My 9 & half year son is a decent freestyle swimmer. One very major fault he carries is ” Spreading / Bending legs while breathing – he also turns his head more than required” he breaths every 3 strokes. How to fix this?
In freestyle, many young swimmers will spread or bend their legs while breathing. From my experience they do this for a few different reasons.
One is to stay balanced in the water as their body is turning to the side to breath. Some children feel as though they may “tip over” so they widen their legs when they are breathing to remain stable in the water. To correct this they should maintain a kicking motion up and down right throughout the breath. While this will feel strange initially, it will help them very quickly to fix the problem.
A second reason is that some children who really like breaststroke, tend to do a wider kick whenever they take a breath (sometimes even a breaststroke kick). Once again, maintaing a freestyle kick up and down throughout a breath, even if it feels strange at first, is what they need to do.
You also mention that your son turns his head more than required when breathing. Encourage him to look along the water with his top eye and keep his cheek and ear well in the water when breathing. Experienced swimmers also keep the corner of their mouth in or very close to the water.
Hope this helps.
The Swimming Expert