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  #1  
Old 02-17-2012
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Default Shinji Video Analysis

I am a great fan of Shinji. I am really impressed by his Stroke length and elegance in the water (slow SR=1.35 but still fast).

Have you analyzed Shinji's stroke lately on his famous video and also taken a look at the multimedia animation?

There are 4 areas that caught my attention, making me wonder if his TI technique has got some small customization to it....

a. Rotation
b. 2BK
c. Rolling like a log
d. Huge Bow Wave

a. Rotation
If you look at the front view and pause at the top of the recovery, it looks like the arm is almost straight up into the air, suggesting "over-rotation".
In comparison Terry would be less steep but his elbow angle would be >90deg to clear the water surface.
Of course this "apparent over-rotation" should make his head sink big time, but actually it does not !

b. 2BK
I have seen comments on the 2BK suggesting to raise the back of the knee to the water surface first, prior to kicking down. This is like saying "If you want to kick a soccer ball, have a "backswing first"
Shinji seems to have a Phase1 - Phase2 approach. Phase-1 = "lower the thigh/knee" Phase2=gentle flick with the foot. Like a whip motion without back-swing

c. Rolling like a log
The animation almost suggests that while shoulders over rotate, hips stay relative flat on the water surface. This could explain why his upper body does not sink as a result of very high elbows, because the "flat hips provide a support" (reminds me of Michael Phelps warm-up video).
The different rotation angle between shoulders and Hips probably creates a torque that translates into faster rotation/acceleration (similar to golf).
I thought most TI Coaches advocate rolling like a log hips and shoulders together?

d. Huge Bow Wave
When someone asks: "how do you breathe, it looks like your head is under water at all times?". He replies: "My stroke creates a 25cm bow wave, as if the water surface drops by 25cm where my mouth is, making it easy to breathe by simply rotating the head". That is a HUGE bow wave !!!

I realize that what "we think we see" in VIDEOS is not necessarily what happens.

But what do you think?
I also wonder if Shinji has adjusted his Total Immersion stroke lately to rotate just enough or not. I assume this Video is a few years old.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. ALEX

Last edited by Alex-SG : 02-17-2012 at 04:53 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2012
jtravis jtravis is offline
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Thank you, Alex, for making all these careful observations and taking the time to point them out to us. I need to watch the video again, removing my "admirer" glasses and putting on my "critical observer" glasses. Your comment about his kicking does indeed encourage me, because I cannot seem to do any sort of backswing with my leg.

What do you think is the reason his bow wave is so large? Can it be large if the swimmer is going slower? I have been trying Suzanne's nodding drill, and still can't see a bow wave. I don't know if it is because it doesn't exist or because I am not recognizing it. Will spend some time studying Shinji's and other videos looking for the bow wave--until your post, it had never occurred to me to do that. Thanks!

Jennifer

Last edited by jtravis : 02-17-2012 at 05:23 AM. Reason: forgot something
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Even the smallest object travelling on the surface of water will create a bow wave, so you are certainly creating one when you swim although you may not be aware of it. Shinji's head position is lower than most, I think, and only the top of the back of his head breaks the surface. 25 cm does seem a lot, so perhaps it's a typo for 2.5 cm?

It is possible also, with regard to his shoulder roll, that he is more flexible in the shoulder girdle than most of us.

It is a beautiful stroke and very inspirational, and there are other TI coaches on youtube who also impress, such as this chap from the Canaries:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&fe...&v=0HeUKjNOD8w

and this elegant lady from Japan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcd3SH2pL9g

As Haschu says: "hang on in there!"
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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For me its just smoother over the whole cycle, almost like it has more frames per second.

Most of us move in segments whereas his stroke is very continuous, in smaller detail. I guess that is what people refer to as elegance in artistic movement. Controlling the small movements (fred astairesque).

Does Shinji race? are there any times to compare him to Terry or does he focus on swimming as an art to look beautiful over short distances (equally valid).

We also need to be careful of the camera. I rewatched his video today whilst reading your post and thought how is he keeping his head so low and then getting a bite of air from the top of the water.

Then I watched my video from last week and whilst he is better it still looks similar once the camera is underwater and I know I am only breathing to the side.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2012
Poolboy Poolboy is offline
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Long time reader/infrequent contributor and self taught. I have struggled in trying to copy his stroke and in particular the apparent almost perfectly vertical arm. I don't see how that can happen because he doesn't appear to over rotate.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2012
CoachBillL CoachBillL is offline
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Default Nodding drill note

I guess we don't fuss too much in TI about who invented what, but -- I am fairly certain that Brian Vande Krol originated the brilliant nodding drill, sometime before April, 2008, when I saw him demonstrate it in a coach training course. It has since been widely adopted by TI coaches.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Default Swim Nod and Bow Wave

If you want to characterize it as a "bow wave", it's closer to an inch, 2.5cm. Since we all know a 1/2" too deep means inhaling water verses air. This is more of a consequence of getting your breath early when nose breaches the surface. A split second late or long, the breath zone fills - the "bus has left the station".

