How to Master the Top 5 Challenges to Breathing in FreestyleWritten by Kevin Koskella
The most common question I hear in triathlete world about mysteries of swimming efficiently usually involves something with breathing. In freestyle, it is first step to get your body position right. Then, for many, you throw in breathing and everything goes haywire! This has to do with lack of balance, using your head instead of your core to breath, and a few other factors.
Here are top 5 challenges in learning how to breathe in freestyle, along with remedies on how to get over these:
1.Not Getting Enough Air. There are a couple of reasons this typically happens in freestyle. First, make sure you breathe out all of your air before you rotate to take a breath. When learning, some people try to exhale and inhale while they are rolling to side for air. There simply is not enough time for this! Your exhalations should only be in water in form of bubbles. At first timing may seem difficult, but eventually you will get used to it. Second, you may be sinking as you breathe. Make sure you are rolling to side to breathe, and not rotating your head and looking straight up. Practicing side kicking and shark fin drills, as discussed in The Complete Guide and in introductory 4-session online clinic you get by signing up for Tri Swim Coach newsletter will also help you with this challenge.
2.Extended Arm Sinks While Taking a Breath. This is mainly a balance issue. While you breathe to one side, your other arm should be extending. For many swimmers, this extended arm pushes down into water (elbow drops) and they are sinking while trying to inhale. The side kicking and shark fin drills will also help to improve this. Another drill also discussed in materials that will help with this challenge is fist drill, which forces you to not use your hands, therefore improves your balance in water.
Swimming vs. GolfWritten by Kevin Koskella
Recently, I have taken up golf, and I canít help but notice similarities between learning golf and learning swimming. Both are finesse sports that require large amounts of concentration and practice to get right, and it is unnecessary (and ill-advised) to gain great amounts of strength to make major improvements in either sport. Letís look at some specific ways golf is like swimming:
1.It Starts with Head Position. In golf, you must keep your head still and look straight at ball while you swing in order to make contact. In swimming, you must keep your head still and look straight down at bottom of pool while you rotate in order to get most out of your stroke.
2.Concentration is Key. The moment you start thinking about more than one thing when you are about to hit ball is moment that something goes wrong. If I get 2 tips on my golf swing and I think about both of them next time I tee up, I tend to have an underwhelming result! The same goes for doing swimming drills. As a coach, if I give a swimmer several things to think about, inevitably, nothing will go right. The idea is to concentrate on one aspect, practice it, master it, and move on.