View Full Version : Total Immersion

March 12th, 2003, 01:02 AM
Hi all,

I am going to change my tag to "oh-no-not-her-again! maybe-if-she-spent-more-time-in-water-and-less-time-asking-stupid-questions..."

Anyhoo, I am looking for info on the Total Immersion swimming program. I have now been swimming for a grand total of six weeks and I want to be better. I have maxed out my YWCA instructor's abilities. (She only knows two strokes! OMG! If you don't have anything nice to say... No, that is not nice of me. I DO appreciate the two strokes I did learn from her. I am swimming now and that is great.)

That being said, while I have fleeting moments where I feel streamlined and graceful, most of the time I feel like I am dragging myself through the water. The Total Immersion method sounded like music to my ears.

Has anyone done it? Did you like it? Was it helpful? Is it worth the $? Is it too early for me to try something like that? There is a program coming up near me in a few weeks and I am thinking about it.

Thanks again. The info I get here is great!

Kate :D

March 12th, 2003, 05:53 AM
Hi Kate,

Any questions on how to improve your swimming, are not stupid. :)

If you search through the threads, you will find somewhat, um, passionate debates on the virtues or failings of TI.

I have not taken any Total Immersion classes. (I'm too cheap. :D ) Some of my Masters coaches have, and I bought the book. (I also have two books by Cecil Colwin on swimming history and technique, but those are more like university textbooks. :) )

My thoughts: It does a nice job of describing current swim theory. (Or at least, what has changed in thinking since the 80s.) Laughlin points out, there is often a huge disconnect between what people think they are doing and what they are actually doing, unless they have a videotape or coach to give them feedback. The book is drill heavy, to emphasize good technique and what good technique should feel like.

There is a danger in taking pieces out of context. On these boards, sometimes "stroke length" sounds like the end-all-be-all of swimming existence, when it is really a means to an end (swimming faster with the same-or-less effort). So be careful that you find a good instructor, or take the time to really understand the material.

March 12th, 2003, 10:59 AM
To get help when you don't have the time, money, or whatever to go to a clinic you may be able to find one in you area that can help you. I teach private lessons in TI and I am sure there are others. Go to the TI website http://www.totalimmersion.net and look under the heading "Find a Coach". There are some in Massachusetts.

I know I do anywhere from once weekly to once every three or four weeks and act as a third eye for self taught by the book/video swimmers, ones who never swam before, or ones just wanting to improve their technique.

March 12th, 2003, 11:17 AM
I swam in high school and college [albeit not real fast].
I started swimming again 13 years ago at age 37.
I took a one day TI class in 1994 and found it very helpful. I am
swimming as fast now as I did 10 years ago primarily [I believe]
because my stroke is better now than then.
I think newcomers would benefit greatly from TI in that it is easier
to properly learn a new stroke from the get-go than undo a poor stroke later. [Old dogs/new tricks:D ]

Leonard Jansen
March 13th, 2003, 08:41 AM
Kate -

Although I don't believe that TI is the final word in swimming - we will never have the final word, hopefully - I highly recommend it. I learned it through the books, but think that it would be easier to "get" via taking a class. I was "lucky" however, since I couldn't swim and didn't have much to unlearn, but teaching yourself how to swim by using a book at age 39 was quite an experience. The $13.00 that I spent on the book (the original TI book with the yellow & blue cover) was the best money I've ever spent in terms of what I've gotten back in return. OK, maybe I've gotten a bit more for the money I spent on the marriage license, but it's a close call and Terry Laughlin never asks me if his new swimsuit makes him look fat. :D


March 15th, 2003, 12:29 AM
Ti is ok, but you would need to go into part 2 to get into the breastroke and butterfly. There are other books out there for beginners- The Complete book of Swimming by Phillip Whitten has pictures and describes the four different competitive strokes and the starts and turns. If you can enroll in a recreation adult swmming class outside of the Y, maybe you can learn the breastroke and butterfly. I image that your teacher only taught you the freestyle and backstroke. Some of us are better kickers and are more likely to be breastrokers, I'm one for example.