upbeat should be the focus of backstroke kick

     Toes barely visible above surface

Knees pump caused by bending

leg on down sweep

Keep leg straight on down sweep
Ankles rigid, toes not pointed Relax ankles and point toes
Kick is too deep. This can pull

or drag swimmer’s body deeper

into the water

Incorporate a shallow kick just below the surface with straight

leg on down sweep

     Swimmers should be encouraged to breathe with a

regular rhythm – breathe as

one arm recovers, blow out as the opposite arm recovers

Chin on chest, eyes looking towards toes (Head too high) Keep head flat in water to avoid

legs dropping

Head too far back – water

covering face to compensate for sinking legs

Inflate lungs keeping rib cage

high and push hips upward. Increase emphasis upbeat kick

Body bends in middle, bottom


Poor head position, arch lower back, bellybutton above water
Body ‘snakes’ through water,

swinging arms wide on recovery

Keep head still, correct body

rotation in the longitudinal axis

     Arm is straight and extended with palm out (little finger entry

behind shoulder), body begins

rolling to that side as hand sweeps downwards

     Downward and outward sweep of hand to catch position

     Up-sweep of hand with slight in-sweep due to increasing

elbow bend until about 90

degrees forearm to upper arm

(maximum body roll)

     Hand accelerates through a down sweep to the top of the

hip with forceful downward

push to finish stroke

     Recovery starts with a lift of the shoulder which brings the

opposite hand out of the

water. Body starts to roll as extended arm reaches back for palm out entry.

Legs and hips swaying, zig

zagging through water

Arms should not enter across mid line of body. Too wide low

arm recovery

Head thrown from side to side.

Not enough body roll

Exaggerated roll by rotating

almost 90% on entry

Loss of direction Eyes closed – OPEN
Head too high, chin on chest Flutter kick – arms extended over head, crossed, clasped together
Bobbing Straight arm pull
Lack propulsion on arm pull Straight arm pull, wide sweeping pull, short pull
Hips and legs too low Leg action not effective, arch back, lift hips
Knees pump, ankles stiff, kick

too deep

Keep legs straight on the down sweep. Toes not pointed
Swimmer rushing the stroke Lack of control due to weak kick. Use kicking drills with fins
Hand thumps or bashes on


Palm out telling swimmer to

place hand gently on the water not let it fall down

Arm propulsion with bent arm pull will give stronger stroke, placing less strain on shoulders. Elbow points downwards at halfway mark. Body has rotated to the side of the pulling arm, bringing stronger muscles

into play. A lack of body rotation will utilise a weaker set of muscles. SHOULDER “POP” drill: Shoulder pops out above water immediately before hand appears to leave water and legs kick more sideways. Shoulder is brought around in an effort to touch chin. This has the effect of turning the body on its side.



Two kicks for every pull       – MEDIUM kick the hands IN

– MAJOR kick the hands OUT

     Dolphin undulating Movement through lower back is essential

     Knees bend slightly on downbeat –

as feet follow through the legs snap straight

     Downbeat forces hips & bottom to pop into the air

     Lower back arches lifting legs up to surface

     Toes are pointed inward. Ankles relaxed or floppy

Toes not pointed Feet must be turned in
Knees bend up on upsweep

causing them to drop resulting in too big a kick

Legs have to be extended. Make sure legs are relaxed on

upsweep. Bend for downbeat.

Kick too shallow Whole body must be undulating
Feet not together Place a band around ankles
One kick butterfly In sweep too short must be

slower and longer

     Usually every other stroke

     Head lifts forward, push chin forward

– after hands come together midway through the pull – Head out hands out – Head in hands in

Head still down when it should

be lifted

Head IN, Hands IN. Head OUT, Hands OUT.
Head late into position Chin must be tucked in with back

‘rounded’ over water

      Streamline on entry, ride out the stroke

      Forward/Backward – hands enter directly in front of, but slightly wider than, shoulder

      At catch hands travel outwards, downwards, backwards. Elbows

remain high.

      Upward/Inward – hands change pitch sweeping inwards, upwards,

backwards to mid-point of stroke

      Max elbow bend – hands almost together – transition from pulling to pushing action

      Downward/Upward – hands push back – downwards, outwards,

backwards completing the push


Arm recovery – elbows high but arms swing outwards

Dropped elbows – decreases

power of stroke

Swimmer must sweep hands out wide before starting in sweep
Arms dragged through the

water. Hands not outside elbows

Lift arms – ensure hands are outside elbows
Head too deep Maintain streamline
Hands not to face directly


Hands should be pointed slightly
Arms extended too rapidly.