I use the nod drill often with students, but a modified version that's closer to the stroke breath and its critical timing (I picked up from Coach John Beaty) Like a mix of sweet spot and nod. I call it the "Peekaboo Nod". During whole stroke, at the end of roll/switch, maintain head spine alignment, peek just one goggle above the surface (early), then roll head gently back to neutral - NOT taking a the breath. After several "peekaboo" repeats students realize with one goggle peek their nose and mouth are just above the surface too (in bow wave zone) and can now take a breath at will while maintaining head/spine alignment and streamline - and not have to bend body, neck or move lead arm too early lifting head to breathe. Credit to Terry, John and Brian for this drill/tuneup gem.

Stuart
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Old 02-17-2012
jtravis jtravis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBillL View Post
I guess we don't fuss too much in TI about who invented what, but -- I am fairly certain that Brian Vande Krol originated the brilliant nodding drill, sometime before April, 2008, when I saw him demonstrate it in a coach training course. It has since been widely adopted by TI coaches.
Thank you for giving credit where credit is due! My apologies, I had read it in a post from Coach Suzanne. I think it is helping me, so many thanks both to Vande Krol for inventing it and Suzanne for sharing it!

Jennifer
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtravis View Post
Thank you for giving credit where credit is due! My apologies, I had read it in a post from Coach Suzanne. I think it is helping me, so many thanks both to Vande Krol for inventing it and Suzanne for sharing it!

Jennifer
I love peekaboo! Will start using it.ASAP.
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Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #10  
Old 02-18-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
I am a great fan of Shinji. I am really impressed by his Stroke length and elegance in the water (slow SR=1.35 but still fast).

Have you analyzed Shinji's stroke lately on his famous video and also taken a look at the multimedia animation?

There are 4 areas that caught my attention, making me wonder if his TI technique has got some small customization to it....

a. Rotation
b. 2BK
c. Rolling like a log
d. Huge Bow Wave

a. Rotation
If you look at the front view and pause at the top of the recovery, it looks like the arm is almost straight up into the air, suggesting "over-rotation".
In comparison Terry would be less steep but his elbow angle would be >90deg to clear the water surface.
Of course this "apparent over-rotation" should make his head sink big time, but actually it does not !

b. 2BK
I have seen comments on the 2BK suggesting to raise the back of the knee to the water surface first, prior to kicking down. This is like saying "If you want to kick a soccer ball, have a "backswing first"
Shinji seems to have a Phase1 - Phase2 approach. Phase-1 = "lower the thigh/knee" Phase2=gentle flick with the foot. Like a whip motion without back-swing

c. Rolling like a log
The animation almost suggests that while shoulders over rotate, hips stay relative flat on the water surface. This could explain why his upper body does not sink as a result of very high elbows, because the "flat hips provide a support" (reminds me of Michael Phelps warm-up video).
The different rotation angle between shoulders and Hips probably creates a torque that translates into faster rotation/acceleration (similar to golf).
I thought most TI Coaches advocate rolling like a log hips and shoulders together?

d. Huge Bow Wave
When someone asks: "how do you breathe, it looks like your head is under water at all times?". He replies: "My stroke creates a 25cm bow wave, as if the water surface drops by 25cm where my mouth is, making it easy to breathe by simply rotating the head". That is a HUGE bow wave !!!

I realize that what "we think we see" in VIDEOS is not necessarily what happens.

But what do you think?
I also wonder if Shinji has adjusted his Total Immersion stroke lately to rotate just enough or not. I assume this Video is a few years old.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. ALEX

Quick Comments...Shinji has actually decreased his rotation. Look at recent videos of he & Terry synch swimming. Also Shinji's shoulders are extremely flexible which contributes to the appearance I think. Watch this video at about 1:36 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFmnJnmahLw

2BK & thigh moving rearward. shinji is so economical in his movement that the rearward movement of the thigh occurs immediately after his kick so that his feet/legs are always in a "ready position" waiting to flick. Sort of like the difference in syllable pattern when saying "Tennessee" vs. "Kentucky". Shinji is Kentucky. Everyone else is Tennessee. But the rearward thigh movement is still there.

Shoulders & Hips. Video looks about the same to me. I wouldn't use the animation to make any conclusions about fine details.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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