Total Immersion Forums

Total Immersion Forums (
-   Favorite Practices and Sets (
-   -   Poll: Focal Points or Stroke Thoughts (

Grant 11-22-2010 08:34 PM

My experience has been as follows. Focal Points was what in play when I was first learning TI. This worked well for me. As someone just before mentioned Stroke Thoughts seem to allow a wider range of issues now that most of the basics have been practiced by us old timeers.
I liked your 5000 yr old Yoga comment.
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.

terry 11-22-2010 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by hagargolf (Post 14945)
Thanks and can't wait for the new book!

And you won't have to wait - at least as long as those not on this Forum. As I have with some other writing projects I'll post excerpts here for review, comment, input, suggestions while the book is a work in progress. Look for initial excerpts before the end of the year.

daveblt 11-23-2010 02:17 AM

I thought about this for quite a while and I came up with a vote for focal points by a slim margin. Stroke thoughts sounds just a bit vague and focal points mean just what it means ,thinking or concentrating on different aspects of your stroke , and to me it sounds a little better. However is there any way you could actually work with to use both terms for different meaning's and ideas or as to importance ?


madvet 11-23-2010 07:21 PM

I originally liked the idea of zen switch. To me, it was sort of like, "you have to DO this in order to make everything come together right, not just mechanically go through the motions."

But, I think many people don't get it, and a few people get hung up on the "new-agey" terminology.

Since swing switch focuses on what you are DOING, I think it is a great terminology.

In the same vein, I like "focal points" better than "stroke thoughts" because I think focusing is more important in swimming than thinking. An alternative would be "stroke focuses" but that is hard to say and confusing. Focal points does come off sounding pretty generic, but I think it works.

Something that could be considered is if there are important focal points, to give those actual names as well. That would raise their importance and not just be "another focal point."

CoachBobM 11-24-2010 11:21 AM

My vote is for focal points.

First, it's hard to imagine having "stroke thoughts" when you're streamlining off the wall or doing a dolphin dive, but you can have "focal points".

Second, "focal points" seems to me a more accurate description. As I type this, I can see many things: the keyboard on which I am typing, the furniture in the room, a calendar hanging on the wall, a glimpse of the outdoors through my window. But I am focusing on the terminal screen. And that is what I do when I swim mindfully: I am aware of many things, but focus on one.

I also like the idea of having a glossary of abandoned Total Immersion terms. This would help readers to relate old TI material to new material, and would also provide a quick reference on how TI training methods have changed over the years and why.


AWP 11-24-2010 12:39 PM


Originally Posted by CoachBobM (Post 15001)
My vote is for focal points.
I am aware of many things, but focus on one.

I gotta say T I'm with Mac on this one. However, as Dave relates, perhaps there is still a place for "stroke thought(s)", after all I can focus on a stroke thought(s).


bnichols4 11-24-2010 03:05 PM

I like the term focal points its clear and direct as to what I nweed to do which is focus! When I see the term "Stroke thoughts", at first I couldn't really understand what it meant so I had to reread the post and it still isn't clear. So my vote is for focal point. Also I like the term swing better then zen as well, it describes what I should be doing.

I will also add that there are some terms in the TI Intermeidate six week program that I like as well. For example in the Spear Switch Lesson 4 the Trip Wire and The Race are easy and descriptive terms to use as focal points.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


borate 11-24-2010 09:25 PM


This is mainly a semantical motivation is pursue greater clarity, and in some cases greater emotional power.
Echoing thoughts of some other members, I favor clear, descriptive verbiage, as contrasted with metaphysical concepts - as valid as those may be.

One term that I found confusing is "wide tracks." Self-coaching exclusively with Net resources, I realized only belatedly what the phrase meant.
It initially conjured up an image of a wide Y entry.

More apt might be "straight track." Draw an imaginary straight line between hip and shoulder. From recovery to pierce, have the hand follow that line.
This almost ensures a bent and "high" elbow.

As for ST vs. FP, focal point seems more precise in zeroing in on a particular aspect of the stroke.

terry 11-24-2010 10:35 PM

Focal Points wins the day. Thanks to all for caring and for making cogent arguments for both.
I've just completed work on a new defining document on how to maximize improvement with the current drill sequence (which I'll post here in serial fashion). This afternoon, I did a search-and-replace, putting "Focal Point" in place of "Stroke Thought" in every instance in which the latter appeared.

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.