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  #11  
Old 12-13-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IngeA View Post
Good sportive skills of the coach are a nice bonus, but not indispensable for all athletes.
Nice summary. (I share with you similar experiences with skilled practitioners vs excellent coaches in varied disciplines throughout my life).
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Can't resist the temptation to change subject in this thread and apologize in advance for it. But the subject of coaching raises the question of how best to learn things. I agree with everything that IngeA just wrote (at least with all of it that I understood :o) ) As near as I can tell, there are several different tools we have to learn swimming or anything else
1) Imitation. This is the tool that children use most effectively.
2) Feeling. The irony of this is that we don't know what swimming well should feel like at the beginning, so feeling isn't much use to us. It is only after our first AhHa! experience that we start to understand what good swimming should feel like and the more of these we get the more we can start to rely on feeling as a learning tool.
3) Analysis. This is how old people learn foreign languages, whereas kids use imitation. But even old people, who learn using grammatical rules, transition over time to feeling. It seems that feeling can encompass a lot more of the minute details than analysis can ever hope to, and feeling is a lot faster a way to process information. Same is true of swimming.

Now this gets back to coaching and, in particular, different schools of coaching. As ZT points out, one of the main differences between TI and SS is the priorities they set on different aspects of the learning process. I don't think that there is a clear right or wrong in setting these priorities. In fact, the priority list usually changes somewhat in the course of learning. As a result, it probably isn't fair to criticize one school or the other if they over-emphasize one aspect of the learning process. For some people this will work well and for others, perhaps not. As TI evolves, it is refining its strategies, which means that they can accomodate more students with different abilities and priorities, but the price they pay for this is that the message they are sending becomes more complicated.

When I listen to good swimmers describe their styles, they often use the word "hybrid". This means that they have taken a little from the various schools of thought and combined it all to suit their own needs.
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

Quote:
The irony of this is that we don't know what swimming well should feel like at the beginning, so feeling isn't much use to us.
Just a side note: Have the exception in mind, Charles once posted: A strong push off the wall with least resistance brings us really near to the feeling a real fast swimmer always has in his whole strokes...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #14  
Old 12-16-2015
dougalt dougalt is offline
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Default Coaches Liza and Dikla

Weighing in on this one: looks can be deceiving…

I agree that Coach Liza appears to be a highly trained, strong swimmer, probably with hundreds or thousands of laps of pull bouys, hand paddles, wind sprints, descending and ascending routines, etc., who took on the pursuit of TI methods to improve her performance.

The value of watching Liza’s video, for me, is that I see clear examples of one of my own major flaws: lifting my head for air rather than rotating for air. At 0:17 and 0:20 in the video, one can see that Liza’s head and neck are aligned at almost 45º away from the spine/body axis, with the side of her head, neck and upper torso presenting large flat surfaces to create much resistance to movement forward through the water. There is certainly no “resting your head on a pillow of water” while getting air here…

In contrast, Coach Dikla’s head remains pretty much aligned with her body while getting air, as seen at 0:30 in her video, where the top of her head remains under the water, presenting the smallest cross-section possible to the resistance of the water while gliding forward.

During Dikla’s non-breathing strokes, she cruises along with her head completely under the surface of the water, reminding me of those state-of-the art ship hull designs which feature a bulbous nose protruding in front of the ship just below the water line. (Those researchers with flow tanks at major marine research institutions discovered a thing or two about efficiency…)

Coach Dikla’s overall stroke might seem a bit “flappy” or “noodley”, but her rhythm is, to me, consistent and comparatively effortless. Her kick and opposing arm spearing movements are timed to augment each other perfectly, and I get the feeling that the “weight shift” of her torso roll helps her spearing arm slide very nicely and efficiently right down that “mail slot”. It also seems to me that the velocity of her body through the water is more consistent, with less of the thrust-and-glide that I feel characterizes Liza’s stroke.

