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Muppet
January 24th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Per my reference in the "Mystery of Breaststroke" forum (http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=75737&postcount=23),

Who has seen themselves swim? Who regularly uses a videocamera? Do you use for meets or practice or both? Who critiques - yourself, coach, teammates, no-one?:groovy:

poolraat
January 24th, 2007, 04:12 PM
Who has seen themselves swim? Who regularly uses a videocamera? Do you use for meets or practice or both? Who critiques - yourself, coach, teammates, no-one?:groovy:


I have seen myself a lot. I attend stroke clinics that include filming whenever I get the chance and have my stroke critiqued by a the coach doing the clinic. Also, since my wife is a coach, I bought her an UW camera a few years ago to use on her age group team. I also use it regularly and have her critique my swims. It makes a big difference to be able to see the deficiencies in the stroke as opposed to having a coach try to explain the problem.

I have never filmed a race though. Would like to do that and see how different it looks at full speed.

FlyQueen
January 24th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Per my reference in the "Mystery of Breaststroke" forum (http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=75737&postcount=23),

Who has seen themselves swim? Who regularly uses a videocamera? Do you use for meets or practice or both? Who critiques - yourself, coach, teammates, no-one?:groovy:

I have seen myself, sometimes I am horrified, sometimes mildly impressed, sometimes I go OH, so that's what Coach meant, and other times I think wow, I do that better than I thought. I mostly have IMs taped and I think a 50 fly so I've seen the good bad and ugly ...

I've also gotten videos taken underwater, and I think those are the most helpful. I have two from a year ago that I go and look at from time to time and it reminds me of what not to do.


I think seeing yourself swim is REALLY helpful!

Allen Stark
January 24th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Seeing video from above the surface is good,underwater is much better. I get taped about 4 times a year and probably should increase that to 8 or more. It really helps!!!

ensignada
January 24th, 2007, 05:41 PM
I get taped every few weeks. FS, BS and breast for comedic relief. The guy who's helping me insists there's no better way to improve. I think he's sadistic, but I think he's also right.

globuggie
January 24th, 2007, 06:45 PM
I've had friends & family videotape me a couple of times, but only from above the water. I've been told several times I have 'pretty' strokes, so there were no huge surprises on the videos, but there wasn't much I could see to fix. I'd like to get an underwater video of myself, but it's not feasible right now. I think an underwater video would be much more useful for me, though.

Sonic Swimmer78
January 24th, 2007, 11:51 PM
I've been videotaped once or twice and yes, it does help when you see how you swim like.

Personally, after having prescription goggles, my swimming has improved a little bit, mainly because of my poor vision.

FlyQueen
January 24th, 2007, 11:56 PM
Muppet I feel the need to tell you your title is grammatically in correct. It really should be Have you seen yourself swim? Just thought you should know! ;) :thhbbb:

Muppet
January 25th, 2007, 12:36 AM
Muppet I feel the need to tell you your title is grammatically in correct. It really should be Have you seen yourself swim? Just thought you should know! ;) :thhbbb:

Thanks mom! It was done to grab the reader's attention. Obviously worked - you've posted 2 of now 8 replies. :dedhorse: ;)

FlyQueen
January 25th, 2007, 12:42 AM
Now children (said in my best teacher voice) let's read that again and see if it sounds right ... hmmm ...

Seagurl51
January 25th, 2007, 11:12 AM
I've seen still photos of myself, but I've never been filmed. I'd like to be at some point though because I was self-coached for a long time so I'd like to know how I did.

Donna
January 25th, 2007, 07:54 PM
I was video taped under water when I started back 3 years ago, since then I have only been video taped above water this past summer. My strokes still look like something out of the late 70's.

It has helped me correct a few things but for the most part what worked for me back then still works fine now.

Donna

BillS
January 26th, 2007, 07:19 PM
Been taped a couple of times now. Underwater footage is invaluable. Wish we could do it more often.

