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  #1  
Old 08-19-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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atreides
Default What Do You Say To Masters Coaches ????

From time to time I see this guy at the place that I swim. He's always friendly and wants me to join his masters swim group. I always beg off because I figure I'm not ready to swim lap after lap. Well I hadn't exactly had a scintillating swim that afternoon. I felt heavy in the water and unlike the weekend did not feel as balanced. Maybe I swim better in the mornings. Well he hadn't seen me swim in a while and so he wanted me show him the progress I made. I obliged and practically sprinted down the lane so that I would ride high and hopefully look competent. His input was about the same. "You got reach out on your recovery (while mimicking my recovery which indicated that my hands were entering the water at an angle and before full extension- sort of like what TI teaches)". "See that lady's stroke (who was fully extending her arms while riding a pull buoy). Yours should be like that". "Do you wear fins?" I responded "No, I become to reliant on them and when I take them off I'm much worse" . "You need to work on your kick with a kick board" I responded that I use a two beat kick which requires that I only kick in concert with my pull.

I know Naj has written about this but I feel especially vulnerable when better swimmers than me tell me whats wrong with my swimming. Would these guys look at Shinji or TL (without knowing who they were) and say the same things? I can't believe that as elegant as Shinji looks that any conventional coach would be critical of him. How do you explain that the angled arm entry helps with vertical balance and because you are extending below the surface that you really aren't short arming the pull. How do tell them that the two beat kick is a real labor saver and that I can now swim without hypervintillating after 25 meters. I must have been doing something right because I think he saw my feet were close to the suface because he picked up on the "you're not kicking correctly" right away. For me that's a major triumph! I guess what I'm asking is how do you talk to masters coaches about TI , remain polite but steadfast in the notion that you think your going to be a better swimmer because of it.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2009
Jean Bury Jean Bury is offline
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Default what to say to masters' coaches

I am definitely no expert (in TI swimming or even posting on forums--this is my second post in my life), but I have been very interested in this same question.

At my pool, I am even stopped by the lifeguards and asked "what happened to your swimming? You're not reaching, your head and back are almost underwater, etc."

Like you, I can't explain TI well enough to get them to understand, but one thing that did work was this: I asked them how tired they would be if they swam one mile. Most of the lifeguards (who are young and on the local youth swim team) say they never swam a mile.

Then I tell them I can swim two miles and not get tired, not get cramps and have no worries about being in the middle of a big lake. I say I'm not fast at all (which is true, as I am an early beginner in TI), but I can go that long.

That sometimes gets them to stop commenting and once, I noticed one of them watching me swim (hopefully it was to observe and not poke fun!!)

Anyway, for what it's worth....from a newbie,

Jean
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2009
techie techie is offline
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Jean makes a good point. My recent wake up call was crossing a lake with my (much younger, prior athlete, camp swim assistant) cousin. She was winded afterwards and I was fine.

I would simply say that it is a different method of swimming. There would be no point in arguing which is the "best" martial art, would there? Some styles are just better suited to some goals. The kicking-constantly-and-splashing-everywhere way could be faster for me if I put real effort into it, but cruising forever and getting good exercise is my goal.
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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I think a lot of master's coaches are primarily concerned with sprint-length pool races and don't have a clue about the open water style of swimming that T.I. teaches. Jean is right, just ask them how long it takes to swim a mile...or more.
I don't get much critique on my stroke any more. I usually wear one of my Swimtrek or open water caps to the pool, and I've gotten a little bit faster every year, to the point where I sometimes find myself passing much younger and fitter looking people. It's hard to convince someone who's just lapped you twice that she's swimming all wrong.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2009
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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Default cheshire cat

I agree with Techie. Next time it happens just throw on your biggest cheshire cat grin and remember this exchange from Alice in wonderland

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter.”

I've started attending a masters class on occasion at the pool where I swim and get similar comments about my kicking, or perceived lack thereof. I sometimes question my decision to "limit" my kick because unlike the majority of other swimmers there I wear a size 15 shoe and should (theoretically) get some good propulsion out of it. Would I like to get more out of my natural flippers and go faster? Sure (I also dream about having webbed fingers and toes every now and then) but not at the expense of my easy stroke and 2-beat kick which carried me through my first open water 10k swim over the weekend just fine. I will occasionally use a 6 beat kick at masters class just to make some bubbles behind me so they'll keep quiet and I can focus on my stroke, but I never employ the spasmodic effort I think they are expecting. I did explain to one of the coaches (former college sprinter, I think) that my goal is to complete and compete in more open water distance swims, not just faster laps in the pool and he seemed to understand.

