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Head Position in Freestyle


Hi Gary,

My 15 year old son only has the benefit of school swimming for training, there being no dedicated swim squads where we live and nobody with sufficient knowledge to advise on stroke.

I have noticed in his freestyle sprints that he seems to have moved to more of an open water stroke where his head is often quite a bit out of the water, especially when breathing and taking his long stroke. He says it helps him catch the wave but I am not sure whether it might in fact create resistance. He swims a 56sec 100m.

Any ideas on whether this is an acceptable head position.

Thanks Mike, Thailand


Hi Mike,

If your son is swimming 56 seconds for 100m freestyle at 15 years without any dedicated swim squad, he is doing well.

When a swimmer lifts their head out of the water (or looks more forward), they will often drop their hips slightly which causes more resistance.  The high head position may also create more frontal resistance, so I would say your concerns are valid.

In freestyle, the face should be looking downward and slightly forward when it is underwater between breaths.

Your question is hard to answer without seeing your son swim however it may be worth suggesting to him to look a touch more downward when he is swimming to see if this helps his body to be more streamlined in freestyle.



The Swimming Expert


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