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  #1  
Old 10-07-2010
dobarton dobarton is offline
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dobarton
Default 2-bk question

Greetings all,
I know this has been beat to death. I also know it's difficult to comment with any confidence without a video, but... I'll ask anyhow.
In the last two weeks, I've been really concentrating on 2-bk using the opposite foot to drive down the hip with spearing arm. Prior to that, it was pretty clear that I used the SAME foot to kick with as spearing arm. There was probably also a little scissor going on. Again, no video, so don't know for sure how much.
Having said that, my BEST 25 m SPL was 11, usual easy pace was 13-14. Long distance 17-18. Now, with opposite foot kick, my BEST is 15 and that is very tiring, not relaxing yet. I feel "off-balance" if I glide at all.
So, I guess, my little scissor kick before was maintaining some balance for me, which tells me I need to work on balance more. The good news is that with most of the TI induced changes I've made in the last year or so, it has started out rough, then gradually improved.
Comments? Similar experiences? I'm not necessarily looking for an answer since there's no video to use for reference, but couldn't help asking/sharing about an experience.
TIA
Doug
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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I think thinking hard about which foot to kick with is probably pointless. At most, think about kicking just as the recovering hand is about to re-enter the water.

It's a dead horse I love to flog, but people here make the mistake of assuming all the required actions that constitute easy freestyle can, and even should, be consciously willed.

It's a lot easier and quicker to see which actions occur properly if left to their own devices (i.e. left to occur as the automatic consequence of doing other things right).
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2010
quad09 quad09 is offline
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Dobarton: I'm still a little confused about which foot is kicking with which arm. Instead of using opposite i think about using the leg on the same side as the pulling arm. Is that what you are doing? BTW, how tall are you because the SPL's you talk about sound pretty good to me.
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2010
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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kentakirk
Default 2 bk epiphany

I recently had the 2 bk epiphany. Prior to the change I too was kicking on the side with the extending arm. Since I made the change my balance and spl have improved greatly. It didn't come immediately because it did not seem natural to me. I had been doing it the other way for so long. I think the thing that was so unnatural was the fact the with the body roll, the leg that needed to kick was below the other leg. Studying videos of Terry showed me that you need to let the low leg drift up slightly so you can give a good flick of the foot and drive the opposite arm forward.

Stick with it and the change will pay dividends in balance and efficiency.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2010
CoachKevin CoachKevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I think thinking hard about which foot to kick with is probably pointless. At most, think about kicking just as the recovering hand is about to re-enter the water.
Not sure what difference there is between "thinking hard" & "think", but in any case, from his description it sounds like this is what dobarton has been doing up 'til now, which hasn't been working, not because he's thinking (hard or otherwise), but because he's practicing wrong.
But, Lawrence, on the one hand you say thinking hard is pointless, then in the next sentence suggest he merely think about kicking when the opposite hand enters. Surely, to have that thought one must also decide which foot to kick with, no? (This conjures up the memory of one of our more recently past president's effort to help us all realize what "the meaning of is, is".)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
It's a dead horse I love to flog, but people here make the mistake of assuming all the required actions that constitute easy freestyle can, and even should, be consciously willed.
Nothing wrong with flogging dead horses, Lawrence, I did it for a living for 5 yrs. over there & now I beat them over here.
The vast majority of what we teach is counter-intuitive, meaning humans who go in water wouldn't do most of it, other than consciously, if they went to the pool for a month of Sundays... or a year of Sundays. That's not to say that unconscious "flashes of brilliance" don't, or can't, occur. But I'd submit, after teaching thousands of swimmers, that the unconscious high points only come after lots of conscious decisions. dobarton's kick is a good example - he's been working away trying to get the 2BK, but just because he's been doing it consciously, and it isn't working, doesn't mean he's approaching it from the wrong direction, so to speak. He's thinking about it the right way, just with the wrong result, IMHO, because he's practicing it the wrong way. I'm assuming he's practicing it in whole stroke when he should be learning/practicing it in a drill, or a series of drills, first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
It's a lot easier and quicker to see which actions occur properly if left to their own devices (i.e. left to occur as the automatic consequence of doing other things right).
Boy, if only it was that simple! In dobarton's case, as described, he IS doing other things right - driving his hip down; spearing his arm; his self awareness seems spot on, too as he seems to know he's been kicking with the wrong foot, probably doing a scissor kick, and realizing his scissor kick may be a balance compensator. He's almost certainly doing lots of other things right, too, in order to get to 11SPL for 25M, which is uncommonly low, probably too low.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Kevin, thanks for the analysis but my point isn't that complicated. It's just an observation based on my experience of learning freestyle for the past 18 months while reading many extended disquisitions here on various subtleties of good technique.

There are people here who seem to have spent several years trying to get into orbit. Shinji seems to have achieved near mastery in 5-6 years. So maybe there's a quicker way than the one many seem to follow.

We've already has this debate, though. See the central principles vs. no principles threads.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2010
dobarton dobarton is offline
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dobarton
Default I think kentakirk has nailed it

I'm really hoping so, at any rate. I think that as I'm trying to add another step to improving my stroke, some of the other things are slipping a little.

quad09, I'm 6 foot tall. Yes, my SPL is low. That is only true with the "wrong" kick, when I'm specifically doing short (25-100 meter) distances to concentrate on balance, form, strength, etc. On 200 meters or more, my usual SPL has been anywhere from 15-19. My biggest current complaint is that if I speed up, even on short distances, my SPL goes up to even 25. To me, this means that my form is not consistent and not ingrained. The addition of the correct kick is another step to try to accomplish this.
I did recently view a youtube recording of a short course 100m free in which several of the swimmers had an SPL of 12-13. This tells me that there is something to these lower SPL's. I wish I could remember the link so I could share it with everyone.

In response to Coach Kevin, I started to teach myself the opposite leg kick (opposite of the spearing arm) in drills as suggested on an earlier thread. Using superman glide transitioning to skate position using the correct leg each time. Many laps later, this is becoming more comfortable. I have tried it in skate switch and it is still uncomfortable. I try it most often now in zen-switch. Still uncomfortable there. Actually, my best results are in full stroke, going half-way across the pool without breathing to distract me. Then I stop and do the second half of the pool, again without breathing so that all I have to concentrate on is the kick corresponding to the spearing arm and hip drive.

I really believe the problem to be a very slight lack of balance as my "glide" clearly does not go as far when using opposite leg kick. I'm not getting as much propulsion nor do I feel as relaxed and, for lack of a better word, balanced after the kick.

Sorry to be so long winded and thanks for the thoughtful responses. I will continue to use short drills of various kinds to reinforce the correct leg with the correct arm and gradually work on balance with skate, zen skate and switches.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2010
madvet madvet is offline
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Stick with it, what you are doing is right. Kicking with the same-side foot is wrong.

It is slower because you aren't used to it yet. Keep working on it and it will work out.

And remember, low SPL is not a goal. Optimal (for your specific swimming at that time) is the key, and many feel that 15 is better than 12 for a medium pace.
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