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Old 03-31-2011
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Practice Planning - and Doing - Has Rewired My Brain.

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Also the combo set of 75 + 50 of 2 different strokes...very cool.

How long did it take you to think up this set?
Ten, maybe 15, years ago, I might not have thought of it. Now it comes so naturally that it occurred within about two minutes of Ira's suggestion of sets based on 60-stroke repeats.

Shane Eversfield has spoken - as have I - of realizing that TI Practice had 'rewired' his brain to turn him into a Taoist. I think this practice, and how naturally I came up with it, is another example of brain rewiring.

Because I've been coaching -- and therefore planning practices -- for nearly 40 years, practice-planning comes as naturally as breathing now. One thing that does is allow me to plan cognitively challenging, and functionally valuable, practices even as I warm up.

But the kinds of practices I think up are radically different now than those I'd have thought of 10, 20 or 30 years ago. They're not just more cognitively difficult, they're also far more targeted in developing Skills That Win Races.

When I wrote the original TI book, in 1995, I wrote that Stroke Length is the single most important factor separating faster from slower swimmers. Therefore, if you hope to be a faster swimmer, how many strokes you take - not how many yards you swim, should be your primary way of planning, measuring and analyzing practice.

Over time I've just become much more consistent in applying that to my own practice. And that consistency has 'rewired my brain.'
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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