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Playing with Balance

Coaches everywhere wish all their swimmers understood some simple aspects of swimming.  One is how to get your body into a great line in the water to create less resistance.

Why do it:
Learning that there are parts of your body that float, and parts of your body that sink, will help swimmers understand that by searching a bit more deeply into balance, can free up their arms and legs to propel, rather than support.

How to do it:
Play with these four simple drills:
1)  Face down, body flat, hands back
–  Some key points to watch for:  From the surface, you should see the cap, back, and butt all on the surface at the same time.  Don’t let the swimmer use the hands to scull when going for air… let them learn how the body falls when out of balance when they lift the head, and recovers back to balance when they put their face back down.
2)  Face up, body flat, hands back
–  Some key points to watch for:  From the surface, you should see the bottom of the goggles touching the water, and much of the torso on the surface.  Watch for the knees to just connect with the surface… not pop out.
3)  Face down, body rotated, hands back
–  Some key points to watch for:  From the surface, when the swimmer rotates, you should still see the back of her head, and the top arm should be above the surface nearly down to the fingers.  Let the hand rest on the hip.  Do not allow the lower hand to scull, but just let it relax.
4)  Face up, body rotated, hands back
–  Some key points to watch for:  From the surface, when the swimmer rotates, the head should not move at all.  The top arm will rest on the side and show above water nearly down to the fingers.  No sculling with the lower hand.

How to do it really well (the fine points):
The main idea on these drills, is to press the chest, or upper back into the water enough so that the hips come up. The orientation that allows the body to be in a straight line, parallel to the surface, traveling down the pool with a simple ability to roll, rotate, and remain balanced without depending on the arms to hold it up.

Once you free the arms from supporting the body, especially when breathing, then you can use them better for moving your body forward.

No matter how fast a swimmer you become, it’s always a good idea to revisit these simple positions.