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aqua mayim
September 8th, 2014, 11:36 AM
I am currently quite a slow freestyle swimmer (I have a bit of a breaststroke background.) Onlookers criticise the fact that my hands go in too deep and that I look towards the bottom of the pool. As hard as I try, my hand always seems to be about 5/6 inches from the surface.

Any ideas on how I can get them to remain near the surface to get that catch at an early stage? In addition; as soon as I try and bring my head up slightly it feels so unnatural. How do I raise my head slightly without causing it to feel awkward?

Rob Copeland
September 8th, 2014, 12:17 PM
Just a couple of observations…

Are these “onlookers” real coaches or just other swimmers parroting advice? Many casual swimmers carry their heads too high and overreach at the surface at the front of their stroke. So unless the advice is from a real coach, I’d be leery about changing your stroke based on casual observation.

There is nothing wrong with being “a slow freestyle swimmer”; it all depends on your personal goals. If your primary goal is fitness, then speed shouldn’t matter. If you are looking to swim faster or maybe compete, then I suggest you find a coached Masters program, and work with the coach.

Also, if you post a video of your swimming on the forum, a number of people will likely offer informed advice.

aqua mayim
September 8th, 2014, 12:42 PM
One of these guys is a pro coach. I think his criticisms are more than justified, however, I don't have total confidence in his solutions.

__steve__
September 8th, 2014, 03:47 PM
Without actually viewing your freestyle, it would be next to impossible for anyone to offer a second opinion as corrective suggestions.

An option would be a video clip attachment at angles clear enough to see what's going on. Better yet, underwater views

orca1946
September 8th, 2014, 04:24 PM
If you are a pool swimmers then yes you should be looking down. 5-6 deep on the hand entry or when pulling?"
pro" coach by who's standard. Have a masters or college or H S coach look at what you are doing.

Debugger
September 11th, 2014, 06:59 AM
Can't imagine pulling 5-6in deep so I consider that's hand entry. I agree that's quite deep (it might be even deeper than it seems to you observing from underwater). Try to stand in super streamline with your back next to the wall touching the wall with as great surface of your body as possible. If you feel awkward and tensioned in your shoulders, most likely the root of the problem is lack of flexibility - quite a common problem. Daily stretching might help to improve but be patient - result will not come immediately.
I agree that video would be helpful to see other possible mistakes.

habu987
September 11th, 2014, 03:15 PM
If flexibility is not the issue, per Debugger's comment, you could try doing catch-up drill with a kickboard. Holding the bottom of a kickboard on the surface with one hand stretched out in front of you, take a full freestyle pull with the other arm and grab the board with that hand at the end of the recovery; let go of the first board with your first hand and repeat the process. This will force you to keep your hands high on the entry and should give you an idea of how your hands normally enter the water in comparison.

aqua mayim
September 12th, 2014, 09:33 AM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I started using more hip and it felt a lot better. Debugger, Is this what you meant by more flexibility?

Habu987. The coach had already suggested using a kickboard to force my hands to the top, but it felt so forced. For the minute I am going to use more hip and try and get more flexibility.

When using the hips is it supposed to feel like I'm pushing forward with that side of my hips?