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  #1  
Old 03-16-2018
jtj321
 
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Default Help teaching a blind swimmer please.

I am trying to teach a blind from birth adult to swim front crawl,he wants ultimately to complete a triathlon.
I'm familiar with the TI method of learning the stroke,and it was how I taught myself many years ago,I would love to hear from anyone who has experience as a teacher of,or as an unsighted swimmer themselves.
Mark is incredibly determined,I'm using the step by step method which is staritng to work,he really struggles though with "feeling" the body position,rotation,sweet spot etc. and there are issues with him being able to extend his hand,fingers out straight,as for all his life he has been used to feeling his way with palms first,I tried it,and it restricts elbow lift....any help or thoughts much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2018
sojomojo sojomojo is offline
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TI member “Suddethb” has an interesting thread on his experience teaching a blind swimmer.

http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...ead.php?t=6854
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2018
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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CoachStuartMcDougal
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Hi Jtj321:

That's an excellent thread from Suddethb.

I have taught a blind swimmer/triathlete to swim and was also his guide if a few triathlons too. Tony is adult onset blind, detached retina about 9 years ago, lost his sight over the period of two weeks! Never knew that could happen until I met Tony, and it was sobering to find out it's common.

The difference between those that have been blind since birth and those that lost eyesight as an adult is pretty big. Those that have lost eyesight as adults still have a very good visual memory context, where those from blind from birth obviously don't. I often used visual context to help Tony become aware of what recovery arm and path and other elements should look like and then guide his arm(s) through that process so he could feel the path. Alternatively I would have him place is hand on my upper arm and hand on lower arm as I rehearsed recovery arm movement to give him more context without ability to see my arm. This proved very successful.

Also - I used "Aqua-talk" from the deck. This is where I can talk to him directly in water through a headset while I'm on deck. I could give him instant stroke correction feedback as he swam, as well as when he was near the end of the lane, i.e. "Tony you have 10y, 5y, 3y ...STOP" Before you know it he was swimming and stopping at the wall on his own being keenly aware of his location by stroke count, hearing, and water pressure (as he has told me). He can swim the entire length without hitting lane lines and often splits lane with another swimmer in masters.

Here's a video I took of Coach Mandy with Tony guiding recovery arm from exit to entry to give you an idea of the "helping hands". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEFdgtovge8 Reverse roles, and have your swimmer feel the path of your arm as it moves from exit to entry too.

Good luck and great job teaching the blind.

Stu

PS If you need any tethers (connecting you and your swimmer in open water) let me know since Tony's friends has made us several of different lenghts and tensions.
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Old 06-17-2018
Suddethb Suddethb is offline
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"The difference between those that have been blind since birth and those that lost eyesight as an adult is pretty big. Those that have lost eyesight as adults still have a very good visual memory context, where those from blind from birth obviously don't."

Spot on on observation. I find it interesting that both blind swimmers you and I are teaching are named Mark! I'd love to share ideas as I'm slowly gathering my coaching ideas together for a book.

Here's the tether I'm ordering:
http://www.perceptualpositions.biz/cart.html
$32.95 Lending Sight Swimmer (with shipping $38.45 USD)
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