Thread: Letter To Terry
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Old 07-10-2018
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647

In your post, you say two things that seem to be at odds with one another. You say that a past TI coach who developed his/her own business has "a simpler approach without any baggage", and you ask for "simpler streamlining" and conclude by saying "show less". But you also complain that "there is always some incomplete information" and mention that one instructor "wanted to create a whole new 'advanced' workshop to introduce two beat kicks" adding that you "believe this should have been included in the 2 days workshop."

The problem is that you can't include more things while at the same time showing less. The one thing that's constant about a 2-day workshop is the amount of time we have, so the only thing we can vary is what we do with that time.

One of the things that isn't constant is the specific problems that different swimmers have.

I've taught TI swimming in a camp, in workshops, and also as a series of private lessons. What I find when I'm teaching it via a series of lessons is that different swimmers struggle with different things. I remember one swimmer who had a terrible time learning to keep his hips up. No matter what position his body was in, he just didn't seem to be able to do it. Once he got past that, the rest was pretty smooth sailing. Another swimmer had no problem keeping his hips up, but really struggled with rotating his body about the axis of his spine. There was just something about the process of rotating his body that he found uncomfortable. The nice thing about private lessons is that I can vary how much time I spend on each part of the training program, tailoring it to the particular needs of the swimmer I'm instructing.

In a workshop, of course, we can't do that. Each swimmer is likely to come away feeling that we spent too much time on some things and not enough on others. And they are likely to disagree about which things we spent too much time on and which ones we spent too little time on.

There are also some problems that a swimmer isn't going to be able to get over in 2 days, and those problems may be an obstacle to learning more advanced skills. One of the problems I had when I went to a 2-day TI workshop in February of 1999 was that I had developed a wide, flailing kick. I remember Terry telling me that "you're not going to get over it this weekend." The goal of a TI workshop isn't to have swimmers come out of the 2 days with a perfect stroke (which would be impossible), but to have started them on a program that, over time, will perfect their stroke. If Terry had tried to cover a 2 beat kick at that workshop in 1999, it would have been totally wasted on me, because I first needed several months to get rid of my wide, flailing kick.

We always welcome feedback on our workshops, since this is how we learn how to better tailor the amount of time we spend on different skills. There are some things we used to spend more time on that we don't spend as much time on anymore, and there are other things we spend more on.

Thanks for your comments!

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