Liza’s strength actually appears to hurt her at times. The “tight core” concept restricts her stroke, particularly when her right arm is forward. At 0:24, one can see that she is forcibly holding her left hip low in the water as the left arm is recovering. Can anyone anticipate “shoulder injury” here? She is like two different swimmers: hips rotate fairly nicely when her left arm spears, but she actually struggles to rotate her hips the WRONG way when her right arm is spearing.

She also has a different kick technique with the right leg than she has with the left. The left leg does a nice snap as her right arm spears forward (0:14). However, the right leg is held very stiff during the left arm spear (0:15). Perhaps she has thought of trying to initiate the kick from the hip, using the whole leg, but that is only happening with the right leg. Instead of assisting with propulsion, the right leg seems to function as more of a stabilizing base against which she leans to force her hips to rotate the wrong way while the left arm is recovering.

Then, the kick timing is sometimes way off: at 0:49, her arm is already at full extension forward, her head is already turned 90º for air, and THEN the stiff right leg finally kicks. (Probably as a mechanism for holding her head up out of the water for air at that moment, rather than for any real propulsive value.)

At 0:59, a vivid reminder about another of my own counter-productive habits: head and shoulders lifted up while looking forward, presenting a lot of cross-section area while plowing barge-like through the water.

At 1:00 – 1:01, another illustration of lots of side of face and neck forcing their way through the water.

It is my bet that Coach Liza’s energy usage per 100 yards, at any particular given speed, is significantly higher than Coach Dikla’s.

It is also my bet that Coach Dikla gets much more enjoyment from just going out to swim in some nice place from time to time. See seems to be more “at one with the water”. Her “noodling” could probably be diminished somewhat with a bit of “core tightness” brought into the equation, which might happen automatically anyway while working on increasing swimming speeds.

My money’s on Coach Dikla for the coach with the best understanding of TI methods and rationale.
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  #15  
Old 12-16-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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You have studied the footage well, and I partly agree with you,
The first coach is looking a bit like a ferrari hitting the traffic lights and forced to slow down.
She still doesnt look very comfortable slowing the stroke down and holding that extended arm out front longer than she is used to do. I am sure she will look smoother at a higher strokerate where the movements has had more repetition.
You are right with the arm leg action at 0.49. She looks like wanting to pull with that right arm and the legs lag a bit.
She is probably a bit confused to not find much water pressure under the arm and havng to balance the rotation more.
In my view the sticky arm at end of recovery going behind backplane is linked with the lenghtened arm extended position somewhat.
If you are used to a higher strokerate you can swing the arms over helping the bodyroll a bit. If you slow the strokerate down, the continuoous roll becomes more a gliding on one side alternated with gliding on the other side.
This requires more lateral balance. Just like in real skating, or balancing a bike at very low speeds.
The normal wide swinging action is slowed down to balance on skating edge and the arm is held above the centerline to slow down the roll to hold it stationairy on edge longer.
Dont say it has to be that way, but this seems to be a sort of instinctive balance mechanism.Whooo, help I am balancing, and leave that arm somewhere at the back above the centerline.
Both swimmers have this sticky point, going behind the backplane.The first swimmer does it less from 25-30 sec.

We do agree that the second swimmer is too uncomtrolled in the core.
For me this isnt inside-out swimming. She lets the limbaction overwhelm the core.
This is putting the cart before the horses. Thats actually the main thing this thread is about.
I dont know what TI is exactly. Next to the noodleness I dont like the deep spearing/bad underwater arm mechanics. She takes the low head too far for her buoyancy(butt too high relative to head).
Her timing is also off now and then.
I think the first swimmer will be more efficient when the speed picks up.

Anyway, I would not mind swimming like the first swimmer, or like Shinji.
I dont want to swim like the second swimmer.
All TI, so what is proper TI and what not?
Is the second swimmer a good starting point model for a beginner, or a general form to strive for?

