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  #1  
Old 08-24-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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tinoletzner
Default head position

Hi, I'm from Germany and new to TI and have been practising for about a week now.
The one thing that I have the most trouble with is keeping the head position. In my "traditional" freestyle I have my head out of the water much further, Of course it makes sense to keep it below the water to reduce wave resistance, but then why do most very good swimmers I know not use that particular technique? I mean, just look at Michael Phelps, he does not totally immerse his head in the water. Also he does not roll as much as is required in TI, for example he clearly turns his head to breathe rather than use is rotation and keeping his head in line with his body.
It would be great if someone could clarify this to me and explain the advantages/disadvantages of each style.
Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Hi, I'm from Germany and new to TI and have been practising for about a week now.
The one thing that I have the most trouble with is keeping the head position. In my "traditional" freestyle I have my head out of the water much further, Of course it makes sense to keep it below the water to reduce wave resistance, but then why do most very good swimmers I know not use that particular technique? I mean, just look at Michael Phelps, he does not totally immerse his head in the water. Also he does not roll as much as is required in TI, for example he clearly turns his head to breathe rather than use is rotation and keeping his head in line with his body.
It would be great if someone could clarify this to me and explain the advantages/disadvantages of each style.
Thanks in advance!
How was your traditional freestlye working for you, and why did you start studying TI? This will help answer your questions in the most targeted way.

bottom line is that phelps is an elite athlete. We need to work with our bodies where they are now, and our current fitness & flexibility & strength. Phelps is not only so far removed in physical attributes from most of the general population, but also amongst the elite swimming population...we can compare some of what we do to elites & vice versa, but not the head position argument.

Take a look at this to see what happens to the vast majority of swimmers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLIqwD8pmLA
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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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  #3  
Old 08-24-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Hi, I'm from Germany and new to TI and have been practising for about a week now.
The one thing that I have the most trouble with is keeping the head position. In my "traditional" freestyle I have my head out of the water much further,
those who come up the swim ranks from non-TI coaches can result in a variety of head positions. but if they make elite then it still means their balance in the water is perfect and they are horizontal even given whatever head position they have.

the TI method results in one that is looking straight down or slightly ahead, neck should be relaxed and weight of the head supported by the water, head should be properly aligned with the spine (versus looking forward). we have found that this works better for achieving balance, staying relaxed, and not straining the neck in some way.

that doesn't mean that we don't find other swimmers who swim with different resulting head positions. since we look mostly at elites, they obviously achieved their status with whatever head position they trained with. that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone else can do the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Of course it makes sense to keep it below the water to reduce wave resistance, but then why do most very good swimmers I know not use that particular technique? I mean, just look at Michael Phelps, he does not totally immerse his head in the water.
even we do not totally submerge the head in the water. once your skill has sufficiently advanced, you'll find that you'll have some part of the back of your head still above water, with the top or upper forehead cutting the water ahead of you.

with respect to elites, you will also see that the wave front formed by their speed can also dip the water behind the wave front and potentially expose more of their head than you would normally see if they were swimming more slowly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Also he does not roll as much as is required in TI, for example he clearly turns his head to breathe rather than use is rotation and keeping his head in line with his body.
if you're referring to our drills where we roll completely on our back to sweet spot and air, those are meant to help you imprint the breathing process. when you swim full stroke, you aren't rolling all the way to air like in the drills. you'll be exposing your mouth for just an instant as it breaks the water to grab a breath and then it turns down.

check out this dryland rehearsal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5xMFIJ_TkA

whether a given swimmer activates his neck muscles to actively turn the head versus following their body rotation - again watching elites, i think you'll find all sorts of different things happening although seeing this in a video of them racing can be really tough due to the speed at which things are happening. certainly you can actively turn your neck to air but we try to get you to turn your entire body and have your neck/head just attached to your rotating body so that you don't strain your neck muscles. this works just as well with the added benefit of not straining your neck muscles.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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tinoletzner
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Hey Suzanne and David! Thank you so much for the quick reply! This is amazing and fantastic! Everything you said makes sense and the links to the videos helped me alot.
´
@Suzanne:
My own swimming background is that I was a swimmer at the age of 10-13. Then I somehow lost interest. I am now a P.E. teacher and took up swimming at University again, where they taught with a completely different focus than TI (that was about 18 years ago). Now I've just hit 40 and took it up more frequently due to back issues. My Freestyle is ok, I guess. I can swim 4-5 kilometers without much problem. Yet I came across TI accidentally on YouTube and saw one of you coaches (think it was Shinji) swimming and it fascinated me from the start. I quickly ordered Terry's instruction book and am still waiting for the DVD to arrive. I definitely want to change my style so it will be more effortless and elegant.

I wish there were any TI Workshops in Germany, I'd be the first to sign up!

Thank you guys again!
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2013
CoachTraceyBaumann CoachTraceyBaumann is offline
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Hi there
My name is Tracey Baumann and I am a Ti Coach and am in the process of bringing TI to Germany. Please follow my Total Immersion Deutschland Facebook page for information on upcoming workshops.
I will be there soon ;-) !!
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2013
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Tracey,

is there any way to get informed of your planned workshops in Germany without becoming a facebook member or give them my email-address?

- I'm definitely interested in your workshops in Germany.

- I definitely wan't become a facebook member.

Is there a kaizen way from here to there, or a more than likely quantum leap?

Regards,
Werner
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2013
wie wie is offline
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If you ever come to Bremen, let me know.
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