Tips & Training

100-Yard Butterfly Race Strategy

By Meghan Satterstrom

To get a coach’s perspective on swimming the 100 yard butterfly, Splash talked to Dave Gibson, former head coach of the Phoenix Swim Club. Gibson has been coaching for 36 years, is an ASCA Level Five Coach and was awarded the ASCA Gold Medal Coaching Award.

He shared his views with us on what it takes to swim the 100 fly successfully.

Not only does Coach Gibson have a lot of coaching experience, he has worked with some very talented butterfliers in his career, including Olympian Ricky Berens, John Wojciechowski, Ashley Evans and Japanese and Asian record holder, Kohei Kowamoto.

“I like my flyers to get an immediate catch/anchor after their hands enter the water –no messing around out in front,” Gibson said. “I also want for them to maintain a pretty flat body position with little undulation and a flat and straight neck when breathing.”

Race Strategy: Coach Gibson says a great start and underwater work off the starts and turns is crucial for a good race. Clean breakouts, preferably with no breath, are also very important. He advises swimmers to be fast, but have relaxed speed in the first 50 yards, and that it’s important to hold your stroke count on the second, third and fourth 25 yards of the 100 butterfly. Gibson says you should know what your stroke count is and train for it during practice, as you will see with his sets listed below.


ArenaATTBMWCeraVeMarriottMutual of OmahaMyrtha PoolsOmegaPhillips 66SpeedoTYRUniversal Sports