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islandsox
September 26th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Hi everyone! I wanted to pass along some of my experiences/observations of those new swimmers using T.I. I am working with a group of triathletes who had no coaching whatsoever and purchased this swim book to try to improve their swimming.

I know it can be difficult to try to learn from a book as interpretation is different for everyone. Here are two common problems I'm finding that I think should (if at all possible) be addressed by the author/TI swim instructors for further clarification.

1. Mail Slot Entry

All of the swimmers' hand/arm entry is actually an inverted "V". The hand/forearm enter the water as a downward spear right by their ear. There is no catch whatsoever because the stroke is so short. The hand goes directly downward from the ear to the pool bottom; the stroke is of no use this way because there is no catch whatsoever.

2. Low in the water

They are all too low in the water. Their heads and shoulders are completely underwater so they have to roll too much and too far to get a breath of air. This is causing "fishtailing" and a tremendous amount of body movement. I understand "chest pressing" in the water, but they have taken it too far.

I have always firmly believed in each person's stroke being "their own", but there are some components that are necessary to swim well. I'm helping them to make some of these corrections, especially regarding the mail slot entry; they are "spearing" downward which I don't believe was the point. Most all of the triathletes swim a 50 meter free in around 2 minutes. Last Sunday with some changes (they are really working on their swimming), 4 of them were swimming the 50 meter free in around 45 to 50 seconds which is a huge improvement. They said it feels better now, and they are traveling faster with less body movement and with ease.

I know the TI book has helped many to join the world of swimming, but this indicates that without coaching, a book can be misinterpreted. A picture is worth a thousand words. One last point: ALL of them were holding their breath which is the kiss of death. I never bought this book so I cannot attest to what was explained in verse or graphics.

Donna

bud
September 26th, 2007, 07:51 PM
... I have always firmly believed in each person's stroke being "their own", but there are some components that are necessary to swim well....
i'm right behind you all the way on this concept.

this is pretty interesting stuff. thanks for the post. just shows to go you that there is a limit as to how far you can go on your own... especially in the beginning.

crikey! a 2min 50m free? OUCH! that really stings. and these folks want to do distance swims? sounds like they really do need help. i think it is pretty coolbeans that you are able to help these folks out.

i don't know much about TI either, other than it is highly controversial here, and seems really popular elsewhere. while it seems like a good program from what i've seen and heard, it is just not my cup of tea.

as i understand it, long distance swims rely heavily on front quadrant swimming. Coach Hines has some really good articles on this at:
articles by category - strokes (http://www.h2oustonswims.org/articles_by_category.html#strokes)
one easy way to find this list is to google:
coach hines swim houston

the actual article, Swimming in Circles (http://www.usms.org/training/circles.htm), is on the usms web

i used to offer advice to folks i saw struggling needlessly, but now i only offer when asked, partly because of this thread: Do you correct people? (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=4980)

there have been a number of threads on TI... here are a few, some being VERY popular ones:
What do you think of total immersion? (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5699)
Criticism of TI Principles (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5181)
TI advice: stroke length vs rate (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=616)
Total Immersion Strategies - A Closer Look (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=6782)


:cool:

Ripple
September 26th, 2007, 10:39 PM
If they are holding their breath, shooting their hands straight down to the bottom after the entry, and pushing their chests so low in the water that they have to climb up to breath, then they haven't read the book thoroughly or are not interpreting it properly. None of these things are called for in any of the T.I. books.
I am a fan of this method, because I was a really, really bad swimmer for decades before finding it, and none of the "Adult Stroke Improvement" classes I took helped at all, in fact one made me swim much worse. I would take a whole minute and about 35-40 strokes to swim 25 meters, elderly ladies doing that*old-fashioned head-up breast stroke would zoom past me, and a 12-lap workout felt exhausting. I don't come from a swimming background, just had the basic Red Cross lessons as a kid and flunked the level that required a 50m swim in.... whatever time it was.
I think it's difficult for someone who has always swum well to truly explain it to someone who can't, and that's been the value of T.I. for me. The stroke gets broken down into it's smallest possible pieces and it isn't necessary to try to coordinate everything all at once.

The Fortress
September 27th, 2007, 12:01 AM
There are many different ways to swim. TI is one of them and has unquestionably has and will continue to help many. There are other schools of thought too. Although his OW clinic does look pretty fun. I always appreciated the technique advice, and still like to combine that with speedwork.

fastjack
September 27th, 2007, 12:18 AM
Total Immersion is that something new to swimming???

Who is this Guy Terry everyone talked about in the old days.

fastjack
September 27th, 2007, 12:31 AM
I found something from the past http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5961&highlight=smooth

RecreationalSwimmer
September 27th, 2007, 12:53 AM
I must say that for someone who starts swimming "from scratch", Total Immersion offers a lot.

Let's stick to the topic this time, which is Total Immersion and New Swimmers. I don't think Terry is responsible for every newbie that's read one of his books.

The Fortress
September 27th, 2007, 01:01 AM
I thought in a prior post you didn't even know who TL was, Rec Swimmer. :rolleyes:

RecreationalSwimmer
September 27th, 2007, 04:01 AM
I thought in a prior post you didn't even know who TL was, Rec Swimmer. :rolleyes:

I admit, that was in a nitpick-ish reply to George Park, compared to whom I consider myself a newbie. I have a couple of TI books and DVD:s, so of course I know what it's all about.

Fifty meters of freestyle takes me about a minute. I'm working on relaxation, high elbow recovery, breathing on the awkward side, the two-beat kick and counting strokes (17 strokes/25 meters). True, the pace clock is discouraging, and maybe I should quit. Naah, just kidding, really love swimming. I hope there's room for diversity?

There is a remote possibility that I will be faster next week/year.:fish2:

SwimStud
September 27th, 2007, 08:02 AM
:dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse:

...the beat goes on...

tjburk
September 27th, 2007, 09:54 AM
I'm thinking we all need a group hug. Come on everybody....gather round!:lmao::kiss1::thhbbb:

geochuck
September 27th, 2007, 10:50 AM
No I am not RecreationalSwimmer.

RecreationalSwimmer I have never to my knowledge been totaly against TI and if you search through most of my posts you will find that I agree with a lot of his stuff.

I do not agree with the piercing the water with the hand. I have never found that mail box slot thing to be helful to any one.

Yes he has assembled a book or two that may help begginers. But there is a time that everyone must move forward and put it on the shelf.

I think he has helped lots of swimmers to improve but TI has its limitations.

Slowswim
September 27th, 2007, 10:57 AM
Y'all seem to believe TI helps "Beginners". I consider myself a beginner. Would TI help me or should I stick to my e-coach and this forum?

geochuck
September 27th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Bill you will get lots of help here for sure.

Ti buy if you want, I have a lot of TI stuff but use it to pick out misinformation.

Does your ecoach have your videos?

Does he just give you workouts and regulate your diet? If that is what you get from your ecoach it is a waste of money.

Post videos on You Tube and let us see if we can make suggestions.

Slowswim
September 27th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Bill you will get lots of help here for sure.

Does your ecoach have your videos?

Does he just give you workouts and regulate your diet? If that is what you get from your ecoach it is a waste of money.

Post videos on You Tube and let us see if we can make suggestions.

Post a video of me swimming:bolt: It would probably help if you weren't:rofl: too much to type.

She has been asking for videos, but I haven't done that yet. I swam for her for a year so she know most of my issues.

I know Its a bit of a waste of money, but better than being totally alone. Plus when I do go home, she coaches me for free to include access to the pool.

You guys here have been a great source of information and various views about swimming that only come from experience (which I lack).

poolraat
September 27th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Hereís my take on TI. I am a relatively new swimmer. I began swimming when I was 48, and this is my 8th year of swimming. When I started, I didnít have any prior swimming background other than the Red Cross swimming lessons as a kid and occasional recreational swimming. I started swimming to lose weight, get in shape, and have fun. I attained my goals and am still having fun. (in fact, Iím having a blast!) Somewhere, about 2-3 years after I began swimming, the competitive bug bit me and I decided I wanted to do some meets and see how fast I could swim. I set a goal of swimming a 100 yard free under 1:00. I found some clinics offered by a Masters coach and after attending some of these made an arrangement with her for private coaching. Although not a TI coach, her philosophy included most of the concepts contained in the TI books. I had these and the freestyle video at the time. Often, I see other swimmers doing the drills, and IMO, very few are doing them correctly.

So, a couple of observations:

1. TI is not something new or unique. It is simply techniques and methods that have been re-packaged and taught under the TI name.

2. Without attending a clinic to learn the drills and/or the hands on teaching of a coach, the drills may be done incorrectly and are of no real benefit to the swimmer using them.

Now I am not a very fast swimmer by comparison to others of you that have the age group-high school-college background. But I did attain my goal for the 100 free (and mid 26 for the 50), and using the TI concepts, learned fly and can do a 50 in less than :30 (around 1:15 for 100, needs more work). I also used the concepts for backstroke and swim a 50 in the low 32ís (around 1:13 for 100). (breaststroke? - maybe someday) Iíve never seen any great results in the longer distances because I donít train that hard. I train alone and donít (wonít) push myself into major pain. But Iíve done some of the postal distance events and some open water swims and can hold around 1:30 per 100 pace for over an hour. When I first started, I couldnít do an all out 100 at that pace. Additionally, I swam SCY Nationals last year for the first time and I made the qualifying times in 5 of the 6 events I swam.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding TI, but my opinion is that it is great for a new swimmer like I was. I also think it is subject to a lot of misinterpretation and misuse by new swimmers unless they have the guidance of a coach and so a lot of new swimmers (and it seems most of these are triathletes) that are using the TI methods are not swimming as well or as fast as they could be.

islandsox
September 27th, 2007, 12:51 PM
I think it's difficult for someone who has always swum well to truly explain it to someone who can't, and that's been the value of T.I. for me. The stroke gets broken down into it's smallest possible pieces and it isn't necessary to try to coordinate everything all at once.

I don't think it is difficult at all to explain stroke breakdown to people who have almost zero knowledge of swimming. It depends on the person who is instructing and not all instructors can pick the correct 10 words or less scenario. Once a newbie understands the stroke components and their purpose (10 words or less again), then a light bulb goes on as each component is being discussed. And one of the most important things is the individual training concept which many do not have access to.

