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taruky
July 4th, 2008, 06:48 PM
Hi, I'm new to the board. I've read a lot of posts and think this is a great resource for people. Anyhow, a little background. My 8 year-old son, who has Asperger's syndrome and it's associated errrrr...lack of athleticism, is on the neighborhood swimming team. Surprisingly he really seems to enjoy swimming and gets excited about his improvements. He has improved from a 44 second 25 yard time to 34 seconds in this, his first year. I have never swam competitively but given his interest in swimming, I've developed a similar interest and have been reading about stroke mechanics while watching lots of video of Ian Thorpe and Alexander Popov. Of course I practice it on myself and have become infinitely better. I've been trying to teach my son proper technique as well, with some success. While other kids his age on the team (many more experienced) more or less bully their way through the water faster than him, I don't let him pull as hard as he can or stroke as hard as he can for obvious reasons...so he learns better. He will be taking lessons soon from one of the student coaches, although I'm a little weary about it because they may teach him their own bad habits (not that I'm not, lol). For example, pretty much all the older kids on the team do the classic S-shaped scull.

My question is as follows; I am trying to teach him the high elbow and getting a feel for "hard water". We're also working on timing his hip rotation to use that vertical forearm. As you can imagine, it's difficult for him to rotate the arm and shoulder like that during the stroke, although he can on dry land. I noticed Popov pronating his hand (palm facing out) in the beginning of his catch, which I imagine does 2 things; one, scull a little, and two, get him into the EVF. Is this a pretty standard thing? I don't see Thorpe do it on video, but maybe I'm not seeing it well amid the bubbles. I myself have more or less been able to get a reasonable EVF without pronation, but maybe I should do the same? The second question is do most of you prefer the front quadrant style? Again, Thorpe begins his catch as his recovering arm passes his head and he starts rotating, while Popov begins his catch earlier.

If you could give me advise on these issues, particularly as it pertains to teaching a child, I would be appreciative. Sorry for the lengthy post.

tomtopo
July 5th, 2008, 09:41 AM
Hi!
Each stroke has four quadrants, the first begins with the entry and the catch, the second is the power phase, the third is the when the stroke ends and the fourth is the recovery ( a little more complicated buy that's it in a nutshell). I notice that swimmers tend to over-emphasize the sculling so I de-empasize it. I put my swimmers, young and old, on a surfboard, cheap rectangular raft, or rescue board and have them paddle across the pool. Tell them to extend and rotate (EVF). When I talk about EVF I tell them to surfboard swim and they get it. We also have every swimmer from 4 to 100 perform EVF isometrics and shoulder cuff exercises ( with other exercises) at every practice, so they're strong enough to get into that position safely. I have swimmers improve their EVF and who have had severe shoulder problems train without aggravating their shoulder. Swimmers from 5 to 100 should be working on exercises that help them become more athletic and exercises to help them swim faster (they're not the same but both are important).

Go to youtube or google and type in EVF + Swimming and you'll get a good idea of what to do. It take 6 to 8 weeks of consistent EVF training to form that habit, so be patient. I also have swimmers exaggerate the extension of the freestyle by having them swim on their side while looking at the bottom of the pool. When they can begin establishing a catch in a streamlined position, WOW - they start looking like Olympians.

I think your focus on technique will go a long way in creating a foundation to help your swimmer find success. If you watch the Olympic trials you'll see the kind of strokes you want your swimmer copying. Good luck, Coach T.

gull
July 6th, 2008, 01:44 PM
The second question is do most of you prefer the front quadrant style?.


Watch the finals of the men's 1500 tonight and pay attention to Larsen Jensen and Erik Vendt. Both are very nice examples of front quadrant freestyle with almost a catch up stroke.

Warren
July 6th, 2008, 02:34 PM
1. body position is key, alot of kids pick their head up so high that they are looking straight down the pool. Make sure that they are looking down but not dipping their head to deep.
2. Pull striaght not S-pull, do not let you're hand cross over the center line of the body.
3. Open recovery is the way to go. Im not talking about straight arm recovery but kind of a bent arm forward and down, not sidways, swining motion. It's alot better than the traditional high elbow push recovery.

mazzy
July 6th, 2008, 03:16 PM
. I noticed Popov pronating his hand (palm facing out) in the beginning of his catch, which I imagine does 2 things; one, scull a little, and two, get him into the EVF. Is this a pretty standard thing? I don't see Thorpe do it on video, but maybe I'm not seeing it well amid the bubbles. I myself have more or less been able to get a reasonable EVF without pronation, but maybe I should do the same?

