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  #1  
Old 01-09-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Default The catch - an observation

I've been learning TI freestyle for almost a year now, never having swum freestyle before. For most of the past year I fretted about how to execute the perfect catch consistently, engaging the back muscles rather than merely the weak shoulder muscles or, worse, ripping through the water with a single hand, leaving a trail of tell-tale bubbles but achieving little if any propulsion.

Then I had a moment of discovery. The catch happens automatically when I focus not on the leading hand but instead on the recovering hand. In particular, while reaching the leading hand to full extension, I focus on getting the mail slot entry of the recovering hand to occur in the right place (for me, at about the level of the elbow of the leading arm), on a wide track, and then spearing fully to the target underwater. When I do this, the catch is full and true, every time.

I offer this in case anyone finds it helpful. I've read a lot of stuff on the net about what one should do with one's leading arm, and what one shold think about, in order to execute a good catch. It seems to me the way to do it is to think about the other hand.
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Old 01-09-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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That sounds like it helps with the timing of the catch, not so much the technique. The technique might have been imprinted over the year which made it automatic. So the new focal point might allow you to consistently time your technique better. Of course, timing can alter technique a bit due to the orientation of the body at different points in time.

One thing that I worked on recently is making my left catch lighter, then applying force in coordination with the recovery timing. It does feel nice when it's timed well. Before I was feeling too much pressure or tension going into the catch. The right side doesn't seem to have that problem.
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Old 01-09-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Not sure what you mean by technique as opposed to timing. I've found that my method gives me a catch that works on all counts - timing, elbow bend, hand travelling down the centre line under the body, you name it. Perhaps TI freestyle is to an extent self-reinforcing in the sense that once you get certain things right, the rest follows. That has certainly been my experience.
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Old 01-10-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Not sure what you mean by technique as opposed to timing. I've found that my method gives me a catch that works on all counts - timing, elbow bend, hand travelling down the centre line under the body, you name it. Perhaps TI freestyle is to an extent self-reinforcing in the sense that once you get certain things right, the rest follows. That has certainly been my experience.
What I mean about timing is... Take archery for example. If you try to shoot a moving target, even if your bow skills are perfect, you will still miss if the arrow is released early or late. So you can form a perfect catch yet apply it at the wrong moment. Or you could have the timing right without a good catch to take advantage of it.

The hand travelling down the centre line under the body is one way to do it. TI emphasises a wider arm position though. The arm will naturally move toward the body more as the body rolls, but that isn't an overt objective.
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Old 01-10-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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You might want to check your notes. TI emphasises keeping the leading arm on a wide track then 'pulling' down the centre line.

As Terry puts it in his book (p. 56):

'you simply pull your hand in a straight line back under your body (right down the center of the body, of course)'.

My observation is that focussing on positioning the leading hand for mail slot entry followed by full spearing down and forwards takes care, automatically, of what the 'pulling' arm should be doing, both in terms of timing and the other elements of proper technique.

It works!
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Old 01-10-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
You might want to check your notes. TI emphasises keeping the leading arm on a wide track then 'pulling' down the centre line.

As Terry puts it in his book (p. 56):

'you simply pull your hand in a straight line back under your body (right down the center of the body, of course)'.

My observation is that focussing on positioning the leading hand for mail slot entry followed by full spearing down and forwards takes care, automatically, of what the 'pulling' arm should be doing, both in terms of timing and the other elements of proper technique.

It works!
Under the body doesn't necessarily mean down the centre. However, I do see Terry doing so on the latest Easy Freestyle DVD. Then again, the more emphasis you put on a wide pull the less the hand will approach the centre line.

If it works for you, that's good. It has worked for me as well. In fact, maybe I should do it that way even now. But I've been working on a slightly different style lately. (KP-N style.)
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Old 01-11-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuumai View Post
Under the body doesn't necessarily mean down the centre. [b]
Um, that's why I included the rest of the quote.
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Old 01-11-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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And I didn't emphasise or otherwise suggest a wide pull.

It's all there in my original post.
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Old 01-11-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Looking for a good CATCH?

What really works for me is the following:
a. 12-14 LAPS of underswitch with fist gloves (or closed fists)
b. 2 LAPS of underswitch with open hands
c. 2 LAPS of FREESTYLE

Looks like the underswitch (renamed "zen switch" in the latest DVD ???) forces you to swim with timing and to adjust your movements until you reach good propulsion. When that happens you feel your are really holding the water perfectly well on each CATCH. You can feel the water pressure on your hand + wrist + forearm.

Unfortunately this is not a feeling I have when I just jump into the water and swim FREESTYLE right away without prior DRILLS... ALEX
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Old 01-11-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
And I didn't emphasise or otherwise suggest a wide pull.
Check out Shinji-san--the super model of TI swimming--starting at about 2:05 into the clip. Watch his arms underwater. He pulls wide, though his forearm angles inward a bit after the catch and moves closer to his body as he rolls and his upper arm moves inward toward his side. The straight-back line drawn by the hand is offset to the left or right of the centre line. (See the attached image for a shot of the catch/spear.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJpFVvho0o4&fmt=18

(Shuumai must win this one! haha)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TI_Shinjisan_wide-catch-spear.jpg (94.7 KB, 41 views)
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