The TI book has helped thousands, no doubt about it, but a book can never replace a good swim coach and that mail entry slot thing I see over and over, has, well, prohibited new swimmers from developing a good, powerful stroke. I do not see where that type of entry provides for any substantial catch/pull. But again, it is hard to interpret any swim book and put it into practice. I commend those who have been able to do this. I wouldn't be able to because I wouldn't ever be sure if I was performing accurately.

And I am very happy that more people are swimming today because of learn-to-swim books. Look at all the people just on this forum who have had success!!

RecreationalSwimmer
September 27th, 2007, 04:16 PM
Donna, you are right about some aspects of TI, and your critique is valid and constructive. Total Immersion is not the only way to learn how to swim. Isn't it fabulous that we can pick and choose whatever we like from different sources?

I've been searching YouTube for some clips of outstanding TI swimmers, but they are conspicuously few. This one is from Israel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JbNvTwsKiA

I've changed my mind! Wow!

geochuck
September 27th, 2007, 04:27 PM
Rec - that is a good video. He is not piercing the hand in he is slipping it in and extending. Is he really folowing the TI doctrine??? I admire a lot of the TI instructors they have added to the TI story with some good innovation.

markm
September 27th, 2007, 05:35 PM
very timely post as i am starting my advanced TI freestyle class in a couple of hours! the original post was very helpful and struck a chord with me as they are two things i struggle with. but first here is my story.

i am a long time lap swimmer, 52 yrs old. never swam competively and don't really swim with a structured master's program. i got into the TI thing last spring after reading on article in USMS on open water swimming. as i was preparing for an alctraz crossing i figured it wouldn't hurt to bone up on my technique!

i bought the books and dvds and took ti classes here in chicago with a ti instructor who is a very good instructor. i was totally ignorant on swimming technique and the ti thing has really opened my eyes to swimming drills and techniques, etc.

since march i have really worked my ass off in the pool and no doubt i am a better more knowledgable swimmer. from ti i have learned about such swimming basics as balance, body roll, alignment, and the front quadrant arm thingy, stuff which were all new to me!!! i guess it was my "in" to swimming technique, but probably any swim approach that i would apply myself to would make me better!

but i have struggled with a few ti things, as donna mentioned. in regards to the mail slot, i don't put my hand in by my head, but i instead reach way farther out in front and slide my hand and arm pretty much straight out at a 3:00 position as recommended by the coach. so my arm is going out not down and this definitely helps with my streamline postioning and balance and it feels good!

but man that head thing is driving me crazy. just like donna said my head, when looking straight down and leading with the top, is deep in the water and for the life of me i can't get a smooth roll for air as i have to roll too far back up for it. and then i lose my breathing arm out in front balance thing. and i never connected my fishtailing with this, but man maybe that is part of my problem. so i try to move my head up and lead with the forehead which makes life a little easier, but i feel guilty like i am cheating and doing things wrong. so i hope to work on this at my new class. but i am too deep!!!

i gotta say that i can do a decent job with the switch drills where you swim from side to side, but when i do whole stroke it doesn't feel smooth as in my drill, i'm not really going from side to side in such an extreme way. know what i mean?

anyway i am looking forward to the class and i hope to get some help with all of this and i really want to learn that two beat kick. it looks so cool. i don't consider myself a ti fanatic at all but it is nice to be grounded in something. i have to say prior to the spring i have never done a drill in my whole swimming life, hell i don't even play scales on my guitar - and now i am. so that can't be a bad thing....


mark

islandsox
September 27th, 2007, 06:28 PM
Donna, you are right about some aspects of TI, and your critique is valid and constructive. Total Immersion is not the only way to learn how to swim. Isn't it fabulous that we can pick and choose whatever we like from different sources?

I've been searching YouTube for some clips of outstanding TI swimmers, but they are conspicuously few. This one is from Israel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JbNvTwsKiA

I've changed my mind! Wow!

The people I have been working with DID not swim like this and they had worked from the book, thus, their mail slot entry was overly pronounced and they had no front quadrant swimming at all. I presume that the fellow in the video was swimming slow purposely. I thought he was a little too underwater because he had to really roll/rotate to get air, but all-in-all, it looked pretty nice. And he over-glided because it was awhile before his hand made a catch. But a smooth and comfortable swim and I think this is what TI's mission statement probably may be. Maybe this fellow had a TI coach in addition to the book!

geochuck
September 27th, 2007, 06:36 PM
We have to realize that Terry was not a great swimmer. He has researched and found a way for himself to swim beter, credit due. It is not the end all and be all. It is a means to become better then you were.

As I have said before anything that helps you become a better swimmer that is good.

The head down thing is a learning curve and is nothing new. Gerry MacNamee a great swimmer who swam for USC had his head buried deep in the 50s. I even went through that phase in the late 40s.

You will find that not everyone swims the same way.

Tom Bucy started marathon swimming in 1965 and changed his stroke from what he had done previously to a buried head in the water swimmer because his coach Gus told him he had to get his body into the water and not to swim high in the water. A little article here about Tom Bucy
http://books.google.com/books?id=CtF0DgKT_GcC&pg=PA232&lpg=PA232&dq=tom+bucy+swimmer&source=web&ots=400yOwW1d_&sig=1WNfFteH6O9JRCySGoTaY0M6pj8

islandsox
September 27th, 2007, 06:43 PM
very timely post as i am starting my advanced TI freestyle class in a couple of hours! the original post was very helpful and struck a chord with me as they are two things i struggle with. but first here is my story.

but i have struggled with a few ti things, as donna mentioned. in regards to the mail slot, i don't put my hand in by my head, but i instead reach way farther out in front and slide my hand and arm pretty much straight out at a 3:00 position as recommended by the coach. so my arm is going out not down and this definitely helps with my streamline postioning and balance and it feels good!

but man that head thing is driving me crazy. just like donna said my head, when looking straight down and leading with the top, is deep in the water and for the life of me i can't get a smooth roll for air as i have to roll too far back up for it. and then i lose my breathing arm out in front balance thing. and i never connected my fishtailing with this, but man maybe that is part of my problem. so i try to move my head up and lead with the forehead which makes life a little easier, but i feel guilty like i am cheating and doing things wrong. so i hope to work on this at my new class. but i am too deep!!!

i gotta say that i can do a decent job with the switch drills where you swim from side to side, but when i do whole stroke it doesn't feel smooth as in my drill, i'm not really going from side to side in such an extreme way. know what i mean?
mark

Hi Mark, I completely understand what you are saying about the couple of problems you are having. Let me tell you what I think is the MOST important thing about swimming: creating a stroke natural for YOU whatever that turns out to be. And I will add one more thing: within proper stroke technique guidelines. The catch, pull, recovery with high elbows has to be there. People can talk about outsweep and insweep, but for now, I'd focus on how you can best meet the three components above. If you feel you are too deep in the water then you probably are regardless of what a TI instructor may say. You have to find your own comfort swim zone and for you, it may be slightly higher in the water than they recommend. Experiment with it and just try looking about a yard ahead when your face is in the water rather than straight down. This will slightly change your body position and rolling/rotating to breathe WILL be easier.

Talk to a TI instructor about this problem. Nothing anyone says is concrete; swimming is very individual. Shoot, my swimming could probably be criticized to no end, but I do things with my stroke for reasons such as helping bad shoulders, older and fatter, slower, etc. I make swim changes depending upon how far I am swimming to rest myself. I make adjustments all the time while swimming distance.

But you sound like you are on the right track!! Good Luck!

Donna

markm
September 27th, 2007, 11:35 PM
thanks donna, i'm going to raise my head a pinch tomorrow in my practice as you suggested. this evening in class we worked on body roll drills (balance), spearing, and sculling - can't remember the sculling drill name , but it's not a ti drill. the instructor is going to build on the sculling thing for the catch and recovery. i love small group instruction, it's the best of all worlds! and the assistant coach is a former d3 swimmer, man, there is so much to learn!

i also just ordered wind waves and sunburn from amazon.com. i love reading about open water swimming. i recently finished the history of marathon swimming. one story recounted was about one of the first attempts at the english channel by some dude who wore a rubber thingy and lied on his back and would stop every hour or so to have a cigar and whiskey! now there's technique for you!!! i wonder if there are whiskey and cigar ti drills!!!

my next goal is to swim the straights of mackinac next summer. i'm putting my michigan department of natural resources permit form in the mail this weekend. and i got a support boat lined up. of course i hope to do this swim sans cigar and whiskey!!! now bring on the drills!!

mark

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 12:28 AM
Conrad Wennerberg's Wind Waves and Sunburn a pretty good book. Don't believe everything he says about me....

The pictures of me were not very flattering. Tom Bucy looks like a truck ran over him in his pictures. Johnny Lacoursiere is in the book as well Abou Heif. Last time I talked to Johnney he said Abou was quite ill.

It is a good read.

Slowswim
September 28th, 2007, 09:45 AM
I always thought the TI was just a play on words because you had to go to a week-long camp so I were Totally Immersed in Swimming.

Reading where I think my e-coach is using the TI approach. I definitely think I'm too low in the water (especially my legs).

I swam a PB today in the 1650 by over 2 minutes using a more relaxed recovery (ala GeoChuck) and not entering the water until my arm was near or fully extended.

My coach used to say that the recovery phase your arm should be relaxed and resting. I could never do that when I had to have my hand ready to enter the water and drive it forward under water. I had to keep it rigid like a military salute.

Thanx George :drink::bow:

poolraat
September 28th, 2007, 10:07 AM
My coach used to say that the recovery phase your arm should be relaxed and resting. I could never do that when I had to have my hand ready to enter the water and drive it forward under water. I had to keep it rigid like a military salute.

Thanx George :drink::bow:


Bill, no pool salutes. Your elbow and upper arm should lead the recovery with a relaxed forearm and hand; think limp wrist. I do a lot of the wrist and fingertip drag drills to imprint this.

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 10:22 AM
Poolrat I am having trouble downloading your video. I used to be able to before my computer caught a sickening virus. I had to get the doctor for the computer and he gutted it. It is like starting all over.

