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  #1  
Old 12-06-2008
vol vol is offline
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vol
Default Directionless (sort of)

Sometimes I'm very buoyant and seem to float too much and the body becomes directionless (sometimes hitting the lane line), and very asymmetric (non symmetric) probably due to one side breathing. Where lies the problem and how can I correct?
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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As a rule your front most part will lead the way.

For a TI freestyle swimmer, the arms are at the front at almost any given moment and indeed that's usually the reason for deviation. Sometimes, however, the head is to blame.

Obviously the first thing you need to do is understand which one is it - The arms, the head, or maybe something else. Then you have to make it point to the correct direction.

Let's focus on the arms though, since they are expected to be the root cause for this problem. I would start by using the skate position for a few laps. It is possible to swim in the skating position straight even when your arm is not directed forward. This happens because you look at the floor bottom and automatically correct yourself. So although you're not usually supposed to do this, raise your head for a short peek at your arm. Is it pointed forward? Do this with both arms since it's possible that only one of them is to blame.

Once you have this sorted out, it's time to repeat with single switches. You should do the following:
  1. Breath in sweet spot and look at the ceiling in order to see if you deviate.
  2. Not roll to a breath. Instead only roll to skating position and peek at the leading arm. If it's not directed at the right direction, work on fixing that.
  3. Notice where the elbow of the anchored arm is. The goal is really to check that the anchored arm doesn't cross your long axis (probably due to over rotation if you didn't previously see it pointed toward the wrong direction), but that's very difficult to do without anyone watching you. Basically, your elbow should be anchored outside your body as you roll to your stomach(at the middle of the switch) and only then come close to your body. If it's too close to your body at the middle of the switch, your arm is probably somewhat crossing your long axis. This test is not very accurate. It's really based on a lot of assumptions, so if you can get someone to actually tell you if you're crossing the long axis, it would be much more accurate.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2008
vol vol is offline
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Adam, thank you so much for the very helpful comments. As you pointed out, the arms are most likely the cause, and since my case is lack of symmetry, my arms' positions probably have to do with my breathing. I'll experiment the way you advised, and maybe try a few strokes without breathing to see if that makes a difference. I had thought my kicks could also contribute to the deviation as they are not symmetric either; is that possible, or do the lower body just follow the upper body? Thanks again!
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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It's probably possible, but I think you'd feel the effort in the leg muscles.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2008
vol vol is offline
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I tried today, and I paid special attention to:

"your elbow should be anchored outside your body as you roll to your stomach(at the middle of the switch) and only then come close to your body. If it's too close to your body at the middle of the switch, your arm is probably somewhat crossing your long axis."

That really helped, as my left arm (the non breathing side) always tended to cross the long axis, probably because I breath a little too early. So I swam better today, thanks, Adam! Will continue the drills you suggested and report progress :)
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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BTW, if you have the latest Freestyle DVD, Terry discusses this common error.
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