Last time, we got to do it twice. We broke, watched the footage, and the coach pointed out a few things, but focused on one major item for each of us. We then went back out and each tried to really over-emphasize the fix to the one major issue while we were taped again. We all commented that we had significantly modified our stroke for the video lap.

Back in the room, the coach cued the tape and had each of us call out what we had tried to change.

In most cases, the difference was either indiscernable or slight.

My focus was early vertical forearm (Coach Tom will be pleased). I felt like I radically changed my stroke for the video, and was certain I was going vertical almost immediately. "So, are you doing it?" coach asked as the film showed no change to my stroke at all. "Uh, no, not really," I mumbled.

I think about that tape a lot during drills.

okoban
January 27th, 2007, 08:23 AM
I wish I didn't record this. I realized that I'm swimming like an old whale swimming to the seaside to die. My super hi elbows are like shark fins!!!;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwfbCBu88Zk

newmastersswimmer
January 27th, 2007, 09:32 AM
I wish I didn't record this. I realized that I'm swimming like an old whale swimming to the seaside to die. My super hi elbows are like shark fins!!!
posted by Okaban

I don't know why you think its so bad Okaban....I'm no expert on stroke mechanics like others around here, but I thought it looked pretty good. I don't see anything wrong with your high elbow recovery....mine is just and high as yours (did that come out right?..LOL!!). I really couldn't see your stroke very well untill the last 3 or 4 strokes as you came into the wall though.

Newmastersswimmer

nkfrench
January 27th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Our coach videos us a couple of times a year. We have an underwater camera available and usually one of the masters will make a CD of the footage for each swimmer being taped.

I have the Dartswim viewer s/w for my PC that lets me go frame by frame, 1/4 speed, 1/2 speed, etc. viewing it. I don't think they distribute the free viewer any more.

I compare my current videos with some that were taken 10-15 years ago. Lots of difference between now and then, some good, some bad. I sure was in better condition back then.

There is such a huge difference between how it feels and what you can be doing. I had no idea how crooked I swim, how not-high my elbows are on the freestyle recovery, the head bobbing, etc. It is very instructive and humbling to watch.

LindsayNB
January 28th, 2007, 09:55 AM
I have the Dartswim viewer s/w for my PC that lets me go frame by frame, 1/4 speed, 1/2 speed, etc. viewing it. I don't think they distribute the free viewer any more.

For people with Windows, the included Windows Movie Maker program allows you to view frame by frame or at whatever speed you like.

okoban
January 28th, 2007, 10:30 AM
I wish I didn't record this. I realized that I'm swimming like an old whale swimming to the seaside to die. My super hi elbows are like shark fins!!!
posted by Okaban

I don't know why you think its so bad Okaban....I'm no expert on stroke mechanics like others around here, but I thought it looked pretty good. I don't see anything wrong with your high elbow recovery....mine is just and high as yours (did that come out right?..LOL!!). I really couldn't see your stroke very well untill the last 3 or 4 strokes as you came into the wall though.

Newmastersswimmer

You're right, the recording is very bad. My problems are:
My hand entry is bad
My pull is not complete
My kicks are large and weak
I'm working on them

LindsayNB
January 28th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Now I know how it feels to be slapped in the face by reality:

http://static.atlanticmasters.org/mnbo/video/lindsay/WebSlow200m.wmv

:help:

This was from the 2nd 50 in a 200m race. I can see all sorts of problems but I'm curious what more knowledgeable viewers think the most important things to work on are. Thanks in advance for any help!

