Hi, my first post. A very brief background: I am in my 40s, have been swimming for fitness/recreation occasionally for decades, but 3 months ago started swimming regularly and with a determination to improve my technique (which I knew was terrible). Discovered TI about 2 months ago and started self-coaching with the help of the book and DVD. Signed up for a workshop, but it was canceled, so I'll be self-coaching until the next opportunity. I've improved noticeably, but...
I have a similar problem as cm67, and I only discovered it two days ago when my wife recorded a video of me swimming. When I saw the video, I first noticed that my hips underrotate (and thus my core twists instead of rotating together). When I watched in slo-mo, I realized that my kick is exactly out of phase (always the wrong leg doing the motion, e.g., same-side leg as the spearing arm).
I was completely unaware of this problem. I felt like my hips rotated with my shoulders. My guess at an explanation is that I try to initiate rotation from the hips, but my legs counteract that motion.
I should say that I have not specifically worked on my kick so far and I have just used what comes naturally, which turns out to be a 6-beat kick. I followed the advice I saw given a few times on this forum, not to worry about learning the 2BK before getting decent at other elements.
I see some useful advice here (and in another recent thread), but I am not sure if I can implement it. I know well what my legs should be doing; my problem is a deeply imprinted muscle memory that "insists" on doing it the opposite way. I must have been swimming like this for 30 years. So far (yes, it's only been 2 days, but I've been obsessed with it) all attempts to kick in phase have failed almost immediately. So, what I need is a sequence of drills to break my habits and re-learn kicking from scratch.
So far, I've been able to come up with one drill that seems to work as the first step: kicking and rotating with no arm action at all. That is the only way I've been able to "swim" with the correct beat (foot-down-same-hip-up) at all. The downside is that I don't have sufficient balance to sustain this armless 2BK and my legs start sinking after about 4 kicks/rotations.
If I try anything more complex, either my legs revert to their off-beat kick or I lose balance and rhythm completely.
Any suggestions for drills to break my bad habit would be most welcome. Keep in mind that simpler is better, as I obviously need to completely relearn a very basic motion. (Also, I am not naturally well-coordinated, although I learn skills well if taught systematically, step by step.)
A related question: since I need to forget my "natural" kick anyway, is it a good idea to focus on the 2BK for everything I try to learn now? It seems to me that I might as well do that; are there any downsides to that approach?