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  #1  
Old 08-21-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Alex-SG
Default Please help, strange FS stroke.....

Hello everyone,

I hope to get good feedback from you on my Freestyle stroke.
I am possibly one of the most isolated TI Swimmers in the world (closest TI Coach is 3,000Km away).

FRONT View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crVixfWEi_M
SIDE View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8mJO39sveo
BACK View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpCHGpoZUSo

I have the feeling I have a series of interconnected problems ( a -> b -> c...)
Thanks in advance... ALEX
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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The most obvious problem to me is that you are doing a 'traditional' entry with the thumb down. Your entry should be as if through a horizontal mailslot on the surface, not vertical one.
This is almost certainly what is causing your body to swing from side to side. This is very clear at the start of the rear view footage.

Also forget anything you might have been taught about an S shaped pull. Pull straight back to go straight forward.

Once you break that habit, I would suggest you try to move from flutter kick to 2 beat kick.

Cheers
N
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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atreides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
Hello everyone,

I hope to get good feedback from you on my Freestyle stroke.
I am possibly one of the most isolated TI Swimmers in the world (closest TI Coach is 3,000Km away).

FRONT View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crVixfWEi_M
SIDE View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8mJO39sveo
BACK View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpCHGpoZUSo

I have the feeling I have a series of interconnected problems ( a -> b -> c...)
Thanks in advance... ALEX
It looks like you are over rotating but I'm not sure why. You have nice high elbows and you looked to have pretty wide tracks. However, I thought I noticed that your left arm entry wasn't as wide as your right. I think that is part of the reason that you are over rotating to the right. That's the side you breathe on so it kind of makes sense. You're pulling straight back to support your head. Try going to 1:00 with your left arm recovery. At first you will feel like you lose support for your head. But you'll get use to it and you'll generate more straght ahead power. Try to rotate using your abs only. This will give you a tighter rotation and hopefully stabilize you.

With those high elbows and once you take some of that rotation out, your forward velocity should increase markedly. If you are going to use a flutter, you need to bring your legs closer together. I'm with Nicodemus on the 2BK. That should add some stability also. Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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I agree that you are over-rotating, and it's causing your left arm especially to drift across your centerline when in streamline position.
I don't agree that you have a wide entry, to me it looks very narrow, possibly due to the over-rotation. This narrow an entry can be hard on the shoulder joint and cause impingement.
Your recovering hand is entering the water thumb-first. This can also be very hard on the shoulder joint.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2009
eddiewouldgo eddiewouldgo is offline
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Good balance, body flat and nice and high. That's great.

Agree with several above that your fundamental problem is crossing over/snaking -- too much lateral motion in the stroke cycle. Its seen best in the view from the rear.

You enter narrow and extend to a point in front of your head. (Should be to a point in front of your shoulder.) Your rotation then pushes that entended hand off line (on your breathing strokes, way off line).

You might try the ZenSwitch (fingertip drag) drill. When your recovering hand is beside your head, touch your thumb to the side of your head, above your goggle strap then slide the hand outward about 6-10 inches to where your hand is in line with or just outside your shoulder. Once the hand is outside, take it forward a few inches and gently slide it into the water and switch. Find the width on extension and entry, and the location of your "target" or "X/Y coordinate" for that extending hand, that keeps you going straight -- so your nose stays over the center of the black line all the way down the lane. In your sight picture, try keeping your hands outside the edges of black line all the time. Skating teaches you where the hand should end up at the finish of a stroke (when the lead hand is fully extended). The ZenSwitch drill teaches you, among other things, how to put that hand in that same location dynamically, as part of the stroke cycle, the same way every time.

With your nice balance, as soon as you get everything moving forward and on a line instead of sideways, you should see some nice improvement from that correction.

Once you are going straight, you can turn to narrowing that kick, making it just a two-beat flick, and smoothing out your breathing mechanics. But work on getting everything going straight first, I'd say.
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2009
edlevin edlevin is offline
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Let's try to stay positive! I don't think your stroke is a mess - it has correctable flaws. You've clearly absorbed the basics. 9 out of 10 swimmers can't do a length in 15 strokes at any tempo.

However, I agree, there are three pronounced flaws.

You are over-rotating.

You are not spearing your arms to the x-y coordinate as you should, but too close to the centerline.

Your arms then drift past the centerline. Your right arm, in particular, drifts very over, even past the left side of your head at one point.

The way humans are constructed, it feels "right" for our arms to drift toward the centerline. I would suggesting reviewing the most basic thing - skating. Are you sure you're doing that right? Is your hand/arm in the right place? When I had my first TI lesson, I found that my arms were at least 6 inches too close to the centerline while skating. (That is, I had to move my right arm a little to the right, and my left arm a little to the left to be in proper position.) At first, it felt "wrong."