P.S. Yes, it IS half speed, I have a slow turnover but not that slow! ;)

Allen Stark
January 28th, 2007, 09:37 PM
Lindsay,you could really benefit from working in your streamlining off the wall. It looks like your arms are not totally extended and it looks like you come up too soon.You should get at least to the flags before surfacing.Also your pull is definitely more S shaped than I shaped and I think you dropped your elbows some,but that was hard for me to see. That said,it very looked good overall:woot:

Speedo Racer
January 28th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Lindsay - hard to see a lot from that angle, but to me it looks like you want to lengthen and straighten your line a bit, there are some unwanted bends through your torso. It looks like maybe you flex your left foot slighty at one point during the kicking phase?, but that could just be the camera angle. Also a bit more core rotation would be good and yeah, focus on streamlining more off the wall, get under the wake coming in as you push off the wall...the deep water is the fast water

LindsayNB
January 29th, 2007, 12:01 AM
Thanks Allen and Kevin,

You are definitely right about the streamlining, I knew this was a weakness and have been working on it, but it looks like it hasn't imprinted yet and went out the window in the race! <insert rolling eyes with sheepish grin smilie here>

I've got my hands together but not right on top of each other and I'm not squeezing my ears. It's particularly clear at the start:
http://static.atlanticmasters.org/mnbo/video/lindsay/WebStart.wmv
and this turn:
http://static.atlanticmasters.org/mnbo/video/lindsay/WebBreakout.wmv

Even on the dive I barely make it to the 5m mark (going by the lane lines).
And how about that "controlled fall off the blocks" that I use instead of a dive eh? :rolleyes:

I need to get serious with my stretching, I have a hard time getting my arms really straight out in a proper streamline. My upper spine is also curved forward from decades of slouching in front of a computer and that doesn't help either.

For a more head on view, here is the final 50 of the 200:
http://static.atlanticmasters.org/mnbo/video/lindsay/WebFinal50-200m.wmv

I have to show my friend how to zoom out! That's a little too close up!

Let's not talk about the kick for now :shakeshead:

On the plus side I lowered my 200m pb from 2:47 to 2:43, so think what I must have looked like before! :rofl:

The main thing I've been working on, that has helped my times if not my "look" :D is not dropping my elbows. But even though it is hard to see from an above-water shot this is not what I was visualizing I was doing! I think I need more roll and more elbow bend to get my hands more under my body, which might help with the body wiggle?

On the bright side, it's clear there's plenty of room for improvement! My Feb resolution: squeeze those ears on every turn in practice!

Thanks again for the input! Other pointers welcome, don't be too cruel though!

Speedo Racer
January 29th, 2007, 01:37 AM
The main thing I've been working on, that has helped my times if not my "look" :D is not dropping my elbows. But even though it is hard to see from an above-water shot this is now what I was visualizing I was doing! I think I need more roll and more elbow bend to get my hands more under my body, which might help with the body wiggle?


actually, I think fixing the legs will help with the body wiggle...and there is a great Zen saying, "if not now, when?" ;)

congratulations on breaking your PR. keep up the good work

LindsayNB
January 29th, 2007, 10:59 PM
actually, I think fixing the legs will help with the body wiggle...and there is a great Zen saying, "if not now, when?" ;)

I stayed for the open swim after workout today and did some extra kick work - just swimming hundreds with an easy pull and hard kick. Kick boards sometimes bother my shoulders and by keeping the whole stroke it is easier to breath.

Looking at the video of the final 50 I posted I saw that even when I pick up the kicking it doesn't look steady. I concentrated on a steady kick and more from the hips tonight. I'm not usually as aware of "what's going on back there" as I am of my pull. Although I guess I wasn't that aware of how I was pulling either...:eek:
Let me know if you have specific suggestions for the kick.

The Fortress
January 30th, 2007, 08:53 AM
Great job on dropping so much time in your 200! 4 seconds is a lot.

I agree with the comments above. You look very strong, and you should be using that strong core. More rotation definitely. You're actually getting some propulsion from your kick, though it isn't steady, but not much propulsion from your pull. Probably the underwater stuff and some drag. More of a straight I pull would be good with some earlier EVF and more rotation/roll. That would give you more bang for your buck each stroke. Your hand might be entering just a tad too close to the head? It looked like you were going to do a thumb first entry, but then you straightened the hand out. Definitely more streamlining too, as was already said. I realize that was a 200, but for your shorter events, which I know you're focusing on, your SR should be much higher. Kudos for posting the videos! I hope you keep improving so much!

