Keeping Your Head in Line
A Simple Tip for Our Freestyle Lap Swimmers
If you are an experienced lap swimmer, your goal is to always be more technically efficient. This means you are working smarter, not harder, which usually means swimming faster or longer with less effort. As an inexperienced lap swimmer, you are just trying to survive on your way to the other side. With swimming being such a technical sport, there are all kinds of tricks and tips – but we want to begin with something simple that can help at all levels:
It all starts with your head!
Your head is an approximately 8 pound bowling ball that your body follows around your entire life. It does what your brain says, and in the water…your head is steering the ship! For the correct body position in swimming, your bowling ball of a head should always be in line with your spine. A head lifted up and out of alignment means the hips drop and you are dragging your heavy body through the water. Swimming becomes an uphill battle. This is the most common mistake with body position.
To keep your head in line, you want to ensure your eyes stay looking down at the black line on the bottom – this is why they call us insane! Endless hours looking at the black line – it really is true and necessary to ensure proper body position in freestyle. The other key is ensuring that you have a proper side breath and are able to return to the eyes down position after your breath. We even have the side breath as a building block of freestyle in our Youth Group Swim Lessons. Your children are learning that side breath in the Blue Dolphin level! Side breathing is important because it allows you to roll your head to the side to get air without having to lift your head out of alignment. Then after you get your precious air, the chin stays tucked and your face rolls back into the water! Sounds simple – right?
Here is a link to a good article and video that emphasize the importance of not lifting your head. If you think you may need some more professional help with your head, you can always contact your Aquatics Director for some Private Swim Lessons.