SwimSwam Drill of the Month, July 2023: “Step 4 Breakout”

SwimSwam is proud to present the Drill of the Month for July 2023. Drill of the Month is a SwimSwam recurring feature that brings drills and idea submissions from various creative and innovative coaches at every level all over the world.

SwimSwam’s Drill of the Month for July 2023 is “Step 4 Breakouts,” which comes to us from Schroeder YMCA’s Caleb Hernday. An age group coach with Schroeder Y, Hernday leads the Age Group 1 and Junior 1 groups. He’s just finishing out his 11th season with the team, during which time it appears he has primarily worked with age groupers. Prior to his time with Schroeder, Hernday coached at Tosa Swordfish, Lake Country Phoenix, and was the head coach for St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy High School’s swim and dive team.

As the name implies, “Step 4 Breakout” is a drill focused on cleaning up the breakout, particularly for freestyle. It’s called “step 4” because there are 4 steps to the progression, which you’ll get to see each of in the video below. Here is a description of the drill in Hernday’s words:

Why we do this: We want to carry our speed from the start/turn through the breakout as best we can with the best breakouts possible.
  • Step 1: Push off the wall in a great streamline, hold the line until you reach the surface.
  • Step 2: Push off the wall in a great streamline, when you reach the surface, you add 6-8 flutter kicks
  • Step 3: Push off the wall in a great streamline, add your dolphin kicks, when you reach the surface, add your 6-8 flutter kicks
  • Step 4: Put it all together!! Streamline, dolphin kick, flutter kick with the breakout stroke

Now, here is a video of the progression in action:

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