Learning to Swim Better

I should be in a pool right now but I bailed. It was another long day and my mind and body just couldn’t find the energy to go swimming. I did go the last 2 nights in a row though. My goal Monday was to learn how to swim with my head in the water. I asked WES for some tips on achieving this and this is what he told me:

“Total Immersion has some drills you can do that will help with keeping your head in the water. You basically kick on your side with one arm out, one goggle in the water, one out, breathing the whole time. This helps with your balance. Make sure your practice on both sides. Once you get the hang of it, switch mid lane by putting your face in the water and rotating to the other side. Once you get the hang of that, do the drill with your face in the water, and only rotate to either side to breath. No need to rush, no need to panic. Stop and stand up if you need to. No rush 🙂 ”

I told him it seemed simple enough and I’d try it. Well it really wasn’t easy for me! I kept not so much panicking but fearing the intake of water when I tried to follow the tips. I gave up after 10 minutes. In the end I just forced myself to commit fully to learning to swim with my head in the water no matter how much water I drank 🙂 I figured if the tips were giving me the same fear than I might as well try the whole enchilada.

It took a long time and a lot of restarts and gasps for air but I finally managed to get over my fear of swimming with my head in the water. Last night went even better than Monday night but I realized I still am not doing it properly. When I lift my head out to breathe I don’t put my head back in the water right away. I don’t put it in till I’m on the opposite side and this seems like it’s slowing me down each breath I come up for. But after 2 nights trying I’m happy with my progress so far. One thing I learned that helps me is that the less you need to breathe the less water you risk swallowing coming up for air 🙂

This wasn’t the interesting activity from yesterday that I mentioned. However once I got on this tangent I couldn’t stop 🙂 I’ll try to post it tomorrow.

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5 Responses to Learning to Swim Better

  1. Congratulations to you! That is hard enough for little kids who have that fear, and to conquer it as an adult should be applauded. Great job!

  2. Astrid says:

    Hi stranger! I am one of those people who swims with my head above the water. I like to swim, but I will never be speedy, because I do not have strong shoulders. They constantly dislocate (don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt), so there is no power behind them. Thankfully I have strong legs, so I am not sluggish, just not as fast as possible. Sounds like you are doing great!

  3. Wes says:

    Way to go! Another key thing is to not hold your breath. It’s kind of like breathing while running. Breath in step step breath out step step, etc. Do the same thing with your swimming. Exhaling forces your body to relax. Rotate on your side, tuck your chin in and when your mouth pops out of the water under neath your arm pit, breath. Then face back down in the water and as your stroke, just exhale. I like to physically puff it out with each stroke. Holding your breath is a cause of anxiety and learning to breath well is a good idea. Have you seen the Swim Smooth site? Google it. It has great tips for learning to swim well.

    • John says:

      Thanks Wes! I actually came across Swim Smooth after I posted last night. Didn’t read much but realized I was doing more wrong than I thought. Maybe that’s why I didn’t read much? 🙂 I book marked it and will keep working on it.

  4. I swim with my head out of the water … I can’t help it!

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