Originally Posted by michaelmarshall5030
I was encouraged to use a snorkel to work on balance by doing the Superman Glide and other floating drills. I thought I was a sinker, but I was just a "low in the water" person. I had to literally roll at least 145 degrees to get any air, and I exhausted myself. Coach Stuart felt a snorkel will help me find my level position with the drills to get me higher in the water. The snorkel has helped me understand, that after practicing drills, I am not as low in the water as I used to be because the tip stays above the surface. I hope that answers your question.
If you can roll 145 degrees (or even 180 degrees) and get air, I really don't see the advantage to using a snorkel. Rolling onto your back to breathe obviously isn't normal freestyle breathing, but neither is snorkel breathing.
What I would suggest, to progress to normal breathing, is the following:
1) Once you become comfortable with rolling to your interrupted breathing position, so that you can predict when your mouth and nose will be above the water, work on blowing air out through your nose as you roll to that position, so that your lungs are empty when you arrive at that position and you can immediately inhale quickly through your mouth.
2) As soon as you have filled your lungs with air, immediately roll back to your skate position and continue (spearskate, swingskate, or overswitch).
3) Once you become comfortable with this, focus on rolling just far enough to quickly take in a breath, then (without any pause) point your nose at the bottom again, rolling back to skate. See how little you can roll and still get a breath. Focus on inhaling through the corner of your mouth (what we call a "Popeye mouth"). Keep in mind that the faster you are moving, the less you are likely to need to roll, since your motion will create a pocket of air around your mouth through which you can breathe.