Such a simple drill, but carrying a good amount of teaching. Underwaters isn’t just about finding out how long you can hold your breath;in fact, these can be quite dangerous if done alone, or to a point beyond discomfort. So, BE CAREFUL.
Why Do It:
Underwaters is really about learning how your body works in the breaststroke underwater pull at the end of a race. If you’ve swum a 200 breaststroke, you know how tough it can be to stay under on the 6th, 7th, and 8th underwater pull. This helps you discover what you do, and how to improve… without having to swim a bunch of 200 breaststrokes in practice.
How to Do It:
1. As stated above, don’t do this alone. While some discomfort is a good thing, monitor how you feel and don’t overdo it.
2. Start with short underwater swims, which are nothing more than a series of breaststroke underwater pullouts.
3. As you start to feel more comfortable, increase the distance. You want to be just a bit in need of air, but not gasping when you do reach the surface.
4. The focus is on WHAT you do when you’re rushing the arms and legs in the recovery of the underwater pull when you REALLY want to get it finished.
5. Sneak your arms and legs through the recovery, and kick into as much of a streamline as possible to get ready for the next pullout.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Be patient, and pay attention. Remember, this isn’t about how far you can go without breathing, it’s about how efficient your pullouts are so you can make it to the other end, or farther, without using any energy… energy that gets wasted in those momentum-destroying actions during the recovery of the arms and legs.