Gaining Confidence Through a Bowl of Water

By Carolanne Caron, Swimming Expert

Often one sticking point for people who are starting to work through their fear of water is getting their face wet.  Whether it is in the pool, in the lake, or even in the shower, it’s hard to imagine being comfortable and relaxed with your face being wet.  Today, I’m going to take you through the steps to getting more comfortable with your face in or near the water.

Step 1:  Learn to Breathe

Yes, you read that right.  We need to learn to breathe when we are around the water because it is different than when we are on land.  When we are exercising on land, we normally breathe in through our nose and out through our mouth so we can calm our heart rate down.  In water, we do the exact opposite.

When breathing around water, we want to take a quick, deep breath in through our mouth and envision that breath going all the way down to our belly.  Then we want to close our mouth and breathe out through our...

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Choose the Right Coach…Achieve Your Goals

Everyone has goals.  Studies have shown having the right coach can help you achieve your goals even faster than going it alone.  But…how do you choose that coach?  Today, we’re going to discuss what to look for to find the coach who can propel you to greatness.

Goals:  The first thing you want to make sure of is that the coach you are working with discusses your goals with you and is willing to create a custom program to suit your needs.  If you are wanting to do your first triathlon but are not skilled in swimming, your coach should be a swimming expert who will give you custom swimming workouts which work on your weaknesses and propel you to your goals.

Evaluation:  The coach should offer you a no obligation initial session where you can show them where your skills are starting and they can then match where you are to where you want to be and recommend an appropriate program.  Everyone is different and everyone starts their journey...

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Breathing as a Conversation

 

Many swimmers have trouble with breathing.  If you are already breathing in through your mouth into your belly, out through your nose from your belly all controlled, and are still having trouble, you should think of your breathing as a conversation.

 

If you were speaking to someone using your swimming breathing, would it be a normal conversation or would the other person think you were having some sort of attack and call 9-1-1?

Make your swimming breathing more of a conversation by finding a phrase you can say to yourself as you're breathing out which matches a good 3 or 4 arm cadence.  For example: "The quick brown fox jumps over the fence (breathe)."  Reciting a phrase will help your body know the breath is coming up and the consistent cadence will help the body relax.

For more help on breathing, check out The Air We Breathe and Making Breathing Easier.  For further instruction, enroll in Improve your Freestyle today.

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Making Breathing Easier

Making Breathing Easier

The number one question I get in my coaching sessions is “How can I make my breathing easier?” First off, if you haven’t read my earlier post, “The Air We Breathe”, check it out here. Once you understand how to breathe easier, you can then start to incorporate steps to make the technique calmer and smoother. This post is going to concentrate on the breathing experience of the freestyle stroke.

To improve your freestyle breath, you must first look at your body position. You need to have a good horizontal position in the water to make your breath easy, calm, and controlled. If you are not swimming horizontally (your legs sink or your midsection is dipping), first address this issue and then move onto breathing.  For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you have a good horizontal position. (If you don’t, stay tuned for more on this topic.)

 

The first drill we are going to do is the side...

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The Air We Breathe

The Air We Breathe

One hurdle every swimmer needs to overcome is how to incorporate breathing into their stroke.  You can have the best technique but if you don’t have breathing incorporated, you won’t go very far or your stroke will stall when you try to breathe.

The first step is to relax and realize the air will always be there.  I’m not saying that some situations won’t be more challenging (i.e. ocean swims, wake swims, etc.) but if you come to this realization, breathing all of a sudden becomes easier.  To get a good breath, you want to breathe in quickly through the mouth and then out through the nose in a controlled exhale.

 For Freestyle, resist the urge to over-rotate and look up to the sky.  When turning the head for the breath, look over the top of the water toward the shoulder keeping the top of the head resting at the surface of the water.  Your head should be horizontal with the water.  If you lift the top of...

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