I had the most awesome experience in the pool this a.m.--I learned rhythmic breathing and swam the freestyle for the first time, and I just wrote to Coach Daley to share the news, came over here to the forum and, fancy, you should ask about breathing drills!
Here's what I just wrote to Mr. Daley (workshop, Apr 4-5; one lesson, Jun 3):
"I've practiced nothing but switch drills with roll to side or back for air (four+ yoga breaths) since I last talked to you (June 3, 2009). Today I finally decided to try rhythmic breathing with Z-switch, and it worked.
"Actually, before attempting to "freestyle," I first did four lengths in skate just turning face into the water (using kick to turn entire body) and back out, until I figured out how to be close enough to the surface to breath quickly with chin tucked. Then I tried it as a "switch" drill--breath in skate (chin tucked, one goggle wet), underswitch to other side to breath, underswitch to other side to breath--sort of a breath, 1, breath, 1 rhythm. After that, I tried 3 Z-strokes between breaths."
I decided what my tempo should be so I would know how much time I had to empty my lungs underwater. Today I exhaled steadily through my nose underwater, though I know the coach said to exhale lightly, then Expell the air quickly out your mouth, compressing your diaphragm to push the air all the way out, creating a vacuum just before you grab a bite of air. I was taking leisurely breaths, so "bite of air" would not describe what I was doing.
That's it; that's the drill. Worked for me. I got the idea from one of the dvd's where Terry describes how you should practice floating in skate and turning to air to see how easy it is to find the air. So, I just expanded on that idea, doing variations on that for a few lengths.
And I'm swimming!!! I know every stroke wasn't perfect, but I swam the freestyle today. First time.
p.s. 7/12/09: I got it; I don't got it. :o( Everything clicked so perfectly that Thursday, but the following week was a demand for remedial practice of lead-up drills. No four lengths free-style easy in four days. Could be psychological--I had the pool all to myself that awesome day while all the following week, every day was crowded. On Wednesday, twenty people in a water strength/aerobics class all bobbing in unison meant "open water" turbulence. Need to review all drills, relax and try again. I'm going to get this.
Last edited by elskbrev : 07-12-2009 at 11:20 PM.
Reason: update 7/12/09