If your goal is whitewater, and short bursts of looking fast then by all means, kick like an idiot. If your goal is a speed that you can maintain over a distance of your choosing then you need to be aware of where you're expending and/or wasting energy and how to maximize arm, leg and total body movement on each and every stroke. Don't worry about the well-meaning comments of others who are "better" swimmers than you. A coach probably yelled at them for several hours a day until they did it his/her way. There are many different methods/theories out there on how to swim the best, and they keep evolving. You're learning to swim using a method that you've chosen; a method, in my humble opinion, that helps you understand what your doing and why your doing it better than most.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2009
naj naj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
From time to time I see this guy at the place that I swim. He's always friendly and wants me to join his masters swim group. I always beg off because I figure I'm not ready to swim lap after lap. Well I hadn't exactly had a scintillating swim that afternoon. I felt heavy in the water and unlike the weekend did not feel as balanced. Maybe I swim better in the mornings. Well he hadn't seen me swim in a while and so he wanted me show him the progress I made. I obliged and practically sprinted down the lane so that I would ride high and hopefully look competent. His input was about the same. "You got reach out on your recovery (while mimicking my recovery which indicated that my hands were entering the water at an angle and before full extension- sort of like what TI teaches)". "See that lady's stroke (who was fully extending her arms while riding a pull buoy). Yours should be like that". "Do you wear fins?" I responded "No, I become to reliant on them and when I take them off I'm much worse" . "You need to work on your kick with a kick board" I responded that I use a two beat kick which requires that I only kick in concert with my pull.
atreides, as I am posting this I am smiling. Why? Because this morning at the club one of our best swimmers came up to me and said, "You don't extend your arm. Your always short-arming your recovery and pull." I smiled, looked up and said, "Thanks for letting me know that." At first I use to get concerned that maybe I was doing something wrong or that my faith in TI was misplaced, but the more I swim I've found out something; TI is really helping me become a decent swimmer - notice how I didn't say great, but hey who knows some day...

This morning when I went out to swim there was a really strong flood current a 5.1 if I'm not mistaken. I usually swim into currents on workout days and today's was a real workout. But here's the cool part I swam a mile into that current with a compact recovery, solid balance, strong hip drive and no fatigue! Don't let the naysayers get to you, atreides your on the right course; kickboards, fins, pull buoys and the like are fine for drills but they can only do so much if your balance and core rotation are not strong. Keep up the great work your doing fine.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2009
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
For me that's a major triumph! I guess what I'm asking is how do you talk to masters coaches about TI , remain polite but steadfast in the notion that you think your going to be a better swimmer because of it.
I have two swimming coaches, one TI-trained and one TI-aware, who coaches the local university women's team and Masters team. I learn different things from each. Remember that TI is best for teaching inexperienced adult swimmers to swim better. Once you have mastered the TI drills, it may be time to join a Masters team so that you can continue to improve.

In my case, my Masters coach helped me correct some of the errors that I learned through vintage TI: over-rotation, "steep and deep" arm entry, "no pull' technique. I corrected these errors in my own technique before TL changed his teaching, to correct systematic errors among "Freestyle Made Easy" era TI students.

Your local Masters coach is probably not a moron.

Good luck,

RadSwim
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch View Post
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter.”
That makes me think of this: "If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else."
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Bury View Post
Most of the lifeguards (who are young and on the local youth swim team) say they never swam a mile.
Wow, that's odd considering I routinely see the 1650 on the list of workouts, at least for those in their upper teens. I guess it varies. But, yeah, lifeguard qualifications max out at 300-500 yards. So do most of the race events.

For me, it just feels good to do something with greater ease and feel than I used to have. Without that ease at a lower level, it's hard to move to the next higher level. Actually, one might say that achieving that ease and feel *is* the next higher level. Then it's time to move out of that comfort zone and work toward the next advance.

Maybe say this, if only to cause confusion: "A great teacher never strives to explain her vision; she simply invites you to stand beside her and see for yourself."
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I also rely a lot on my self tests. I have tried reaching longer and my effort goes up but my time, stroke count, etc don't improve. I am a data person and that is all I need to know. Another piece of data: last year I was training more regularly and I was able to match some of my high school times (20 years ago) with 1/4 the training.
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