I will have to add something to the computer so I can download again from you tube.

I hope to get it straigtened out soon.

If you post your videos here they can be downloaded by me easily. https://www.mediamax.com/Brands/MediaMax/home/home.aspx

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 10:31 AM
2 minutes, very good. May I ask how long the 1650 took?

I always thought the TI was just a play on words because you had to go to a week-long camp so I were Totally Immersed in Swimming.

Reading where I think my e-coach is using the TI approach. I definitely think I'm too low in the water (especially my legs).

I swam a PB today in the 1650 by over 2 minutes using a more relaxed recovery (ala GeoChuck) and not entering the water until my arm was near or fully extended.

My coach used to say that the recovery phase your arm should be relaxed and resting. I could never do that when I had to have my hand ready to enter the water and drive it forward under water. I had to keep it rigid like a military salute.

Thanx George :drink::bow:

Slowswim
September 28th, 2007, 11:20 AM
Bill, no pool salutes. Your elbow and upper arm should lead the recovery with a relaxed forearm and hand; think limp wrist. I do a lot of the wrist and fingertip drag drills to imprint this.

I have gone from the Salute hand entering water by my ear and heading straight to the bottom (Hitler Salute) to entering just in front of my ear and driving straight forward (the may I go to the bathroom hand raise)--this one would drown me with the wake coming off my shoulder--now I have the limp wrist (don't ask, don't tell) and I like it.:groovy:

My e-coach has me doing fingertip drag/catch-up drills, but watching GeoChuck codified it for me.
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Slowswim
September 28th, 2007, 11:49 AM
2 minutes, very good. May I ask how long the 1650 took?

Ummmmm, it took 27:13, but I was relaxed and enjoying it. I was cruising at 65-75%. So I won't be changing my screen name any time soon. My last 1650 for time was an "all out" effort at just over 30 min. Today, I had a lot left in the tank when I finished. Immediately following the swim, I hopped out and went for a 20 mile bike.

Just add learn swim pacing to the list of things for me to work on. I use my watch as a lap counter so I lost time on every other flip turn. I missed the button on one and stopped to press it again.

I know I have a long way to go, but all said and done; I'll pretty happy with it.

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 12:04 PM
I like to swim by the big pace clocks, reduce your 100s by 8 seconds and still try to swim easy. I think you will surprise your self.

tjburk
September 28th, 2007, 12:05 PM
Way to go Bill!!!!! That actually sounds like more progress than you think....based on your description....Keep It Up!!!!!

Slowswim
September 28th, 2007, 12:25 PM
I had to look it up, My last 1650 PB (30 Min.) was 25 April 2007.

No clock on the deck. A lady brought one in once and scared everyone out of the pool! 8 seconds per 100 is over two minutes! I guess I'm off to Kieffer On-Line for a clock. As if I didn't have enough toys to carry around!

Thanx again George and the rest of y'all.

islandsox
September 28th, 2007, 12:46 PM
I always thought the TI was just a play on words because you had to go to a week-long camp so I were Totally Immersed in Swimming.

Reading where I think my e-coach is using the TI approach. I definitely think I'm too low in the water (especially my legs).

I swam a PB today in the 1650 by over 2 minutes using a more relaxed recovery (ala GeoChuck) and not entering the water until my arm was near or fully extended.

My coach used to say that the recovery phase your arm should be relaxed and resting. I could never do that when I had to have my hand ready to enter the water and drive it forward under water. I had to keep it rigid like a military salute.

Thanx George :drink::bow:

:cheerleader::cheerleader: This is absolutely GREAT news. Yes, having a relaxed arm/hand during recovery works. That's why it's called Recovery. My wrist/hand is very limp also. I love this portion of the stroke: recovery. I always look forward to it!

That's great that you're way under 30 minutes. No more Slowswim, slowswim. Maybe Slowswam, past tense?

Slowswim
September 28th, 2007, 12:53 PM
:cheerleader::cheerleader: That's great that you're way under 30 minutes. No more Slowswim, slowswim. Maybe Slowswam, past tense?

Thanx, the name change is cute! and I got pom pom'd!! :party2:

I know have a long way to go but I'll get there.

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 01:32 PM
I paid $2.99 for this battery operated wall clock at IKEA. I set it on the deck so I can read it. It is 10" and I can read it, and it has a second hand.

Swim 1:30 every 100 and you will get fast fast. The second hand was clicking so you do not see it well.

RecreationalSwimmer
September 28th, 2007, 02:14 PM
Congratulations, Slowswim. Sounds like a good idea to have an e-coach.

I'm following the 24 practices in 'Four-Stroke Workouts' by Terry Laughlin, so I guess he's my e-coach.

hofffam
September 28th, 2007, 02:24 PM
I do not see how a hand entry so near the head or ear is anything close to ideal. If the hand enters and is pushed forward before the pull begins you're creating signficant "push" drag. That is motion that pushes water in the wrong direction. Hand going to the bottom after a near ear entry seems like it would create a very quick or early catch but overall seems like it would shorten the stroke unnecessarily.

I see windmill swimmers as more efficient than that....

RecreationalSwimmer
September 28th, 2007, 02:58 PM
I do not see how a hand entry so near the head or ear is anything close to ideal. If the hand enters and is pushed forward before the pull begins you're creating signficant "push" drag. That is motion that pushes water in the wrong direction. Hand going to the bottom after a near ear entry seems like it would create a very quick or early catch but overall seems like it would shorten the stroke unnecessarily.

I see windmill swimmers as more efficient than that....
This is TI head coach himself. I don't think his hand entry is that much different from the average joe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqlR5tdziTw

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 03:08 PM
Rather than watch Terry's slow swimming I would like to see him at speed. Say a 50 or a 100. or even a nice fast 350m, 500m or 750m or even a 1500. Can you come up with any clips like that.

markm
September 28th, 2007, 03:24 PM
i haven't taken the TI weekend workshop, rather i take the small group clinics taught by john fitzpatrick in chicago. the clinics are six, one hour sessions. i took the foundations course last spring and am now taking the advance freestyle. john is the head coach of the Chicago Blue Dolphins masters group and is one of a handful of senior TI instructors in the country. he is very good and while he seems grounded in TI he is not rigid at all. i am a really loose guy so it fits me well!

http://www.chicagobluedolphins.com/instruction.html

mark

RecreationalSwimmer
September 28th, 2007, 03:31 PM
Rather than watch Terry's slow swimming I would like to see him at speed. Say a 50 or a 100. or even a nice fast 350m, 500m or 750m or even a 1500. Can you come up with any clips like that.

Not really, but this is a mile race from last year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcNN6W-MlxQ

I only wish there was more of Dave Barra in the video. The way he swims reminds me of Michael Phelps.

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 04:07 PM
Nice swim, it seems to me he forgot to pierce the water. It looks like he is placing his hands rather than piercing. It also appears to me he has a very short arm length. Now I could be wrong.

The Fortress
September 28th, 2007, 04:32 PM
George: I feel like you're having a conversation with yourself here. :thhbbb: :rofl:

I would just like to assure you that I am not entering too early or spearing/piercing the water too violently. I am diligently vessel shaping too. ;) Somewhat ironically, I find MFs to be useful for that purpose.

I saw Dave Barra swim the 200 free at zones. Very smooth. But not so much like Phelps. Phelps has the "lope" and kicks more.

Blackbeard's Peg
September 28th, 2007, 04:37 PM
I saw Dave Barra swim the 200 free at zones. Very smooth. But not so much like Phelps. Phelps has the "lope" and kicks more.

I got to watch the end of Dave Barra's 200 free at zones ;) :drink:
Dave does have a great looking stroke, and if you've seen him in distance events, he's able to hold to that form the whole way through, while picking up speed at the end.

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Fort I must get everything I can before I leave for Mexico.

I must compliment you on your vessel shaping.

The Fortress
September 28th, 2007, 04:47 PM
Fort I must get everything I can before I leave for Mexico.

I must compliment you on your vessel shaping.

I know you must, George, and I applaud all your videos. ;) I think Terry prefers his distance swimming though. And whilst I am vessel shaping, I am also doing a lot of race pace work because I generally prefer to go fast over short distances. I would drown in one of your marathon swims because I do not have Dave Barra's fluid freestyle strokes.

Did you notice that Kate Zeigler has a bit of a windmill in her stroke?

islandsox
September 28th, 2007, 05:21 PM
I really enjoyed watching Dave and Terry in that one mile cable swim. They both looked really good. Wish I could've seen more of Dave, too. I noticed that Terry's thumb seems to enter the water first; hope that doesn't give him rotator problems (if I saw it correctly).

I kind of laughed when I heard Terry mention the "chop"---uh, that's not chop folks! That looked flat as glass to me with a slight surface current. I swim in BIG chop all the time; I wouldn't know what to do with myself in little chop--a dream come true possibly.

What I wouldn't give to go back down to 1 or 2 mile races! What fun that would be.

geochuck
September 28th, 2007, 05:37 PM
I may have seen a bigger chop in some of my races. The ones were the boats with us cracked from stem to stern in a ten or 15 foot chop.

Big waves are not a problem it is that choppy water that gives you trouble

islandsox
September 29th, 2007, 09:21 AM
I may have seen a bigger chop in some of my races. The ones were the boats with us cracked from stem to stern in a ten or 15 foot chop.

Big waves are not a problem it is that choppy water that gives you trouble

And this is where swimming TI or anyone with a longer stroke could give one big problems when dealing with chop! The best way to deal with chop is to shorten and tighten up the stroke and have a higher turnover. The long gliding stroke like Terry was swimming in the slow-swim video doesn't fair quite as well in big chop! But OW distance swimmers have to deal with all kinds of elements and make adjustments, sometimes constantly.

I actually like swimming in big chop; I think I am more efficient at this kind of stroke AND it gets me out of my swim comfort zone and makes me extremely aware of what I have to do to confront it. Plus, great workout! I just don't want to have to do it for 20 miles!

geochuck
September 29th, 2007, 09:28 AM
Big waves not bad, but a chop is like swimming in a washing machine. You get battered.

Your stroke has to adapt to the conditions, sometimes long sometimes short. You should have seen how I had to almost be on my back to get a breath many a time. I have even had to dog paddle and do waterpolo type jumps in the water to sight.