It takes a lot of conscious effort at first to keep your arms in the proper position underwater.

Good luck

Last edited by edlevin : 08-23-2009 at 05:27 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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FRIENDS:
Many thanks to all of you for the great feedback. I had noticed some flaws myself but you really opened my eyes on many things...

NICO: Will work on the hand entry and the simplified pull back (no "S"). Interesting enough I kind of picked those up on my own (since no previous Freestyle instruction prior to TI)
What is crazy... before watching the Video, I actually thought I was doing a 2BK.... instead it is an ugly (and very wide) flutter kick !

ATREIDES: Yes over-rotation is a problem. I think it makes my head sink and forces my legs to widen during the kick. Will work on stability by taking your advice (abs rotation). I'll try to figure out at the pool the difference between "ABS rotation" vs. "HIP rotation"

RHODA: You are so right ! As a matter of fact I have had a small pain in my right shoulder for the last 3 months. Perhaps by rotating less and by crossing over less with my arms it will go away.

EDDIEWOULDGO: Sounds like a good plan. I do need to straighten my direction. I do swim like a snake. I was not sure at first whether that was do to arms crossing the center line, a "not straight" Catch/Pull or the fact I try this new concept of weight shift (from one railway track to the next ???)
But there is still a fundamental point to address... my over-rotation is more pronouced and obvious when I breath (arm cross over). If I swim without breathing the arms spear straight... complicated !

SHUUMAI: Agree with you 100%. Over-rotation, wide kick, side-to-side movement... So many problems to fix. I am sure one of those could be some kind of root problem that leads to others.
BTW: I also think this stroke is a Mess. This really motivates me. If I can achieve a SPL of 15 with this kind of style... the margin for improvement is significant.

EDLEVINE: Absolutely right. Will go back to skating and making sure the arm extends in front of the shoulder. I guess the best way of doing this is skating near the wall. it is true that perception and reality are two different things. If I reduce the rotation just a fraction... I feel as if I am swimming totally flat !

SPLASHINGPAT: Perhaps the solution is indeed putting on some fat. That would make me float better, therefore my face would be out of the water when breathing, I would not need to over-rotate, may be that would make me spear straighter.... and everything would be solved ! :)

Last edited by Alex-SG : 08-23-2009 at 05:45 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Location: Dubai
Posts: 415
Alex-SG
Default ANALYSIS: Swimmer's persepctive...

After viewing the VIDEO, here is the perspective of the Swimmer.

Tell me what you think about this analysis, perhaps I have things not in the right order...

I. First 3 strokes feel good and balanced, except spearing hand enters thumb first (a)

II. Breath #1 (left side)... the stroke starts falling apart
(b) head too low, face still under water, forces me to:
(c) over-rotate to the left and wait for the body to resurface to breath (ie. left arm stays on the side and cannot start recovery yet, else face will sink even more)
(d) right arm totally crossing the center line
(c) + (d) => (e) legs spread wide (probably to rebalance the body which would otherwise flip over)
(f) right arm starts the catch/pull from a center (instead of a wide track position) possibly causing the zig-zag motion

- at this point the body is not balanced anymore and Breath #2, #3, #4 are a repeat of Breath #1 flaws.

If this is correct...
(a) = isolated problem which can be fixed on its own but does not lead to other problems
(b) could be a root problem (head under water) => (c) => (d) => (e) (f)

In other words if the head could be nearer to the surface, then (a) would be solved and the other problems could go away on their own...

QUESTION 1: Does this make sense ? Or is it too simple?
QUESTION 2: Assuming bilateral breathing (every 3) If breathing requires more rotation, then a correct straight spearing arm would automatically become a cross over arm when the breath takes place right?

Sorry to bother you again guys, I fell my stroke has so many common flaws that people in the forum should be able to get something aout of it from your answers.

SHUUMAI... How fast am I? Well SPL=15, SR=1.9... about 29sec per relaxed LAP. About 1min per 50m. Quite slow, but then we are talking slow motion here. If I increase the stroke rate to a more normal level (Ex. 1.6) would I clock 50sec for 50m or would I fall apart? Not sure...

Last edited by Alex-SG : 08-23-2009 at 08:31 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2009
Deepbluetackle Deepbluetackle is offline
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May be you should try to swim few stroke without breathing to get a better feel of your hand entry and rotation.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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SHUUMAI: DEEPBLUETACKLE: I can actually swim the entire pool length without breathing (15 strokes). Feels very good at the end too. This may confirm that the low head position (b) only affecs the breathing and subsequently everything else (c), (d), (e), (f)

As you suggest, swimming faster will create the bow wave and may solve things. But for sure I need to fix all those things first...
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