I am a beginner swimmer at 40yrs and am lucky to have a very patient instructor. I seem to have hit a plateau with my arm movements when standing from freestyle. I can float, kick my legs and can stand up from a floating position alone, but now I am starting to learn to use my arms learning the freestyle. I get petrified that I won’t be able to get my hands back into position to stand up if I panic. I would appreciate any ideas to help me pass this plateau.
This problem is not uncommon, and there is a couple of ways to approach resolving it and gaining confidence standing from swimming freestyle.
Firstly, remember that you don’t get any points for technique when it comes to standing up. It doesn’t matter how you go about it. Your instructor has probably taught you the same as our diagrams show; pulling down through the water with both hands simultaneously and placing both feet on the pool floor simultaneously.
That is the best technique for remaining level and balanced whilst standing up, and you have probably got the hang of it and can do it fairly confidently.
If that is the case, try standing up using one arm followed by the other. There is nothing wrong with standing using your arms unevenly and placing one foot on the pool floor before the other. If you have enough breath and keep your face in the water as you do it (which would be the case when swimming freestyle anyway), you may get used to it with a little practice.
If you are still petrified, then try this: swimming freestyle and bring your arms and hands together in front of you just before you need to stand up.
You will have to leave plenty of time to miss an arm pull as the opposite arm catches up before you run out of breath. Once again, with plenty of practice, you will soon build up your confidence.
Put your achievements so far into perspective. As a beginner learning to swim, you have learned how to remain afloat, stand up alone, and kick. All these elements took time and practice to get you to this stage. Time and practice will get you over your current plateau.
My ebook The Complete Beginners Guide To Swimming contains all the help and support you need, from relaxing, floating and breathing to all the technique tips for learning to swim the four basic strokes. Click the link below for more information.