Just wanted to say Dave did look pretty darn good in that lake swim.

Leonard Jansen
September 29th, 2007, 12:40 PM
Rather than watch Terry's slow swimming I would like to see him at speed. Say a 50 or a 100. or even a nice fast 350m, 500m or 750m or even a 1500. Can you come up with any clips like that.

My $0.02 (which is also $0.02 Canadian right now) -

I swam next to Terry Laughlin for about 2 minutes sometime during the first 10 minutes of MIMS last year (before the East River). His stroke was very fluid, extremely relaxed and effective. Admittedly, it's not a sprint, but there also was nothing "staged" about it. My conclusion: He was practicing what he preached and it looked good.

Let me also say that I had a short, but pleasant, conversation with him right before we jumped in the water. I saw no horns or pointed tail anywhere in evidence, either.

-LBJ

geochuck
September 29th, 2007, 12:54 PM
I think he looks very fluid in his swim and I do not think I am bashing his stroke. I just do not see that he is doing what he says he is, with his arms and hand entry. I could not tell about his leg action but I think it is a 2 beat kick but not plainly visible in that film.

I noticed his right hand extending before it entered. I also noticed many strokes especialy the right arm his upper arm entered first then his elbow, then his forearm, then his hand that was fully extended. Now is this a fault???

RecreationalSwimmer
September 29th, 2007, 02:47 PM
I also noticed many strokes especialy the right arm his upper arm entered first then his elbow, then his forearm, then his hand that was fully extended. Now is this a fault???

You're right there, George. I didn't notice that his right elbow is lower all the time.

Too bad he didn't post the 2007 Mirror Lake video on the Tube, so we can't see if he's tried to correct that flaw. Maybe it's Mother Nature that limits the range of motion as you grow older?

Anyway, this is the URL I got from the Total Swim newsletter:

http://www.totalimmersion.net/2007articles/august/ow-racap.html

http://www.adms.org/meets/2006_2007/results/2007_LP_2-Mile_Cable_Swim_Results.pdf

Namor
September 29th, 2007, 07:16 PM
Not sure about beginning swimmers but for the average swimmer (like myself) I think the TI focus on efficiency is pretty sensible. Elite swimmers may be a whole different ball game. TI is sometimes over-hyped and some of its proponents can be rather dogmatic but the general ideas seem quite useful (if not that original). As to the specifics, I'm not expert enough to say, but I would certainly agree that the head too low is at least as bad a problem as the head too high.

geochuck
September 29th, 2007, 07:44 PM
I think most coaches try to focus on efficiency, and technique. TI does not corner the market for sure. If only they all practiced what they preach. I see full extension before hands enter, some even use 6 and 4 beat kicks. Once I put videos into Stromotion feature of Dartswim I see things that you will not believe. The mailbox slot is seldom where they say it is. It frequently changes place. Ah but yes, TI is really not a bad thing.

Not sure about beginning swimmers but for the average swimmer (like myself) I think the TI focus on efficiency is pretty sensible. Elite swimmers may be a whole different ball game. TI is sometimes over-hyped and some of its proponents can be rather dogmatic but the general ideas seem quite useful (if not that original). As to the specifics, I'm not expert enough to say, but I would certainly agree that the head too low is at least as bad a problem as the head too high.

fatboy
September 30th, 2007, 12:50 AM
Terry swam the Big Shoulders 5K in Chicago in September of 2006. There was a good deal more chop that day than in the Lake Placid video and I don't think that he had any more trouble than anyone else.

Donna I have been reading all your posts with interest. Good luck on your 20 miler.

inklaire
September 30th, 2007, 01:15 AM
Donna, your observations are interesting. I will have to check my own head.

I've noticed that the mailslot entry seems to be pretty endemic around here, too, but I see it among recreational swimmers who have probably never even considered reading a book on swimming, but might have been told repeatedly by an instructor to "keep a high elbow recovery." It also seems to be a very common result of that ubiquitous fingertip-drag drill when done incorrectly.

geochuck
September 30th, 2007, 07:31 AM
Head position, when I go to Mexico I will have to get more video of me swimming in the pool and in open water. I will make sure Chuckie focuses in on my head position.

It changes throughout my swims and I know it changes because when swimming with power and just swimming distance, if the head is held in one place I would certainly have a pain in the neck.

In Terry's swim I noticed several head position changes. I never did see the the chest forced down completely buried position and never once saw what he calls the mail slot entry near the head although that was not the complete race.

Maybe the mail slot entry is just a teaching drill and not to be used in a race?

smontanaro
September 30th, 2007, 09:00 AM
Terry swam the Big Shoulders 5K in Chicago in September of 2006.

I tried to swim that race. I bailed out at the 2.5k mark. That was a doozy.

Skip Montanaro

geochuck
September 30th, 2007, 09:16 AM
If it was in Lake Michigan the water there can be very calm or very treacherous.

smontanaro
September 30th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Indeed. Big Shoulders is swum at Ohio Street Beach in what is known locally as "the playpen". There is a protective breakwater that runs basically from east to northeast (page with map (http://www.bigshoulders.org/SwimmerStuff/index.htm)). Even so, it gets very choppy in the playpen.

Skip

ViveBene
September 30th, 2007, 10:56 AM
Indeed. Big Shoulders is swum at Ohio Street Beach in what is known locally as "the playpen". Skip

The Ohio Street Beach harbor, protected with breakwaters, is in my avatar. It's generally pretty calm, but one never knows. :drown:

VB

islandsox
September 30th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Frank and Inklaire,

Great comments from you both! And thanks for the good wishes for my upcoming LONG one; I might have been slightly out of my mind when I decided upon it but I won't know until that DAY. But even at my age, I must continue to challenge myself and now as a distance swimmer, I figure this: what the heck! Even if I cannot complete it, it'll be close! I'll be proud of the effort and ecstatic if completion happens.

The high elbows Inklaire mentioned may be a culprit if the swimmer doesn't know to then reach forward after the high-elbow recovery. I do see many people mid-recovery stroke dropping their arm into the water right away instead of completing the recovery and getting a good, solid catch. I just think that those who can and have learned from swim books are pretty amazing people. It can be hard to not only interpret the words into stroke mechanics, but to differentiate between what is meant AND what should be felt. After all, "feeling" the stroke is a whole other set of "instructions."

By the way, today's lake swim was challenging. It wasn't really chop, but high winds created big lake waves. All the triathletes were skeptical but started swimming anyway. Many held onto the kayaks until they got used to it. We were swimming parallel to the beach which makes waves worst on the body (Dramamine came to mind LOL) and sea-sickness. Also, being close to shore makes the waves worse because it's shallow.

So, I suggested we turn into the wind and waves, and it got much better. It only became a power struggle that way, all sea-sickness went away for everyone. But we were huffing and puffing, I'll give you that! Terrific aerobic workout!

I have to say here that several of the tri swimmers who have extended their arm to a good catch are swimming so much better and with ease. That mail slot thing was just confusing for them as to when their arm should enter the water. There's nothing any better than when you see swimmers beaming when they finish a swim. Red cheeks and smiles are heartwarming and contagious!

:cheerleader: To All!

Donna

chaos
September 30th, 2007, 10:08 PM
allright, now you guys are making me feel guilty for being absent from the forum for so long.

donna,
true. that wasn't much chop; but still enough to put me off pace a bit. i actually like swimming in rough water and yes big shoulders 2006 was joyus!

leslie,
its not too late to get some ow this year. check out the highland lakes monster challange the end of oct near austin (hey isn't ande around there)

jeff,
i'm thinking of a way to win back the patron at zones 2008. (maybe a stroke counting challange? lol)

oh and phelps has nothing to worry about from me! thats for sure but i'm pretty sure i can whup eddie the eagle.

The Fortress
September 30th, 2007, 11:36 PM
allright, now you guys are making me feel guilty for being absent from the forum for so long.

donna,
true. that wasn't much chop; but still enough to put me off pace a bit. i actually like swimming in rough water and yes big shoulders 2006 was joyus!

leslie,
its not too late to get some ow this year. check out the highland lakes monster challange the end of oct near austin (hey isn't ande around there)

jeff,
i'm thinking of a way to win back the patron at zones 2008. (maybe a stroke counting challange? lol)

oh and phelps has nothing to worry about from me! thats for sure but i'm pretty sure i can whup eddie the eagle.

Great to hear from you Dave!

Regrettably, the end of October, I will be swimming in the Sprint Classic. You should come. We do 25s. No ande, to be sure, but I get to see if Warren is under 10 in the 25 free and everyone can laugh at my 25 BR. So it will undoubtedly be a good time.

GMU just won the bid for SCY zones in April 2008. Bring patron. :D

Warren
October 1st, 2007, 01:01 AM
Great to hear from you Dave!

Regrettably, the end of October, I will be swimming in the Sprint Classic. You should come. We do 25s. No ande, to be sure, but I get to see if Warren is under 10 in the 25 free and everyone can laugh at my 25 BR. So it will undoubtedly be a good time.

GMU just won the bid for SCY zones in April 2008. Bring patron. :D


It's going to be tough but I think I got a shot at sub 10 because I have been 10.4 to the feet. Last week I went a 14.59 25 meter breast(converts to a 13.1 in yards) off the side on the timers go, not a roll start like ande does. In the summer I split an 11.97 25 fly(converts to a 10.7 in yards) in a coaches relay at a summer league swimming championship meet. As for backstroke...I'm just going to wing it and hope for the best. But hopfully I can do enough to get the fastest man award.

islandsox
October 1st, 2007, 09:54 AM
Yay, Dave's Back!!!:drink:

geochuck
October 1st, 2007, 09:54 AM
Warren you are very close.

Where do you think you can pick up the 5 tenths of a second to do this? The dive, the streamline entry, the breakout from the dive to swimming, not breathing for the 25.

Yes Dave is back, I saw him lurking a few days ago. Good to see you.

Warren
October 1st, 2007, 11:54 AM
Warren you are very close.

Where do you think you can pick up the 5 tenths of a second to do this? The dive, the streamline entry, the breakout from the dive to swimming, not breathing for the 25.

Yes Dave is back, I saw him lurking a few days ago. Good to see you.

