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  #1  
Old 09-10-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Default Why do people find freestyle so difficult?

No one treats breaststroke as a life's work.
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Old 09-10-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Lawrence

I think breaststrokers take breaststroke just as seriously as freestylers do. At least breaststroke gurus do. Drag reduction is the great theme.

Just as most swimmers at the average pool swim a very faulty freestyle, a lot swim an equally faulty breaststroke, with screw kicks, almost vertical body position, head held stiff and upright, etc.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Yet I've never met anyone who worries about their breaststroke.
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Old 09-10-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Well, I don't worry about mine, just try to improve it.
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Old 09-10-2011
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
No one treats breaststroke as a life's work.
You should read the breaststroke forum.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Hi Lawrence,

I think there are 2 types of breaststroke styles: The "Grandmother style" and the "competitive style".

I swim the Grandmother style and can go on for a MILE. No problem at all with breathing or endurance. And best of all I never practice breaststroke.

On the other hand I have been practicing my Freestyle for over 3 years as you say and am still struggling with it.

I just can't believe it when I hear my daughters (both competitive swimmers) tell me how hard a 100m-200m breaststroke race is compared with a Freestyle one.

In my case the difficulty about Freestyle is the breathing. Learning to properly inhale and exhale especially in an asymmetrical pattern (when swimming bilateral). Probably I am paying the price of 3 years of "breath holding" while doing drills. ALEX
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Old 09-11-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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My breaststroke isn't particularly good, but I can get by for as many lengths as I want (generally not so very many). I can make it more "competitive" style or I can to the grandma style, though with a bit more of a kick. The main reason I do breaststroke is for the leg movement, as it helps a hip problem I have.

I can breathe easily in breaststroke. I can make all kinds of adjustments on every stroke if I want. If I'm not feeling in the flow of the stroke, I can still enjoy swimming it (maybe I'll slow down to adjust the rhythm).

Freestyle...that's another kettle of fish. Balance is central, and everything flows from that. When my balance isn't quite right, nothing else works quite right including breathing. And when breathing isn't working right, it's just not fun. Then there are the trunk and arm movements.

Plus, I don't really care about being able to breaststroke for an hour or two; I do want to be able to swim freestyle for an hour or two (or more). That's why I take the time and make the effort to develop a decent, efficient stroke. Seems to me the neural pathways required for freestyle are less easily developed than those for breast. Maybe I'm wrong there generally, but it feels true for me.
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Old 09-13-2011
dobarton dobarton is offline
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Default If it's any consolation, I can't breast stroke to save my life!!

I even got the DVD!!! I REALLY suck at breast stroke. I'm going to start making a more concerted effort to improve it, but every time I try it, I get frustrated.
In a pool, I can swim freestyle forever.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2011
terry terry is offline
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In freestyle you need to coordinate 6 body parts which have the potential to move independently of one another - head, torso and 4 limbs.In breaststroke that number is halved, since limbs all move in concert -- and head is moving in (generally) the same direction as you're traveling, not swiveling across your path of travel.
Also, natural human equilibrium means you have the potential to be fighting yourself--relative to optimal freestyle balance--full time. Relative to optimal breaststroke balance, natural human equilibrium is right half the time.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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That makes sense, Terry. I agree it's a harder stroke, although I think people slip into telling themselves it takes a lifetime to achieve competency. That's what I'm really challenging since I can't think of any other examples.
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