Coach Cassie,  Top Tips

What is the best way to keep on track when swimming front crawl?

Our resident Olympian answers your swimming questions​

During my first open water swim event I swam breaststroke so sighting was not a problem. But what is the best way to keep on track when swimming front crawl?
Daisy Andrews

Sighting is super important when you swim – poorly executed sighting has lots of negative repercussions on the efficiency of your swimming technique. The way I always recommend looking is to pop your eyes just out of the water, to see what you’re looking for. If you know what side you prefer to breathe, use that arm to push the water down – this will create up thrust, assisting to pop the eyes out of the water. After that you have two choices: you can either put your face back in the water then turn to take a breath or keep your face out of the water and turn it directly into a breath.

Finally, if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, don’t stress, just do another couple of strokes and look again.

Check out my sighting video on YouTube:

Sighting 2 Drawing 1

Lift your eyes above the water just before you breathe

Sighting 3 Drawing 1

“Swimming was my whole life for over 20 years. I poured every ounce of enthusiasm into it. I am so fortunate to have found these new outlets for that enthusiasm.”

Cassie Patten won bronze in the first ever Olympic 10km marathon swim, in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
Cassie now coaches and is a frequent commentator at open water events.


Email your questions to: with the subject ‘Coach Cassie

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