One very simple and easy thing almost every swimmer can do to improve their swimming is work on keeping their head still. As simple as is sounds, it is something you may not ever think about. When watching any great freestyler you will notice every single one of them keeps their head still.
The reason why keeping your head still during freestyle is so important is because your body will follow where your head goes. Your head movements may be small, however your body will compensate for these movements and head in that direction breaking your streamline slightly.
The head should only move when breathing and ideally this movement is a turning of the head with the body as you rotate. Keeping one eye in the water as you breathe will stop you from lifting your head too far out of the water.
When swimming in the open water you will be required to look forward and also lift your head up when sighting – this is fine as if you did not do this you would go way off course. The aim should be to keep your head still as a habit, any other movement of your head should be conscious behavior and not an unconscious movement slowing you down.
Practice swimming freestyle with your head as still as possible, your face should be facing the bottom with your eyes tilted slightly forward so you can see a little in front of you. Using a swimming snorkel is a great way to practice keeping your head still.
Check out our video on keeping your head still here: https://youtu.be/Ix6WHoJbKWQ
Carl is head coach at Swim360 Coach, a former Olympian and national champion freestyler. Carl now uses his skills and passion for coaching and competing in the open water.