Many basic balance drills in swimming are done in static positions. The goal of these drills is to make you aware of how the water supports your body if you are balanced. These drills are easy to do for just about anybody, and are a good foundation to the learning or review process.
However, swimming is not static, and when some swimmers begin to allow themselves the freedom of movement that comes from swimming, balance sometimes becomes something dependent on the arms and legs.
By learning balance while allowing your arms to trail behind you, you can’t depend on them to aid you rotation, or balance. This makes sure you imprint the proper balance techniques on your swimming, and when it’s time to add the arms, they’ll be much more effective in their pulling patterns.
Keep in mind that your kick should be relaxed while you do this, and not rushed. Take a very deep breath prior to aiming your face at the bottom, and move quickly enough through the positions so that you’re not RUSHING up to air during the final step. Take your time when your mouth is above the surface so that you have plenty of air to really be able to focus on what’s happening while you’re looking at the bottom.
How To Do It:
1. Start with both hands relaxed by your sides. Eyes looking up towards the sky or ceiling. Rotate just enough so that one of your shoulders is above the water. Try to lean in enough on the lower shoulder so that as much of the arm on top is exposed to the air.
2. When you feel nice and balanced, roll your shoulders so that the opposite shoulder is now exposed to the air. Try to keep your eyes as still as possible during this rotation.
Remember, before moving to step 3, fill your lungs with air.
3. Simply swivel your head and look directly at the bottom. You’ll notice here that the swimmers shoulders have now moved to a 90ï¿½ position. This is now emulating a more swimming like position. Try to stay right at 90ï¿½ and definately NOT rotated at all towards your back anymore.
4. Now, rotate your other shoulder under the water. You should now end up with your body in a 90ï¿½ position with your other shoulder aiming at the bottom.
5. To finish the sequence, roll your eyes back towards the sky or ceiling. You’ll notice that your shoulders will most likely fall more towards your back, this is fine.
Remember, you’re trying to maintain a degree of comfort while looking up, not a degree of rotation.
How To Do It Well:
Imagine your entire body riding down the pool in a tube. A little of the tube is above the water, just enough for you to get your mouth and shoulder out, but most of it is submerged. As you rotate, don’t allow any part of your body to fall out of line with this tube.
Being "perfect" in this drill is pretty tough, and you’ll see our swimmers still have some work to do.
However, if you look at the last swimmer on the clip, Barbara, shows an advanced aspect of this drill. Move your body and head all together when you rotate to air. After all, that’s how you’re going to do it when you swim. Barbara shows the mastery you’ll be striving for.