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Old 03-31-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Default Discreptency between concepts

I need a little help here. I'm reading and watching video information on how to improve my swimming, but I also am receiving some feedback from pool acquaintances, if they feel it is "important" to provide critique (which I will not even go there); yet there is that adage, "too much information can make things more complicated than they need to be" and I cannot make sense of everything anymore because there is a discreptency between information. So I want to turn solely to TI rather than go to various swimming forum sites and read other books, and definitely want to not put a lot of stock in the pool folks; coming to TI specifically will help me gain consistent knowledge to help me be a better swimmer. It is getting to the point that I am getting frustrated, and even exhausted in the water to the point that I need to take a few days to even get enough energy back to get back to the pool.

Am I supposed to roll my entire body from the hips to my head as I roll to breathe, or am I just suppose to roll only my head as my arm makes its rotation in the stroke? The pool folks are explaining that my overcompensation comes from rotating at the hips, so I should just keep my body as parallel to the pool bottom as possible and only roll my head. Yet, that does not seem right to me from a physiological standpoint at all, based on how your body is built. From my point of view, I see the head only approach being very uneven and choppy which even has caused some sore muscles; but I see the torso rotation as being very fluid and free-flowing.

I'm tired of being frustrated and exhausted because I am working so hard to get enough air in a breath, and I really need simple input here so I can move forward with my swimming.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2010
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CoachDave CoachDave is offline
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Keeping it simple...
Even the fastest swimmers rotate the hips to some degree. Keeping them flat is not hydrodynamic, makes the range of motion difficult or even painful for breathing, tends to make people move off course when breathing, and presents some tough angles for active streamlining and propulsion on the shoulders.
Allow enough rotation that you are off your side, have a comfortable turn of the head with the body for breath, and are taking advantage of leans and weight shifts for both gliding and anchoring.
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Old 03-31-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDave View Post
Keeping it simple...
Even the fastest swimmers rotate the hips to some degree. Keeping them flat is not hydrodynamic, makes the range of motion difficult or even painful for breathing, tends to make people move off course when breathing, and presents some tough angles for active streamlining and propulsion on the shoulders.
Allow enough rotation that you are off your side, have a comfortable turn of the head with the body for breath, and are taking advantage of leans and weight shifts for both gliding and anchoring.
Thanks Dave. That helps. Next step... get back to the pool once I rest up after wearing myself out...
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Old 03-31-2010
madvet madvet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs View Post
Am I supposed to roll my entire body from the hips to my head as I roll to breathe, or am I just suppose to roll only my head as my arm makes its rotation in the stroke? .
I don't hear any mention of you doing drills. TI is a system of learning, not necessarily of having a unique stroke. Doing the first set of drills will convince your body how to properly rotate. If you keep your body flat in the water you will strain your neck, your shoulder, and be swimming with arm-strength alone, not engaging the rest of your body.

The drills can seem boring like drills (I think it would be great if they weren't called drills, because that MEANS boring -- I don't use that word when I am thinking of them but it is hard to discuss them without using the drill word).

But really they are not boring, they can be an experience in achieving graceful movement.

Some people are able to rotate within their torso more than others -- younger people, and those with long torsos especially. But for many of us, the degrees of rotation available are limited -- but those abdominal and lumbar muscles are quite strong and high-endurance. Learning how to engage those is part of the purpose of drills. You can't learn this well by doing ONLY whole-stroke.

I am reading between the lines here, but I think you are doing whole-stroke and no drills.

I think your instincts are correct. Graciously acknowledge that others are trying to help, but politely tell them that you are working on a different path.
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Old 03-31-2010
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In keeping it simple, I find that a focus on the direction of the kick allows for a stable hip position while enabling rotation in the trunk. Feel your kick moving up and down, rather than sideways. A sideways kick is generally a sign of too much rotation. And when the hips rotate too much, you'll lose support from the water and the hips will start to sink.

Practice skate, zenskate, and zenswitch with enough rotation to bring the shoulder out of the water while kicking up and down.

John, in my Masters practice I try to refer to the first portion of the session as "stroke tune-up" rather than drills.
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Old 03-31-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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A couple of simple points. You state that you wear yourself out, how much of this tiredness is a result of mental exhaustion vs physical? When we want something so bad and are trying so hard the results will never be what we think they should be. I have followed your journey and can only say SLOW DOWN ENJOY THE MOMENT AND SWIM TO IMPROVE, not be the fastest or what you want to be a year or two years from now. I have been doing TI for two plus years and the most rewarding piece of the whole puzzle is having gained a sense of challenge and yet satisfaction with the improvement.

Today for some reason I felt like my 2 beat kick was actually initiating the hip drive. Ironically the motion and sensation was exactly what Coach Brian stated above. This did not happen overnight and I will try to reproduce tomorrow. It is a process don't let hurried expectations get in the path of incremental improvement.

Madvet made a very good point about drilling. They are learning sessions.
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Old 04-01-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madvet View Post
I don't hear any mention of you doing drills. TI is a system of learning, not necessarily of having a unique stroke. Doing the first set of drills will convince your body how to properly rotate. If you keep your body flat in the water you will strain your neck, your shoulder, and be swimming with arm-strength alone, not engaging the rest of your body.

The drills can seem boring like drills (I think it would be great if they weren't called drills, because that MEANS boring -- I don't use that word when I am thinking of them but it is hard to discuss them without using the drill word).

But really they are not boring, they can be an experience in achieving graceful movement.

Some people are able to rotate within their torso more than others -- younger people, and those with long torsos especially. But for many of us, the degrees of rotation available are limited -- but those abdominal and lumbar muscles are quite strong and high-endurance. Learning how to engage those is part of the purpose of drills. You can't learn this well by doing ONLY whole-stroke.

I am reading between the lines here, but I think you are doing whole-stroke and no drills.

I think your instincts are correct. Graciously acknowledge that others are trying to help, but politely tell them that you are working on a different path.
Thanks for the encouragement. Actually, I have gone back to some basic drills - drills that you do when starting out in the TI program - and I have gone back over and over and over, and once I believe I have grasped what I am to achieve, I move to the next step. This is not a thing where I am in the pool only doing a drill one day and say, "Ok, the next time I come, I'm moving on." I sit with things for a while. Once I get to the point where I can start doing some laps after doing drills over and over, then everything falls apart. I don't panic and I try to just make adjustments; then I find myself going back to drills again. It's like I hit the "wall" and cannot move on to swim with ease. This cycle has gone on for a year now. Mental and physical exhaustion have set in, and I think I will give it a month before I hit the water again so I can regroup.
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Old 04-02-2010
madvet madvet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs View Post
- drills that you do when starting out in the TI program - .... It's like I hit the "wall" and cannot move on to swim with ease. ....I think I will give it a month before I hit the water again so I can regroup.
All of the drills are meant to be done on a continuing basis, they are meant to be used exactly like you are using them -- going back to those basic movements to establish a solid basis to add the rest of the movements to.

We all have different patterns on how to do this, some will do concentrated sessions of drills, some will do several lengths of drills, where others will throw in a few seconds here and there while doing regular stroke. There are no rules. And "mixing it up" can help to avoid that hitting the wall feeling. It seems like in that intermediate stage it is easy to be frustrated, because you can feel stretches of swimming with ease mixed with inexplicable periods of tedious plowing through the water.

Hang in there if you can, although sometimes a longer rest can get you out of physical and mental ruts.
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Thanks for the advice John.
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