Coach Celeste St. Pierre demonstrates some great open water breathing and sighting techniques in the tannin colored waters of Lake Minneola, Clermont, FL.   Some things to note in her style:

Alligator Eyes breathing. Her eyes raised just above the surface of the water, no higher than necessary.  Her nose and mouth remain underwater until she turns her head to breath.

Smooth Breath with horizontal head – despite peeking forward to sight, when she turns her head to breath the head goes back to level and she enjoys breathing behind her bow wave.  This helps her maintain good body position and balance during sighting and breathing together.

Continuous and unbroken tempo of swimming.    Her arm tempo remains continuous and she fits in breathing and sighting within the rhythm she has already established.  There is no disruption and she’s able to maintain forward movement.

Sighting on an outstretched arm.  The outstretched arm allows the alligator eyes to pop up for a split second before she begins her stroke. She is not wasting any propulsive effort by pushing down to get her head out of the water.

Sighting is quick, like a “slideshow”.   Her sighting is very brief, just long enough to gather information from what’s in front of her. She processes what she saw after the head returns to the water.  This minimizes the duration of the heads up portion of the stroke, maintaining better body position, continuous forward movement and reduces neck and shoulder strain.

What other skills do you recognize here? Which skills do you need more help with?

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