Coaches Corner

Coaches Corner 2016 – John Dempsey

Hi folks it well into the season of 2016 and I hope you are all settling into your training regime and getting fitter by the week.  Training seems to be going well and I would like to welcome the new swimmers to the club. It is great to see some of our previous competitive swimmers returning to masters swimming and also some beginners taking up the sport. I would also like to welcome Ethan O Brien to our coaching staff.  Ethan was a pupil of mine at a young age and went on to join the High Performance Squad where he spent many hours improving his swimming skills.  Ethan is new to coaching so I hope you will give him all the support you can over the coming season do not be afraid to test his knowledge as a competitive swimmer at the highest level.

Already we have taken part in two galas one in Dublin and one in Mallow with great success as you can see on our website winning both overall trophies the only downside is that there could be a few more swimmers competing at galas hopefully this will improve in the future

In this issue I am going to write about Breast Stroke as the club will be having a Breast Stroke Clinic in the near future details will follow shortly.

Improving your breaststroke technique

To ensure you are squeezing the most out of your time in the pool here are a few advanced tips for improving your breaststroke technique.


  • To improve your breaststroke technique your body position should be with your head facing forward in line with your body.

  • Keep your shoulders, hips and legs as horizontal as possible but slope your body slightly to allow the leg kick to stay beneath the water.

  • The leg kick uses your core and abdomen muscles more than freestyle so it’s important to not to let your hips drop in the water. Your legs should be behind you rather than below you.

  • Try to keep your neck and shoulders as relaxed as possible to aid the arm action and reduce strain. Look downwards as you glide to avoid straining your neck


  • From the glide position the hands should be pitched down and out.

  • Keep your elbows high as you skull your hands out and round.

  • Your hands should then sweep back in to the body as though they were to meet at the upper chest.

  • Try not to sweep your arms too wide – remember much of the propulsion comes from the legs – not the arms.

  • Your hands can recover under or over the water but your elbows should remain below the surface.

  • Your arms can then stretch forward with your hands close together to restart the arm action


  • Good timing of the arm action and leg kick are imperative to make the most out of your breaststroke.

  • Try to time your arm action and leg kick so there is always something propelling you through the water.

  • The arms will be propulsive while the legs recover and the legs propulsive while the hands recover.


  • Lift your shoulder to bring your face out of the water to breathe. Don’t raise your head – let the head naturally rise with the shoulders so your chin is resting just above the water.

  • Lifting your head rather than your shoulders can lead to back pain and lowers your hips which will increase resistance.

  • Inhale through your mouth before letting your shoulders drop as you sweep with your arms. Exhalation usually occurs explosively during the glide

  • Right Swimmers just a few pointers to improve your  Skills hope you put them to good use. Remember the best place  to l improve your swimming is in the pool..

Swim Smooth Swim Long Coach John Dempsey.