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Learn How To Swim 101: Freestyle Faults, Overreaching Pt 2

Learn How To Swim: Freestyle Faults, Over Reaching Pt 2

This was a surprise to me when I did it to one of my learn how to swim students but it worked and so I thought that I should pass it on. Overreaching is one of the more common Freestyle Faults. But this one was particularly problematic.

This solution is 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.

image of a swimmer learning how to swim freestyle but with an overreaching fault

I had a student who had come to me from another swim school with an overreaching 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 centre of her body.

I had given her the image of a board down the centre 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 overreaching problem.

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Back To Basics

Everything from an exaggeration of movement to walking beside her calling out instructions and physically moving the part to the correct position failed to correct her overreaching 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 was actually incapable of correcting the problem.

Finally, I decided to take her right back to the basics to try and undo this persistent overreaching 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.


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