Swimming positions improvements

I have been getting in the pool for the past couple of months, with a goal of completing a triathalon this summer. Today I got some pointers on things I need to improve on in my freestyle technique.


My kick needs some serious work. I am pulling almost exclusively with my arms. As Jimmy (the lifeguard and a long time swim coach) said, “You’re killing yourself.”

He had me do a drill with just a kickboard. “If your thighs are not hurting you are doing it wrong.” I focused on barely breaking the surface with my heels, pointing my toes, and keeping my legs relatively straight…only a slight bend.

Next he had me do a lap with small flippers. “You shouldn’t fell like you are fighting them.” The force you to point your toe. It felt almost too easy. We ran out of time for me to try integrating it into a regular stroke.

For weight lifting, he recommended squats.

For a sprint he recommended 3 kicks per stroke/6 per pair. For longer courses, two kicks per stroke. I think I will shoot for 2/ stroke, as I am going for 1/2 mile total.


Improving my kick will improve my whole body position, including my breathing. It seems I am pulling my head too far out of the water, mainly because my legs are dropping. Although the opposite is true, too: pulling my head too far out of the water is causing my legs to drop. The two should be fixed together.

Arm Entry

One other swimmer at the pool that I asked for advice told me to “lead with my elbows” and then to think about entering the water “like a knife through butter”. Jimmy added that I should be reaching “long and lean.” Like a fast sailboat.

After that, the stroke should go out, and then finish in an S.

I think I need to glide more during the initial entry of the arm into the water.

Jimmy recommended a drill, either using a kickboard or a ring, and holding that out in front, and passing it from hand to hand.

Head position

I should be looking down and to the front,while the the top of my head breaks the surface.

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