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Swimming 100m Butterfly for the First Time



I have a 10 year old boy who is quite a strong swimmer. In training he can easily complete 100m butterfly but he refuses to do it in competition. The 100m fly was on the club night program this week and he refused to swim it.

We are not sure how to approach this. Is it a big ask for a 10 year old to swim 100m fly? They are required to swim 50sec for 50m fly before they move up to 100m and he is well and truly under that time.

How would you recommend to approach him about it? He is not the type to really talk about his feelings or what is bothering him about the event.

Thanks in advance



Hi Stacey,

Swimming 100m butterfly for the first time is one of the biggest challenges most young swimmers will face.

The key for any swimmer is to know that they will make the 100m butterfly before attempting the race for the first time.

As a coach, I have always included plenty of butterfly in practice, usually doing repeats of 25m with correct technique and timing over various speeds.

We often do time trials in practice, and at least once a month, every swimmer would do a 100m butterfly time trial.  I would always do these short course (25m pool) first as most swimmers find 100m butterfly in a 25 metre pool easier than 100m butterfly in a 50 metre pool.  Over the summer months we would do at least a couple of these long course (50m pool).

These time trials would give them the confidence that they would make the swim in a race.  We would then go all together and do a practice one at a club competition.

This seemed to work really well.

It is not unusual how your son is feeling, and often if they can get the first one behind them, they love racing the event from then on… particularly if they are good at butterfly.



The Swimming Expert

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2 Responses to Swimming 100m Butterfly for the First Time

  1. Lj December 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi Gary, are these noval lap counting watch allowed in National galas? And if they are which ones are most suitable?

    • Gary December 30, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

      Hi Lj, No lap counters are allowed to be worn in competitive swimming races.
      Cheers Gary

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