I'm taking lessons to learn the freestyle stroke, and I'm having trouble with side breathing. I'm in the second (and last) week of lessons, and the instructor says that everything else, like my arm movements and stuff, are fine, but I have trouble getting the rythym down to consistently breathe. Sometimes I'm kind of able to do it and take one decent breath, but then I lose rythym and stop swimming. I don't know what my problem is - I know I must focus on exhaling when my face is in the water, touch my ear to my shoulder when I take a breath, etc. my last lesson is tomorrow and I need help so that I can work on this on my own so that I can start swimming laps and doing workouts. I tried using a pull-buoy and it helped somewhat because I didn't have to remember to kick, but I still need help. Anyone have any suggestions or drills I can try? Also, not to get ahead of myself, but once I get the form down, what's a good goal for a beginner swimmer like me in terms of how many yards to swim per workout? I'm a 23-year-old guy if that helps any.
hmm...touch your ear to your shoulder to breathe??
I've been swimming my whole life, and that just doesn't sound right.
are you rolling your hips back and forth when you swim?
you can try doing a drill where when you go to take a breath, you roll completely to one side and just kick with your inside arm straight out and outside arm at your side. (your mouth out of the water) do this for a few seconds then roll back to normal positioning, then stroke three times and then roll to the other side and kick. go back and forth, and do this for 25 or 50 yards, for a few laps.
this should help you to roll your hips better. you should then be able to get a good rhthym going. and then taking a breath won't be such a chore after a while.
I'm not a swim instructor, but I do this drill often and it really does give you better balance in the water. when you breathe, you shouldn't have to turn with your neck so much as having your face naturally come out of the water from rolling your body side to side.
hope this makes some sense!