Originally Posted by Nicodemus
Nowadays I sometimes bump into other swimmers because I look at the bottom of the pool. This is a GOOD THING, because I have a better head position (I am learning to check ahead every now and then).
Right, checking ahead... Today I crashed into a kid while swimming full speed. (Thankfully I'm not that fast.) I don't remember if I saw him at the last second or not. He was crossing from my non-breathing side directly in front of me. He was hurt more than I was it seemed, but he was fine in about 30 seconds.
It doesn't hurt to look forward a little before turning to breathe. Some people say to gaze about 5 feet (1.5m) ahead. I still can't easily lift my head to sight over the water. Bi-lateral breathing might have helped since he approached from the left side.