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  #1  
Old 08-24-2012
joneskvn joneskvn is offline
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joneskvn
Default Causes for not swimming straight

I need some advice on what to look for as causes for not swimming straight, especially in open water. My pattern is usually I tend to drift to the opposite side than the one I breathe on. I have read on other threads about keeping wide tracks & I'm focusing on that. I'm sure there a hundreds of things that could cause drifting & without seeing me swim, diagnosis is just a generalization. If I am drifting to my left, does that usually mean I need to widen my track with my right or left hand? Is it possible I'm kicking more with 1 side vs the other? It would seem to me that drifting would occur if stroke balance was not there between sides. If this is the case, which side is more likely the culprit? Am I pushing myself over with the opposite side stroke or pulling over with the same side stroke?I guess 1 solution would be to breathe a few breaths on 1 side & then switch to the other but that seems like a patch solution. I want to fix the problem. Also working on taking a breath every 3 stroke vs every 2 but not there yet for longer distances.
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Old 08-25-2012
Carlos8100 Carlos8100 is offline
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To swim straight you need a symmetrical stroke and the natural way to become symmetrical is with bilateral breathing.According to my coach,if you know you can't swim very straight naturally,simply sight more frequently.
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Old 08-25-2012
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Swimming straight is all about stroke symmetry. I don't know anyone who can swim straight for great distances without sighting. Just a matter of degree as to how often, so the quick solution is learning correct sighting technique. Finding good symmetry takes longer and should reduce the need to sight.

Practice, persistence, and patience are the key.

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Old 08-25-2012
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joneskvn View Post
I need some advice on what to look for as causes for not swimming straight...
You're talking OW here, but if you swim in a pool try closing your eyes.

This will soon reveal whether you are veering off course, and may help to better sense where stroke asymmetry may be at fault.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2012
joneskvn joneskvn is offline
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Thanks for the info. Sighting is definitely something I need to work on. I have also experimented briefly with closing eyes while in pool. I will do this more often as well. Bilateral breathing is my ultimate goal but not able to go more than about 100 meters or so at this point without needing to go to every other stroke breathing. Hopefully, swimming more symmetrically will come more natural as I continue improving my technique.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2012
truth1ness truth1ness is offline
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Single arm exercises will help you a lot here. They will greatly magnify a crooked line of pull in your stroking arm. Keep straightening out the pull (and the entry and recovery, etc) until you are going perfectly straight with either single arm. Two should feel a lot straighter.
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Old 08-29-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joneskvn View Post
I need some advice on what to look for as causes for not swimming straight, especially in open water. My pattern is usually I tend to drift to the opposite side than the one I breathe on. I have read on other threads about keeping wide tracks & I'm focusing on that. I'm sure there a hundreds of things that could cause drifting & without seeing me swim, diagnosis is just a generalization. If I am drifting to my left, does that usually mean I need to widen my track with my right or left hand? Is it possible I'm kicking more with 1 side vs the other? It would seem to me that drifting would occur if stroke balance was not there between sides. If this is the case, which side is more likely the culprit? Am I pushing myself over with the opposite side stroke or pulling over with the same side stroke?I guess 1 solution would be to breathe a few breaths on 1 side & then switch to the other but that seems like a patch solution. I want to fix the problem. Also working on taking a breath every 3 stroke vs every 2 but not there yet for longer distances.
If you are stacking your shoulder when breathing you might be dropping your arm on that side too. Then you will have a much more powerful stroke on the breathing side than the alternate, so veering in the opposite direction would be the natural result.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012
kalinma kalinma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
Swimming straight is all about stroke symmetry.
I have found myself drifting a bit to the right at times and noticed that, while my right arm was bending at the elbow, my left arm was not, or at least not very much. I've gotten better at bending both elbows, keeping them relatively high, and keeping my stroke outside rather than underneath my body. Focusing on these points did seem to help.
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