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  #1  
Old 08-26-2012
gmehje gmehje is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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gmehje
Default Some help needed please - video attached

Hi all,
Firstly - this forum is amazing - a massive inspiration to many people so thank you to everyone who comments on posts. Us new posters appreciate it immensely and it makes great reading!

Quick background on myself. Learning to swim in TI style. I had not swam more than 2/3 lengths in about 20 years until 18 months ago. Never had a swimming lesson as far as I can remember (at least not since I was 10 or so). Decided to get fitter so joined the gym. Go to the pool twice a week. Done a few sprint triathlons last year, but had about 4/5 months off this year due to work commitments and an operation.

Would like some advice on my freestyle swim stroke please.
Can 'comfortably' swim 600m, got up to a mile or so a year back but really not too bothered about distance - I want a better, smoother more efficient stroke and then distance will follow.

Short term ambition: to swim a good 400m in sprint Triathlon. Long term - who knows.

Video: Very quick 6am swim in an hotel outdoor pool in Geneva a month back. Was going very steady - I guess I am faster than this normally. The video quality is good but apologies for the low angle - it was the only place I could rest my iPhone without it toppling into the pool.

The video is here:
http://vzaar.tv/1058632

My self critique:
My recovery arms swing / swoop around alarmingly rather than having a high elbow.
This seems to make me place entry to close to centre as often crossing over.

Any help, thoughts, drills etc. accepted with gratitude.
Many thanks in advance.

Kind Regards
Ged
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2012
boken boken is offline
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boken
Default

Hi Ged. Congratulations on your progress so far.

I completely agree with your self-critique about your recovery and entry. These demand a bit of focus. I had a recovery that looked a lot like yours and it is still not perfect, but what helped me is to focus on the elbow and keep it speeding forward, dragging the hand behind. In order for your hand to lead like what you're doing, your elbow has to pause its forward motion a bit as your hand rotates under and points forward. Don't let your elbow pause; instead try to speed it forward so it stays 'ahead' of your hand. eventually your hand will catch up and have to rotate under and past the upper arm but ideally this will be further up towards your shoulder. Try dragging your lower arm in the water to make sure it stays back until you have imprinted what 'hand back' feels like. Video will give you good feedback too. Good luck on this. It is still an issue for me.

As for the narrow entry, try entering far wider than you think necessary. Check with video or with a friend until it is at the right spot. It may feel ridiculously wide at first.

I will add that it looks like you pop your head out when you breathe -- mostly on your left breath. It looks like you have a decent bow wave (until you lift your head and disturb it) so you might as well use it so you can keep your streamline, balance, and rhythm throughout the whole stroke cycle. Try closing the right eye when you breathe left and make sure your open left eye still sees water flowing past it as you breathe. You are doing it better on your right so you may just have to be conscious of this habit and focus on applying the skill you already have to the left side too. Otherwise, you can try searching these threads for the 'nodding drill'.

Have fun
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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tomoy
Default

I appreciate the bird chirping! Good vid. Nice smooth, quiet stroke. x2 what boken says. I too noticed the head popping out to breathe. Work on Superman Glide to get the head to just relax into position, it seems like it's riding higher than necessary.

That plus the elbow leading will help improve your balance fore-aft and that leads very well to decreasing drag. Keep up the good work!
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2012
gmehje gmehje is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 5
gmehje
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Hi all,
Many thanks Tomoy and and Boken for your posts.

Really great thoughts and certainly lots to work on.

I shall try this as soon as I can. Won't be for the next few days as I tripped up whilst running this morning (pavement must of moved!) and sprained my left wrist tumbling to the floor. Looked bit of a fool! Ouch!

I now notice that my head lifts when I breath which I will work on.
Next time I will try to get a better video so you can see the legs as well. I think my problem is also inflexibilty as well - sometimes its easier not to to force the recovery arm into the correct position. I need to work on this as I'm sure I can pick up speed if I enter the hand/arm properly and manage get better leverage in the catch.

Feel free to post any more comments.
Great stuff.

Kind Regards
Ged
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2012
mjm mjm is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 229
mjm
Default Rotation and Body Position

Ged: obviously you are relaxed in the water and that will help you as you progress. That being said you might work on these issues:

--over-rotation. Your elbow crosses the midline of your body during recovery. That means you have over-rotated. Keep the elbow outside your bodyline during recovery. That should also help with your hands crossing over the midline as they spear forward. Keep your fingers pointed directly at the opposite wall.

--body position. Your head moves up and down. Head up brings the hips and feet down. The ideal is a horizontal body position in the water. Watch Shinji's video to see how much of his back, hips, and feet you see while he is swimming. Compare to your video.

Good luck, good swimming. mjm
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2012
gmehje gmehje is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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gmehje
Default

Many thanks for taking the time to post MJM. Good observations.

I will certainly look into these asap. I can feel I am over rotating which is causing me directional issues as well as balance issues. And I shall try to deal with the 'nodding head' issues.

Kind Regards,
Ged
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2012
CoachPaulB CoachPaulB is offline
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CoachPaulB
Default Spear

Ged,
All good comments about your stroke and you do look comfortable and relaxed. I would only add that the reason for your head bobbing is because for a brief moment in the placement of your hands you are pushing down on the water. Spear deliberately... and follow the hand like you are putting into the glove.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2012
richard_13 richard_13 is offline
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richard_13
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Ged,

Your rotation timing is wrong : too early. You should stay on your side until your recovering hand enters water and then start to switch side. When you rotate too early, the recovering hand swings and crosses the center line. Let your recovering hand enter the water and then start the switch.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2012
gmehje gmehje is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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gmehje
Default

Many thanks richard_13 and CoachPaulB for takingbthe time to post.


richard_13
Never crossed my mind that rotation was too early. I'll certainly try out what you suggest - very interesting.
Does anyone else think the same. I've watched the video again a few times and it's difficult to tell.


CoachPaulB
I get that I'm pushing down on water and need to be more deliberate in what I do. If you have a moment can you please elaborate on the glove comment. Im not sure I quite understand.

Going to try to hit the pool tomorrow.

Thanks all.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2012
CoachPaulB CoachPaulB is offline
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CoachPaulB
Default The Glove

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmehje View Post
Many thanks richard_13 and CoachPaulB for takingbthe time to post.


richard_13
Never crossed my mind that rotation was too early. I'll certainly try out what you suggest - very interesting.
Does anyone else think the same. I've watched the video again a few times and it's difficult to tell.


CoachPaulB
I get that I'm pushing down on water and need to be more deliberate in what I do. If you have a moment can you please elaborate on the glove comment. Im not sure I quite understand.

Going to try to hit the pool tomorrow.

Thanks all.
So from establishing the proper hand placement in skate position we are essentially setting the X Y coordinates for the hands for WS. This is where our hand should be when it initiates the catch. Deliberately enter your hand to that position like you were inserting it into a elbow length glove. Fingers knuckles, wrist, forearm. Terry describes it as putting your hand into the glove and then imagine you are sliding your hand/arm down the hood of an old vw bug front hood. Let your entire body follow that path. This also helps put us in proper lateral rotation.
The main thing is that you do not place your hand on top of the water in front of your body.
Hope that helps.
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