Fitter and Faster Swim Tip: NBG Butterfly Drill

This Swimming Tip video is courtesy of the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour presented by, a SwimSwam partner.

Olympian Claire Donahue demonstrates NGB Butterfly drill.

Three Strokes of NGB:

1st Stroke – N – “not” breathing

2nd Stroke – G – keeping your “goggles” just above the water line

3rd Stroke – B – meaning “breathe” on the last stroke 

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About the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour Presented by

The Fitter & Faster Swim Tour Presented by produces swim clinics featuring elite stars of the sport and the most innovative teaching platforms. FFT Swim Clinics can be customized to meet age and skill level of every team and community. Call 786-837-6881 or visit to learn more.

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Concerned Citizen
6 years ago

What if one breaths to the side?

Reply to  Concerned Citizen
6 years ago

Concerned Citizen – side-breathing butterfliers need help that we cannot provide. I suggest you speak with your primary care physician about that issue (ha, ha, just kidding, Mel!)

If you’re a side breather, then this drill won’t be a great one for you. One of the advantages to the side-breath butterfly is that the natural tendency to lift one’s chest out of the water on a breath (which is what this drill is trying to correct) isn’t there. Side-breathers should work more on drills that would help keep them balanced, because the tendency there would be to roll into a sort of at-an-angle butterfly stroke.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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