When you first jump in the water do you instantly relax or regardless of how long you have been swimming for, do you take a while to get going and feel easy. Most of our thoughts are often centred on our breathe but do you ever really focus on how the water feels on different parts of your body? Do you simply move your arms through the water or sense which part of your body is connecting with it, pushing yourself forward or slowing yourself down?
Sometimes I think we over think things and get caught up in perfecting technique – hard when you want to improve and improving your technique is a key element of that but I would love it if you could take some time during your swim to really feel the water around your body.
When your fingers enter the water do you feel the water on the top of your hand and up your arms? As you tilt your fingers to the bottom of the pool does it feel relaxed and gentle or are you pushing already?
Try to get in touch with all those watery sensations that happen all around your body, your hips, your feet and not just your hands. The first feel I want you to connect with is when you push the water back towards your feet. Try to feel how your hand and forearm form a strong unit anchored by your lats and as you push back feel the texture of the water. It should almost feel solid the harder you push back – like you are shifting something out of the way, feel the varying speeds of your hand as you push through the water.
Feeling the water is something we can all do but it takes a different thought pattern for each of us. Some of you will find this easy, some quite difficult. Be kind to yourself and aim to bring awareness to the feel of the water every time you swim. You might find this easier to do at first with fins on, doing a single arm drill as you only have one thing to think of but once you become aware you can really start to understand your movement through water. Over time this feel will increase and with it an awareness of yourself in the water and with that an increase in speed, relaxation and awareness.