Learning to critique your swimming
Swimming can be one of the most beneficial and rewarding forms of exercise. It can also be one of the most challenging when it comes to learning the basics. One of the reasons it is so challenging to swim correctly is that it is particularly difficult to actually see what you are doing. So often the mental image of our arm recovery or breathing style varies greatly from the movement that is actually taking place. If you have the time and money to spend and have a coach that is willing to stand on pool side every time you swim then you will have access to constant feedback, this is terrific. What if you only swim with friends, on your own or do not have access to a coach every time you swim? An easy way to improve your technique and your swimming is to learn to critique your own swimming. There are some very simple ways to do this;
1. Stand in front of a mirror and pretend you are swimming. Look at your arms, are your elbows up? Are your shoulders rotating? You will be surprised how closely your arm recovery using this technique actually replicates what you would do in the water.
2. Lift your head while swimming and look at your arm action out of the corner of your eye. Is your elbow up? Is your hand entering the water at about two thirds extension?
3. If you are swimming with friends get one of them to take a quick ten second movie on their phone for you to review later.
When you are learning to swim you are training the nervous system to respond in a specific way as you stroke, breath and kick. If your perception of an action differs from what you are actually doing you are spending hours teaching yourself bad technique. The sooner you learn self critique methods and correct your technique the quicker your swimming will improve.
Feel free to comment on the above or if you have questions about self critiquing or about correct swimming technique contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org