There is so much we can work on when mastering Freestyle. One aspect of the stroke that causes a lot of swimmers trouble is head position. Some swimmers tilt their heads up slightly either when they breathe or when their heads are in the water during their strokes. Some swimmers move their heads from side to side, never really finding that perfect alignment position. If any of my old coaches are reading the previous statement, they are all nodding along as I used to be extremely guilty of that one.
It's taper time again.
Those words bring delight and smiles to any swimmer's ears. After a long hard season, tapering is like the big gift at the end. It's that moment of relaxation both physically and mentally for most swimmers. It's a time when your daily yardage gradually decreases before you head into a big swim meet. You should note though that it's not all about yardage. It's about the mental recovery as well.
Coaches have gotten a bit lazy in how they coach. Many coaches are just focused on speed work, rather than helping their swimmers become more efficient in the water. We need to change this. We, as coaches, need to be held accountable for the way we train our athletes. We need to provide our swimmers with the foundations of proper stroke technique to help them reach success.
Learning to be a balanced swimmer can be a lifelong task. Balance will not only help you in the water but help you build stability and strength outside of the water as well. Having great Freestyle is based on a solid body line, but sometimes swimmers mask their instabilities in the water by using their arms or legs to support them.
Breathing is a crucial part of swimming. Everyone knows this, but so many swimmers struggle to get it right. They often opt to lifting their heads forward or just keep their heads out of the water the entire time. These techniques not only make you less efficient in the water but can actually make your overall breathing significantly harder. Developing good breathing technique is one of the hardest thing for new or intermediate swimmers to master.
Backstroke is one of the more popular strokes to train in. It's similarities to Freestyle allow swimmers to cover significant distances at a greater speed. The ease of breathing attracts a lot of new swimmers to this particular stroke since you always have your face out of the water. However, did you know that not all backstroke is the same? I would like to introduce you to 3-peak Backstroke.
I was introduced recently to a new drill for helping to improve your catch and hand position in Freestyle. It doesn't really have a name so I'm calling it the "dip and reset" drill. The idea behind this drill is that it works on your hand entry into the water. It helps you maintain a high elbow throughout your entry.
Swimming is a fantastic sport for people who suffer from injuries like knee pain and back problems. It's one of the few sports that don't require significant strain on your various muscle groups or joints. It's one you can do well into your golden years. But what do you do when swimming caused your injury? Some swimmers believe they need to stop swimming due to injuries, but this isn't true. Even with shoulder problems or issues with legs, ankles or back, you can modify your workouts to fit. This will benefit you in the long run because you will stay fit, continue to have good feel of the water and actually help reduce your recovery time.
There are two main things that swimmers should be focusing on every time they hit the water. The first is decrease our resistance in the water and secondly, increase our propulsion. Decreasing resistance is a major key to improvement. There are several forms of resistances we should be striving to eliminate from our swimming.