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  #1  
Old 05-21-2016
fedup
 
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Default On verge of giving up

Just thought id maybe ask for a bit of advice.

Heres my quick story,

50 year old non swimmer who decided to give learning one last try.

Tried to learn in my school years but never grasped it, tried again in my 30s and got a bit more confidence to the point where i could do some very basic breastroke 'head above water', but never in water i couldnt stand up in.

Stopped swimming for a good number of years and then lost the confidence to even do the basic breastroke.

Decided to give learning one last try as i was fed up missing out on the pool on family vacations etc.

Much more confident in the water and again can somewhat do the basic breastroke 'head above water', again in shallwo water, but after about 10 hours of lessons i feel im no closer to learning proper breastroke or freestyle as i just cant seem to get my head out of the water between strokes to get a breath of air or if i do i still seem to take in water and that just causes me to have to stop after 2-3 strokes.

I dont feel like its a fear of water as i can keep my head under for a number of strokes, although i suppose i dont feel too relaxed either, quite tense during lessons.

Really fed up and thinking i should just stick with what i have which is the basic breastroke, better than nothing i suppose.

My instructor has told me to stick with it and it will come but i just really cant see it at this point.

Just wondered if anyone had any advice that could lift my spirits a bit?

Many thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2016
descending descending is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 226
descending
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If you just want to get some exercise and have some fun get a snorkel. We have a guy at the ripe age of 91 who swims every day of the week. Guy is my hero he is a disabled WWII vet and just gets in to be there he is awesome.

I do think a snorkel could be a great way to bypass some of what might be bothering you. Maybe after a while you can try it again? Snorkels have a lot of great applications. Learn to get comfy.

Good luck hope you don't quit.
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2016
fedup
 
Posts: n/a
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descending View Post
If you just want to get some exercise and have some fun get a snorkel. We have a guy at the ripe age of 91 who swims every day of the week. Guy is my hero he is a disabled WWII vet and just gets in to be there he is awesome.

I do think a snorkel could be a great way to bypass some of what might be bothering you. Maybe after a while you can try it again? Snorkels have a lot of great applications. Learn to get comfy.

Good luck hope you don't quit.
Thanks for the reply and actually yes i think that could help a lot, something i had not even thought of. Will definitely give it a try

Many thanks
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2016
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Posts: 585
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I'm not at all versed in this area of instruction, but I am sure there is a whole world of psychology associated with discomfort in water and it probably goes back to very early associations if not survival instinct itself. Hopefully those with more training will pitch in, but I am quite sure that instruction to stick with it, and expect that it will come, is ill-advised.

I believe there are methods to re-learn your relationship with the water. Again, not experienced here so I don't want to steer you wrong, just give you encouragement to keep up the search. All my best to your quest!
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedup View Post
Much more confident in the water and again can somewhat do the basic breastroke 'head above water', again in shallwo water, but after about 10 hours of lessons i feel im no closer to learning proper breastroke or freestyle as i just cant seem to get my head out of the water between strokes to get a breath of air or if i do i still seem to take in water and that just causes me to have to stop after 2-3 strokes.

I dont feel like its a fear of water as i can keep my head under for a number of strokes, although i suppose i dont feel too relaxed either, quite tense during lessons.

Really fed up and thinking i should just stick with what i have which is the basic breastroke, better than nothing i suppose.
Your situation doesn't sound any worse than that of a number of swimmers we've successfully worked with in the past.

It's hard to tell from your post exactly what your problem is (since we can't see you). But I'm going to suggest that you try the following (just for diagnostic purposes) and tell us what happens:

If you can do basic breaststroke, I'm assuming you can do a breaststroke kick. What happens if you keep your arms at your sides, hands on your thighs, and do breaststroke kicking on your back? Since you will be on your back, your mouth and nose should be above the water, so breathing shouldn't be a problem.


Bob
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fedup View Post
Just thought id maybe ask for a bit of advice.

Heres my quick story,

50 year old non swimmer who decided to give learning one last try.

Tried to learn in my school years but never grasped it, tried again in my 30s and got a bit more confidence to the point where i could do some very basic breastroke 'head above water', but never in water i couldnt stand up in.

Stopped swimming for a good number of years and then lost the confidence to even do the basic breastroke.

