Swimming in the Deep End

by Lauren
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)

I am a beginner swimmer who is learning at my local YMCA.

1) If I keep myself vertical in the deep end of the pool, is this a way to prevent sinking to the bottom? Does being vertical in the water prevent sinking?

Every time I get to the deep end, I think I am going to sink but knowing that I cannot sink if I am horizontal will do a lot to release my fear of the deep end.

2) Why is it that every time I get to the deep end of the pool (doggie paddle, kick board), my legs go down and I get tired? Is it because I am just not buoyant in the deep end?

Hi Lauren,
sorry it has taken so long to answer your question :), thanks for getting in touch. You seem to have a fear of the deep end with or without float which is perfectly natural. Sorry to answer a question with a question but why do you feel you need to go into the deep end if you are so afraid of the deep end? Learning to swim is supposed to be fun and enjoyable going into the deep end would be a progression as you confidence grows. You don’t need to go into the deep end to learn to swim.

So to answer your questions no not really being vertical in the water will not prevent you sinking unless you are treading water.

If you are not sure about what treading water is here is a link below to my page about treading water.

If you are still in water and you are not trading water and not swimming yes you can sink but not to the bottom your head will go under water that’s all.

Being horizontal in the water on your front or floating on your back can prevent you sinking under the water.

Treading water can be practiced in shoulder depth water so you can build up to it and when you do finally do decide to do it in deep water keep a float with you in case you need to grab hold of it suddenly.


To answer your second question, the reason your legs may be sinking could be cause your leg action is inefficient and not propelling you through the water and because you are not moving then they sink.

They will not sink just because you are not buoyant in the deep end the water in the deep end is no different to the middle or shallow end. Your legs will sink any part of the pool if you are not propelling yourself. Because there is nowhere else for your legs to go they will sink underneath you in deeper water rather than rest on on the pool bottom when you are in shallower water.

Here is a link below for helping you to improve your leg action. With plenty of practice you will get better your confidence will improve and you will be less worried and apprehensive about going into deer water.


Thanks for getting in touch Lauren if you have any more questions please get in touch

Dale :)

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