Dressel’s Analysis of the 100 Breaststroke AR Reveals his Versatility

by Nicole Miller 33

August 07th, 2020 College, National, News, SEC, Video

Prior to his record-breaking performance at NCAAs in 2018, Caeleb Dressel showed up to the SEC championships ready to light-up some of his “off” events. After obliterating the American record in the 200 IM with a 1:38.13, everyone was anticipating what he could do in the 100 breaststroke. Coming out of prelims with a personal best of 51.07, Dressel crushed the final as he finished in 50.03, chopping .01 off of Kevin Cordes’ American record. Although Ian Finney broke Dressel’s mark a few weeks later at NCAAs, his swim, which brought him to a total of 5 American records, remains a testament to his overall versatility. 

Previous Stroke Dissects:

Important Quotes:

  •  “I know breaststroke technique, my biggest strength for breaststroke races is my pullouts and I know that so I take advantage of them.”
  • “I think all strokes are interrelated that is why at a lot of my practices I try to at least once do at least one lap of the pool, take a stroke of each.”
  • “Leading  with your head in the stroke is the most important thing for breaststroke.”
  • “Maintain the strengths, improve the weaknesses guys. I think that’s the biggest thing in swimming and you know sports in general and probably just life.”
  • “Your turn wants to mimic a golf ball. You’ll be as tight as you can, keeping everything connected and getting your hands off that wall as quick as you can.”
  • “it wasn’t a perfect swim, I think I hit my stroke counts very well, I hit my walls very well it’s a really fun swim.”
  • “I wanted a mental challenge of something I was not comfortable doing, which is why I chose to do the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke at this meet and I thought I could do something really, really special. So, I could have fallen flat on my face and that’s totally fine, sometimes you are going to fall flat on your face in the sport of swimming and that’s fine, that’s totally fine. The only person you can blame at the end of the day is yourself guys, so bad race, good race it doesn’t matter, blame yourself and then get back on the water and look for ways to get better.”

The Breakdown

At the start of the race, Dressel notes the fact that he does not stand when the officials ask the swimmers to do so, stating that it is a mistake and often officials will not start the race until all swimmers stand. He also says that staying down puts him in a poor position for his start, so it is best to stand up and readjust in that situation. Despite this, he says that his start was powerful and resulted in a good splash upon entry into the water. 

At 6:54, Dressel notes how critical the one dolphin kick in the breaststroke pull-out is, while also addressing the use of illegal double kicks. “In breaststroke, you have to take advantage of the one kick that you get in the pull-out. Your boy’s not a cheater, I’ve never cheated in a race I’ve never done the double dolphin kick. Nobody cheat okay, I don’t care if you get caught or not don’t cheat don’t keep that on your conscience your boy only took one kick. He always only takes one kick but he takes advantage of that one kick, okay.”

At 7:34, Dressel speaks specifically to his dolphin kick, addressing the fact that the hips need to hinge properly in order to preserve momentum. “The hinge is gonna come right here okay you do not want to hinge at your lower back, all the power is going to be coming from within the hips. Specifically, you want to feel like the hinge is right there on your booty.”

A few seconds later, Dressel mentions how speed plays into his pull-outs, “boom so at no point if you feel like you’re slowing down on the pullout. At any point, you feel you’re slowing down the pullout, you’ve already lost your speed, your speed is already gone okay you’ve already missed your window when you should have been taking the kick or the throw down or the kick up and the breakout.”

At 9:09, Dressel negatively comments on his arm and elbow position during his first breakout, “bring them up over your body. Your hands should be pretty much touching your body the whole way up and then you’re gonna shoot okay. Look how wide my elbows are here, this is what you do not want to do.”

At 9:28, he looks at his first turn, saying that he was too open on it, leaving too much room between his head and his arm, comparing himself to a golf ball. “I need to be tighter okay and I’m referring to basically I’m flinging my head and then my arm’s still stuck on the wall. It needs to be like a tennis ball, no excuse me, it’d be like a golf ball.”

He further explains this analogy stating, “Okay, there are the stages you got freaking big physioball, and you got like a basketball, then you got a tennis ball, and you got a golf ball. Your turn wants to mimic a golf ball. You’ll be as tight as you can keeping everything connected and getting your hands off that wall as quick as you can.”

At 9:59, Dressel looks at his second breakout, referring back to his previous points about breakouts, stating that he slowed down due to the fact that he lost momentum going off the wall. 

At 10:52, he goes into an in-depth analysis of the similarities between breaststroke and the other strokes, beginning with butterfly, “so the catch and breaststroke the front end the catch is very similar to butterfly. okay uh that initial grab on the outside, it’s gonna be the exact same. I have to figure out if it’s actually wider in breaststroke compared to butterfly I’m not sure yet so I don’t want to comment on something if I haven’t done my own personal research so no one can call me out, but the initial catch, they’re very similar between breaststroke and butterfly.”

He then goes further into this, comparing breaststroke’s hip position to backstroke, “so if you’re on your back you want to roll those hips forward like you’re trying to bring your hips to your belly button okay and if you put it in breaststroke this part right here is the same thing.” 

“You want to engage from the hips to the belly button and kind of like rotate them forward. I think that gets a much better body position. I think breaststroke and backstroke mimic each other more specifically than the other strokes.”

