I'm trying to help a tri-Triathalon friend with his swimming problems. He has consulted innumerable swim instructors and swim coaches, trained his brains out, yet he still DNF'd the swimming a full Ironman.
I met him in the pool. He cannot float. On his Back or his front he sinks straight to the bottom of the pool each time he tries to float.
I announced that this was his problem. Period. Stop swimming (oddly his stroke/form is strong)and suggested he start from the begining and learn how to swim".
Am I correct or just wrong. Do you need to float properly to successfully swim?
Absolutely not. I can't float to save my life, and I've swum ten times the distance of the ironman swim in one shot. Your friend may just have a low percentage of body fat or poor body position. I think your friend just needs a good coach.
I do agree with jkenny on the idea of body fat percentage and how it affects a person while he or she is floating. However, I also feel that if you don't know how to keep your body afloat (no matter how muscular) than you are working too hard in the water while you swim. I have taught plenty of people, mainly older men, how to use their hands slightly by sculling or doing other small modifications so that they can keep their body afloat. Once a person gets the feel of how his or her body feels when they are floating, swimming comes a lot easier. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
I've coached buoyancy challenged triathletes - the swimmer need to accept their natural aquatic signature in the water and move from there. A patient - now read carefully - TEACHER/coach is a good thing ot have to provide feedback, instruction and confidence during the learning phase
If they are not able to float, then they don't have enough air in their lungs. All they have to do is take a big enough breath, hold it long enough and they will float. Try it. Let me know if this helped. : )
Next. : )