How To Learn The Most Important Skill In The Water
In my last newsletter, I laid out a simple plan for improving your swimming.
Improving in the water really comes down to this-
1. Establish COMFORT in the water
2. Learn the key SKILLS of freestyle swimming
3. Develop the FITNESS to sustain these skills
Today, I’m going provide you actionable information about THE most important step- creating comfort in the water.
It’s the foundation for effective swimming.
This is the MOST important skill, yet it’s never discussed.
I spent a LOT of time ignoring this skill as a coach.
I tried to coach freestyle technique to individuals that were NOT comfortable in the water.
They were just trying to survive.
They were a lot more concerned about breathing than where their arm was supposed to go!
Once I realized that I had to create comfort FIRST, progress took off.
It took a lot less time and a lot less effort on everyone’s behalf.
Creating comfort is all about air.
Air helps you float, air helps you relax, air helps you create position, and air fuels your efforts.
To get comfortable in the water, you need to be master managing your air.
If you don’t, ALL of your focus will be zeroed in on trying to maintain position and trying to get enough air to breathe.
Your focus will NOT be on swimming effortlessly and speedily.
To make it concrete, let’s go through the 3 skills you need for air management mastery.
1. Feel Your Lungs
The first step is to FEEL the support of your lungs.
When you can FEEL how your lungs help you float and support you in the water, EVERYTHING becomes easier.
You have to feel it to KNOW it’s real, then you can worry about making it happen when you swim.
Here’s the best way to start the process.
2. Create Leverage
To swim quickly and easily, you need to be horizontal in the water.
Since the lungs hold you up, you need to learn to use your lungs to create a horizontal position in the water.
You need to learn how to do so from the front of the body and from the back of the body.
You need to lead forward with your head and chest, and pull up with your back and legs.
Here are two simple exercises that help you learn to do just that.
3. Learn to Breathe
While it would certainly make swimming a lot easier, unfortunately, you can’t just hold your breath with full lungs at all times!
Instead, you have to learn to breathe in a controlled manner so that you can get the air you need while also maintaining your position in the water.
Doing so requires control and rhythm.
Bobbing exercises are the best way to learn these skills.
These exercises may seem a little unconventional.
However, practicing these skills will save you a LOT of time and effort.
You’ll start swimming faster, and more importantly, you’ll swim a lot EASIER.
Simply incorporate these exercises between your swimming repetitions.
See below for two sets that you can use to start working on these skills today.
Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you take your swimming to the next level:
1. If you’re looking for do-it-yourself solutions to improve your swimming, check out my resources Freestyle Made Simple and Addressing Adult-Onset Swimming.
2. If you want a more personalized learning experience, we can work together to analyze your stroke or develop a