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  #1  
Old 09-01-2009
indysjl indysjl is offline
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Location: Minneapolis
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indysjl
Default Freestyle Critique

Hello All,

Could you please be so kind as to offer your critiques?

http://www.vimeo.com/6383243

I have been teaching myself TI for the last three months, and would like to have some more experienced TIers let me know where to go next.

My own observations:
1) I believe I may be rotating a bit too much
2) Kick amplitude is too high; too much knee bend
3) Recovery arm should be more relaxed

Do you concur? What am I missing? What drills should I do to correct these behaviors?

I would be grateful for any advice you may have.

Thanks,

Saul
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2009
scottbf scottbf is offline
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Saul:

You are over-rotating but just to the breathing side. I would also be a bit more patient with the lead hand before starting your pull.

You have nice movement through the water.

Congrats.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I agree with Scott about the over rotating .Your also spearing a bit too much to the center line . Try spearing a bit wider which will also help the rotation.Looking good !


Dave
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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atreides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indysjl View Post
Hello All,

Could you please be so kind as to offer your critiques?

http://www.vimeo.com/6383243

I have been teaching myself TI for the last three months, and would like to have some more experienced TIers let me know where to go next.

My own observations:
1) I believe I may be rotating a bit too much
2) Kick amplitude is too high; too much knee bend
3) Recovery arm should be more relaxed

Do you concur? What am I missing? What drills should I do to correct these behaviors?

I would be grateful for any advice you may have.

Thanks,

Saul
Here's what i saw:

1. It seems like you might be too deep when you breathe which is why you have to rotate as much as you do. You are also kicking hard which could mean that you are having trouble maintaining vertical balance. I think your head motion is slightly up which may be contributing to your depth and balance. But I think that if you settled your kick down, you might stay higher. Try flicking it and see if you make a normal rotation if you aren't at air. I think the heavy rotation and kick are creating tubulence and causing you to ride a little too low.

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.

3. I agree about the patience comment. Let the lead hand at least hit the water before you make the opposite side pull.

I used to kick hard like that particularly when pushed off the wall. One day I had a horrible day but couldn't figure out why. It was the kick. Now I make sure my feet stay up and its just a flick. When I do that I ride high. When I'm riding high (for me), I turn to air and its always there.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I agree with what has been said. You look really good for 3 months. I wish I looked that good at 3 months. But you asked for critique, so here it is. I always start with the body and move out to the arms so here is my series to play with.
1. Your balance could be better. Drop your head and lean into the armpit a little. I like to see the armpit/pec muscle be the deepest part of your torso and legs.
2. Rotate less. That will allow you to ride higher in the water and get air more easily. Widening your hand entry is part of this so I will put them together. I also think you have to kick so hard because you need that to get off your side. So this will help quiet the kick as well.
3. Be more smooth. You will have to slow everything WAY down for a while to do this. Right now I see a sharp snap in the switch and a big lag with your hand at the hip. Then you have to use a lot of arm muscle to get the arm forward fast enough. This is very common in the transition from single switches to swimming. I want the arm to start and finish in the front and continuously accelerate during the loop. That means the catch will be VERY slow and the hand will gradually accelerate until it finishes the spear. You will have to focus on one arm at a time to do that. Actually swimming one arm free is a great way to start. One arm is also a great way to work on over rotation because you have to really focus to keep rotation on both sides equal.

Congrats on your work and I look forward to seeing the next 3 months.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2009
indysjl indysjl is offline
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Location: Minneapolis
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indysjl
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Wow, thank you all for the critiques! Your observations will be a large contribution towards my swimming improvement. I kind of felt like I was stagnating before I had this footage taken and gotten your opinions.

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me.

Now I need to work up a practice set for correcting these issues.

My first thoughts are:
1) Underskate - focus on pressing (leaning into) armpit
2) Zipperskate - same focal point
3) One arm freestyle SLOW
4) Swim focal point wide tracks

What else might I add to help correct these problems?

Thanks again,

Saul
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Your practice routine options are endless. Please remember two things:
1. never leave the wall without 1 focal point
2. Always choose a focal point, distance and speed that you can just barely do correctly with complete focus.

Your list of drills is good. Here are two practice models I like.
1. Hold one focal point through all drills
example:
4x25 spear switch focus on body position
4x25 zen switch same focus
4x25 one arm same focus
4x25 swim same focus

2. Hold the drill and rotate focal points.
4x25 spear switch body position
4x25 spear switch wide tracks
4x25 spear switch less rotation

You can alternate these as you enjoy.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2009
mjm mjm is offline
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mjm
Default You've got to lose that sinking feeling

Pretty darn good Indy for only three months of practice--about 19 spl--also not bad.

This is what I see and I don't pretend to be an expert or play a TI Coach on the web:

--you rotate about 90 degrees when you breathe. Try rotating just enough so that your right shoulder just clears the water.
--your rotation causes your hips and legs to sink so instead of swimming horizontally, you are slightly jackknifed, head low, feet low. To help compensate for this you sissor kick.
--your stroke pause exacerbates the sinking.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and recommend a pull buoy. You could do superman glide, I suppose, but sinking while breathing is the issue.

Try the pull buoy to get the *feeling* of swimming horizontally. It will feel strange but high hips and legs will make your swimming *much* easier. Try 25 yds with pull buoy, 25 without. Start with those big, old, round pull buoys and progress to the smaller, streamlined ones as you gain confidence with the correct, horizontal swimming position. You should *not* kick with a pull buoy.

Try continuous motion with the stroking arms--that's the text for perpetual motion freestyle and the pause is a leftover from all that drilling.

As you progress, learn to breathe on both sides, it will help smooth out your stroke.

Again, just my take. Good luck. --mjm
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2009
indysjl indysjl is offline
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Location: Minneapolis
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indysjl
Default Two steps forward, one step back...

Thank you for all you all of your practice/drill suggestions.

I dusted off (literally) the old pull buoy yesterday and went to the pool to practice the suggestions.

Here are the highlights of my experience:

1) I started off with 4x25 underskate and 4x25 zenskate - I focused on pressing my armpit. I could really feel my legs at the surface of the water. In zenskate, I felt that the front of my body was the lowest part.

2) Switched to the pull buoy. I switched between wide tracks and accelerating during the stroke. I am not used to the pull buoy; it felt awkward. I found it very tricky to stay balanced, swim in a straight line, and try to maintain the focal points. I believe this is telling me that it will be an effective tool for me, as my balance/stability was affected by the stroking motion. The wider tracks focal point helped with the stability. On the breaths I felt myself slipping back into the over-rotation habit, even when the air was there and I didn't need to. I think there is potential with the pull buoy exercises.

3) Switched to one-arm free. This was the most foreign and difficult drill of the practice. I felt like I was just beginning swimming again. There is great potential here for balance and rotation improvement, based solely on the fact that I could not perform the drill with any level of form whatsoever. I have some questions about one arm free:
a. I had to kick during the drill to make it work. I assume this is correct? I tried to maintain a light kick but sometimes it got a little crazy.
b. Should the non-stroking arm be forward or at side?
c. Would this be a good drill to try with the pull buoy?

After all the drills, i tried a couple of laps whole stroke. I felt myself returning to the old habits. I had the most success focusing on the wide tracks and focusing on keeping my legs quiet, using a toe kick. But, as some of you mentioned, they seem interconnected. If wide tracks go away, rotation comes back, and big kick starts.

Thanks again,

Saul
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Old habits are hard to break. I have heard 21 days and 7,000-20,000 perfect repetitions as magic numbers for making changes. You will slip back into old habits after one day.

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.
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