I can tell you that Popov is very unique in his style and very few swimmers can swimming at your best with that same style, Popov have out-the-world flexibility in his shoulder so he can do things that nearly nobody else can match at his level of performance, if you pay attentions at his hand entry, he start from the mid-line just in front his head, outsweep a little, keeping high elbov position, very very hard to replicate let alone very ineffective if you've not that type of flexibility, moreover you'll slow your arm stroke ,you'll be more slow at the end. popov "draw" a very shallow s-shape form underwater stroke, borrowed from great matt biondi, not the new I-form now so popular. at end Popov is very beautiful to watch but not the swimmer that you want to imitate fully.
Thorpe is about 2 version, the younger Thorpe until early 2003, the older Thoper from early 2003-until retire, the first version use a more hybrid form of I-stroke front-quadrant style, with the hands passing nearly under the body, the second form is more a pure I-stroke, with a shorter stroke, wider entry, a little more flat on the water, hand passing out the body very similar to hackett but a little less extreme.
IMHO the "second version" of Thorpe is the way to go if you're looking for I-form stroke now so popular, on youtube there're a lot of video to watch.

geochuck
July 6th, 2008, 03:58 PM
Asperger's syndrome students would rather see and do, rather then listen to verbal instruction. Demonstrate and over exagerate each movement.

I would suggest lots of finger dragging, then instead of talking about reaching have him do the catchup stroke. Have his hands follow the black line on the bottom, this is a directional point for him. Make sure he touches his thighs. If you get a kick board hold it above his body and have him touch the board with his elbow, as his fingers drag across the top of the water.

Rolling will occur if not lift his leg at the thigh or hip with your hand to help the hip roll.

taruky
July 6th, 2008, 11:12 PM
Asperger's syndrome students would rather see and do, rather then listen to verbal instruction. Demonstrate and over exagerate each movement.

I would suggest lots of finger dragging, then instead of talking about reaching have him do the catchup stroke. Have his hands follow the black line on the bottom, this is a directional point for him. Make sure he touches his thighs. If you get a kick board hold it above his body and have him touch the board with his elbow, as his fingers drag across the top of the water.

Rolling will occur if not lift his leg at the thigh or hip with your hand to help the hip roll.

Actually his recovery is pretty decent, it's his high elbow on the catch/pull that we're working on. You watch him from outside the water, and he has the prettiest stroke compared to the other kids; very smooth, nice body roll/rotation. People are impressed that he does bilateral breathing at his age every 3rd stroke, doesn't even lift his head and has his lead arm straight out in front of him while breathing. But whereas other kids are getting propulsion by pushing water laterally (you probably know what I'm talking about) he hasn't quite mastered the forearm propulsion with EVF. The other day out of curiosity I had him emulate the stroke the other kids are doing and boy did he motor down the pool. Then I told him to never do that again, lol.

He's improved greatly in keeping the elbow higher on the pull, but the arm still slips somehow. I think it will take time. Just today he lopped off 4 seconds in the 25, did it in 30 seconds. Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I think this may be one of those things that will just start to click with time.

geochuck
July 6th, 2008, 11:47 PM
He does have lots of time he is only eight. Main thing to think about is that he does not drop his elbow during the catch to finish phase of the stroke.

taruky
July 8th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Well, a little update. Let me ask your opinions on something. My wife signed him up to take lessons from one of the swim team coaches (she's like 16 or so). The exact things I was concerned about came to fruition. She was teaching him the "s" pull and also having him push his hand back all the way to extension. Granted she is probably a much better swimmer than I, and he will probably learn a lot from her in many aspects of swimming, but I'm wondering if this will poison his stroke. Of course, if I butt in I will look like a jerk. Any thoughts on what to do?

geochuck
July 8th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Age and comprehention is important here, he is 8 years old.

