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  #11  
Old 02-20-2011
roates roates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBeaty View Post
No, because I am not a good swimmer. I am a swimmer through hardwork has gotten lucky by being surrounded good coaches,...........
At best, I am an average swimmer that keeps striving to be a good swimmer.
I'll go along with the above. Below is a point of view.....

??Where's the benchmark??

For me good doesn't come into the equation for the majority of us. Elite swimmers are GOOD, because they are naturally gifted and work on that for many hours to become elite and boy do they move me watching them for their dedication. The rest of us haven't a hope in hell.

Above average is where I'd like to be and I think so would a lot of recreational swimmers - never mind the Tri-Athletes.

I'm slow and quite frankly I'm not interested in being fast, fast is what a lot of people think of as good. I'd rather swim fluidly and with elegance and not damage my body when I'm in the water and when people say I swim well that's encouragement enough, I go away happy.

Like many on this site I have diligently followed the TI route for the last 5 years and refer to myself as >a late onset swimmer<, why because I started at 60. I started too late and no amount of time and effort will make me anything other than average, I don't have a sporting background and wasn't encouraged to swim as a child. What chance have I got to be good.

5 years and a lot of practice have made me faster so maybe 5 years is the time it takes to become a better late onset swimmer.
That magical 2mins x 100m is still a way off but I'm working on it, fine tuning and enjoying the journey is the important point.

Keep swimming
Roger

PS: Terry, is there a reason the site can't have Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced sections? My ability is more 'advanced' now and the help I need is different to when I started 5 years ago. I often felt overloaded with all the good information and help dispensed via the site then I wanted the real basics help with no frills attached help, the subtleties of catch etc I simply couldn't understand. How you define Intermediate and Advanced is the problem I leave to more learned people.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roates View Post
??Where's the benchmark??

I'd rather swim fluidly and with elegance and not damage my body when I'm in the water
I'd say that's a sensible benchmark, Roger.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2011
cynthcor cynthcor is offline
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Roates - I asked Terry the same question. He's working on it! YAAAAA.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2011
roates roates is offline
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roates
Default What's the benchmark for a younger swimmer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I'd say that's a sensible benchmark, Roger.
Lawrence
Do you think the benchmark might be different for a not so aged challenged swimmer?
Does it/should it change with age?
When does speed become less important?

Just Sunday afternoon musings!
Roger
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Roger, as others have noted, I don't think there are any final answers here. My first post was an attempt to spell out the benchmark I'm using.

I didn't mean this to become a conceptual discussion, by the way. Before taking up something new, people often ask how long it will take to be 'good' or at least 'proficient'. That's all I'm asking. I don't see why freestyle is any different, kaizen or no kaizen.
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Default when is speed important ????

Getting "good" for me will be realized when,1) I am completely confident that I am in control in the water, 2) when my stroke is smooth and somewhat efficient ~ not splashy, 3), when getting air is of no more concern in the water than when on land, and 4), if I live a lot longer than I ever hope to !! Points 1,2 & 3 might be realized only if 4 is as well ! For me speed will only be part of the equation when something big and hungry is chasing me!

Mike
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Mike, I would say 1-3 should suffice!
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Probably right Lawrence ! But when I realize #3 all else will follow quickly ~~~ I hope !!
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default What is the the 'OK Plateau' and how can we avoid it?

Any question about how long it takes to 'get good' must involve both a reasonable way to define 'good' as well as an acknowledgement that 1200 - even 12,000 - hours of practice is no guarantee. How you practice -- and how you view 'plateaus' -- is far more determinative.

Here's a preview of one of two blogs I will post inspired by the article Secrets of A Mind Gamer in today's NY Times.

In 2005 journalist Joshua Foer covered the U.S.A. Memory Championship, to write an article about what he imagined would be “the Super Bowl of savants.” When the elites of the event all claimed to have average memories that had simply been developed through disciplined training, he decided to test that proposition himself.

In 2006, at the same event, Foer won the championship and broke the US record for memorizing the order of all 52 cards in a randomly shuffled deck. The lessons he learned are invaluable to anyone pursuing improvement in swimming. Excerpts from the article:

Among the mentors he sought out as he began training was psychologist Anders Ericsson PhD, the world's leading authority on expertise who advised Foer: “Check out the literature on speed typing.” When he did, he learned the following:

New typists improve quickly from single-finger pecking to two-handed typing, until the fingers move effortlessly and the whole process becomes unconscious. At this point, most people plateau: their typing skills stop progressing. Why don’t people who use a keyboard for hours a day continue improving?

In the 1960s, the psychologists Paul Fitts and Michael Posner answered this question by describing three stages of acquiring a skill. During the first phase, the cognitive phase, we intellectualize the task and discover new strategies to accomplish it more proficiently. During the second, the associative phase, we concentrate less, make fewer errors, and become more efficient. Finally we reach the autonomous phase, when we’re as good as we need to be at the task and begin to ‘run on autopilot.’

In one sense that’s a good thing. The less we have to focus on routine repetitive tasks, the more we can concentrate on more critical tasks. You can see this phase shift take place in f.M.R.I.’s: the parts of the brain involved in focused attention become less active, and other parts take over. Call this the “O.K. Plateau.”

Until recently, psychologists thought that O.K. Plateaus marked the upper bounds of innate ability. In other words, the best we can do is simply the best we can do. Ericsson and his colleagues have repeatedly observed that with a particular kind of effort, that’s rarely the case. They believe the OK Plateau has less to do with innate limits than with what we consider an acceptable level of performance.

They’ve documented that top achievers follow a different pattern: They develop strategies for avoiding autopilot by doing three things: (i) focusing on their technique, (ii) constantly adjusting their goals upward; and (iii) getting immediate feedback on their performance.

Average musicians tend to spend their practice time playing music. Accomplished musicians tend to repetitively practice exacting exercises and prioritize the most difficult passages of pieces.

The best ice skaters spend more of their practice time trying jumps that they land less often, while lesser skaters work more on jumps they’ve already mastered.

We simply can’t progress via rote repetition. To improve, we have to be constantly pushing beyond where we think our limits lie, paying attention to how and why we fail.

Bruce Lee: “There are no limits. There are plateaus, and you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you.”

Unlike downhill skiing or race car driving, there's little chance that arduous pursuit of excellence in swimming will kill us. In fact, it's virtually guaranteed to make us happier and healthier.
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  #20  
Old 02-20-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
Default A slight aside

Terry,

As you say a definition of "good" must be established as that would set our goals to that point. Better and best follow, of course. "Best" I think is often seen as the person who wins the race -- or at least comes in first. With the thinking we TI followers live by, we will never reach best because we believe we will become better than our "bests" with the continual learning. And this is really true with any skill we strive to develop. I was skiing this week at Poley in NB. Not a big hill; but it had some steeper trails than I've skied before. The first trip down these wasn't pretty and my confidence was shaky. By the third and fourth times down I was skiing the trail rather than just trying to reach the bottom while still standing !! I had relaxed and was enjoying the journey. I see a similar progression with my learning to swim curve. I am finally at the stage of enjoying the journey ~ even though I still need to build relaxed confidence.

In swimming, skiing and skating we must take control and not let things, like lacking confidence, "mess with our heads". By the way my skating jumps are the least pretty !

Mike
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