The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Tips from the new Butterfly 301 DVD

How to Teach the Butterfly Stroke

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
If you would like a creative way to teach Butterfly to young children (ages 4 – 12), this article is for you! Jim Reiser, “The Swim Professor,” will share a few creative, and easy steps from his brand new DVD on teaching butterfly to get you started.


  1. Have your young student(s) lay on their stomach on the deck. Their arms should be at their sides, thumbs down, pinky side of the hand up.
  2. Say to your students, “I want you to pretend you are a “caterpillar.” We’ll call this position (with their arms at their sides) the caterpillar position.”
  3. Say to your students, “Now I want you to slowly move your arms forward, keeping, your thumbs down, and pretend that you’re changing from a caterpiller into a butterfly.”
  4. Say to your students, “I want you to stop moving your arms when they get in front of your shoulders which is where the arms enter the water.”
  5. Practice this movement several times until your students have a clear understanding of what the stroke/recovery of the arms should feel like. Then you can teach the pull.
  6. The late legendary Olympic Swimming Coach Richard Quick would have advanced swimmers do the same drill while lying on a kickboard in the the water. After watching his video with older, more advanced kids, I started using a similar technique with younger swimmers learning the butterfly.
  7. Because the kickboard doesn’t work well with young children because they have a hard time balancing on the board without it popping out, I started using a Swim Ways Power Swimmer (buoyancy device) on my young swimmers that laces up the sides so it can’t slip out from underneath them.
  8. Then I have my young students practice the arm recovery and pull with the buoyancy and it really works well. Why? Because the child can concentrate on the technique without worrying about staying on top of the water.


Things You’ll Need

  • SwimWays Power Swimmer
  • Butterfly 301 DVD by Jim Reiser

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Teach the Butterfly Stroke. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
October 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm Comments (0)