Are you sure it is the "S" and what is wrong with a full extension??? The "I" stroke from above water looks like an "S" stroke to the untrained eye (water refraction). The finish she is teaching maybe a way of improving what he is doing maybe too early an extraction. He may be to short on his catch to finish. More then worrying about the finish, I would be thinking about a clean extraction. Not pulling water forward on extraction. Smooth extraction not seeing water following the hand. Take a short video from different angles and let us see what he is doing.



Well, a little update. Let me ask your opinions on something. My wife signed him up to take lessons from one of the swim team coaches (she's like 16 or so). The exact things I was concerned about came to fruition. She was teaching him the "s" pull and also having him push his hand back all the way to extension. Granted she is probably a much better swimmer than I, and he will probably learn a lot from her in many aspects of swimming, but I'm wondering if this will poison his stroke. Of course, if I butt in I will look like a jerk. Any thoughts on what to do?

taruky
July 8th, 2008, 11:03 PM
Are you sure it is the "S" and what is wrong with a full extension??? The "I" stroke from above water looks like an "S" stroke to the untrained eye (water refraction).

I saw her demonstrating for him outside the water, drawing the "S". I agree with you that the straight pull does look like an "S" in the water.


The finish she is teaching maybe a way of improving what he is doing maybe too early an extraction. He may be to short on his catch to finish. More then worrying about the finish, I would be thinking about a clean extraction. Not pulling water forward on extraction. Smooth extraction not seeing water following the hand.

That's interesting. Traditionally I had always thought there should be a push back to full extension, but I read somewhere it was out of vogue now and the olympians are extracting/recovering earlier, with the elbow stil bent. Maybe I'm misunderstanding. What you said makes sense on the extraction, i.e. being clean.


Take a short video from different angles and let us see what he is doing.
Great idea, I'll do that later this week. Thanks for your help.

JMiller
July 8th, 2008, 11:15 PM
Show your son these under-water video's
http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=125195&postcount=67

geochuck
July 8th, 2008, 11:28 PM
The first 2 videos are really not worth him seeing. The Popov video shows too many items. If you look closely Popov does finish on his thigh when he is truly swimming. The head up crawl he is showing is not something for your guy. I don't like it. Thorpe to me is an ideal study. But it is short and there are some great videos of his swimming if you search them out. I prefer Hackett as a stroke study.

Taruky I sent you a link to some Hackett and Thorpe videos which are pretty good.

taruky
July 11th, 2008, 10:57 PM
Well, I've finally taken above water and underwater video of my son. Please forgive the horrible camera work. I would appreciate any analysis given. My own observations;
1. Variability from one stroke to the next (especially when fatigue settles in), where sometimes he gets a vertical forearm and other times not (dropped elbow).
2. Arm sometimes extended more to the side than out in front. He also spreads his fingers and pushes water a little on extension.
3. A bit herky jerky stroke?
4. Probably should give a little more time for recovery arm to enter water before stroking?
5. I don't get a sense that he's harnessing the momentum from his rotation.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=825346605212687162&hl=en
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK4JVg9Nklk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-8hpZqEJVU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy-LmbWSe0g

geochuck
July 12th, 2008, 12:06 AM
The first video. He looks like he has potential.

It seems he is not finishing his stroke with his right arm, it seems it is exiting just a little below his waist. He is dropping both elbows on occasion but his left elbow starts dropping as the hand enters the water. The left hand goes up after entry instead of slipping to the catch this is an indicator of dropping the elbow as you extend. It also seems to go out wide during the pull stage which moves him off streamline.

I myself would let him do it the way he is with out over correcting. Just work on one thing at a time.

More later.

Chris Stevenson
July 12th, 2008, 06:12 PM
Asperger's syndrome students would rather see and do, rather then listen to verbal instruction. Demonstrate and over exagerate each movement.

Taruky,

My 9-yo son also has Asperger's and also swims. I am not going to add to the instructions you are getting from others on this forum, they know freestyle mechanics better than I do (Mark Gill once described my freestyle as a "trainwreck," and he is not wrong).

What I will say is about successful swimming instruction with my son. I will second George's observation and add two more:

-- I have found my son to be VERY literal about instructions, almost to a fault. At times (particularly in races) I almost feel like telling him to stop being overanalytical about his swimming technique, just get in there are enjoy the race. Filling his head with technical advice can be counterproductive, PARTICULARLY AT MEETS. I am not saying that technique is not important -- it is almost the ONLY thing that is important at that age -- but also know when to stop. Even when it doesn't look like it, he is usually paying attention and trying hard to adopt the proper form.