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-16-2015 at 08:10 AM.
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  #16  
Old 12-16-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougalt View Post
Weighing in on this one: looks can be deceiving…

I agree that Coach Liza appears to be a highly trained, strong swimmer, probably with hundreds or thousands of laps of pull bouys, hand paddles, wind sprints, descending and ascending routines, etc., who took on the pursuit of TI methods to improve her performance.

The value of watching Liza’s video, for me, is that I see clear examples of one of my own major flaws: lifting my head for air rather than rotating for air. At 0:17 and 0:20 in the video, one can see that Liza’s head and neck are aligned at almost 45º away from the spine/body axis, with the side of her head, neck and upper torso presenting large flat surfaces to create much resistance to movement forward through the water. There is certainly no “resting your head on a pillow of water” while getting air here…

In contrast, Coach Dikla’s head remains pretty much aligned with her body while getting air, as seen at 0:30 in her video, where the top of her head remains under the water, presenting the smallest cross-section possible to the resistance of the water while gliding forward.

During Dikla’s non-breathing strokes, she cruises along with her head completely under the surface of the water, reminding me of those state-of-the art ship hull designs which feature a bulbous nose protruding in front of the ship just below the water line. (Those researchers with flow tanks at major marine research institutions discovered a thing or two about efficiency…)

Coach Dikla’s overall stroke might seem a bit “flappy” or “noodley”, but her rhythm is, to me, consistent and comparatively effortless. Her kick and opposing arm spearing movements are timed to augment each other perfectly, and I get the feeling that the “weight shift” of her torso roll helps her spearing arm slide very nicely and efficiently right down that “mail slot”. It also seems to me that the velocity of her body through the water is more consistent, with less of the thrust-and-glide that I feel characterizes Liza’s stroke.

Liza’s strength actually appears to hurt her at times. The “tight core” concept restricts her stroke, particularly when her right arm is forward. At 0:24, one can see that she is forcibly holding her left hip low in the water as the left arm is recovering. Can anyone anticipate “shoulder injury” here? She is like two different swimmers: hips rotate fairly nicely when her left arm spears, but she actually struggles to rotate her hips the WRONG way when her right arm is spearing.

She also has a different kick technique with the right leg than she has with the left. The left leg does a nice snap as her right arm spears forward (0:14). However, the right leg is held very stiff during the left arm spear (0:15). Perhaps she has thought of trying to initiate the kick from the hip, using the whole leg, but that is only happening with the right leg. Instead of assisting with propulsion, the right leg seems to function as more of a stabilizing base against which she leans to force her hips to rotate the wrong way while the left arm is recovering.

Then, the kick timing is sometimes way off: at 0:49, her arm is already at full extension forward, her head is already turned 90º for air, and THEN the stiff right leg finally kicks. (Probably as a mechanism for holding her head up out of the water for air at that moment, rather than for any real propulsive value.)

At 0:59, a vivid reminder about another of my own counter-productive habits: head and shoulders lifted up while looking forward, presenting a lot of cross-section area while plowing barge-like through the water.

At 1:00 – 1:01, another illustration of lots of side of face and neck forcing their way through the water.

It is my bet that Coach Liza’s energy usage per 100 yards, at any particular given speed, is significantly higher than Coach Dikla’s.

It is also my bet that Coach Dikla gets much more enjoyment from just going out to swim in some nice place from time to time. See seems to be more “at one with the water”. Her “noodling” could probably be diminished somewhat with a bit of “core tightness” brought into the equation, which might happen automatically anyway while working on increasing swimming speeds.

My money’s on Coach Dikla for the coach with the best understanding of TI methods and rationale.
Wow, you're right, not all is at it seems; but for me it took quite close re-examination with your hints to pick up the flaws in Coach Liza's form that you point out. The poor head position while breathing is really the most obvious, the occasional hesitations and the subtle lack of confident balance much harder to see, and I'm not convinced I would be able to pick it out without help.

