Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Learn How To Swim 101 - Beginning Freestyle - Common Faults- Over Reaching Part 2

This was a surprise to me when I did it to one of my learn to swim students but it worked and so I thought that I should pass it on. It's not something that I recommend as a normal thing to do but if you have a student with a particularly stubborn fault (the fault not the student) It may be worth your while trying it.

I had a student who had come to me from another swim school with an over reaching problem that just refused to be resolved. I tried all the standard things that I knew to get them to fix it and could not. So it was time to use the nonstandard.

I had tried to explain to her that she needed to keep her arms away from the center of her body.
I had given her the image of a board down the center of her body.

I had physically moved her through the strokes.
I had gotten her to change the pitch of her hands.
I had changed the tilt of her head so that the tip of her goggles were kept in the water when she took her breath.
I had helped her place her head so that she could feel how her head should be in the correct breathing position.
I had encouraged her to keep her ear in the water as she turned her head to breathe so as not to lift her head too high as she took her breath thus maintaining her streamline.
And much more but still she had an over reaching problem.


Everything from exaggeration of movement to walking beside her calling out instructions and physically moving the part to the correct position failed to correct her over reaching fault. And it was not through lack of trying on the child's part either.

She did her level best to do everything I asked her and still could not get away from the overreaching. I was actually beginning to think that she had a physiological problem and was actually incapable of correcting the problem.

Finally I decided to take her right back to the basics to try and undo this persistent over reaching that way. I decided to try some straight arm action to see what that would do.

Suddenly the whole problem went away!!! I could not believe it. As soon as I asked the child to swim freestyle with their arms straight everything fell into place. Her arms will still need some tweaking but essentially she is now swimming standard freestyle.

Lesson: Be prepared to go back to basics, you may be surprised what you can learn.

Next time I'll talk about Freestyle Catch Up Stroke and Breath Timing.

Enjoy
Richard


Enjoy
   Richard

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