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Jimbosback
February 15th, 2010, 11:10 PM
I got filmed today for my breaststroke, which I posted in another thread, but I figure since I have the footage, might as well get a critique of my fly and free, too. I've been back into swimming for several months now, but I know I have a long way to go. I appreciate any feedback. Be harsh if you need to.

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Thanks!

Thrashing Slug
February 16th, 2010, 01:33 AM
I love the way you put random music soundtracks to these videos. Watching "Fly Left Arm" to the tunes of Evanescence, I was reminded of Man's epic struggle to subjugate the natural world, to tear forth his destiny from the very earth and oceans themselves. So too, the utter powerlessness of a single human being when thrust against the ageless physical element that is Water.

Thanks for posting. It was an excellent diversion from the endless commercials I am forced to endure as I watch NBC's sh**ty Olympics coverage.

Your full stroke fly actually looked pretty good, if tense.

Other people will post useful critiques, but I think it's probably too early for any deep thinking. IMHO you mostly need to relax, become more stretchy and regain some feel for the water.

Jimbosback
February 16th, 2010, 10:18 AM
I love the way you put random music soundtracks to these videos. Watching "Fly Left Arm" to the tunes of Evanescence, I was reminded of Man's epic struggle to subjugate the natural world, to tear forth his destiny from the very earth and oceans themselves. So too, the utter powerlessness of a single human being when thrust against the ageless physical element that is Water.

lol -- yea, YouTube does that -- it lets you replace the audio. They were randomly selected. My daughter was singing along with her ipod while working the camera, and she would have killed me if I put that on YouTube. And during my fly, she was laughing and saying, "he sounds like a boat!" so I didn't want that on there. :-)

larsoda
February 16th, 2010, 11:47 AM
My 2 cents...

freestyle
- the wide-arm recovery is a bit choppy. Try to work on raising the elbows and keeping your hands in more. Reach forward after your hands enter the water.
- 20+ strokes per length seems a bit high. Work on the streamlined dolphin kick off the wall, extend your reach and finish your stroke down below your hips.
You appear to have great upper body strength, but your kick seems a bit weak. keep working on kick drills.

butterfly
- I think you should work on increasing your flexibility. A bit more back flex will make the recovery a bit smoother and help you incorporate your kick better.
- keep your legs closer together as you kick. Work them like they are connected and really engage your core muscles to get the most out of each kick.

And I'd ditch the rec shorts and get some jammers or other racing suit, especially for butterfly.

Now let's see what the coaches have to say...

SolarEnergy
February 16th, 2010, 11:57 AM
.... I think it's probably too early for any deep thinking. IMHO you mostly need to relax, become more stretchy and regain some feel for the water. +1

I totally agree with every letter forming every word of this statement. Learn to relax first. All your butterfly work except maybe for the full stroke part should be done with relaxation in mind.

Here's a relaxed execution of no board kicking as well as a relaxed execution of the 1-arm drill.

As you can see, I'm very far from being tensed here...

YouTube- Fly DrillSide

Same goes with 1-Arm
YouTube- Butterfly One Arm Drill (Back view)

orca1946
February 16th, 2010, 12:10 PM
It's hard to work on your kick, but it will help in the timing of the total stroke.

Jimbosback
February 16th, 2010, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the feedback. My biggest problem is flexibility. Believe it or not, I feel pretty relaxed during most of those swims. Just like I feel like I'm reaching about a foot further than I really am on each stroke of freestyle.

I've been working on muscle endurance and flexibility since last April. The plan was to lose weight and get stretchy so I could swim. The weight has come off, but the flexibility is coming along slowly.

Actually, it seems to have gotten worse since I started swimming harder. My muscles want to thicken up in response to resistance, almost regardless of the exercise. Tough to beat genetics.

I have come a long way in this department and will continue to work at it. Suggestions on how to improve flexibility welcome.