Your appreciation of Coach Dikla's unheralded strong points is more difficult for me to discern. The consistent and low head position is the easiest to see, and I recognise it now, whether or not it is "too" low as ZT thinks. However I can't (yet) see the underlying smoothness you talk of -- it still seems less smooth than coach Liza's although I admit I may be swayed by the higher overall velocity of Coach Lisa's pace, which to the untrained eye may artificially "smooth over" some inconsistencies of rhythm and balance.

It seems to me that Coach Dikla's recovery direction is vertically out of the water, a feature that has been recently discussed at length in this forum as a bad thing. You had not mentioned it, and I was wondering if I was imagining it, or confusing another similar-looking movement for a vertical elbow recovery. But certainly at the beginning of either side recovery her elbow is vertically pulled up in the midline (and at 0:05 her left elbow recovery seems to be pulled past the midline, although it's hard to separate this view from an optical illusion), and consistent with that observation, I notice that her body-roll angle seems to be higher than most, certainly higher than 45 degrees, and occasionally quite a bit higher than that.

Last edited by sclim : 12-17-2015 at 04:40 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-16-2015
IngeA IngeA is offline
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Quote:
It seems to me that Coach Dikla's recovery direction is vertically out of the water, a feature that has been recently discussed at length in this forum as a bad thing.
I am not sure, if I'm wrong one please correct me:
This camp was 2007. As I know then the exercises were done with much more rotation. In my older TI book the skating drill is with a rotation of 90 degrees. This was corrected because it led to overrotation in the stroke.

I think it would be very interesting to see how the two coaches swim now :o)
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2015
dougalt dougalt is offline
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I've haven't followed the elbow-angles-during-recovery discussions, as I haven't been active in swimming or on this forum for a while, but it seems to me that Coach Dikla's vertical movement is possible because her torso is rotated quite a bit, and, because she has very good shoulder flexibility.

(You won't see MY elbows ever lifting at that angle, mainly because my flexibility is "zilch"!!!)

If her shoulders are suffering no injury due to the high-elbow recovery motion, I'm wondering what other problems or inefficiencies such a high motion might be creating?
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2015
dougalt dougalt is offline
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Zenturtle:

When you say, "I dont know what TI is exactly ...I dont like the deep spearing/bad underwater arm mechanics," I'm wondering if you have gone completely through one of the TI self-coaching books or DVDs. There is a huge value to be gained in grasping the general concepts that Terry Laughlin presents, IF one starts at page one, or if one watches completely through the self-coaching videos, without skipping to "the good parts".

I have absolutely no "horses in this race", being totally NOT connected to TI or to ANY organized swimming program. (I swim mostly by myself, in the ocean.) I DO, however, have significant experience as a coach in another highly technical sport, gymnastics. As such, I tend to examine complicated body movements with a detective's mentality, searching, in particular, to discern what movements and forces are ACTUALLY causing certain results, as opposed to what "freeze/frame" body positions, that can look good in picture albums or in program brochures, may APPEAR to be signifying.

"Deep spearing" is something that has to be experimented with, to the point where one finally FEELS the concept of "sliding down the hill", to understand how efficient one's progress through the water can be with this technique.

I'm wondering what, specifically, you feel is "bad" about Dikla's stroke. (I may be missing something important here....?)
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  #20  
Old 12-17-2015
dougalt dougalt is offline
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As to the topic of whether someone who is not proficient in a skill can teach it
successfully to others: I have coached gymnasts to perform much higher difficulty skills than I had ever performed successfully myself. HOWEVER, I had enough experience with similar, lower level skills that I could understand the challenges and dangers involved with the higher skills, and thus, could assist the gymnast in analyzing and preparing properly for the more advanced skill.

However, swimming is not usually a death-defying activity (one won't sever one's spinal cord if a slight mistake in timing occurs, as can happen in gymnastics), and there is absolutely no reason I can think of why a potential swimming coach should NOT be well experienced with each of the techniques being taught. I mean, just jump in the water and try it... experience it... master it!!!

Last edited by dougalt : 12-17-2015 at 03:41 AM.
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