Dressel then skips to the last lap of the race, beginning at 12:50, commenting on how his stroke is beginning to tighten up causing a pause during his stroke,  “when my arms shoot forward my kick should be happening at the same time and it’s not, there’s a pause at the top of the stroke. See? See I’m shooting and then the kick comes in, see how late my kick’s coming in?” 

At the end of the video, Dressel explains that he chose to do the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM at SECs in order to challenge himself into doing something out of his comfort zone. He then also explains his mentality going into the event, knowing that he was the only one who could control the result of it. 

“I could do something really, really special. So, I could have fallen flat on my face and that’s totally fine. Sometimes you are going to fall flat on your face in the sport of swimming and that’s fine that’s totally fine. The only person you can blame at the end of the day is yourself guys. So, bad race, good race it doesn’t matter. blame yourself and then get back on the water and look for ways to get better ,that’s the only thing you can do. The only two things we can control in this world is our thoughts and our choices.”

“Okay so you have a bad swim, give it a pout for five minutes and then, next choice there’s your thought, and the next choice is to get up and do something about it. You know you can point the finger all you want, I’ve had tons of bad races, I’m never going to point the finger at somebody else. I don’t want to do that because the only person in control of me and my swimming is myself. So take ownership of your swims, good or bad guys, don’t be blaming your coach don’t, be blaming your teammates, you have control at the end of the day. That’s why we have lane lines, you get your own lane, you get your own block, you get your own touch pad. Okay, so take advantage of it.”

 

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Tony R
3 months ago

“I am NOT a good breaststroker! Now lets watch me go 50 point.” SMH

monsterbasher
Reply to  Tony R
3 months ago

“The guy next to me has a such a better stroke than I do” as he’s demolishing the entire field by 2-3 seconds.

Dee
3 months ago

Remember when he was gonna be a threat to Peaty? Ah the good old days. There was talk of Dressel swimming the LCM 200IM a couple of years ago, what’s happened there? Just decided against it? I’d still love to see that.

Entgegen
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

He swam it but he “ran into a wall” of the LC 200IM has about half as many walls as the SC 200IM.
That’s what happened.

Dee
Reply to  Entgegen
3 months ago

I figured that may eventually be the case, but must have missed him swimming the race LC

tea rex
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

100 y breast is like 2/3 underwater. 4 pullouts and 18 strokes vs. 2 pullouts and 36 strokes.

Rafael
Reply to  tea rex
3 months ago

And while dressel has amazing explosion peaty tempo on breast is something else

Rafael
Reply to  tea rex
3 months ago

100lcm vs 100 scy would be more than the double quantity of strokes because of length and walls

Aquajosh
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

I still think he will swim it at some point, maybe at a Pan Pacs where you can enter any event, but the way the Tokyo swimming schedule is set up, the only event it makes sense to add is the 200 free. The 200 IM intersects with the 100 free and 100 fly, and the 200 fly intersects with the 100 free and the 800 FR. The 100 breast would be another good option, but with the 200 free comes two more chances at medals.

FSt
Reply to  Aquajosh
3 months ago

Why bother with 100 breast? He’ll be at the Olympics to win and with all due respect to Dressel’s abilities, he won’t win against Peaty.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Dee
3 months ago

He did 200 IM LCM inseason a few times I think. I remember the comments when he finished behind Micheal Andrew. I think his backstroke and breastroke would require major work to be a top level IM swimmer. With everything else he has going on why does he need to swim 200IM?

The threat to Peaty stuff was just online comments of people getting carried away. That said he would have a chance at 50 scy or 100 scy which obviously for anyone but Americans don’t really count.

Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

Going to be watching later. Learn a thing or two.

Curious
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

Share your thoughts too! Post a response video or article. We would love it and Caleb is the kind of guy who would welcome a real discussion about points and counterpoints that’s might come up.

Ian Finnerty
Reply to  Curious
3 months ago

Not the best at making videos. But I’ll probably post in this comment string my thoughts from his breakdown if people were interested.

Admin
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

People are most definitely interested.

The Importer AND Exporter
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Seconded. That would be awesome.

Curious
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

Get Cody, Lily, Annie and the whole IU breaststroke crew to do a “reply-vlog” on Cody’s channel. That would be awesome.

Ian Finnerty
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

So, To start, thanks Caleab for the shout out in the video. Couple of things i agree with him on. 1. Working with a suit is essential in my opinion. Variety of things happen in breast when you have a suit on. Obviously raises hip position, but it also makes kick narrower (at least for me). Both of these make it easy to ride higher in the water and increase tempo without making the stroke too forced. Usually in practice my kick speed is holding me back, but with a suit making the kick narrower it is possible to match that tempo. 2. Butterfly and breast are both extremely similar. Catch is super close like he states in the video.… Read more »

Tony R
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

This is great stuff, Ian! Fantastic compliment to Caleb’s video.

M L
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

Very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write this! The fly-breast drill sounds particularly promising to this former flyer who never figured out the breast catch.

Xman
Reply to  Ian Finnerty
3 months ago

Interesting about the importance of the tech suit.

How much practice time is done with a tech suit these days? And is this the norm team wide?

Also is this something that has trickled into teams that mainly focus on conference (sent at a level to focus on NCAAs)

And what are your thoughts on racing in tech suits in duel meets?