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  #1  
Old 10-08-2010
C-Dad C-Dad is offline
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C-Dad
Default Obsession With Finishing

I've recently decided to lap swim for exercise and discovered TI a couple of months ago. I have been reconstructing my freestyle stroke through drills and practice about once a week at an indoor 25M pool. I've always done breastroke for any significant distance, since I never developed a good freestyle stroke.

My problem is that halfway across the pool I become obsessed with reaching the other end, to the extent that my stroke falls apart, breathing becomes labored, balance is poor, etc. I can pretty much swim halfway effortlessly and in a zone thanks to the TI discipline, but exactly halfway I abandon sound stroke thoughts and develop an irrational phobia about not "finishing."

I'm guessing this is a common problem, was looking for any good advice for overcoming this. My approach is to stop as soon as the stroke breaks down, to avoid ingraining bad habits, i.e., I've resolved to never take a bad stroke again. I do try practice drills, mostly SF-Skate transitions, with the time that I have. Although my kick is weak, I try to do full lengths by drilling in the shallow section, stoppng and restarting once I lose momentum - it usually takes about 3-4 "resets" for a full length.

Overall, I have to say TI has been a revelation - despite my beakdowns, I have made great strides and feel that I'm very close to getting the full stroke to click, if I can only get over this hump.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2010
ewa.swimmer ewa.swimmer is offline
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I'd say change your "finish line." Decide 50 yds is the end and see what happens. I also know, that no matter how good of a TI swimmer you are, there are times your stroke breaks down. Try to find a focus that helps you get back on track. (It's different for everyone). For me, it's concentrating on connecting my hip thrust with my arm spear.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2010
JDK JDK is offline
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I would definately agree with the previous post,finding a key focus point can keep your mind from wandering.While the main goal would seem to be getting across the pool,I have learned thru T.I training that the truly helpful thought is excuting the next perfect stroke.If I become anxious,or worried about the distance I need to reach,then my relaxed,mindful stroke is lost. I think the natural reaction when worried about not reaching the wall is to tense up and swim harder,which is never a helpful thing. At my very early stage of T.I swimming (1yr.),after learning the steps to balancing in the water,the absolute most important thought is simply relaxing in the pool,and even more so in open water. Getting into a zone and going for as long as desired will not happen,in my opinion,when when the goal is the end of the pool. Try to think of only the next stroke....advice given to me by coach Shane that has helped tremendously.....good luck
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2010
C-Dad C-Dad is offline
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Thanks to all for the advice. The odd thing is, now that I know what constitutes good balance, when I achieve it and feel it, I get so stoked that I tend to get ahead of myself and abandon the moment. It's like the moment I get into a groove, I start to tense up, worried that I may not sustain it for an entrire length. Point taken though, the "end zone" should be the next stroke.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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splashingpat
Default thanks i always like hearing from a true blue breast stroker

yeah i love listening to the struggles of freestyle stroke since breast stroke
one is so well balance and its seems to be a breeze swimming it!
it is the one i learned as a kid and it is so ingrained but it is boring in a way

not a challenge that i guess i am looking for these days...
flyN is soon! hi lawrence ya gonna be joinN me?
master mcadams put the hook in me when I first signed on...IT'S TAKEN A LONG TIME TO YANK ME IN!

and with freestyle
what i suggest to those struggling with it slow it down...
my daughter comment to me

MOM I CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE END....AND I TOLD HER I HAD THE SAME ISSUE OR
AND THE ANSWER IS TO SLOW IT DOWN YOU WILL MAKE IT..
.A TORTOISE ALWAYS DOES just thinking to myself....i knew she wanted to look HOT!

JUST LIKE MY ZUMBA CLASS
I HAVE TO SLOW IT DOWN,
BUT I'M STILL THERE AT THE END OF THE CLASS....

i must admit i like only an hour class
they have an hour and 1/2 on Sundays
my body knew the finish line was MOVED

I'M HOT! hi guys on land but i will find the water again!

these girls are disgustedly sweat Y
I water myself down to
"look like 'em! 2 ;) shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

energized bunnies hoppN everywhere!
I'll get there...i thnk!
i can!

HEY
BREAST STOKERS TURNn FREESTYLN CRAWLN...ya gotta Crawl! sometimes!
YEAh everyone should learn the sweet spot FIRST!

