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Old 08-10-2009
dpeleg dpeleg is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
Default Breathing on both sides

For so many years I have been breathing on my right side only when I swim free style, now I'm swimming TI and I have dificulties learning how to breath both on my right and left sides. When I'm trying to breath on my left I always lift my head so I don't swallow water (not good because I don't keep the laser beam...).


1. How crucial it is to be able to breath on both sides?
2. If it is crucial, any advise on how could I learn to breath on my left side?

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Old 08-22-2009
elskbrev elskbrev is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 65
Default O2 in H2O--bilateral breathing

First, drill to find where "sweet spot" is for breathing to your left. When you have that, practice z-switch from your left side (right shoulder up) to your right side sweet spot position...and breath there. Once this is imprinted, do it in whole stroke. This will teach you where your recovering right arm has to be so that you are properly positioned in the water for breathing on your left.
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Old 08-23-2009
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation

I would hesitate to describe bilateral breathing as crucial, but I would unhesitatingly recommend it as an improvement strategy to all Kaizen swimmers.

The most basic reason is because most single-side breathers display asymmetries in their stroke and bilateral breathing contributes to symmetry. A symmetrical stroke is more effective.

Beyond that, the discomfort and awareness of error produced by a significant change in a long-term habit pattern is one of the most reliable stimuli to improvement. You've noticed you lift your head when breathing left; that will prod you to mindfully lower it.

Here are notes I made from Chapter 3 in my current favorite book, The Talent Code: Struggle is essential to improving your skill patterns. In order to get your skill circuit to fire optimally, you must first fire it sub-optimally. When you do it inefficiently, you become aware of your errors and focus on fixing them. Mistakes increase your attention. As I type these notes, I notice the mistypes, not the correct ones, leading me to concentrate more, so I can avoid wasting time retyping.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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