-- There are times when I coach my son and I have found that being in the water with him is 1000 times more productive than coaching from the deck. Getting in there and moving his arms and body is much better than demonstrating it from the deck...and he often isn't looking at me anyway. I don't know if your son is the same, but my son avoids eye contact when receiving instructions. I have read that some Asperger's kids do this to avoid visual distractions, to concentrate on the words...which is fine but not if they need to see demonstrations!

I hope this helps. Good luck.

taruky
July 12th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Taruky,

My 9-yo son also has Asperger's and also swims. I am not going to add to the instructions you are getting from others on this forum, they know freestyle mechanics better than I do (Mark Gill once described my freestyle as a "trainwreck," and he is not wrong).

What I will say is about successful swimming instruction with my son. I will second George's observation and add two more:

-- I have found my son to be VERY literal about instructions, almost to a fault. At times (particularly in races) I almost feel like telling him to stop being overanalytical about his swimming technique, just get in there are enjoy the race. Filling his head with technical advice can be counterproductive, PARTICULARLY AT MEETS. I am not saying that technique is not important -- it is almost the ONLY thing that is important at that age -- but also know when to stop. Even when it doesn't look like it, he is usually paying attention and trying hard to adopt the proper form.

-- There are times when I coach my son and I have found that being in the water with him is 1000 times more productive than coaching from the deck. Getting in there and moving his arms and body is much better than demonstrating it from the deck...and he often isn't looking at me anyway. I don't know if your son is the same, but my son avoids eye contact when receiving instructions. I have read that some Asperger's kids do this to avoid visual distractions, to concentrate on the words...which is fine but not if they need to see demonstrations!

I hope this helps. Good luck.
Are you sure we don't have the same son? :laugh2: You make very poignant observations, ones that I am aware of but need a reminder at times to follow. I always get in the pool with him (except when I had a horrific swimmer's ear) and move arms and legs for him to demonstrate. However I am guilty as the dickens of giving him last minute reminders at meets, and often repeating myself when he seems he's not looking. Funny, I'm a pediatrician who is well versed on Asperger's but has trouble doing as I suggest to others. I really appreciate your post, it gave me a sense of comfort.

By the way, if Tomtopo is reading this, I bought techpaddles for my son and I. I used them for the first time today, pretty cool. I can see how with repetition it can be a hige help. Although my son still intermittently dropped his elbows after we took them off, his sense of pressure on the arms was much better and I could see the improved propulsion. I have been doing some dry land exercises, particularly the ones in a video someone linked (the foreign coach resisting the female swimmer's arms to produce muscle memory).

geochuck
July 12th, 2008, 07:00 PM
We used to run a program for 230 special needs children at my swimming school. This was a federal employement program. I had a programme with 10 instructors and taught them to teach water therapy for people with disabilities.

All of the instruction was done with a hands on technique and one on one. It was very rewarding. The only people who received money were the instructors that I hired and taught. We did this for 2 years.

geochuck
July 25th, 2008, 09:21 AM
I just watched this video. Very informative http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jYq1xfWKAM&sdig=1 for anyone who needs help with their stroke.

taruky
July 26th, 2008, 07:36 PM
Geochuck, if you don't mind let me ask you something (anyone else is welcome to chime in). I've watched a lot of these videos and obviously different swimmers have different techniques. Mr. Topolski seems to espouse a vertical forearm such that the elbow points forward, even though I see very few of the pros get their elbows forward on the EVF (Grant Hackett is an exception, he contorts his shoulder/arm). I also see swimmers get the forearm vertical at different times, some prior to rotation, and some when the body is already flat. Some have the elbow wider on the catch, some closer in to the body. If your vertical forearm is suppose to be an anchor and you are already halfway rotated (flat), wouldn't it stand to reason that you get less propulsion/torque from that? Look at this video of Kara Lynnn Joyce.
http://www.goswim.tv/entries/5235/go-swim-freestyle-with-kara-lynn-joyce.html

Is there a generally accepted technique to maximize propulsion? If the forearm is vertical when you are flat, then what is the first half of rotation good for? Or are you anchoring yourself also while getting into the EVF. When do most of you start to rotate?

geochuck
July 26th, 2008, 08:18 PM
I watched the go swim video. Looks a lot like EVF to me. Are you under the impression she is moving her arms through the water. To me she puts her hand in, anchors and her hands almost come out in the same place that they entered.