I don't really need to pick up any time because 10.4 to the feet is around 10 if it was a hand finish. But it's going to be all about the start. If I have a good reaction time, dive, and breakout then I will be under ten. The bad thing is I can't practice my start becasue my pool does not have blocks. Starting off the side is not the same.

geochuck
October 1st, 2007, 12:13 PM
I knew I was swimming fast when I did a 25 in 9.5.

swimr4life
October 1st, 2007, 12:43 PM
Frank and Inklaire,

There's nothing any better than when you see swimmers beaming when they finish a swim. Red cheeks and smiles are heartwarming and contagious!

:cheerleader: To All!

Donna

That's what I LOVE about coaching! Donna, maybe you have found your calling? :cheerleader:

RecreationalSwimmer
October 1st, 2007, 02:58 PM
I must show you a before-and-after shot:

Before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59MqtEBhClc

... and after workshop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOFx2stczs

You be the judge!

:wave:

geochuck
October 1st, 2007, 03:51 PM
Rec we can all see she has improved, however I do not like the finished product.

I just wonder how long it took and do you really feel she is now a finished swimmer. I can see many things that I would like to correct, especialy with the hand entry and finish.

I believe this swimmer Jenny has a very long way to go to become a proficient swimmer. Now if this all happened in one lesson I think that is reasonable progess but...

I notice also the hand enters and from the catch it moves and does not hold on to the water. It moves approx 2 feet - not very efficient.

chaos
October 1st, 2007, 07:22 PM
I must show you a before-and-after shot:

Before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59MqtEBhClc

... and after workshop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOFx2stczs

You be the judge!

:wave:

i think the progress shown in the video is huge. in the after vid, a very good example of the mail slot entry (hand, wrist, forearm and elbow all travel through the same hole in the water) this enhances the body's rotation which was hardly present in the before vid (as the arms were nearly fully extended before entering the h2o)
nice.

islandsox
October 2nd, 2007, 10:03 AM
I also think the progress was huge as Dave said. In the first video the gal was all over the place with body movement; it was beyond rotating and rolling.

In the second video she is swimming instead of struggling. And even though her hand/arm entry into the water is in about the same place each stroke, it's too short and too soon from my point of view. The reason I say this is because once it enters the water, the arm has to glide to full front position before catching water.

But there is a but here: she just learned this and probably as she becomes more comfortable with the stroke, the arm glide into a catch will dissipate. Sometimes I have found that when a swimmer swims too slow, it can be harder for them because their face is in the water longer and everything is done at snail pace. Just an observation.

I like her high elbows but don't like where her hand enters the water. I guess we all have our preferences.

Donna

SwimStud
October 2nd, 2007, 10:09 AM
Dave,

Where is your hand entry point on your free? I guess I mean how do you visualise it.

I think I'm a hybrid type. TI makes sens to me aestheically and intuitively for longer swims...although my technique isn't there yet but I do feel like I'm shooting throuh the water well when I really focus but I can't sustain it. However, when sprinting I feel strong and powerful if I raise my head a little and it's almost like a speedboat kind of feel with the bow rising slightly.

The Fortress
October 2nd, 2007, 10:12 AM
I couldn't use the hand entry on the second video for a sprint. Just MHO.

Her right arm entry/catch looked a bit shorter than her left.

geochuck
October 2nd, 2007, 10:33 AM
In the second video I see a big change in the way her right hand enters the water. Her left hand a slight change. I would not like to see her swimming a leg on my relay team yet. The catch to finish stage is not good.

To me I don't think she has the feel for the water and is still in the mechanical stage.

islandsox
October 2nd, 2007, 05:01 PM
The thing I also noticed is when I watched that cable swim that Dave and Terry did, if they had a mail slot entry, it was very far in front of them.

In the video with the lady swimmer, her mail slot entry is right above her ear and then the arm glides to forward before a catch, and the triathletes I swim with were doing this also and they weren't traveling very far, very fast.

A question for Dave or Terry: With new swimmers, is the hand entry (mail slot) done deliberately closer to the head than when they become more proficient and thus can reach farther before the hand enters the water?

Does the mail slot entry get moved as the swimmer gets better at swimming? I say this because it appeared as if both Dave and Terry's hand entry was much further in front than the lady swimmer in the video.

Very curious stuff.

chaos
October 3rd, 2007, 09:32 PM
The thing I also noticed is when I watched that cable swim that Dave and Terry did, if they had a mail slot entry, it was very far in front of them.

In the video with the lady swimmer, her mail slot entry is right above her ear and then the arm glides to forward before a catch, and the triathletes I swim with were doing this also and they weren't traveling very far, very fast.

A question for Dave or Terry: With new swimmers, is the hand entry (mail slot) done deliberately closer to the head than when they become more proficient and thus can reach farther before the hand enters the water?

Does the mail slot entry get moved as the swimmer gets better at swimming? I say this because it appeared as if both Dave and Terry's hand entry was much further in front than the lady swimmer in the video.

Very curious stuff.

sorry for the lapse in posts.
i think an entry closer to the head is a good way to experience good rotation (hip and shoulder intergration) i will often have a swimmer drive their hand straight down to demonstrate that the effect of good rotation is huge. the desired result is that they travel 25 yards with the same stroke count that they would if there was forward reach. this is usually a big "aha!" kind of moment.

the position of my hand entry definitely does change with my speed/effort.

i also think that an over reach is much more common problem than a short reach/entry. (and much more difficult to correct.)

geochuck
October 3rd, 2007, 10:10 PM
Dave just wondering do you use a six beat kick four beat or do you two beat kick? I have been told you use a six beat kick.

It also seemed your head position in that swim was higher than what I expected. Was it higher because you were swimming with speed?

chaos
October 4th, 2007, 08:02 AM
Dave just wondering do you use a six beat kick four beat or do you two beat kick? I have been told you use a six beat kick.

It also seemed your head position in that swim was higher than what I expected. Was it higher because you were swimming with speed?

i swim with a 6 beat naturally. i have been working on my 2 beat for a few years and when it is in sync.....nothing better, but it does fatigue my hip flexors over long distances. (not that 2 miles is a long distance)

head pos...i don't know, i will have to watch the vid again.

poolraat
October 4th, 2007, 11:02 AM
.... i will often have a swimmer drive their hand straight down to demonstrate that the effect of good rotation is huge. the desired result is that they travel 25 yards with the same stroke count that they would if there was forward reach. this is usually a big "aha!" kind of moment.

Interesting! I tried this this morning and although I was only doing 25's and 50's the stroke count was the same as my normal stroke. I normally enter the water about halfway between my head and full extension and reach down to about 1:00 (assuming the water surface is at 12:00). This morning I moved the hand entry closer to my head and reached to the 2:00 position. (Tried 3:00 a few times but not comfortable with that and found my entry to be too splashy.) But I noticed that I needed to reach further out in front as I increased my speed from about :20 sec/25 to around :15 sec/25.

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 11:24 AM
Poolrat - my observation of both Terry and Dave is they were not inserting their hands very close to the head. In fact Terry at speed did reach well forward before the entry. There was not enough to see exactly what Dave was doing throughout the race. The biggest surprise to me was their head positions both much higher than I thought re TI, nothing like the Israel TI videos where the head was below the water surface much of the time.

The Fortress
October 4th, 2007, 11:59 AM
Are you kidding? I have never seen someone advocate swimming with the head entirely below the surface of the water. I've heard low where a bit of water flows over their head. But beneath the water on freestyle?

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 12:07 PM
You be the judge on head position lots of before and after. http://www.youtube.com/user/TotalImmersionIsrael?&session=s57tBdN7EUnbbpQFrVczgvlOjPlTPVe59D2k_Sbam0 mqeZIZAQMXAMtFoo-kIfEmSSxvnR7WeSe1yrtZuGxYHztFWlyG63O7Ef_HCeOt75HPS a7TcprYL1jo0u722OxBfgIEd30yGKRCDIVdVWrWWbI3QYjEbmo 11CRftEzmsNjhofXkuDTkuFn95NGgQ3fBG8sXgf69vbsPPFvSP jiEYWpnGM7GlTpFNDo0vpgWZeJUmgjIZYraHYYv0KbdYHm-_yhFU8U2apw0Ef3hxHk341b1IJPJka-mqDEOkiC0YHg=

The Fortress
October 4th, 2007, 12:18 PM
Well, in the above water shot, the head just looks pretty low, but not below the surface of the water entirely. The underwater shot looks lower still, but it's probably just the viewing angle. I don't know how he's moving forward in the absence of a kick. His feet completely stop for a brief period, causing a bit of a jerky motion to continue forward movement. Crossing over with the right hand. Is this video post-TI clinic?

Definitely not for sprinters.

I can't do that 2 beat kick in sync with the opposite arm thing at all. But then I'm a sprinter, so it's of no value to me. But it seems like it works well for some distance folks. I can see where it might strain the hip flexors if the kick is forceful, as Dave mentioned.

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 12:25 PM
I do notice that the water passes over the head, breaststroke swimmers were disqualifed for letting water pass over the head like that. And is he moving forward very much, I don't think so.

Allen Stark
October 4th, 2007, 12:36 PM
George,just so you don't confuse some people,it has been OK for the head to go underwater in breaststroke since 1986.(Greatest rule change ever.:bouncing::bouncing::bouncing:)

geochuck
October 4th, 2007, 12:38 PM
Yes thank you I knew that. It may have confused Fort. I know how much she hates breaststroke.

The Fortress
October 4th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Yes thank you I knew that. It may have confused Fort. I know how much she hates breaststroke.

Now I just swam the damn thing in a real live meet. I think it's possible my head went underwater.

RecreationalSwimmer
October 5th, 2007, 06:34 AM
assuming the water surface is at 12:00

If you are standing at the long side of the pool, watching someone swimming from left to right(->), then 12:00 is vertical up, 06:00 is vertical down, and the swimmer is probably driving his/her hand/forearm into the water somewhere between 03:30 and 04:00.

A 03:30 mailslot hand entry means a negative slope of 15 degrees compared to the surface. A 04:00 equals a 30 degree angle compared to the horizontal plane, 04:30 is 45 degrees etc.

