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Thread: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

  1. #1
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    Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    I just started swimming. Not very good at it. Well, I swam in the Navy, but not freestyle. . I'm a disabled vet and swimming seems to be a great exercise without the pain of other exercises.

    I am not so good at the breathing part when doing freestyle. I watched videos, and have been practicing. Some days I seem to breath just fine. While other days, like today, I think I swallowed more water than I swam in.

    Should I invest in a center mount snorkel to help me while I concentrate on form, or will this be more of a distraction? Would I benefit from it?

    Ultimately I would like to master my breathing technique, but I don't want to get discouraged and stop swimming all together.

    Thanks

    Chris

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    Chris Ė Thank you for your service. Iím a retired Navy vet too. Iíve never used one of those center-mount snorkels so I canít tell you what theyíre like. BUT, since you said you really want to learn to breathe properly, I think itíd be best for you to learn a good breathing technique BEFORE you try a snorkel. I think if you start off with the snorkel youíll get reliant on it and just never force yourself to learn to breathe properly. And although Iím suggesting that you not use the snorkel, I am suggesting that you ought to wear goggles. I know that sounds odd since weíre talking about breathing. But Iíve always told beginners that and it does make a difference to them. I feel like if you can see clearly, and thereís no water in your eyes that youíre more comfortable and itís easier to concentrate on other aspects of your stroke. First, for now figure out which side you want to breathe on. For this example say itís the LEFT. As your RIGHT arm comes forward in the recovery part of your strokeÖlet that be your queue when to turn your head to breathe. Kind of think of it as your arm pushing your face out of the water. When you get your breath, think of your left arm as pushing your face back into the water as it comes forward in the recovery. Exhale, and then repeat the process.

    Eventually when you master breathing on one side, you can begin to work on learning bilateral breathingÖbreathing on both sides. It makes longer swims much easier.
    Good luck.


    Dan

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    It seems breathing is the most difficult part of freestyle because rotation, alignment, flexibility and timing needs addressing to pull it off streamlined and successfully. A snorkel is a good tool to have around too.

    Best way to work on the breathing is with an experienced coach or swimmer providing you with one on one feedback. Your service to our country is appreciated, good luck

  4. #4
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    breathing may be a pain but you must learn it to get better. Try this for starters- hold the side of the pool with both hands and put your face in the water, blow air out of your nose till you need a breath, then turn your face/head to the side that you feel is most comfortable to pull in another breath with your mouth. Do this about 30 - 50 times in a slow rhythm to get control of breathing. This will help yo when you try it in the full swimming mode. Let us know how you are doing. Thanks for you service to all of us!

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    Re: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    Thank you all for your advice. I will work on my technique! I looked into membership with USMS, and am intrigued. It just so happens that one of the locations that came up on the USMS website is a Gold's Gym with a pool that I'm in the process of joining. Problem is, when I called the Gym to inquire about a "Coach" they said they did not offer any formal swim instruction. Is it possible that the coaches are people who happen to attend a particular pool? I will continue my research into membership, and hope to find an instructor.
    Thanks again.
    And Dan, thank you for your service!

    Chris

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ctiffer View Post
    It just so happens that one of the locations that came up on the USMS website is a Gold's Gym with a pool that I'm in the process of joining. Problem is, when I called the Gym to inquire about a "Coach" they said they did not offer any formal swim instruction.
    I believe the "Places to Swim" listings include both places with active masters teams and also pools that offer lap swimming times, but don't offer any formal program. Perhaps Gold's is in the latter category.

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    Re: Beginner with a Snorkel Question

    Ah, thanks for that info.

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