Also, Paul Smith posted some great kick sets on the muscular endurance thread that do not involve kickboards. You might give those a whirl. Kickboards hurt my shoulders too.

I myself have seen some stills of myself. No underwater videos. I'm sure it would be quite frightening, but immensely beneficial. Doesn't seem like it's going to happen unless I go to a stroke clinic.

Ian Smith
January 30th, 2007, 05:09 PM
Hi Lindsay!
Allen nailed it in three lines:
- weak streamlining
- arms not extended (entry too close to the head)
- the dreaded dropped elbows

If you point your toes, keep the legs straight and knees together on the start (and turn), you will get more distance even with a controlled fall.

As mentioned by others, you should extend the arms more, almost as if you were going for a wall touch on each stroke (but keep a smooth rythym).

Getting your butt up a bit and you head a little lower (look at the bottom and be more level) will help with the dropped elbows.

At the risk of derision by many, there is a lot in the TI book that would help you.

With small improvement you should be able to do a lot better than 2:43; you must be in good shape.

Ian.

The Fortress
January 30th, 2007, 06:59 PM
At the risk of derision by many, there is a lot in the TI book that would help you.

I doubt many would disagree that TI principles would help Lindsay, Ian. TI is great for learning stroke mechanics, body position, rotation, streamlining, balance, extension, etc. I believe Lindsay is very familiar with TI.

I think the only disagreement is over discrete topics like the desirability of kicking or weight lifting, whether TI methodology is the best for sprinting, whether swim tools should ever be used, etc. There is perhaps a tonal ring issue as well.

But on the whole, TI principles are sound. Perhaps when the new book on endurance swimming is published, there will be less controversy over its more general applicability.

BillS
January 30th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Lindsay, my ancient computer is having trouble with the videos, but it looks like you breathe on the first stroke off the wall. My training partner hammered me about that in practice, and I have been working on it for a long time until it becomes second nature to breathe second stroke. The second 50 in a 200 should be easy speed, so you should be able to hold your head down at that point. The last 200 I did I think I was able to breathe second stroke out until the very last turn. I dropped over 5 seconds off my PB in that race, and quite a bit of that was from better turns.

"It's free and easy speed, 'cause other than the start, you're never going faster than the push off the wall" my partner says, and he's sorta half right -- it's not exactly easy, but it is more or less free. Better to take an extra breath going into the wall than ruin that fast, streamlined glide with a big sideways gulp of admittedly precious air.

Great post, thanks for letting folks comment on your video.

LindsayNB
January 31st, 2007, 02:40 PM
Thank you Leslie, Ian and Bill, I really appreciate your taking the time to comment!

Although my workout last night was cut short I did spend some time working on coming out of the turns deeper, squeezing my ears with my arms and getting in a few dolphin kicks, that gets me significantly further before my breakout and I was still staying even with the guy one lane over. I must say that the extra time under water doesn't make it any easier to resist breathing on the first stroke! :D I will continue working on this stuff in hopes of it becoming automatic and actually happening in races.

I think it will take a while to process how to change my pull. A big problem is that going from the "almost extension" you see in the video to a real arm straight out (extending the shoulder) extension takes some effort, the same as with the streamline. I am getting serious (again) about stretching my lats. Lately I have concentrated on the "plant your arm and roll past it" part of the stroke (and keeping my forearm perp. to the water), which has improved my speed and lowered perceived effort, but I guess I have been neglecting the front part of the stroke.

Thanks again,
Lindsay

P.S. I have the old blue TI "The Guide to Fishlike Swimming" from my short stint as a triathlete/fitness swimmer in the mid-nineties, and the somewhat newer "Swimming Made Easy", which I think I acquired during a brief stint in Bloomington Indiana. Also the breast/butterfly video (not the new one with butterfrog). I don't think my problem is so much not knowing what to do as poor kinesthetic awareness about what I am actually doing, combined with an extreme lack of flexibility. Unfortunately for those of us who are less talented, learning from a book is not ideal, when I started swimming again a few years ago and got my first coaching there was a lot of correction needed and I progressed quite well for a while. Is there a particular TI drill? Or the whole progression?

