Monday, May 2, 2011

Head Position in Brststroke

I am a strong believer in a swimmer keeping the torso and the head connected as a unit during the breaststroke.  When the head and the torso start moving independently efficiency is lost and the strong begins to fall apart.

I have recently started using a drill to maintain the upper body and head.  By simply placing a tennis ball between the chin and chest, a swimmer is forced to keep the two connected throughout the duration of the stroke.  I have used the tennis ball drill with few swimmers and it seems to work well.  It is particularly effective when working on breakout technique.

Many swimmers manage to breakout with a vertical motion, lead by the head, which causes much of the momentum from the start/turn to be lost.  By keeping the head in line during the breakout, efficiency increases, and momentum is maintained.

A tennis ball is an inexpensive item and can be a useful part of the training regimen.  It is even useful to have two, as they can be used for catch drills.  Either way, be sure to pay attention to the head position in breaststroke.  After all, where the head leads the body will follow.

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