Head position in freestyle is one of the key focus points that beginners need to focus on when learning how to swim properly. If your head is not properly positioned in the water it sets off a chain reaction down your body and messes up your form. If your legs or lower body tends to swerve, your hips sink, your neck or shoulders are tense after each swim, or your kick is weak, your head position could need a fix.
Here are three things that you should focus on to make sure that your head is in the right place:
- Eyes on the line: Many swimmers gaze up at their hands when they swim, which causes a series of problems. First off, if you are looking at your hand or too far forward, your hips and lower body sink, causing drag and added resistance. Instead look straight down at the bottom of the pool. You can look ahead a little bit but make sure that you….
- Keep your chin pointed towards the pool bottom: To prevent your head and eyes from wandering focus on keeping your chin pointed down. You can practice this on land by standing up against a wall with your shoulders touching the wall (this also helps with proper posture); this is how you should be in the water. With this position, you also prevent your head from moving from side to side and instead remains neutral as your body rotates. By the way, this doesn’t mean your chin should touch your chest! We need to have a little flexibility here. The back of your head should be out of the water, your eyes may be straight to the bottom of the pool or slightly forward, but the point is to avoid looking straight or tucking too much and causing drag.
- Swim as if you are wearing a snorkel: While snorkels can prevent you from perfecting your stroke and act as crutch, they do help you with the proper body position. If you watch people wearing snorkels, their head does not move. Similarly, when you swim you want your head to mimic this position If finding the proper head position is a struggle for you, wear a snorkel during a warmup to get the feel for your stroke then take it off for the main set.
Like in life, If you fix your head, then the rest of your body will fall into place.