Last edited by splashingpat : 10-12-2010 at 01:46 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2010
tsesung tsesung is offline
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tsesung
Default from another breast stroker

How about just counting strokes? Say you'll hit 8 most excellent TI strokes. then get to the other side. Try 8 slow strokes. Then 8 very relaxed ones. 8 really long strokes. 8 really fast ones. Then 9, then 10. And pretty soon you'll be doing a lap.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2010
flarae flarae is offline
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flarae
Default Obsession with finishing

Hi C-Dad,
I know just what you mean, only I call it "the demon". When "the demon" strikes it usually means that I am either low on oxygen or afraid I will be. It just will not let me put my face in the water. With TI, just knowing that if it hits, I can go to "sweet spot" and relax keeps me calmer, and I find that "the demon" hits a lot less. In fact, I think it is on its way out. :)

Try a mental attitude that no matter what, the "sweet spot" is there for you.

Good Luck!
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2010
C-Dad C-Dad is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
C-Dad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splashingpat View Post
yeah i love listening to the struggles of freestyle stroke since breast stroke
one is so well balance and its seems to be a breeze swimming it!
it is the one i learned as a kid and it is so ingrained but it is boring in a way

not a challenge that i guess i am looking for these days...
flyN is soon! hi lawrence ya gonna be joinN me?
master mcadams put the hook in me when I first signed on...IT'S TAKEN A LONG TIME TO YANK ME IN!

and with freestyle
what i suggest to those struggling with it slow it down...
my daughter comment to me

MOM I CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE END....AND I TOLD HER I HAD THE SAME ISSUE OR
AND THE ANSWER IS TO SLOW IT DOWN YOU WILL MAKE IT..
.A TORTOISE ALWAYS DOES just thinking to myself....i knew she wanted to look HOT!

JUST LIKE MY ZUMBA CLASS
I HAVE TO SLOW IT DOWN,
BUT I'M STILL THERE AT THE END OF THE CLASS....

i must admit i like only an hour class
they have an hour and 1/2 on Sundays
my body knew the finish line was MOVED

I'M HOT! hi guys on land but i will find the water again!

these girls are disgustedly sweat Y
I water myself down to
"look like 'em! 2 ;) shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

energized bunnies hoppN everywhere!
I'll get there...i thnk!
i can!

HEY
BREAST STOKERS TURNn FREESTYLN CRAWLN...ya gotta Crawl! sometimes!
YEAh everyone should learn the sweet spot FIRST!
Thanks for the encouragement, Pat - I've enjoyed your posts during the two months that I've been lurking on the forums. You're right, prior to TI I would only breastroke because it was more comfortable. Now, however, I instinctively crawl because of the good feelings infused by TI knowledge and because of the prospects for improvement.

Took your advice to consciously slow down, to the point of deliberation and it was very effective. I had the sensation of swimming flatter and achieving good balance as a result of slowing down. I wonder if my rotating "just enough" could have been overrotation. Still experimenting though, looking foward to the day that I break through and suddenly sustain multiple effortless laps, as many in the forum have experienced. I feel like it can happen any day now.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2010
C-Dad C-Dad is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
C-Dad
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsesung View Post
How about just counting strokes? Say you'll hit 8 most excellent TI strokes. then get to the other side. Try 8 slow strokes. Then 8 very relaxed ones. 8 really long strokes. 8 really fast ones. Then 9, then 10. And pretty soon you'll be doing a lap.
Believe it or not, I've found it difficult to count strokes. I will start out counting, only to "wake up" after several uncounted stroke cycle have elapsed. It's usually because I am very much focused on a stroke key for that lap, though.

I also notice that although I only breathe on my strong side, I generally lose count on my weak side. Do you keep a mental count of every individual stroke? Haven't tried this yet, but I wonder if it may be effective to only count my breaths and multiply x 2 since my strong side stroke is more automatic.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2010
C-Dad C-Dad is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 14
C-Dad
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flarae View Post
Hi C-Dad,
I know just what you mean, only I call it "the demon". When "the demon" strikes it usually means that I am either low on oxygen or afraid I will be. It just will not let me put my face in the water. With TI, just knowing that if it hits, I can go to "sweet spot" and relax keeps me calmer, and I find that "the demon" hits a lot less. In fact, I think it is on its way out. :)

Try a mental attitude that no matter what, the "sweet spot" is there for you.

Good Luck!
You know, I've been neglecting the fact that Sweet Spot is always there. Lately I've been drilling and practicing whole stroke in the 4ft section to allow for a "reset" if necessary; I can ham-and-egg it in the lap lanes, but usually it involves forcing the last few meters by either breastroking or abandoning breathing technique. Either way, I'm thoroughly gassed at the end.

I take it that this transition is preferably done by log-rolling with skating arm extended as in the drills? I've always found log-rolling as defined in TI drills a bit uncomfortable since, in my case, it requires a little wait for stabilization before I can get air. I can easily flip on my back with a quick sort of body flip (I wind up with arms at sides, sculling) and get immediate ample air, but it may not strictly fit in with TI fundamentals. Or is preserving good strokes once I resume crawling what really matters?
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