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  #11  
Old 09-03-2009
mjm mjm is offline
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mjm
Default high hips and legs

I'm sure you have seen the Shinji videos but you might look again and see how high his hips and legs ride in the water, even when breathing. His bathing suit almost breaks the water surface. See

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJpFVvho0o4

Notice how little his head moves to breathe--just a little sideways motion.

You are on the right track. --mjm
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
If there is any change in balance, stability, need to kick, etc, that shows that the stroking arm is doing more than just anchoring.
This is a major concern with me. Right now when focus on hip drive, my arms moves really quickly after I anchor. Since I can still remember the times I was muscleing the water, this seems like a major improvement. However, a couple of hours after I finished swimming on Tuesday, I felt like I had been through a major workout. My sore right shoulder is practically healed so it wasn't that. But it was an overarching body fatigue. I'm still not happy that I'm unable to swim hundreds of laps like others do. I worry that I am still working too hard. Could it be that holding my legs up to decrease drag is costing me? Suppose I swim a lap with the so called "feathery" pressure on my pulling arm and a hard but low amplitude flick on my kick. I know hip drive will cost me something but it sounds like to me that I should be burning very little energy and after 25 meters I should not be breaking sweat. Shouldn't there be a pace in swimming equivalent to a "fast walk". A pace the swimmer believes they could do all day. How do you find that pace providing that slowing too far down will put you into oxygen debt (gliding too long deprives me of needed oxygen hits).
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I like the fact that your workout felt "whole body". That shows you are using your whole body and not focusing all the effort on a few muscles.

Absolutely you should be able to find a pace you can hold for ever (even a slow walk is possible). I found this by going back to skate and zen switches. In both of those drills, you can find the position that feels like you are falling asleep. You mentioned "holding your legs up". One of the things I always say at workshops is you have 5 tools in your balancing tool box (hanging the head, pressing on the lower armpit, dropping the lead arm, shrugging the top shoulder and swimming taller from head to toes). Your job is to find the combination of those that gets your hips to the surface with the least possible effort. Once you can hold that effortlessly, you can continue to build your stroke with low effort.

If breathing is an issue, get a swimmer's snorkel. I love being able to focus on something for a whole length without ever needing to think about breathing. I think it really helps.
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2009
gnuelyc gnuelyc is offline
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gnuelyc
Default Eric, Please elaborate more about tools in your Balancing Tool Box

Coach Eric,

I jot down my understanding of the tool set below, please elaborate .
(Like many 'converted' folks, a TI coach is thousand and thousand miles/km away from me). I am fully aware balancing is the key to facilitate the body to move in the water like a kayak and is spending a lot of hours to make it work.

1. Hanging the head - that's let the water hold the weight of the head and
looking down to the bottom of the pool while keeping the head, spine and leg aligned.
2. Pressing on the lower armpit - that's when spearing is done ?? and the action is to press the head towards the lower armpit ??
3. Dropping the lead arm - that's EVF ??
4. Shrugging the top shoulder - during recovery phase ?? and slightly raise the shoulder forward ??
5. Swimming taller from head to toes - how ?? keeping/locking the navel towards the spine ?? keeping the legs intact behind the torso, initiate kick/flicker from the lower abs ??

Thanks
Sam

P.S. Sorry Saul, I highjacked your thread and side tracked a bit.
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2009
indysjl indysjl is offline
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indysjl
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnuelyc View Post

P.S. Sorry Saul, I highjacked your thread and side tracked a bit.
No worries, I've got plenty of things to focus on in the pool at the moment. I'll chime back in when I'm ready for more help.

Saul
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2009
naj naj is offline
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Default

It might have already been mentioned but I'll repeat it, your lead arm seems to pull back just before your recovery arm enters the water. I noticed this several times and this was a problem for me when I first began. Try to focus on keeping that lad hand steady, holding the water, and don't move it until the fingertips of your recovery arm enter the water. If you have Terry's "easy Free" DVD you can see how this is done.

The other thing I noticed was your glide - or lack there of - try to get more out of each rotation and glide, after you've switched hold and feel the glide that core rotation provides. You'll go farther with less effort. Hope this helps.

Great job for only three months!

Naji
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  #17  
Old 09-05-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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My tool box for balance:

Hang the head - as you said. The trick is finding the difference between hanging and pressing it down. I spent a bit of time standing up and hanging my head. Doing that in the pool and gradually dropping my body into the water so I can feel the total relaxation and the water taking over.

Drop the lead arm - This is aiming your spear to a deeper point and keeping the arm low before setting the catch. This is one the people tend to use more in early stages. As their awareness of spinal muscles increases, the postural tools get better and this becomes less necessary.

Press into the armpit means putting a bit of pressure down into your chest and armpit in skate. Some people feel it as if they are reaching their arm farther forward and falling through the opening left behind. We used to call this "pressing the buoy". It is difficult for some people to feel because you are using muscles to press down, but you are not letting your body bend.

Shrugging the shoulder is as you said. In skate, just gently lift the top shoulder toward the ear. I don't hear this one very often. For some of my students it is by far the most effective. For others, it completely tenses the neck and is aweful.

Lengthen the body - stand up. Now make your body 1 cm taller. Next, try to stay tall without using much from your big outer muscles. That slight tone in your body is what you want. It activates a ton of small muscles that allows all the balancing stuff in the front to connect to your legs. Most people, at some point early in their practice skate like a banana. This helps straighten them out.

I hope this helps.
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2009
indysjl indysjl is offline
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indysjl
Default Arm anchor

Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
2. Your left arm anchor is nonexistent. Your right arm is pretty good so you need to get your left on the same page. I have the same problem. When I correct for it, sometimes it feels like I got fins on.
Could you explain what you mean by nonexistent? Can you explain what you mean by "pretty good" on the right arm? I am unable to see the difference.

Thanks,

Saul
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  #19  
Old 09-10-2009
indysjl indysjl is offline
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indysjl
Default One arm

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
As for one arm, keep the non-stroking arm at your side. In time, you will be able to swim one arm exactly the same way you swim with both. That is the point. If there is any change in balance, stability, need to kick, etc, that shows that the stroking arm is doing more than just anchoring.
The one arm drills have gotten much easier, yet I am still grasping for focal points and what sensations I should feel while doing the drill. Could you please advise?

Last week I felt what I should not feel; lots of vertical motion (heaving in the water during the stroke), inability to roll to breath, violent kick to maintain balance, etc.

Since then I have quieted down the vertical motion, although it is still there. As a result, I am able to breathe now, but I have to roll really far to get a breath. I assume this should get better the more I can eliminate the vertical motion? Also, it has been much more difficult to keep my legs high in one arm.

Any thoughts?

Saul

P.S. - I should note that I am doing the drill with the non-stroking arm at my side, and breathing to the non-stroking side.

Last edited by indysjl : 09-10-2009 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention drill details
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  #20  
Old 09-10-2009
madinjapan madinjapan is offline
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madinjapan
Default more relaxed arms

absolutely stella swimming after 3 months. How far can you swim comfortably like that?

there has been lots of good advice here, if there is anything I could add (might have been said already) is that I notice your arms are very tense (almost flexed) on entry. I try to relax my arms much more. Once you have the feeling of weighlessness in your arms you will be able to swim much further. The idea that legs and arms are secondary, tertiary to swimming is alien but it makes so much sense in terms of energy conservation. let your rotation drive your arms into the water like they have no other choice but to follow that pattern.

anyhow, i might be talking complete toffee but again, great application of the drills to the overall stroke.
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