Practice + Pancakes: IU Breaststroke Group Does Work

SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.

PART 2!!! We are back with Practice + Pancakes at IU, this time covering the PM workout of the Monday double that SwimSwam attended in Bloomington (If you haven’t seen part 1, check it out). In the afternoon, there were a lot of stroke groups going, so we went with Ray Looze‘s famed breaststroke group. As a sort of pre set, they did some breaststroke kicking on their backs and sides, which Ray explains in the video. The first part of their set consisted of timed breaststroke kicks followed by breaststroke swimming. Then he hit them pretty hard with an 800 breaststroke pull. For time. Brutal, Ray. But effective.

At that point, I went over to see what Coley was doing. Coley’s practices are interesting because he puts a lot of emphasis on drills, and uses a lot of different drills. If he likes or doesn’t like how one drill is going, he isn’t afraid to change the set to compensate for it either. If you watch the video, you can see all of the different things they do with freestyle drills: kicking into swimming, swimming into kicking, swimming into 1-arm pulling, 1-arm pulling where you switch using a paddle or no paddle. Coley even said some of the drills he uses purposefully puts the swimmers into compromising positions, so they can feel the difference when they go back to their normal technique.

More Videos From IU:

IU Video Report

Coleman’s Carpool with Lilly King, Blake Pieroni, and Cody Miller

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Swimmer A

On the kick sets a lot of them were doing two pulls into the wall, flip turn, dolphin kicks under water, freestyle kick breakout and then into breaststroke kick. If I had to guess they do that so they begin their breaststroke kicking with some momentum, which is actually similar to how you race breaststroke. But my god, I woulda gotten reemed out if I ever did that during practice lol.


Why did they call it “100 breast kick for time” if it isn’t a 100 breast kick for time…?


Yeah I wouldn’t call those 100s breaststroke kick. Only about 40-60 yards of it was actually breaststroke.


Agreed, but dang whatever they are doing is working. 2 Olymipians from that group and another US National teamer. Who cares what they call it results are there.

Brad Flood

It’s about consistency from repeat to repeat and set to set (i.e. comparing results if today’s work to a month ago, or a month from now) for each swimmer. It doesn’t matter what you call it, so long as it is the same, from repeat to repeat within a set, or set to set for apples to apples comparison for improvement, or lack thereof.


Bowman emphasizes repetition in practice so that swimming under pressure in competition is second nature. I can’t imagine him letting his breaststrokers swim freestyle, flip turn and flutter kick in his breaststroke sets.


Bowman? He is not the best coach in the country – he had the best swimmer in the country.

For this post – he has had no breastrokers! And count how many Olympians/post grads got slower under him – more than how many people made the Olympics. He’s a great coach for Phelps, for sure, but let’s get a grip.

Thank you for posting, and thank you for sharing Ray! I wish more programs did this.


Bowman has a breaststroker, Silja Kansakowski. She’s been faster than Lilly King this year.

Brad Flood

LOL, Really & Seriously??? Let’s revisit this part of the discussion after the 2nd weekend in March!


I wonder who thinks up some of these drills, and how they determine if they are “helping.” I’ve noticed that Cody and Lilly have a similar style of breaststroke.

Variety is important to keep training interesting. The swimmers are going pretty fast in that “100 breast with paddles and fins” set.

Big10 Boyz

Indiana is the place to be for breaststroke with Miller, King, and Finnerty. So many schools are lacking in quality breaststroke, coaches should be looking to Looze for direction. Go Big10!


IU is doing great things, but the place for women’s breaststroke right now is definitely Texas A&M. They have 5 women 2:08 or better after the midseason meet.

Big10 Boyz

Good analysis in the 200, but what about the 100? The 200 is great for the LC season, but for the NCAA season, the 200 and 400 Medley are the priority. In the SC season, who is close in the 50/100?

Double Arm Freestyle

I would argue A&M is better for 200 Breaststrokers and Breastrokers who lean towards IM and IU is better for 100 Breaststrokers and Breaststrokers who lean towards sprints.


Place for breastroke right now is MICHIGAN


Are you serious…….have you seen Taylor Garcia swim breaststroke????


Have you seen the three Sophmores ranked 3rd, 5th and 24th in the Nation as of Midseason in the 200 breast?


Miranda tucker got 2nd in the NCAA with Indiana.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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