From a forum posting I made a little while back detailing the problems I have been having, someone recommended a YouTube video which used something called the Shaw Method … created by a Mr Shaw, the video is a 25 minute breakdown of front crawl mixed with Karate Kid type drills.

The first 11 minutes deal with the Body Orientation tasks, and it was this that I was practising. Now I must say that learning via YouTube is no substitute for having a real teacher but I have had a few instructors and I am not really any better on my front crawl so I thought it was worth a try.

The main drills that I followed are listed below:

1. Glide with arms facing down 45 degrees.

Fairly simple, I am confident breathing out in the water and spent a few minutes doing this. Time and time again I will hear people mention how a good glide is essential to effortless swimming. While not being effortless for me it certainly didn’t cause any problems.

2. Glide with legs kicking

Normally when I practice the glide with kicking my legs sink, but using the method where my arms are pointed downwards they stayed at the correct level and breaking the water. So far so good.



3. Kicking on the side

This is similar to the “Superman” position that I had heard about before, where one arm is leading a la Superman flying fast. The head remains down, and hips and legs sideways kicking.

4. Kicking centre, and turning to side

This is a mixture of points 2 and 3, you start with the forward kicking motion and then turn to the side. This was a little more tricky as I couldn’t see how well I was doing it. It certainly felt fine.
5. Kicking on the side and back to the centre

The inverse of 4, starting on the side and then returning to the centre, with the same issues where I couldn’t see what I was doing but feeling it went well enough.

It’s difficult to try and teach yourself via YouTube, but I think this is worth another few sessions. The biggest jump between this type of drill and full blown swimming is going to be breathing. None of the above drills required a breath to be taken, you started with a full lung full of oxygen and then breathed out, when breath was expended you stood up.

Simplified yes, but enjoyable.