Total Immersion Forums

Total Immersion Forums (
-   Freestyle (
-   -   Learning to swim in the deep end (

jpwkeeper 07-15-2011 04:32 PM

Learning to swim in the deep end
Current Skill Level: Level 0. Yes Shifu, there is a level 0. I cannot swim 12.5 yards at the moment (Freestyle), despite taking a red cross swim class. I'm comfortable in the water and have no fears nor phobias, and can survive in deep water (certified scuba diver).

I started doing TI drills last summer but ran out of time. I only got about 3 short pool sessions before school started and I had to get the kids up before work in the morning.

Here's my question: How long do you think it would take till I could progress to the point where I could drill without having to touch bottom? I realize you can't tell me that in calendar time or even hours, but at what point in the drills?

Here's my issue. If I go early in the morning (6am MWF), I can get the "Lane" that I can stand in, which is really half a pool down from the actual swim lanes. If I try to go any other time in the day, parts of that not-lane are in use either by kids playing or aqua-aerobic classes so doesn't really help me.

The first actual lane is 6ft deep (last lane is 9), which I can stand in on tip-toes (6'2") but it's immensely popular and I'm not likely to get it without extreme luck. It also doesn't help that I'm deeply embarrassed by my extreme lack of ability to swim and it's difficult to go out to the pool during times I'm likely to be observed. Also, you can imagine that lane sharing is kinda not practical at level 0.

I'm trying to see if I can progress to the point, starting from zero, where I can drill in deeper water, and if it's viable to do so by the end of summer. Once I can do that, it opens up the lunch hour and the evening hours (assuming I can convince my kids not to come). If not I have to figure out a plan B.

So if anyone can estimate that in terms of Skills Required that would be great. An hour estimate wouldn't be bad either (even an "at least" estimate) but I realize there's a lot of unknowns. Also, what drills are viable in deep water and what drills are not? (I imaging SG is not, for example). Finally, what adaptations to the drills would I need to do what I'm asking (for example, maybe SG from side, then roll to back and skull back to the side?)

naj 07-15-2011 09:28 PM

Stay in the shallow!
It is difficult for me to give you a timeline for such progress. Some drills people learn faster than others. But to answer your immediate question stay out of the deep end with drills until you swim out of it. You'd impede the other swimmers. Superman Glide, skating drills and all others can be done in the shallow end of the pool. If you only go 15 feet or what. Turn around and go back. When you make a mistake just stop, stand-up and star over. Not so easy to do in the deep if you do not feel you can do a certain drill in that part of the pool. Others would have more advice but just stay in the shallow area for now.


westyswoods 07-15-2011 10:58 PM

Shallow End Swims
Naj has it right. I'll add my two cents in that when the pool is crowded and I feel like doing drills for short distances I simply explain to the lane mates what my intentions are. Timing my push offs, skating and drills so that it does not interfere with their swimming. It works by just informing them you are going to be working on technique and need to stay in the shallow end.

When I first started with TI it became a standing joke that I didn't know there were two ends to the pool, as I never got out of the shallow end. Embarrassed, I'm too old for that my goal was and remains to improve no one else gives a damn anyway. Think of it as you are practicing with a purpose no matter what your skill level.

My hat is off to you for approaching the subject. Keep up the great work and stick with this forum you will find immeasurable support.

Swim Silent and Be Well

Mempho 07-16-2011 02:53 AM

Of course everybody progresses at a different rate, but for what it's worth, it took me 4 weeks to move out of the shallow end. That's 2 weeks doing basic drills, then 2 weeks working on breathing. Like you, I started at level 0. I was swimming 3 times a week for 45 minutes each session.

Looking back on it now, I shouldn't have been at all self-conscious about being mixed in with the little kids and shallow-water aerobics group. The pool is there for everybody. You have as much right to it as anybody.

aerogramma 07-16-2011 03:05 PM

I would reccomend signing up for a swimming course in your case and then take it from there

jpwkeeper 07-18-2011 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by Mempho (Post 20702)
Looking back on it now, I shouldn't have been at all self-conscious about being mixed in with the little kids and shallow-water aerobics group. The pool is there for everybody. You have as much right to it as anybody.

I know I shouldn't either. But admitting that you can't swim is somewhat like admitting that you can't read; publicly trying to learn to swim is like sitting in a library as an adult sounding out See Spot Run. Everyone has the right to the library, but people can't help but judge even when they're doing it sympathetically.

jpwkeeper 07-18-2011 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by aerogramma (Post 20708)
I would reccomend signing up for a swimming course in your case and then take it from there

That would be nice. But I struck out at the Red Cross swimming course (my instructor watched me and shook her head, saying there was something wrong but she couldn't put her finger on it) and the nearest TI coach is about a 2 hour drive away. This with me struggling to find time to get to the pool that's 10 minutes from my house.

It's kind of a chicken-or-egg issue. Once I can swim, I can practice swimming. Until I can swim it's hard to work on swimming. It doesn't help that circumstances at home are actively keeping me from getting to the pool during the time I can actually have some room and some anonymity.

ames 07-19-2011 02:26 AM

Is there any way you could find someone to swim with you, preferably someone who has some interest in TI or is willing to learn? I find that when I swim with someone, I worry less about what people in the other lanes may think of what I am doing and I am less self-conscious about doing what might be odd-looking drills, even in the kiddie pool.

thomash 07-19-2011 05:19 AM

Swim Site Options?
Are there any other locations where you can swim? For example, the Bally's gym near me has a 5-lane, 25 meter pool that's 5.5' at its deepest. While I have no qualms about swimming in deeper water, I much prefer the Bally's pool for drills.

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:16 PM.

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