Today, we’re looking at your breathing timing in freestyle and how to tell if you are breathing too late in freestyle. Sometimes, swimmers are missing out on their breathing timing and this is throwing the rest of their stroke out. They are either turning their head a little too slow or a little too late. The timing of your breathing can throw a lot of other aspects of your stroke. Here are the two cues that you need to improve your breathing timing.

1. Hand entry – start to turn
When the hand enters the water on the opposite side to what you’re breathing, that is when you turn your head to breathe.

2. Catch/pull through – head back in the water
When you want to turn your head back around is when you start to pull through or start to catch on that arm that headed out in front. You need to do that quite quickly and with a bit of assertiveness and forcefulness to snap it back to the center. The hip will drive back down and you get to anchor against that hip.That’s what gives you the stability to pull against something.

Now, you don’t want to spend all day out there breathing because it’s very hard to get much power from your stroke when your head’s off to the side. For the most part, we want to keep your head center as much as possible and spend as little time breathing as long as you get the right amount of air intake because the power position is with the eyes down and the head down.