Decided to give learning one last try as i was fed up missing out on the pool on family vacations etc.

Much more confident in the water and again can somewhat do the basic breastroke 'head above water', again in shallwo water, but after about 10 hours of lessons i feel im no closer to learning proper breastroke or freestyle as i just cant seem to get my head out of the water between strokes to get a breath of air or if i do i still seem to take in water and that just causes me to have to stop after 2-3 strokes.

I dont feel like its a fear of water as i can keep my head under for a number of strokes, although i suppose i dont feel too relaxed either, quite tense during lessons.

Really fed up and thinking i should just stick with what i have which is the basic breastroke, better than nothing i suppose.

My instructor has told me to stick with it and it will come but i just really cant see it at this point.

Just wondered if anyone had any advice that could lift my spirits a bit?

Many thanks
You never said whether your instructor was a TI instructor; from the context it would appear that your instructor is not from TI. Seeing as how this is a TI forum, it might not be too surprising that I, as a TI student contributing his experiences to this forum would advise if possible that you get a TI instructor. My guess is that most other contributors would feel the same, and not just the TI coaches who contribute to the forum.

I was a very fit but brutal swimmer over the past few years who really struggled in the water. When I retired almost 4 years ago at 64 I decided to learn to swim and bike properly and compete in triathlon. I discovered TI on the internet and started on my own with videos, and I found it a real revelation. I have the worst body type for swimming (short stature, low body fat, and severe sinker -- or so I claim as the reason for my slow progress lol) and coupled with late in life swimming instruction found it tough slogging, but I have since connected with a live TI coach and now I have overcome my fear of water, and have completed 2 Half Ironman races with 2 more and a full Ironman to come this year.

So from personal experience I can advise that TI really works if you give it your full attention. But it's better than the sum of many, many moving parts, but the genius is that you get to deal with each moving part one by one.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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you can start breastroke with a submersed head between strokes.
You have to get comfortable in the water first with bobbing.
Getting a breath in the short time you bounce above water while staying relaxed while using this method to breathe.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfbQrBt7ofs

there is more stuff about this on youtube.
Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2016
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
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I agree with ZenTurtle that learning to swim breaststroke with your face in the water and blowing bubbles gently would be a good starting point. Long glides with face in the water are also a good idea, and of course just blowing bubbles at the shallow end. I remember, when I was learning to swim at the rather late age of twelve or thirteen that at first I didn't like the idea of opening my eyes under water. I used to practise in the bathroom with my face in the wash basin. The same approach works for exhaling under water.Any handy basin will do. These things may sound silly and childish but they work.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2016
ti97
 
Posts: n/a
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these statements from your post stand out to me and suggest that you need to become more relaxed and confident in the water >>>>>

but never in water i couldnt stand up in.

then lost the confidence to even do the basic breastroke.

more confident in the water again in shallwo water,

i suppose i dont feel too relaxed either, quite tense

================================================== =======___________________________________________ ______________

I agree with all of the suggestions above but would like to add that you need to become more relaxed and confident that you WILL float in any depth of water....your body will be mostly submerged, but you WILL FLOAT... look at the floats in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jMn01H6cAA

to breathe effortessly you need to become relaxed but you can't be relaxed if your are at all tense

to run you must first walk, before that you must crawl, but before that you have to be able to roll from your back to your belly....swimming is similar but more difficult for humans...

parse the problem and work on the pieces individually....float on your back to get the breathing issue out of the picture

finally you might try another instructor to see if you can get a better connection to learning the skills

I encourage you not to quit
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2016
MichelleY
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Your situation is pretty similar to mine. First learned to swim at 14 at the Y and then again in college, but was never great at it, especially the breathing.
I started again at 60+. I've been doing TI for about 2 years. I have to travel out of town to see my instructor, so I only see her about every 3-4 months. I still don't have the breathing down yet, but getting better. I train with a snorkel to get my form down, which someone else also suggested for you. It's great to get in the exercise and not worry about the breathing.
It appears you may have expectations that are too high and not achievable at this time, so you are frustrated and "fed up". Lower your goals to smaller steps that are achievable with practice in a couple of months. Then, move on to the next small step. Be patient. Find joy in what you can do.
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