Ease the pain
Today’s student called early in the a.m. to say maybe he shouldn’t swim today. He’s a regular at the outdoor pool for years now though he’s never had a formal lesson. He complained of neck ache due to his sleeping awkwardly. I suggested he go to the pool to work out the kinks, I’d be there too, and if he was up for a lesson after some time on his own, we’d proceed. And we did. He was smart enough to realize that his style of swimming was compromising his neck and he was willing to learn how to do it better. We started with the glide, relaxing the head as if it’s in a massage table cradle. Big improvement for him as long as he remembers to LOOK DOWN. He also benefitted from the Foot Tilt exercise where the student floats, face down with a big breath as I tilt the body from one direction, then the other using the ankles (and if the student is resistant, one hand on ankle, one on hip). There he felt the full body movement without any neck strain. He felt much better overall at the end of the half hour lesson and he fully understood the concept of wanting each swim stroke to be better than the last swim stroke.