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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't swim very much, and learned when I was 18. I can dog paddle, backstroke, etc. But I can't freestyle very well, and haven't managed to figure out the breathe-with-the-head turn thing. The Y offers classes for adults as well as private lessons. Is learning how to swim with good form something I can figure out on my own with practice, or would it be better to pay someone to teach me? How many 45 minute sessions should I expect it to take?<br><br>
If it's possible to answer this question, I'd appreciate any comments.
 

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Well you might be able to get it on your own with practice. One thing that helped me with the breathing was to practice with out actually moving. I would hold on to the pool gutter with one hand, but my other hand flat on the wall and start kicking. The kicking would cause my body to float and I could practice putting my face in and turning to the side where my lower arm was in a rhythm. I would do that for a while and then switch my arms so I could switch sides. There are other things that involve form that I really can't explain in words and would have to demonstrate. lol I don't really know your comfort level so I can't say how many lessons you might need. I might be worth taking a few to see what you need to work on and maybe help you with your other strokes as well.
 

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I'd say it's worth it to take some lessons. I took some private coaching/lessons a couple of years ago and it really helped me get rid of some bad habits...things you'd like just instill in your swimming without the added knowledge. And since you say didn't learn till you were an adult, I think it really might help. Like I said, I took some sessions which I found very very useful, and I've been swimming since I was a little little kid (Mom and Tot Swim when I was a baby).<br><br>
If you decide not to take any lessons, get a book or a video on proper swim technique and breathing. It should help.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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As someone who basically started from scratch swim-wise late last year, I'd say getting a <span style="text-decoration:underline;">good</span> instructor would be a good thing (mine was rather unenthusiastic and the knowledge I picked up was minimal.)<br><br>
I admit I've gotten better simply by reading up on what good technique is and by observing better swimmers than me, via videos on the internet or swimming in the pool next to me. Also, when I started getting semi-serious about drilling, my technique started improving as well.<br><br>
With that said, I know I could use a good coach myself - that 1:45/100 standard I hear bandied about sounds sooooo unachievable for me.
 

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I've been swimming during lap times at the local Y, and I'm fortunate to have a running friend who is the pool director there. She has been giving me casual instruction and it has helped immensely.<br><br>
I'd say to take a lesson.
 

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Yes, take a few lessons! For many people just getting a few good pointers can improve their technique and make swimming so much more enjoyable.<br><br>
I am by no means an experienced swim instructor, but was able to get all my students breathing correctly in freestyle this summer, either to one side or bi-lateral depending on their skill level. If I can do that, I'm sure you'd really get the hang of it with a more seasoned teacher.<br><br>
There are a lot of drills that will help you nail freestyle breathing, but one of the biggest things is staying as relaxed as possible while you learn.
 

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I swim with a group of triathletes, I'm a beginner. The only reason I had any assimilance to free-style whatsoever is that I've been watching my kids for 10+ years. Even the seasoned swimmers will say that they figure out something they're doing wrong with session. With me it's more of "hey, I did something right today".
 

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I would recommend a couple sessions. You will either pick up some things that you need to do differently or you will reinforce the things you are doing right. I was a competitive swimmer in HS, but stopped swimming for about 20 years. I joined a Masters group and the coach has given me a few things that made a huge difference in my speed and fatigue. Just getting 1 thing from a coach to think about (for example, keep you chin tucked to your chest) can make you a more effective swimmer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm convinced! I think I'll sign up for lessons after my 15k race at the end of September.
 
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