One of the most common mistakes we see in butterfly swimming is the timing and position of the head during the breath. If the swimmer breathes too early, too late, or too high, the already laborious (DIFFICULT and EXHAUSTING) stroke will be even more challenging!  It takes concentration and practice to master butterfly breathing, but it is possible and well worth the effort!

Watch the video below.  
Focus on his breathing. 

Key Points:
  • Head should come out of the water to inhale (breathe in) when arms are under the chest.  Breathe right before the "push in the back." 
  • Head stays low and close to water.  (Do not lift head up or look up.)
  • Head stays in line with the spine.  (Do not arch back to take a breath.)
  • Eyes look forward and down.  Face stays in downward position.
  • Exhalation (breathing out) is steady and continuous. Bubbles constantly stream out when face is in water.
Goals for the swimmer below:

* Keep head in line with the spine.
* Keep head/chin down, closer to the water.
* Breathe earlier, when arms are under the chest.

Notice the technique below:

* Head is in line with the spine.
* Chin is close to the water.
* He is breathing while he is "pushing in the back".  

Now go give it a try!