GAP Analysis: Measuring the impact of each Drill
I usually have 3 types of Training sessions:
A. Focus on balance: Superman drills, Skating
B. Focus on core rotation+Catch: Underswitch (Spearswitch) with fist gloves
C. Focus on spearing+gliding: ZipperSwitch (ZenSwitch)
What I like to do is count the number of FREESTYLE strokes in the warm up before the Drills and compare to the SPL after the Drills. Obviously SPL (Stroke Per Length, 25m) goes down after drilling....
These are the results:
A. BALANCE Drills: SPL=16.5 -> SPL 15.5
B. ROTATION-CATCH Drills: SPL=16.5 -> SPL 15
C. SPEARING-Gliding Drills: SPL=16.5 -> SPL 14
What conclusions can we draw from this?
1. If the GAP (before,after) is almost the same, can we conclude that natural swimming has already incorporated that drill (Ex. Balance)?
2. If C. leads to a much better improvement, shall I continue to focus on this (lead with elbows, spear the water at an angle, glide)?
I find this GAP analysis interesting as it may tell us how much room for improvement we have in each area of TI...
In fact I wonder if the "TI Champions" have "a zero gap".
What do you think? ALEX
One of the essential ingredients of Examined Swimming (called Deliberate Practice in the various books/studies of the pursuit of excellence or mastery) is to create feedback loops that measure improvement, and allow for meaningful comparison or analysis of one practice option vs. another.
Early in my own TI practice, some 20 years ago, I did precisely what you are now doing. Counted SPL for whole stroke prior to one drill, the counted again after practicing the drill. Repeated the process for another drill, etc.
I did the same kind of gap analysis for various Stroke Thoughts.
What SPL did I achieve when I focused on
- neutral head position
- extending body line
- minimizing bubbles or noise
- exaggerated overlap (now would say more patient hand)
During my first 15 years of TI, there was often some kind of gap. Over time the size of the gap diminished. For the last several years, the gap occasions have become relatively rare. This signifies that my form has matured and stabilized. That's a good thing.
Now if there's a change in my SPL it's because I intended it. And I can consistently hit any of the SPLs within my range. I push off with an intention to take a particular number of strokes. At the end of the swim I nearly always have taken my intended number.
Keep up the thoughtful, purposeful practice.
PS: Are you in Germany? If so, spread word that we plan to hold a TI-US organized series of TI lessons and TI teacher training there in August.
I will add these focal points to my training plan.
NO I am not based in GERMANY but will be in France/Italy this JULY if anything is available on the TI Side (1-1 lessons, Workshops...)
On the other hand I believe there are quite a few Germans on this side forum who may be interested... ALEX
TI Lessons In Germany
TI Lessons In Germany
Thanks Terry, for this and everything else! You are truly inspiring!!
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