Extraordinary Swimming For Every Body, Terry Laughlin, 2006, $14.95, ISBN 1-931009-11-2

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 09:16 AM
We really should not comment on Terry'S Theories. We all know he is a MMM (Money Making Machine) and we are adding to his coffers....

markm
October 5th, 2007, 10:23 AM
well as i said earlier, as a self taught, long time lap swimmer, the ti materials and instruction, which i began in the spring, has been very helpful. my instructors did say my head was too deep and i was rotating too much. i'm finding that going from the drills to the whole stroke is tricky and it really really helps to have the coaches keep an eye on me. perhaps the movements in the drills are exaggerated to get the points across.

the coaches/instructors are the key for me, they are just trying to help me be a better swimmer and they call upon all their knowledge and experiences in doing that. the business of head alignment, body rotation, catch, and hand entry, etc, is a work in progress!

by the way, the video links in the thread have been great to watch.

mark

RecreationalSwimmer
October 5th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Are you kidding? I have never seen someone advocate swimming with the head entirely below the surface of the water. I've heard low where a bit of water flows over their head. But beneath the water on freestyle?

Quoting Dr Jessica Seaton:

http://usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=445&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=700&ItemId=699

Look straight down at the bottom of the pool, without lifting your head, when swimming. A few years ago coaches were still recommending a slightly extended neck position, as in looking slightly forward. Newer thinking has one looking straight down and keeping good body balance.

I'm glad there is Authority.

smontanaro
October 5th, 2007, 03:13 PM
Quoting Dr Jessica Seaton:

[I]Look straight down at the bottom of the pool, without lifting your head, when swimming.

I don't have my TI materials at hand, but this is how I've always interpreted their
recommendation on head position. Not buried, not raised, just neutral.

Skip

Slowswim
October 5th, 2007, 03:20 PM
I don't have my TI materials at hand, but this is how I've always interpreted their
recommendation on head position. Not buried, not raised, just neutral.

Skip

I heard Janet Evans say that back in the mid-90s right before the 96 Olympics.

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Just read this it is so true

Remember, when swimming long-axis strokes (freestyle and backstroke), keep some portion of your head above the water level - don't let water go over the top of your head. Your head should not submerge; if it does go under you create a lot of excess drag. The short-axis strokes (butterfly and breaststroke) work the opposite way - you create less overall drag when you allow your head to submerge, creating a longer, smoother streamline shape, head to toe, every stroke cycle.

The Fortress
October 5th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Quoting Dr Jessica Seaton:

http://usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=445&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=700&ItemId=699

Look straight down at the bottom of the pool, without lifting your head, when swimming. A few years ago coaches were still recommending a slightly extended neck position, as in looking slightly forward. Newer thinking has one looking straight down and keeping good body balance.

I'm glad there is Authority.

That's not Authority for it being a good idea to bury your head under the surface of the water. Looking down instead of forward is totally different. Your head doesn't have to be under water when looking down. I am generally looking down, although am more elevated when sprinting. My head is pretty darn far back in backstroke too.

pwolf66
October 5th, 2007, 05:08 PM
George,just so you don't confuse some people,it has been OK for the head to go underwater in breaststroke since 1986.(Greatest rule change ever.:bouncing::bouncing::bouncing:)

Yeah, and my last meet was in 1985. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Thanks a lot folks, way to come up with a rule change AFTER I stop swimming competitively.

Paul

islandsox
October 5th, 2007, 05:08 PM
You be the judge on head position lots of before and after.


I had a few problems with the swimmers in this video and I'll tell you why. With a head position that low, and I thought it was underwater, it increases tremendous drag even if the swimmer rotates. These swimmers were not rotating; they were rolling, over-rolling, which is a totally different thing. They rolled, then the hips rotated. I rotate first and then my upper body follows with a roll. There is something to be said for that "hip snap." It generates tremendous power, but only if it happens first.

And with the hand/arm entry so close to the head, it promotes dropped elbows and I saw those in that video. The reason why is because there is too much time lapse between the hand entering the water and the "catch." The catch will happen too late and thus dropped elbows. Maybe it's because they were swimming slow for video purposes, but I would never put my hand/forearm into the water that close to my head and glide (rest) until I made my "catch."

I've seen overhead shots of many olympians and their "catch" is way out front of their heads.

pwolf66
October 5th, 2007, 05:13 PM
I'm in agreement with George. The back of the head is underwater in the 2nd clip. Now, at that speed, you can't see it but as her speed would increase it would create a bow wave on her shoulders with that head position. That's a Bad Thing. Plus the hand entry looks like it's at least than half her full arm extension. That's IMHO way too early. While you do want to finish the arm extension underwater, you also do not want to extend too much as that pushes you backwards which defeats the purpose.

Paul

geochuck
October 5th, 2007, 05:27 PM
I did see lots of dropped elbows and slipping action from catch to finish.

The intake of air also seemed to be affected with the mouth too close to the arm pit when the head is that low. It think it restricts air intake.

RecreationalSwimmer
October 8th, 2007, 03:04 AM
Suggestion: Why not have a section of this forum named Total Immersion Swimming and let those who are interested go there, and those who think they can do without TI can stay away?

:whiteflag:Being proactive again!

RecreationalSwimmer
October 8th, 2007, 08:44 AM
Not buried, not raised, just neutral.

Skip

Skip, this article about Kalyn Keller corroborates your view of TI:s view of head position:

http://www.totalimmersion.net/2007articles/january/jonty.html

...and Jonty Skinner is:

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=424&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=654&ItemId=576

SwimStud
October 8th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Suggestion: Why not have a section of this forum named Total Immersion Swimming and let those who are interested go there, and those who think they can do without TI can stay away?

:whiteflag:Being proactive again!


Yeah it does seem like there's a bit of a Witch Trial going on...

geochuck
October 8th, 2007, 09:28 AM
I think TI comments belong on the TI web site.

It seems to me that there are several TI swimmers and coaches running a sales campaign here.

I would like to see more reference and links to real swimmers not the Phony Swimmers.

Rec the head position is not new it was used by several swimmers in 1950s. A lot of them swam for USC.

Rob Copeland
October 8th, 2007, 09:34 AM
We really should not comment on Terry'S Theories. We all know he is a MMM (Money Making Machine) and we are adding to his coffers....Hopefully we can agree to disagree about this, since we seem to have different perspectives on this.

Personally I think anyone who can make a living providing goods and services to Masters Swimmers is doing a service to USMS and our members and I applaud their choice of profession. I would love to see more coaches and companies making a decent living serving USMS members.

Imagine how much healthier our organization and members would be if there were 500 or 1000 clubs across the country who had full time professional Masters coaches. Imagine Masters swim schools where adults can learn to swim and learn to swim better and become more fit in one of the few sports for life. Imagine people making a living professionally running swim meets, open water races and clinics around the country. Imagine 250,000 swimmers posting away on our forum.

I believe that Terry, Patty Kast, Adolph Kiefer, Stu Isaac and all of the USMS corporate partners, as well as a vast number of other swim service and product providers are critical to our success and continued growth.

Again I applaud their entrepreneurial spirit, wish then many happy returns (ROI) and encourage all swimmers to support their efforts!

Rob Copeland
October 8th, 2007, 09:39 AM
Suggestion: Why not have a section of this forum named Total Immersion Swimming and let those who are interested go there, and those who think they can do without TI can stay away?There is already a forum dedicated to Total Immersion Swimming. It is on the TI web site.

geochuck
October 8th, 2007, 10:06 AM
Rob you know I agree that we have a right to earn money. I am fine with that and I do occassionally step out of line.

I never refer to things on my website in a post that I think may be helpfull. :violin::violin::violin: because I know I would be stepping over the line.

islandsox
October 8th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Hi Rob! Just to pipe in here, I am really happy to see that you want all people who can contribute to swimming bring their information here even if they are not a corporate sponsor. I know I have seen some posts about people who have devices they feel may help a swimmer, but they felt they couldn't post about it because it was advertising. I am so glad this is not the case because I always found it rather unusual that some could speak about their products and some could not. I think any and all swimming theories and devices should be allowed for forum discussion and the people can choose what they think works for them. Bravo! I think I was previously confused. After all, all people need all information to best determine their options for success! I think everyone's primary goal is to have a society of well-fit people and swimming, we know, can provide that for them. And as people age, swimming is an absolute god-send.

And to take it one step further, is there any way that there could be another category for swims done only for the purpose of charity? I am not talking about all of the open water regular swims for competition, how about a category for charity swims? More Americans are in tune to contributing to charities; and it's because most all of us want to help people less fortunate. It's what makes us good Americans: people who want to help.

Donna

Rob Copeland
October 8th, 2007, 11:05 PM
Donna,

I apologize if you misread what I posted. So let me be clear about this the USMS Discussion Forum policy regarding unsolicited advertising (charitable or for profit) has not changed.

And while we encourage swimmers to ask about various devices and techniques, anything that resembles unsolicited or self-solicited product advertisement is not allowed on the USMS discussion forum.

People who want to advertise products, services, charitable events, etc. are encouraged to become USMS corporate partners or may advertise in USMS Swimmer.

Hopefully this clears the matter up.

Tree
October 10th, 2007, 08:55 PM
These swimmers were not rotating; they were rolling, over-rolling, which is a totally different thing. They rolled, then the hips rotated. I rotate first and then my upper body follows with a roll. There is something to be said for that "hip snap." It generates tremendous power, but only if it happens first.


May I ask what exactly the difference is between ROLL and ROTATE? I've seen people use both of them referring to the same thing. Also the hip snap, it is hard for me to visualize how to rotate hip first when you pull. It seems to me that when you pull rotate upper body first, then hip rotation followed is more natural.

bobby morris
October 12th, 2007, 08:07 PM
:confused:I have only been swimming for about 6 years. I'm 70 now and I learned TI from a coach 6 years ago. I now compete in Triatathlons and have a whole new life. Slide and glide.....was the catch words that help me the most....staying low, pressing the bouy, reaching for the wall and the unhurried search for the catch.