My kick comes and goes. When it's there, my arms can hardly keep up. When it's not, I can't pick up the kick no matter how hard I try. Oddly, it often shows up when I am most fatigued.

shane
February 17th, 2010, 09:40 AM
hey Jim,
our coach has us do the freestyle kick drill on the side but looking down. then turn the head to get a breath. looks like you might actually be past the verticle toward the back with your head facing up. i'm not sayin your way is wrong but i have done it both ways and with the head down it feels closer to freestyle.

Jimbosback
February 17th, 2010, 10:17 AM
Shane: You are correct. After a few seconds on my side, I sink like a rock, so I end up on my back half the time. Workin on it. :)

shane
February 17th, 2010, 10:51 AM
dude, i know the feeling. some people will say its the wrong way but i float better on these drills if i hold my breath right up until i need another one, or better yet use a snorkle. also, as your kick gets stronger you will naturally float better.

tomtopo
February 18th, 2010, 09:42 PM
Here's what I saw ~ Your butterfly recovery and freestyle recovery are nearly identical. This type of freestyle recovery (wide and sideways) promotes a serpentine motion of the hips and spine which increases drag. It's not easy to fix your recovery but ask your coach and they can give you a few ways o release a little different at the end of you pull and that may help. Your ankle flexibility is noticeably absent ( the first fly kick when your feet are above the water and some other noticeable kicks). Try simple ankle stretching exercises as often as possible (8 seconds each ankle and three sets after each kicking set). I like how your butterfly looks ontop. Good luck, Coach T.

SolarEnergy
February 18th, 2010, 10:03 PM
Nice call coach T!

Jimbosback
February 19th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Here's what I saw ~ Your butterfly recovery and freestyle recovery are nearly identical. This type of freestyle recovery (wide and sideways) promotes a serpentine motion of the hips and spine which increases drag. It's not easy to fix your recovery but ask your coach and they can give you a few ways o release a little different at the end of you pull and that may help. Your ankle flexibility is noticeably absent ( the first fly kick when your feet are above the water and some other noticeable kicks). Try simple ankle stretching exercises as often as possible (8 seconds each ankle and three sets after each kicking set). I like how your butterfly looks ontop. Good luck, Coach T.

Thanks. Good workout today with a lot of drills. Worked on freestyle recovery along my body with a high elbow and finishing my stroke at he hip, and even managed to kick a whole 50 on my side without sinking. :-)

Swam a 50 in 31, which was faster than I thought I'd go. Fly felt really good too.

I really appreciate all the comments.

Jimbosback
January 12th, 2011, 03:33 PM
:bump:


Bumping to thank those who helped me and to show others trying to come back that improvement happens, even if it seems it won't.

I thought it had been a year since I posted these, but I still have a month to go. Thought I'd give an update. (I'll try and make new videos before my 1-year mark.)

Overall: My torso finally seems to have gotten the idea that it needs to adapt to swimming. I have aways to go, but I am so much more flexible now that I can hardly believe I was even swimming before. I used to think everyone must be joking when they said to put one hand on the other to streamline. I thought I'd never do that, but now it is natural. My upper body still drives my swimming, my torso is OK, and my legs are pretty weak in comparison.

Fly: I now swim 'cruise' fly in 7 strokes per 25. I can hold that for about 75 and then finish the 100 in 10 or so. Not bad, given at video time if I tried to swim a 50, I'd tank soon after the turn. Sadly (to me) this seems to be my best stroke, so I will be working on it more and more.

Free: I think my freestyle is completely transformed. Not sure how good it is, really, but my DPS is way down and speed is OK. I used to swim a broken 200 free (50s) to warm up so my stroke did not fall apart. Now, I am starting with a full 200y, with under 15 strokes for each length, and hardly feel it. If I swim a really slow, stretched DPS free, I can go 9 or 10. My flutter kick stinks, but I have started a 'kick day' in my rotation, and I am working on it.

(I can also actually kick 'on my side' without sinking, and I lost the rec suit!)