Improving your swimming involves understanding how to orientate yourself in the water.
Every body type is different and as you learn to feel supported by the water we can understand how excess tension has a negative effect on how the body feels and sits in the water.
Harry as a lean elite athlete demonstrates so well how releasing unnecessary tension changes his position in the water.
‘Oh my goodness, I can feel myself floating to the top of the water without any effort. The only thing I have done is to focus on tension release.’ Harry McDermott
An over exhale on such a lean frame sent his body down to the bottom of the pool faster than you can say ‘The Titanic’ , yet managing his exhale kept his body relaxed and buoyant.
Tension is often how we stabilise ourselves, especially if the sensation of support from the water is weak, we unconsciously feel unsubstantial. We may embrace ourselves with tension as a way of staying grounded, or even just out of habit, yet it is this same tension and a sense of internally bracing ourselves that adds a sense of additional weight to our bodies in the water, in turn adding to the feelings of vulnerability and survival.
If we are well orientated in our watery surroundings, we can stabilise ourselves in ways that allow our bodies to remain relaxed and buoyant.
Relaxing is not to collapse but to let go of the unnecessary tension.