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  #1  
Old 02-21-2011
drmike drmike is offline
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Default Thorpedo Hands

In a recent “forearm flop” post , Janos referenced a movie of Ian Thorpe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv_sD...ature=youtu.be) to illustrate that Thorpe sculls prior to his catch—in order to get a feel for water thickness. Whether Thorpe sculls or not, the video seems to illustrate dramatically a central theme that emerged from a Maho Bay thread, viz., spear steeply and then straighten the arm, getting the elbow somewhat near the surface before the catch. Side views clearly show Thorpe’s hand entering the water on a fairly steep trajectory, but once his elbow enters, the hand returns to shallower water b/f dropping again for the catch & pull. The down-up-down hand and forearm motion reminds me somewhat of leg motion in a dolphin kick. Perhaps this is all perfectly obvious to everyone else, but I found it darned interesting to see the entire trajectory captured on "film". There is an asymmetry, in that it is more obvious on the R than the L side, and frontal views do no justice whatsoever.

Mike McCloskey
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2011
5-rise 5-rise is offline
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In the same thread, Janus said that

Quote:
TI is fundamentally based on the style of Popov et al
and I understood the Thorpe video was presented to demonstrate a TI-like stroke.

Looking at the video, I'd be really interested to know what aspects of his stroke are similar to TI as none are immediately apparent to me.

I appreciate that because he's going very fast the subtleties of a TI stroke performed at a slower tempo will be lost, but are there any fundamental elements of his stroke which a TI swimmer can recognise?

Jon

Last edited by 5-rise : 02-21-2011 at 12:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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If TI were fundamentally based on Popov and Thorpe then the materials would focus on those swimmers.

It isn't. Hence patient lead arm, face looking down, two-beat kick, quiet entry, no emphasis on EVF.

Unless we want yet another semantic discussion, so there are no losers.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2011
Janos Janos is offline
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Laurence, I see on another thread you have given yourself the epithet 'good'. I join all the other forum users in congratulating on your achievement and for accepting it from yourself with such humility and modesty.
Regarding Popov et al. Do you not read? In the original TI book Terry outlines his journey from frustrated sprinter to accomplished swimmer using the lessons he learnt from watching Spitz and then Popov. Spitz was Popovs' mentor, and passed his thoughts on swim technique onto Popov, who used them to devastating effect in the 50m freestyle.
Most footage of him at race speeds give little away, but Richard has posted a fabulous video link on another thread that shows the fundamental drills from which they build their stroke, and they are fundamentally the same as the ones advocated by TI, and other schools.
Regarding Thorpe, again, the issues are too subtle for you to notice, so there is a link below of Thorpe rotating around the fixed anchor of his catch arm in slow motion, and if you can concentrate for long enough, you will also notice the downbeat of his leg coincides with the opposite arm spearing ala TI style, difference being...as he is racing of course, he adds two flutter kicks in between each rotational kick. Oh, and I am sure he is feeling for the catch there too...but that may be too much information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8qUpeDb8kI
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Old 02-21-2011
5-rise 5-rise is offline
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Thanks, Janos for the explanation.

ps. you guys crack me up!
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2011
Janos Janos is offline
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Glad to be of service.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Tell us, Janos, why it is Popov doesn't look down, doesn't pursue a quiet entry, doesn't have a patient lead arm, works on EVF while Shinji doesn't, doesn't use a two-beat kick.

Ah yes, it's all a question of what you meant by saying TI is 'fundamentally' based on swimmers like Popov.

In other words, my earlier post already anticipated and disposed of your response.

If you need more help, let me know.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2011
SimonGermany SimonGermany is offline
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It occurs to me that TI is all about swimming at moderate speed with tremendous efficiency, and enjoying every stroke.

It also seems to me that guys like Thorpe and Popov have almost unimaginable levels of fitness and swimming-related strength, a kick like an outboard motor, and that the sheer speed at which they swim results in a lot more 'noise' in their stroke.

Therefore, what Thorpe and Popov do has less - actually, zero - relevance to me and my (limited) technique than, say, Shinji, and I aspire to swim more like our Japanese freind than the Thorpedo. Who I admire hugely, but he might as well be a bloody dolphin as far as I am concerned.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2011
jeetkevdo jeetkevdo is offline
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I fear I'm the 100th newbie to post this on here, but here's a Popov vid I found...

http://youtu.be/CIzBaSiWdRA
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Popov and Thorpe - worth emulating

Indeed Alexandre Popov was the primary exemplar I pointed to in the early days of TI. I had the privilege of watching him train for about 6 hours in 1999 on a visit to the NY metro area.
While you can certainly find video of him racing the 50m without patient hands, the approximately 20km of practice repeats I saw him swim that year showed all the stuff we teach.

As for the Thorpe video to which Mike linked, I see two things I like
1) While his entry isn't as steep as our Mail Slot - though the right arm is slightly steeper than left, there's no question that his hand goes in cleanly and forearm follows through the same hole.
2) The part of his extension where his hand rises demonstrates to me how light his hands are. Weightless hands are a key marker of impeccable balance.
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