LindsayNB
July 26th, 2008, 10:01 PM
I think that the search for universal truths is a recipe for frustration in stroke analysis. In the go swim video in one clip she is swimming very close to a catch up stroke, only starting the pull when her recovering hand is almost entering the water, later (about the 1:59 mark) you see a totally different timing, starting the pull as her other hand leaves the water. Most people adjust their stroke timing beyond simple tempo depending on whether they are swimming a 50 or a 1500.

Lots of people would strongly disagree but I think that rotation is not about generating torque, it is about positioning your body and limbs in ways that let you use big strong muscles and maximize streamlining and anchor your limbs to best effect given that joints are limited in the ways they can move.

During the stroke analysis session on my last SwimTrek trip the instructor gave a useful demonstration. Hold onto some immovable object with your arm extended directly in front of you and press down. With your other hand feel your lat under the arm you are pressing with. You will note that it isn't very tense. If you hold it for a while you will begin to feel your shoulder muscles tiring. Now rotate so that the arm is now extended directly out to the side and again press down. You should immediate feel the entire lat muscle tense. So being rotated on your side not only makes you more streamlined but it allows you to better engage your lats. You might find it useful to play around with pulling yourself up on the pool edge, trying different hand placements and arm positions to see where you get the most power. You will also find that at full extension above your head your lat is more engaged when your your palm is rotated outward. These are the sorts of things that confound any attempt at analysis that is based purely on theoretical efficiency of propelling surfaces.

When I looked at the first of your videos of your son it looked to me like he was doing a pretty good job of translating his rotation into propulsion, it looked to me like he just needs to get a better anchor/EVF and eventually put a little more muscle into pulling himself past that anchor. It looks like he's got a pretty good foundation. Good luck.

Disclaimer: my advice is worth what you paid for it, it's not meant to be authoritative, just to give you some things to try and to play with.

taruky
July 26th, 2008, 11:05 PM
I think that the search for universal truths is a recipe for frustration in stroke analysis. In the go swim video in one clip she is swimming very close to a catch up stroke, only starting the pull when her recovering hand is almost entering the water, later (about the 1:59 mark) you see a totally different timing, starting the pull as her other hand leaves the water. Most people adjust their stroke timing beyond simple tempo depending on whether they are swimming a 50 or a 1500.

Lots of people would strongly disagree but I think that rotation is not about generating torque, it is about positioning your body and limbs in ways that let you use big strong muscles and maximize streamlining and anchor your limbs to best effect given that joints are limited in the ways they can move.

During the stroke analysis session on my last SwimTrek trip the instructor gave a useful demonstration. Hold onto some immovable object with your arm extended directly in front of you and press down. With your other hand feel your lat under the arm you are pressing with. You will note that it isn't very tense. If you hold it for a while you will begin to feel your shoulder muscles tiring. Now rotate so that the arm is now extended directly out to the side and again press down. You should immediate feel the entire lat muscle tense. So being rotated on your side not only makes you more streamlined but it allows you to better engage your lats. You might find it useful to play around with pulling yourself up on the pool edge, trying different hand placements and arm positions to see where you get the most power. You will also find that at full extension above your head your lat is more engaged when your your palm is rotated outward. These are the sorts of things that confound any attempt at analysis that is based purely on theoretical efficiency of propelling surfaces.

When I looked at the first of your videos of your son it looked to me like he was doing a pretty good job of translating his rotation into propulsion, it looked to me like he just needs to get a better anchor/EVF and eventually put a little more muscle into pulling himself past that anchor. It looks like he's got a pretty good foundation. Good luck.

Disclaimer: my advice is worth what you paid for it, it's not meant to be authoritative, just to give you some things to try and to play with.

Thank you for your input. I see your point about the two different strokes she shows in the clip. The EVF seems easier to me in a catchup stroke because you are almost flat when getting to EVF, whereas it's tougher to achieve while rotated. Incidentally, I notice she gets her elbow out pretty wide on the catch, I'm wondering if that is something that might help me.