P.P.S. Bill: what is your avatar a picture of?

The Fortress
January 31st, 2007, 03:28 PM
Lindsay:

Don't know what Terry would say. He seems like he does a lot of decomposing and then rebuilding. I tend to do discrete drills that focus on what my current preoccupation is.

If you're thinking about hand placement and rotation, I would do the skate drill, the underswitch and zipper switch drills, and the rotating balance drills. They should be in your book or on his website? Fingertip drag drill is also good for the dropped elbow problem. I also love catch-up freetyle. Solar would probably recommend some sculling for the kinesthetic awareness issue. There were a lot of sculling drills in the last issue of USMS Swim. I'm sure others would have many more ideas.

Keep working on the SDKs. That's a good idea. Just pick a number to do off each turn, whatever you're comfortable with, and then do it every time. Good luck. I think when one's so keen to improve like you, they usually do.

BillS
January 31st, 2007, 07:00 PM
Lindsay:

First, I feel qualified to post comments on your technique only because I am working through a lot of the same issues, so take my stuff from whence it comes.

I played your clips at home last night, and thought I counted 20 strokes. That's not too bad for SCM, given your short push off the wall. I'm sure you can drop one or two strokes easily with better streamlining and staying down past the flags. I shoot for 15 or 16 SPL for meters in the 200 until the final 50 when I try to crank it up a bit. So I think you're in the ballpark there, and your pull/kick isn't as bad as you think.

Not to say we can't all always be working on stroke. Kerry O'Brien did a stroke clinic with my team one weekend, and worked wonders with one of our guy's choppy stroke by making him do true catchup by passing a pencil back and forth between hands as he swam. You can drill the same thing by touching hands, but having to pass that damn pencil ensures that you do a full catchup. Full catchup feels awkward for me, but it helps me stretch my stroke out when I go back to regular swim.

I count strokes on every lap. Even in a race. Good, free, immediate feedback on where your stroke technique is in a race. It gets to be a habit pretty quickly, and you just have a constant count running in the back of your head while you swim. I'm amazed when I ask other swimmers what their stroke count is and they don't know. That's important information that is too easy to have at your fingertips to ignore.

I tried varying numbers of dolphin kicks for a while, but have dropped them of late in favor of concentrating on streamlining. My dolphin is a work in progress, and I felt like it was costing me more in oxygen debt and negative effect on my streamline than I was gaining. Plus I read something about some elite swimmer (Eric Vendt, maybe?) not doing them for those same reasons. I still do them in the 50 and 100, but not currently in the 200.

The best training thing I've done in a while is just to practice streamline pushes off the wall. Mentally mark where you end up, then really concentrate on tightening up and see if you can glide further. I don't kick, or do a breakout, just glide smoothly along. You can easily do 5 - 10 of these in a couple of minutes at the end of a workout, and I feel it has really helped me with muscle memory and flexibility.

The avatar is an old, dead giant squid, which is about what I feel like today.

LindsayNB
January 31st, 2007, 09:19 PM
The first year I swam with my coach he spent most of it telling me that I was swimming too much like catch up. Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.

On hand entry: Thorpe enters quite differently with his left and right arms, which one in this video is closer to the recommended entry position?
http://www.eliteswimming.com/free5.shtml

I'm going to try to get some underwater video.

Ian Smith
January 31st, 2007, 10:41 PM
Lindsay,
You said: "I did spend some time working on coming out of the turns deeper, squeezing my ears with my arms"

Try thinking of squeezing your ears with your SHOULDERS not with your arms.

While stroking too, drive forward with the shoulders and not with the hands. If the shoulders go forward (next to your ears), the hands will automatically reach further.

This should help getting a longer stroke and be more streamlined while you swim. You need good shoulder flexibility for a long stroke (but don't ask me how you get that if you don't have it now)
Ian.