Sept. 26, 2023 - Stable Head Freestyle Zoom

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Sept. 26, 2023 - Stable Head Freestyle Zoom

Optimal Head Position in Freestyle -- Different Ways to Achieve the Same Goal

Every coach has said it. Every swimmer has heard it. “Get your head down!” Sometimes the key is to hear it said – or explained – in a new and different way. This week we offer several approaches to achieve the same goal. Try ‘em all and see which one “clicks.” It will be different for every swimmer.


Glenn EP: Turning to Air on Freestyle

Breathing with a simple turn of the head. No lift. No tilt. Just turn.


1:48 - starting the swim

1:54 - first breath

1:55 - goggle still showing

2:00 - breath

2:01 - goggle still showing but head over-rotated

2:07 - Head turned past horizontal

2:13 - Head slight past horizontal - one goggle still in

2:16 - play at .2x - see how long the head is in the breathing position

As we slowly play to the next breath - where is the head?

2:20 - The breath - see how long the head is in the breathing position


Haufler Toys: The Head

Try putting a pencil in the top of the Styrofoam head. There is a feeling about this pencil – this extension – that helps people. They immediately get the visual.


:39 - mimic the head

1:03 - demo correct and incorrect head position

1:59 - working on breathing

2:10 - rotation - not lift

2:36 - the pencil - the line

2:43 - the line during the breath

3:14 - the head on a stick


Free Drill: One-Goggle Breath

A standard for detecting a balanced, horizontal bodyline is to look for one goggle showing during a breath.


From beginning - beautiful head rotation for breathing

:13 - Look at the orientation between the head and hips… both showing. Head slightly higher

:24 - Entire body is showing above the surface

:39 - Look at the body line underwater during the breath

:49 - Watch the body fall (compress the water)

:54 - beautiful breath 


Free Drill: Freestyle/Backstroke – Head Games

The Minnesota Aquajets swim with a paddle on the head to imprint stable (and low) head position in freestyle.  Warning: They make this look easy.


From beginning - using snorkels helps with head stability


Promo code - GOSWIMTV

:25 - Paddle on head

:36 - Turn with paddle

:41 - rotated breath with paddle

:45 - fix it and go

:58 - independent athletes - keep going

1:08 - push off, place the paddle, go

Leaders change - but everyone keeps going


Free Drill: Head-Position Contrast Drills

Try various eye and head positions so you can become aware of what happens to your bodyline and speed with each position. Somewhere in the mis will be your optimal head/eye position.


:21 - eyes looking down

:25 - very difficult to hide the chest even with good balance

:39 - great line

:45 - eyes up

:56 - exposing the chest

1:01 - TOO deep

1:08 - the THOUGHT of eyes down

1:17 - see the scull - not the ball (just made that up)

1:22 - look for exposed hips

experiment with various positions

1:45 - high head - hips still showing - great athletes mask

1:55 - too low

2:04 - work your way to just right


Building a Balanced Breath – Step 5

This drill asks the swimmer to hold one arm in extension while kicking AND while breathing. The arm and hand remain MOTIONLESS during the breath, which imprints stability and optimal positioning of the head.


From beginning - balanced rotation

:08 - rotated breath

:20 - slight tilt in the head - but isolated rotation

:25 - making sure to isolate the lead hand - no movement

:34 - focus on extension

:36 - extension during breathing

:41 - breathe on every stroke - if it’s bad, it’s like dominos

:55 - practice to both sides

1:07 - the more he swam, the better he got


Free Drill: Disappear Behind Your Hand – Bonus Edition

Different ways to achieve the same goal: “Disappear behind your hand.” “Swim through a narrow tube.” “Fit your body through a circle.” “Extend the arms so that they’re parallel to the black line.”


:24 - smallest hole possible

:54 - direct line forward - required stable head

1:23 - watch how stable the head is while the body rotates

1:51 - think of how the body gets wider - so does the disruption of the water

2:05 - look at the bow wave

2:16 - the cone of disruption