The goal of this drill is to encourage a fast and streamlined recovery on breaststroke. The drill is swum almost like a regular breaststroke, with a minor adjustment. On the recovery of the stroke (that is, the part where the arms are coming forward), the swimmers should put their thumbs together, face their palms forward, and splash the water forward as much as possible.
The reason I love this drill so much is that it accomplishes a few different things. First, it makes sure that they are really shooting their arms forward to get back into a streamline position as soon as possible, in order to get maximum distance out of their kick, rather than just lazily putting their hands forward. This is the primary purpose of the drill. A bonus secondary effect of this drill that I’ve discovered is that, given what most swimmers know about splashing, without even realizing it, they pull their elbows in tight, and shrug their shoulders in order to maximize the splash. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw them doing it, because that’s not what I intended by the drill, but it happened! With a little encouragement, the rest of them got that part too.
Things to look out for: Estranged stroke cycle. Sometimes, the swimmers are so worried about getting permission to splash, that their stroke rhythm gets off. Once they get that out of their system, though, it’ll usually settle back into place. Also, encourage the swimmers to get the fingertips up above the water and actually splash forward. This will give them a feel for what they are doing.