Now I'm told by a coach that slide and glide are not n favor. After the entry the coach said to point the fingers toward the pool floor and immendiately start the catch and pull. This give the body continious forward motion and also expends more energy. It really a continuing motion as opposed to the slide and glide. any commets or do i sound totally confused.

thanks
bubba

geochuck
October 12th, 2007, 08:55 PM
It is confusing do what feels good to you. Every coach will tell you what they think is right. Only you have to be comfortable with the results.

There are lots of coaches telling you to go directly to the catch. I am not in favor of that.

Do not let it confuse you. If you are happy with what you learned keep doing it.

Leonard Jansen
October 13th, 2007, 09:34 AM
:confused:I have only been swimming for about 6 years. I'm 70 now and I learned TI from a coach 6 years ago. I now compete in Triatathlons and have a whole new life.

I think that pretty well says it all.

George is right - if it works for you, keep doing it.

-LBJ

bud
October 13th, 2007, 01:09 PM
... Now I'm told by a coach that slide and glide are not n favor....
i agree with the other comments, you need to find whats comfortable for you.

this Thoughts on the Crawl Stroke (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/articles/swimtechnique/articles/200007-01st_art.asp) article details some interesting ideas. it is extremely technical, but if you "find" <Ian Thorpe's Stroke> you will see these comments:

"Thorpe does not rush the initial part of the propulsive phase of his stroke, as he takes the time to position the hand and forearm...."

"The efficiency of Thorpe's stroke lies in his ability to get into the medial rotated position with elbow flexion while the arm is still fully abducted and the shoulder girdle is elevated (the position an eager child uses when he raises his hand to answer a teacher's question) and before the arm begins its forceful adduction movement.

This manifests itself as a position that allows the hand and forearm to gain almost a perpendicular position in relation to the surface of the water before the elbow passes the top of the head during adduction.

The fact that Thorpe takes five-tenths of a second to accomplish this movement in a 1.5-second total stroke cycle demonstrates the importance of this positioning movement to the stroke."

take what you like and leave the rest.

islandsox
October 14th, 2007, 08:21 PM
May I ask what exactly the difference is between ROLL and ROTATE? I've seen people use both of them referring to the same thing. Also the hip snap, it is hard for me to visualize how to rotate hip first when you pull. It seems to me that when you pull rotate upper body first, then hip rotation followed is more natural.

Well, I'll give it a shot on describing it. The first thing to try to vision is my hips rotating left and right in conjunction with the arm pulls, providing great power to the arm extension and thus the pull.

My left hip rotates (snaps) toward the right, my left arm is able to reach very far out front and "catch" water with the hand. As the pull proceeds and the right arm is beginning or in the middle to end of its recovery phase, my right hip rotates to the left (snaps) and my right arm is able to extend very far forward to again catch the water and start the pull. This is called rotation and a swimmer who does this simulates being on a skewer of sorts and swims more on their side than flat on their stomach (drag). As the hips rotate, the shoulders go into a roll of sorts (part of that front arm extension to grab a lot of water). But the hips rotated first, not the shoulders. Great power can be provided from hip rotation (core strength).

Maybe someone else can add to this description or correct or add words if I missed something; kinda hard to do on paper.

Donna

bobby morris
October 15th, 2007, 12:18 PM
Well kinda like drinking from a fire hydrant..lots of good stuff. Some very technical and a bit over my head. My goal is to quit being one of the last ones in my age group out of the water. ..Some good advice on the hip snap....still not to clear on the hand entry and when to set the catch. I typically have been entering near the ear...streaching out to full length , gliding a bit and then setting the catch...i think i am not accelarating to the fullest when i stretch so far and delay the catch. Any way my goal is to break 20 min in the half mile constantly....i'v done it once of twice........ but need to improve....tired of seeing my bike by itself when i get out of the water.



thanks
to all for the great help

b

SwimStud
October 15th, 2007, 12:24 PM
....tired of seeing my bike by itself when i get out of the water.



Hey remember most folks in your age group don't even own a bike let alone go racing in triathalons. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Kudos for even doing it!

bobby morris
October 15th, 2007, 05:55 PM
Well thanks for the kudos....70 is just a number and i am well aware that most people that age don't do much in the way of excerise or sports. But, I don't look at life that way . I played flag football and softball until I broke my wrist 2 years ago. I participated in the senior olympics for about 10 years until it got boring and then I started TRi's at age 64.

I'm determined to improve my times in all 3 events. I worked out in the Atlantic Ocean. I usually swim a mile 3 times a week. I used to swim with the current and used the TI stroke with great success and it felt good. But this year i started swimming half mile with the current and half against the current. It was then...fighting the current that I noticed i had to alter my stroke ...to keep in some case from actually going backwards. This goes to the crux of my original question? It seems to me that a quick catch is much more efficient than the slid and glide.....I guess as has been said to each his own...but I will keep searching until i find what i am looking for. How to get faster in the water.

all your help has been much appreciated. BTW i just finished reading a thread on this forum and it seems Triathalets are not held in high regard.

but I'm not a bad old coot:thhbbb:

thanks
bobby

Leonard Jansen
October 15th, 2007, 06:37 PM
I used to swim with the current and used the TI stroke with great success and it felt good. But this year i started swimming half mile with the current and half against the current. It was then...fighting the current that I noticed i had to alter my stroke ...to keep in some case from actually going backwards. This goes to the crux of my original question? It seems to me that a quick catch is much more efficient than the slid and glide.....

Bobby -

I swim with a TI-type stroke. <ducks and runs for cover> For me, it has been very effective, however, it is important that you understand that "one size does NOT fit all", even with TI. My own observations are: with the current, go as long and as relaxed as you can. Against the current, you will still have the same basic form, but the stroke rate should increase - i.e. catch a bit sooner. Note too, that against the current, you must try to present as small a profile to the current as possible. If the current is at about 90 degrees, don't be quite as long in the water - a longer body with lots of glide catches the current and you get pushed sideways.

Also, keep in mind that you want to CAREFULLY trade stroke length for speed - as you go faster, you will take an extra stroke or so per length. Don't try to hold your slow speed stroke length when you are going fast. In my case, I have a lousy (non-existant) kick. Although I can do 12-14 strokes/25 yards, I usually do more like 14 -16 strokes/25 yards. This prevents me from "stalling" since my kick does nothing to propel me much. If I had Ian Thorpe's huge feet and kick, I wouldn't stall, but I don't.

Good Luck,
LBJ

islandsox
October 15th, 2007, 08:07 PM
Well thanks for the kudos....70 is just a number and i am well aware that most people that age don't do much in the way of excerise or sports. But, I don't look at life that way . I played flag football and softball until I broke my wrist 2 years ago. I participated in the senior olympics for about 10 years until it got boring and then I started TRi's at age 64.

I'm determined to improve my times in all 3 events. I worked out in the Atlantic Ocean. I usually swim a mile 3 times a week. I used to swim with the current and used the TI stroke with great success and it felt good. But this year i started swimming half mile with the current and half against the current. It was then...fighting the current that I noticed i had to alter my stroke ...to keep in some case from actually going backwards. This goes to the crux of my original question? It seems to me that a quick catch is much more efficient than the slid and glide.....I guess as has been said to each his own...but I will keep searching until i find what i am looking for. How to get faster in the water.

all your help has been much appreciated. BTW i just finished reading a thread on this forum and it seems Triathalets are not held in high regard.

but I'm not a bad old coot:thhbbb:

thanks
bobby

Bobby, you are an inspiration to many, including me! Keep it ALL moving forward!

donna

geochuck
October 15th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Hip snap not for me.

Robert H Phillips
November 5th, 2007, 08:22 AM
:applaud:

Thank You, Thank You from Medina Ohio

Were forming a work out group with 1/2 real swimmers and 1/2 tri's so this post was super.

So thank you for all the good advice...

Bob

KaizenSwimmer
November 22nd, 2007, 02:40 PM
i think the progress shown in the video is huge. in the after vid, a very good example of the mail slot entry (hand, wrist, forearm and elbow all travel through the same hole in the water) this enhances the body's rotation which was hardly present in the before vid (as the arms were nearly fully extended before entering the h2o)
nice.

I'm about two months behind what's going on here, but just saw a reference to this thread on the TI Discussion Forum - where I was also absent for a couple months until this week.

To clarify terms - as Dave already has above.

Pierce - Means to consciously "seek the path of least resistance" usually by trying to move through a smaller hole in the water and disturb it less; to be attentive to the resistance you encounter and try to lessen it.
Why do it? Because the water is 880 times denser than air. Because we swim through it, not over it. Because the water's resistance will always be greater than any force we can apply, and because the more force we do try to apply, the greater the resistance becomes.

Mail Slot - As Dave noted, means to try to slip hand, wrist, forearm and elbow through the "entry hole" made by the fingers. Does not mean put the hand in alongside the head. If you reach way forward, it's not possible as the forearm and elbow will land ON the surface a good deal behind the hand.
Why do it? Because it promotes a cleaner entry and calmer water where you make your catch. Because it transmits far more of the power produced by your hip drive to the stroke than a longer reach. Because it reduces strain on the shoulder compared to the long reach.

The video link of me swimming slowly was taken by someone who attended a clinic I did in Tokyo in March 15 or thereabouts. I couldn't swim faster than that speed at the time because I had separated my right shoulder on March 1 in a mtn bike crash and wasn't supposed to be swimming at all until April.

We've posted two videos of me swimming OW races. One was the FINA Masters 3K - sizeable chop. The other was Lake Placid - smaller chop. The evidence in both that I'm practicing what I preach is the absence of splash and general roughness, as compared to those around me. Dave's stroke in the Lake Placid video shows the same contrast with others.

Video is a far more accurate way to understand what TI is really about. Books leave much room for misinterpretation.

geochuck
November 23rd, 2007, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the clarification. We have all missed your comments lately.

