When I was swimming in college, there were a few days when we had to give up some pool space in our deep water to allow the track team to come in. This was not so the injured runners could rehab by doing zero impact motions, but rather a training exercise for the pole vaulters. Using a shortened pole, the vaulters would practice their “over the bar” mechanics underwater. This allowed them to focus on technique at a much slower motion, all the while receiving some support from the thickness of the water (800 times that of air).
Learning any new skill becomes easier when at first the speed of the movement is drastically reduced, allowing for the subtle nuances that are involved with almost all sports.
The Free Flow Teaching Progression For Beginner Freestyle heavily relies on this very same principle. By first learning to “Relax, Breathe, and Press” with the use of the FINIS snorkel, students are more likely to slow their movements down because frenetic motions to simply stay afloat are not necessary. This allows for a better synch-up crossover of thinking, processing, and incorporating the kick, arm stroke, and eventually side breathing as they advance through the Progression. What you will witness is very deliberate, calculated, and smooth choreographed swimming mechanics with a much steeper learning curve. “Slower motions lead to faster learning!”