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ZBWeier 02-29-2012 01:17 AM

Critique my stroke?
Are there any TI coaches or members that would be so kind as to critique this brief video of my stroke in a 50m pool? . What would you say are my strengths/weaknesses?

Thanks so much,

boken 02-29-2012 03:04 AM

Two things
Hi ZW. Congrats on posting some video and for having what seems to be a comfortable and coordinated stroke. I see two things that immediately came to mind.

Thing 1: you look up when you swim. Try to keep the crown of your head pointed to the far wall and your eyes down. This will help with balance and less drag.

Thing 2: You stroke too early. Like at second 44 your elbow of the stroking arm is at the bottom of your ribcage even before your spearing arm gets completely wet. Hold the spear a bit longer so that you can take advantage of your momentum in the glide, better balance from keeping your arms ahead of your pivot point (lungs) and so when you finally do stroke you have that other arm more fully in a streamline position. Right now you are stroking right into your relatively blunt head/body instead of into a longer arm-out frame.

swimmermike 02-29-2012 03:42 AM


I agree with Boken's post, and would suggest that you work on some swing skate and swing switch drills. They will help you stay on your spearing side.

Right now your recovering hands are staying above water too long, entering the water too far forward of your head. You want your recovering hand to enter earlier, through a mail slot, and thus travel less in air and more in water--this will help you deliver your spearing power forward through rotation.

You have a good start--just keep going!

ZBWeier 02-29-2012 05:01 AM

Thanks so much for the useful feedback!
Thanks again. I tried to reply the "classic" way but messed up.

Zoner 02-29-2012 01:47 PM

Pushing Down on the Water
Hi, It seems that your right hand and arm (I assime your left also) are pushing down on the water throughout your 50m swim. That causes drag and lifts your chest. Watch Terry or other youtube videos of Early Vertical Forearm. Its not the easiest thing to master but it'll certainly help you streamline/reduce drag and swim faster. I agree with others, you need to be more patient with your stroke. The extension of your lead arm should be under water not above. You seem to have very good bouyancy so with a couple changes, you'll be knocking off big seconds.

mjm 02-29-2012 03:31 PM

ZW: nice video, looks like it was taken on a cell phone. Maybe next time try landscape (sideways) instead of portrait.

Have you considered trying to improve your distance per stroke (DPS)? I count over 50 strokes and about 48-50 seconds for a 50 meter pool length. Lots of activity for little forward progress. What could improve your DPS?

1. More horizontal in the water. Most of your back shows above the water. Lower head would help. Less pushing down on the water with your hands. Keep the palm of your hand facing the back wall as far in front as possible and as long as possible.

2. Arms cross over the center in front of the head. During recovery keep your elbows high and outside your body line then extend the arm straight out from the shoulder WITHOUT straining. This is hard to fix by yourself so have your compatriot watch you until you get it right. Best of luck. mjm

ZBWeier 03-03-2012 11:24 PM

Thank you all so much for the advice. The tip(s) that helped the most were: to have my extended arm under water longer, not to rush my stroke, and not to have my recovering arm out of the water too long.
To address someone else's reply, I incorporated these tips and dropped my strokes per 50 meters down to 45, albeit I was making a conscious effort to do so. I also got less tired after my typical 500m swim at that pace.
It doesn't help me as a swimmer to have a wingspan that is 1 inch shorter than my height as far as my "stride" is concerned, but I've compensated with strong muscular endurance in my upper body (i can do over 30 pull ups nonstop) so perhaps I can swim at a higher stroke rate than some other people without as much fatigue. Still, I think with the right form improvements I could increase my distance per stroke even more, no? I want to get it as low as possible without losing my rhythm.
Thanks again,

ZBWeier 03-03-2012 11:25 PM

Oh and the video was my first 50m pool swim ever
That might have had something to do with impacting my focus and contributing to the rushing of my strokes. If I reallly focus I can get down to 18 strokes per length on a 25 meter pool but normally it's like 21, which is pretty high.

I think paying attention to where and when my recovering arm enters the water on BOTH sides is what is helping me most.

I also keeping hearing about the importance of "swimming down hill". I understand the metaphor, but how would one incorporate the helpful tips all of you gave me into that concept? Would entering my recovering arm earlier generate more of my rotational momentum into the water thus keeping me swimming on my side longer (which I suppose could feel like one is "going downhill")?

This is kind of a philosophical question, I know, but I'd really appreciate the feedback.

naj 03-03-2012 11:53 PM


Originally Posted by ZBWeier (Post 26852)
Are there any TI coaches or members that would be so kind as to critique this brief video of my stroke in a 50m pool? . What would you say are my strengths/weaknesses?

Thanks so much,

First off welcome to the TI forum and to Ti in general. The following things are jumped out at me.

1) Your recovery arm is crossing the center line causing your body to fishtail. Try to keep your reentry just outside your shoulders.

2) From the angle it doesn't appear that your head is in a neutral position. Let your head hang and it will go to its neutral spot. Superman drill can help with this.

3) Your kick is knee driven not hip driven. A kick hardly aids propulsion. Its primary goal is for balance. Try a gentle flutter kick and don't "wind up" when you do. after you do more of the drills (in particular under-switch and zipper-switch drill) you can move on to the standard TI two-beat kick.

4) Your hand is leading your above water recovery. Try leading with your elbow. This will keep you on a more proper rotation and set you up to switch to your opposite skate and thus propel you forward. also, your arm seems a bit stiff above the water. Loosen your fingers a bit and relax your forearm. Let it hang like a rag doll.

5) Your not allowing yourself to utilize your glide. One of the reasons this is happening is that you might feel out of balance. One reason that you might feel this is that you are swimming a bit flat. Skating drill can help your muscles remember to rotate on long axis strokes (i.e. free and back).

6) Finally, your breathing to both sides but your head is coming out of the water to get that air. This suggests to me that you are not rolling with your body to breathe. The "nodding" drill is a good one to learn how to breathe properly.

Okay, this is a lot I know. But let me say you seem comfortable in the water and that is a big plus. a little adjustment here and a little there and you will be looking like Shinji Jr.. Thank you for showing us your video and I will be excited to see the next one when you are ready.

Keep Swimming!

ZBWeier 03-04-2012 12:10 AM

Thanks again
Yes, I see I have a ways to go as far as my form, but I'm optimistic about improving :)

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