The videos I have seen appear to be contrary to what I saw when you were swimming in a race. Is it that what you are doing in many of these videos is a lead up to the finished product, that is different from what is shown in the teaching videos.

geochuck
December 1st, 2007, 10:20 AM
Question for any TI swimmer could you tell me does TI recommend the hand entering the water 5 inches in front of the head then pierce and extend in the water which is 880 times denser then air. My extension if I placed my hand in the water 5 inches ahead of my head would then have to extend 20 inches in heavy water rather than the lighter density air.

chaos
December 1st, 2007, 10:59 AM
Question for any TI swimmer could you tell me does TI recommend the hand entering the water 5 inches in front of the head then pierce and extend in the water which is 880 times denser then air. My extension if I placed my hand in the water 5 inches ahead of my head would then have to extend 16 inches in heavy water rather than the lighter density air.

i will try to answer this.
the "mail slot entry" (to use the same language as the article that appeared in the usms magazine) is a focal point that helps me perform several beneficial actions simultaneously. they are: a high elbow recovery, strong shoulder and hip rotation, and an integrated kicking motion (2 beat, 4 beat or what ever). all this while trying to disturb the waters surface as little as possible.

of course everyone has to find the best entry position for the speed/distance they are swimming, and my observations are that once the good habits of high elbow, body rotation, etc. are imprinted, this is more easily accomplished than when one has a flat, over-reaching stroke.

the idea that your stoke will suffer by having to extend 16 inches in heavy water doesn't take into account any forward momentum. so that the 16 inches of travel (from 5" above your head to your catch position) is only relative to your body, not distance traveled. (does that make sense?)

ddl
December 2nd, 2007, 04:19 PM
posted by islandsox:

" 2. Low in the water

They are all too low in the water. Their heads and shoulders are completely underwater so they have to roll too much and too far to get a breath of air. This is causing "fishtailing" and a tremendous amount of body movement. I understand "chest pressing" in the water, but they have taken it too far."

That's exactly my problem! And I had just realized that right before I saw this discussion! Thank you! :thhbbb:I learned freestyle solely by reading T.I. It really helps a lot. But, yes, I overdid the "swimming downhill". As recently as yesterday I was almost totally immersed in water trying to swim "downhill". The result of that was, my hands and arms could hardly reach to above surface no matter how far I tried to stretch my arms, and breathing was difficult. After I read your post, today I kept my head about the same level as water surface, with face underwater, and I floated well and breathing was easier. Only problem is this didn't last the whole length. I think I need more training on balancing and breathing. I often held breath instead of exhaling--the thinking behind this was, in case I couldn't get the air in time, I would still have air in my lung being held so I won't drown. What do you think about this? :confused:

KaizenSwimmer
December 3rd, 2007, 01:50 PM
DDL
Easiest way to position your head is simply "hang" it - i.e. release its weight to the water. It will find its most natural position. If you wish to check that position, visualize your head-spine line as a laser beam extending from the top of your head. Keep that laser beam pointed in the direction you wish to travel.

As for depth of hand or angle of arm, you don't have to reach particularly steep or deep after a Mail Slot entry. Aim to make your catch with the palm facing back, the wrist below your elbow and keeping the elbow as close to the surface as you can. You'll be able to maintain this "high traction" position better if you keep the hand/forearm pressure relatively light in the first moments of your stroke.
Good luck.

gull
December 3rd, 2007, 02:09 PM
Have a look at Popov's entry in this video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjaA0JhMZsM

christineL
December 3rd, 2007, 02:46 PM
It helps to attend US swimming meets and focus on best swimmers to see how they swim. Most of them show what TI book try to describe on how to hang your head and catch the water. It is fascinating to compare those swimmers with the rest of the swimmers.

geochuck
December 4th, 2007, 10:39 AM
I do like light hand pressure on entry and to the catch. My hand enters aprox 16 to 20 inches infront of my head then I reach and extend. When I get to the actual catch position I apply much greater pressure on the water til I get to the finish. As far as head position, I find mine varies quite a bit during my swims. My legs never sink my butt is always high just at the surface.

DDL
Easiest way to position your head is simply "hang" it - i.e. release its weight to the water. It will find its most natural position. If you wish to check that position, visualize your head-spine line as a laser beam extending from the top of your head. Keep that laser beam pointed in the direction you wish to travel.

As for depth of hand or angle of arm, you don't have to reach particularly steep or deep after a Mail Slot entry. Aim to make your catch with the palm facing back, the wrist below your elbow and keeping the elbow as close to the surface as you can. You'll be able to maintain this "high traction" position better if you keep the hand/forearm pressure relatively light in the first moments of your stroke.
Good luck.

geochuck
December 4th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Do you actually think these US swimmers follow the TI book or what their coaches tell them. Is TI that much differrent then the way coaches teach their swimmers. Terry has done a good job of compiling stuff. There are several things I don't agree with but anything that gets people to swim better is good. There are lot's of things I do agree with Terry.


It helps to attend US swimming meets and focus on best swimmers to see how they swim. Most of them show what TI book try to describe on how to hang your head and catch the water. It is fascinating to compare those swimmers with the rest of the swimmers.

KaizenSwimmer
December 9th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Do you actually think these US swimmers follow the TI book or what their coaches tell them. Is TI that much differrent then the way coaches teach their swimmers.

I doubt that many age group or club swimmers have read any TI books or viewed our videos. Kids mainly do what their coaches tell them to do. Hundreds of club and school coaches have ordered our stuff, but the application is rather spotty, mainly because most coaches feel pulled between their concerns about getting in enough yardage and their recognition that technique really matters.

Does TI differ very much from what most coaches teach their swimmers? I think there's pretty broad agreement among coaches on what constitutes good technique, but consistency of practicing good technique in a deeply disciplined way isn't the norm. What we have been teaching about Backstroke of late has been strongly influenced by my spending time observing and talking with Kim Brackin, the women's coach at UT, who should be credited for both Kirsty Coventry and Margaret Hoelzer, the current world and Olympic champions.

I do think the details of what we emphasize about technique are probably different from what most people emphasize. I'll list our five primary technique goals for Butterfly below as an example. We certainly view Phelps as an exemplar of good Fly technique. You can determine for yourself if, in this instance, TI is "that much different" from what most coaches or swimmers emphasize.

Butterfly Technique Goals:
1. In each stroke cycle, spend as much time as possible in the ďtraveling positionĒ Ė long and streamlined.
2. In each stroke cycle, spend as little time as possible in any unstreamlined position.
3. Donít fight gravity. Hug the surface
4. Make the stroke (i.e. the pull) as brief as possible and rely more on core muscle than arm muscle.
5. Let the interplay of gravity and buoyancy replace muscle and dictate your stroke tempo.

For each of those overall goals, there are three or more focal points that help create the desired movement pattern.

ddl
December 9th, 2007, 11:01 PM
DDL
Easiest way to position your head is simply "hang" it - i.e. release its weight to the water. It will find its most natural position. If you wish to check that position, visualize your head-spine line as a laser beam extending from the top of your head. Keep that laser beam pointed in the direction you wish to travel.

As for depth of hand or angle of arm, you don't have to reach particularly steep or deep after a Mail Slot entry. Aim to make your catch with the palm facing back, the wrist below your elbow and keeping the elbow as close to the surface as you can. You'll be able to maintain this "high traction" position better if you keep the hand/forearm pressure relatively light in the first moments of your stroke.
Good luck.

Thank you so much. I'll definitely practise on these points. KaizenSwimmer, are you really Terry Laughlin? If so, I'm so glad to "meet" you. Before reading your book I had never done freestyle at all. I remember how glad I was the first time I front-crawled from one end of the pool to the other end. Tons of thanks and wish you a wonderful holiday season! :D:D:D

KaizenSwimmer
December 10th, 2007, 10:03 PM
I'm so glad to "meet" you. Before reading your book I had never done freestyle at all. I remember how glad I was the first time I front-crawled from one end of the pool to the other end.

It's good to meet you too. I'm happy to have been able to contribute something to your enjoyment of swimming.

ddl
December 11th, 2007, 12:40 AM
It's good to meet you too. I'm happy to have been able to contribute something to your enjoyment of swimming.

You've definitely contributed A LOT to my enjoying swimming. I'm swimming every day now and, like you said in your book, nothing prevents me from getting up early in the morning to go to the pool...

One question: when I swim freestyle my hips are often too low. I've found this is one reason I can't remain afloat well for the whole length. Whenever my hips *happen* to raise to the surface of the water swimming becomes "effortless". So I would really like to know how I can keep the hips close to surface and not to sink.

KaizenSwimmer
December 11th, 2007, 05:24 PM
One question: when I swim freestyle my hips are often too low. I've found this is one reason I can't remain afloat well for the whole length. Whenever my hips *happen* to raise to the surface of the water swimming becomes "effortless". So I would really like to know how I can keep the hips close to surface and not to sink.

ddl
The quick response is release your head's weight until it's aligned with the spine, and make sure your hand is below your wrist and wrist below elbow from the time you enter until your catch. For more detail, I suggest you post that query on the TI Forum. You'll likely receive numerous helpful suggestions.

ddl
December 12th, 2007, 12:43 AM
ddl
The quick response is release your head's weight until it's aligned with the spine, and make sure your hand is below your wrist and wrist below elbow from the time you enter until your catch. For more detail, I suggest you post that query on the TI Forum. You'll likely receive numerous helpful suggestions.

Thanks for the very useful tip. I also went to the TI forum and found some very helpful discussions there. Put everything together today and I'm getting better--less tired, so that's a good sign. Hopefully I'll improve a lot in the coming days :D Really appreciate!!

geochuck
December 12th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Last time I mentioned going to my site for any reason they threatened to suspend me Terry. Use care we would hate to lose you.

bud
December 14th, 2007, 04:31 PM
...One question: when I swim freestyle my hips are often too low. I've found this is one reason I can't remain afloat well for the whole length. Whenever my hips *happen* to raise to the surface of the water swimming becomes "effortless". So I would really like to know how I can keep the hips close to surface and not to sink.

a lot of this has to do with balance and buoyancy, which greatly affects body position in the water, whether you are moving or not.

fortunately these topics come up fairly often here... the last time i talked about it was at:
Flotation & Buoyancy... Streamlining & Balance (Re: lose Crossover Kick?) (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=113482#post113482)

a common corrective drill for this is to "swim downhill" (another common topic here). GeoChuck (http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=2582) is "Mr. Swim Downhill", so you may want to check out some of his posts and links too.
...

RecreationalSwimmer
December 18th, 2007, 08:36 AM
Balance, Buoyancy and Breathing, the three B:s for new swimmers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=771rXAZISIA

:soapbox: haha, can't but love the new smilies