LindsayNB
July 27th, 2008, 07:25 AM
Thank you for your input. I see your point about the two different strokes she shows in the clip. The EVF seems easier to me in a catchup stroke because you are almost flat when getting to EVF, whereas it's tougher to achieve while rotated. Incidentally, I notice she gets her elbow out pretty wide on the catch, I'm wondering if that is something that might help me.

One last point, in my opinion the "Vertical" in EVF is a bit misleading, the important thing is to get the forearm perpendicular to the direction of travel not whether it is pointing at the bottom of the pool. Many excellent swimmers anchor with their arm in a diagonal orientation, and with that in mind I personally find that concentrating on getting my elbow out helps me get my forearm oriented correctly. I would prefer the term Early Perpendicular Forearm, perhaps George or Coach T will chime in if I'm on the wrong track, I have to admit that my thinking is colored by the fact I have poor flexibility in my shoulders.

geochuck
July 27th, 2008, 10:41 AM
I notice she gets her elbow out pretty wide on the catch, I'm wondering if that is something that might help me.
The wide position is not to my liking I still like the hand to travel the line on the bottom of the pool. I also do not like all the fingers pointing at the bottom of the pool. I prefer the side of the little finger at about a fortyfive degree angle to the bottom and the side of the thumb pointing towards the body. This way the body roll helps when applying the forearm (elbow to hand) pressure.

taruky
July 27th, 2008, 01:40 PM
I watched the go swim video. Looks a lot like EVF to me. Are you under the impression she is moving her arms through the water. To me she puts her hand in, anchors and her hands almost come out in the same place that they entered.

I guess it depends on what you consider the anchoring position. Are you anchored to where your hand is when the arm is fully extended, or are you anchored after the arm is perpendicular to the pool bottom? In other words, as your forearm arcs from extended forward to facing down, are you pulling yourself forward (anchoring yourself) or is it a non-propulsive movement (arc) simply bringing the forearm to an anchored position. In the video clip, she is sometimes rotating while the forearm is arcing down and ends up flat when the forearm is truly perpendicular to pool bottom (front quadrant or catchup style). In other parts she has quickly gotten the forearm into that perpendicular position before rotating (more rotary style).

geochuck
July 27th, 2008, 04:11 PM
Anchor to me is as soon as the hand is at the catch position. Every coach has a diferrent way of explaining it. http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=59&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=437&ItemId=1690

If you go down to the fifth picture you may be able to tell where the catch starts. http://www.fi.edu/wright/again/wings.avkids.com/wings.avkids.com/Book/Sports/advanced/swimming-01.html

taruky
August 1st, 2008, 11:18 AM
On the issue of the catch, I saw some photo frames of Grant Hackett where it seems that his hand pretty much stays in the same spot from the moment it is full extended. Here is the link.
http://www.vasatrainer.com/assets//pdf/ERG_PART4.pdf
Is that the norm for most polished swimmers? Seems to me that most catch the water a little after that, as in those pictures you referenced Geochuck.

Anyhyow, I'm starting to get a much better feel for the water over the last few days. I'm trying to learn well for myself (I'm becoming addicted) and to help teach my son as well. My son's swim season ended, and I'm so proud of him as he improved tremendously through the season. His 25m is down from about 48s when he started to 32s now. I think most of his improvement has been in efficiency, because he has not quite caught on to the propulsive aspect yet. His backstroke improved from a zigzagging 50+sec to 37s. In practices when they would do 100m freestyle races he really shined because of his efficiency and ease of stroke. I don't know how good a swimmer he'll be ultimately, but it makes me happy he can even approach average in something athletic.

Quick question about my own swimming. I find that because I'm concentrating so much on my stroke mechanics, my breathing and endurance have been terrible. I used to have a much easier time of it when my stroke mechanics stunk (probably because my arms were comfortably slipping). For the most part I do fully exhale and my balance is pretty good. I purchased and am awaiting the Finis snorkel, hoping it will help me get comfortable with the mechanics (arms and kick, rhythm). I've read that some of you find this product helpful in that regard. Should I only concentrate on using the snorkel for a while (for stroke and flutter kick work), then return to breathing once everything else is second nature? Or should I mix it up, doing both? Basically how should I reintegrate the breathing? Thanks.