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  #1  
Old 11-20-2008
Jamwhite Jamwhite is offline
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Location: Duvall, WA
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Default How should focal points be practiced?

This morning while working on my hand placement in zen drills (zen skate, zen switch), I noticed for the first time that my balance see-saws while I swim. When my arm is in zen skate position, I swim downhill, when it is against my thigh, I swim more level and my legs sink just a little.

Because it seems like balance is more important than other things, like hand placement, it led me to wonder what is the best way to practice TI drills?

Should I prioritize streamline focuses over propulsion focuses? By which I mean, should I continue working on hand placement when I notice a see-sawing or would it be better to stop immediately and fix the balance problem before continuing.

Or, to put the question another way: should I cycle through all focal points given them all attention, or should I make sure the more fundamental ones remain rock solid before continuing the less fundamental ones?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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The fundamentals should come first. The biggest opportunity for improvement is working on them. This is especially true for what Terry calls (if I remember correctly) eliminating skills Vs. Creating skills.

Eliminating drag is far more helpful then adding propulsion, so related focal points should take precedence.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2008
CoachBrian CoachBrian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
The fundamentals should come first. The biggest opportunity for improvement is working on them. This is especially true for what Terry calls (if I remember correctly) eliminating skills Vs. Creating skills.

Eliminating drag is far more helpful then adding propulsion, so related focal points should take precedence.
I agree completely. However, that does not mean you should stick to one drill or one focal point until you have it mastered. Someday, I might master the skate drill. I'll let you know. In the mean time, I'll continue to work on the other drills, and whole stroke.

It's important to relate the skills learned in the drills to whole stroke. I've seen swimmers who never quite make that connection. A classic example is that their skate position is never replicated in whole stroke. I often shoot video of the skate drill, and then whole stroke. If I can't freeze frame the whole stroke and see the skate position, then the drill hasn't affected the whole stroke.

Work on all the drills, and whole stroke, and a variety of focal points. But first build the foundation by learning (not necessarily mastering) the sequence of drills.

Incidentally, it is expected to feel like you're swimming downhill in the zenskate position. The weight of the arm in front of your head will push the front end down a bit. If it feels like it's too much, reduce your rotaion and recover wider.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2008
terry terry is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachBrian View Post
I often shoot video of the skate drill, and then whole stroke. If I can't freeze frame the whole stroke and see the skate position, then the drill hasn't affected the whole stroke.
Right on. Freestyle swimming is simply hitting one's skating positions -- precisely the X/Y coordinates you imprinted in Lesson Two of Easy Freestyle -- rhythmically and continuously. It really is that simple, but not that simple. (You must master lots of seemingly small, but utterly, consequential details along the way.)
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