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Old 08-29-2009
JohanWJoubert JohanWJoubert is offline
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Default Improving my drills

Originally Posted by rwilkes View Post
...However, to me breathing is a vicious circle. To breath efficiently we must be relaxed in our stroke, but to stroke efficiently we need to breath correctly ! This is the problem i have, i feel my balance is coming on (head position) but whole stroke falls down because of my breathing, which is having a negative effect on my drills.

This whole thread of relaxed breathing is interesting for all of us who are starting out in TI (6 months)...., to me breathing is THE integral part of TI, because if i cant breath, i cant drill !...
My experience with TI has unfortunately gone somewhat pear-shaped since I started (3 months). I was reading the book (or so I thought); doing the drills (or die trying). The balance drills were quite fine, but I was SO exhausted from skating and switches: when I rolled back to my sweet spot my head was still under water, and I usually end up 'falling apart' like someone else mentioned in a post, not getting breath, and swallowing water. I spent so much energy on trying to stay alive and get air along with all the water, that there was no energy to concentrate on what's going wrong with my technique that's CAUSING the 'struggle'. The stationary breathing exercises mentioned on some of the forum posts didn't work for me, because it was when I was moving where the trouble began.

I am set to get it right and swim fish-like eventually. I know we shouldn't 'practice struggling', but putting in more of those dreadful chlorine-sniffing-water-swallowing hours just didn't make sense. And then came the breakthrough for me (and I really hope for others battling to focus on their technique during drills, and establishing breathing muscle memory, too)... "Just as we encourage students to master [balance and sweet spot] without fins, we also encourage them to feel free to use fins to increase their ease in [later drills]..."

I thought being stubborn and keep drilling 'struggle' without fins will improve the technique quicker. Well, it made it much worse! I got myself a pair of short fins recently; I still do basic balance drills without them, but use the them for all other drills.

For the FIRST time I experienced what fish-like swimming might be like one day. I now actually get to practice breathing since I have energy to focus on my technique during drills. I'm not kicking-to-stay-alive-because-my-life-REALLY-depends-on-it anymore. I now know that I must exercise rolling more needle-like, for one. But previously I didn't have energy to concentrate and realize where areas for improvement are.

This is by no means 'new' advice. I just thought it is worth confirming that it works (for me)!
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