Originally Posted by michaelmarshall5030
I have spent over a month trying to work on the "Popeye Mouth" when swimming freestyle so I do not have to rotate my head as much (after finally learning to balance correctly). Because of my Cerebral Palsy, my mouth in general works differently than most people. I was not successful in doing the Popeye Mouth in the water, so I tried doing facial muscle exercises on dry land to see if I could condition my mouth to make the Popeye Mouth. After taking in my share of/drinking little bits of water I have given up on the attempt to even think it is possible. Does anyone have suggestions as to an alternative so I am not drinking water when trying to breathe?
I don't have cerebral palsy, but still it took me months to sort out the water/air mixture in my mouth when getting my mouth as low in the water (halfway in/out) even to get a decent starting success, and a year and a half later I'm still making occasional mistakes and swallowing water, although, I'm thankful to say, not inhaling water any more. My point is, it was difficult for me, even without neurological problems, and if I had not been encouraged by others that it could be done, I would have given up.
So I imagine it must be more difficult for you, especially as you have no guarantee of success. But I would point out that if you are successful, it will require quite a lot of effort and persistence, so you don't give up!
My other thought is that if you don't have the neurological connections to reliably pull your mouth to one side, I notice most swimmers don't really make as much of a Pop-eye mouth as I try to do, and some good swimmers don't seem to do any Pop-eye at all, so that external mouth distortion part doesn't seem to be an essential part of breathing technique at all.
It may be that with practice and experimentation you may be eventually able to make some sort of Pop-eye, in which case you can integrate it later into what you have already accomplished. But you don't have to wait for a good Pop-eye mouth to start to practice safe breathing technique.