Recovery too high

Elbows should be extended slowly
Arms too wide apart Try fins with hands entering water just inside the shoulders
Two kicks for every pull – kick hands in the water      Push-Breathe and down stroke of kick

 Breathe every other stroke      Breathe lift head, push chin forward                                                     Wrists and elbows bent early                                                    

Hands enter directly in front of shoulders      Arm streamlined on entry, ride out the stroke

 Keyhole pull, create triangle effect      Accelerate through end of stroke

 Relaxed almost – straight arm recovery

 Head comes out just before arms comes out and head goes in just before arms go in



Common Butterfly Stroke Mistakes

Gordon Whyte (Warringah Masters)

Phase of the


Mistake Action required
Entry and


Smashing arms and hands into the water Enter the water softly with hands facing outwards.
Starting to push back too early Wait until they have pushed the body forward with

the downbeat of the first kick before they start to push back

Out-sweep Too much effort into the outward movement of the arms Allow arms to slide out until they are facing back.
Push arms down too much, out too little Maintain high elbows
Arms are too straight Encourage flexing at the elbows
Insweep Rushing the catch and dropping the elbows Ensure swimmers slide their hands directly out to a backward facing position at the catch and then

initiate the in-sweep by pressing back, not down

Arms are too straight at start of catch resulting in a sculling action The arms should  be flexed when the catch is made
Not completing the in-sweep Ensure the hands are very close together under the body (key hole) and not being pushed directly back from the catch
Up Sweep Extend arms too rapidly Extend elbows slowly and minimally during up

sweep and they should release pressure and begin arm recovery as the hands pass the thighs.

Recovery Recover arms too high, with too much

effort and drag them through the water

Relax the shoulders during this recovery phase and

ensure body is in streamline position

Kicking Kicking too deep Practice kick drills
Poor ankle flexibility Commence specific stretching exercises
Bend legs during upbeat Practice kick drills
Timing Kicking too early during recovery Swimmers should time the first kick so it takes place

just as the hands enter the water and stretch forward.

Gliding too long after entry Encourage swimmers not to perform two kicks during this phase. Use drills practice full stroke


Kicking only once Swimmers should exaggerate the out-sweep and

in- sweep of their arm stroke to allow enough time to get their legs into position (before their hands leave

the water).



Undulate too little or too much Ensure swimmers don’t shorten the out-sweep.

and don’t kick too deep

Breathing Head keep too high and trunk too low Elevate head & shoulders only as high as necessary

to keeps arms from dragging through the water

Breathe too early (usually use a glide stoke and take a breath before they

start the out-sweep).

Swimmers must be taught to keep arms moving forward out after enter and to keep the face in the

water until mid-stroke.

Breathe too late (develop a hitch in their stroke) Don’t keep head down too long after entry

Avoid pushing up too much with arms during upsweep.

Avoid turning hands down before leaving the water.



     Kick can be 50-80% of propulsive force

     Heels begin to draw up towards buttocks, toes turned

inwards, knees no wider than shoulders

     Closest to buttocks, feet begin to flex sideways, then become

fully flexed

     Feet wider than knees, begin drive outwards, backwards

     Midway through propulsive phase, feet at widest point

     Legs begin squeeze inwards as straighten

     Cycle completes with feet closed, pointed, streamlined

Screw kick Knees rise up together. Also have swimmer do back drills
No pointing toes, poor ankle

flexion, feet pitched incorrectly

Coach shows how the stroke is done out of the water
Knees too wide Swimmer to practice having knees no wider than shoulders
Pushing thighs downwards

and forward against the water

Maintain streamline balance
Recovery of legs too early

Recovery of legs too wide apart

Swimmers should not point their toes back and lift their legs to the

surface until their feet are nearly together

     Slight forward extension of neck as out-sweep of arms

nearly completed

     Face breaks surface of water during in-sweep, breath taken

before head lowered again

Head lifted as arms out-sweep Correct timing to breathe on

IN- SWEEP of arms

Head late into position Head must be lowered as

IN- SWEEP of arms is ended. Timing is critical to optimal


     From streamlined position hands move outward (palms

out and downward) slightly

wider than, always forward of, shoulders

     Elbows begin to flex, forearm/

hand sweeps downwards

     Hands at widest and deepest point, shoulders begin to lift

     Hands scull inward and upward, head, shoulders lift

     Shoulders lift to highest point;

hands begin to move forward

(close to surface). Heels are at surface, knees bent, feet begin to turn outward

     Arms extend forward. Ankles dorsi-flexed and knee/hip

extension drives feet backwards while rotating


     Hips extend and feet continue to rotate backward and inward

     Head tilts downward and hips lift as body returns to

streamlined position

Dropped elbows – decreases

power of stroke

Swimmer must sweep hands out

wide before starting in-sweep

Arms dragged through the

water. Hands not outside elbows

Lift arms – ensure hands are

outside elbows

Head too deep Maintain streamline
Hands not facing directly back Hands should be pointed slightly
Arms extended too rapidly.

Recovery too high

Elbows should be extended


Hands pull too wide or too far


No wider than shoulders, not

underneath body

Pushing up too much Push forward rather than upward
Head lifts too late or too early Head lifts on the down and in- sweep
Hands stop on the in sweep Continuous movement
Dropping the elbows Make sure the hands have catch
Poor timing, no glide between


Stroking too fast
Lack of streamlining Arms and legs must be

recovered in streamlined position