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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009
inca inca is offline
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inca
Default True Beginner...the saga continues

As I've mentionned in previous posts, it is almost impossible to learn TI strictly through the drills with the added restricitons that I have of not having a way of getting another TI swimmer to see what I am doing. But since I need to learn how to swim in order to be able to exercise, I am keeping on, but I can't say that I am trying only to progress through the drills. I try that for a little while and then I just try to swim and try to incorporate what I've learned. I don't know how long it will take me to actually feel that I am somewhat getting there, but I *did* sure get plenty of exercise....

As I am putting in more and more time in the pool, I am getting more and more comfortable in the water, I guess, because I find that I can concetrate more on what is going on with all the different parts while swimming. And today I realized that my legs were not streamlined nearly enough. I focused on that, and saw a big difference.

I would really like to be able to breathe while swimming, but somehow whenever I try to turn my head for a breath, I am not finding air, but getting a mouthful of water instead. I realize that you cannot see what I am doing, but I'd appreciate any ideas you can give me as to why you think I am having this problem.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Here are some suggestions ,
It's possible that you may be pushing your head down instead of just letting it relax .Look down but keep your head and neck relaxed so the weight of your head is being supported by the water .

When you try to get air make sure that you exhale continuously without stopping until your face clears the water . Blow out the last bit of exhale to blow the water away .Be patient, if you rush to fast to get air and inhale before you get to the air you will swallow water .

Make sure you are rolling just enough to clear the shoulders as you roll in non breathing strokes and don't try to roll too far as this may cause your body to feel unbalanced and cause you to sink a little as you try to fight the water on your way to get air.

Lean in to the water to feel support ,keep the whole body relaxed , and stretched out but not too stiff .

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 08-17-2009 at 02:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Hello INCA,

Why don't you upload a Video of yourself on YOUTUBE ?
We can then assess how you swim and offer advice.

In general, if you are really starting from scratch, I would really suggest to focus on balance drills first (Superman, Skating).
If you can swim a few strokes correctly without breathing that's good.
You can always work on your breathing at a later stage.

ALEX
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inca View Post
I would really like to be able to breathe while swimming, but somehow whenever I try to turn my head for a breath, I am not finding air, but getting a mouthful of water instead. I realize that you cannot see what I am doing, but I'd appreciate any ideas you can give me as to why you think I am having this problem.
Glad you're making progress. Since I've sort of been throught the same thing, here's a couple of recommendations.

1. Making sure you are on top of the water and that you're doing nothing to disturb that is of paramount importance. Your head position needs to stay down. Any upward movement of your head may cause you so sink and make breathing more difficult. So make sure your head movement is totally horizontal.

2. You should be moving your head when you initiate hip drive which initiates body rotation. If you breathe to the right, your hip drive to the left will begin your rotation to the left and your right hand pull. You should be rolling to air by mid-pull. Make sure that hip drive is done with the abs not with the back muscles. When you do it this way the roatation is a lot tighter and you are less likely to drive your body downward with it.

3. For now make sure you are spearing with as little force as possible. If you are driving your hand into the water there is a good chance that you might be submerging yourself. By taking something off of your entry, you should stay on top of the water.

The trick is to stay on top of the water. Women are better floaters than us guys so generally if you don't do anything to aggrevate where you naturally are, you will be just fine. My guess from what you are saying is that you aren't rotating enough. Practice swimming without breathing and remember to move those hips when just before you pull. When you pull with your right arm and rotate to your left rail, nod your head up as if you were going to breathe but don't. Keep doing this until you have a rhythmn developed and then try to breathe. You may won't to rotate hard or over rotate just to develop confidence that you are getting to air. As you become more confident, you will want to back off the rotation. Hope this helps.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2009
inca inca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveblt View Post
Here are some suggestions ,
It's possible that you may be pushing your head down instead of just letting it relax .Look down but keep your head and neck relaxed so the weight of your head is being supported by the water .

When you try to get air make sure that you exhale continuously without stopping until your face clears the water . Blow out the last bit of exhale to blow the water away .Be patient, if you rush to fast to get air and inhale before you get to the air you will swallow water .

Make sure you are rolling just enough to clear the shoulders as you roll in non breathing strokes and don't try to roll too far as this may cause your body to feel unbalanced and cause you to sink a little as you try to fight the water on your way to get air.

Lean in to the water to feel support ,keep the whole body relaxed , and stretched out but not too stiff .

Dave
David,

Thanks for the response and the help.

I think my head is relaxed; I've done so much Superman Gliding focusing on that and I still start every session at the pool with that drill. But, I will recheck myself because it is totally possible that my frustration with the breathing is causing me to tense up; I know that I do get nervous when I 'again' breathe water instead of air so that each time I go for that breath I am wondering, "will I get it this time or not" which would probably create tension.

Your comment about being patient is interesting. I definitely have exhaled completely before inhaling but I think that is contributing to the tension where I feel I "have" to get a breath. It never occurred to me that I may not be waiting long enough to inhale. I do feel like I have to rush to get that breath in.

Regarding rolling, I am pretty sure that I am not over-rotating. I have done that enough to get that unbalanced, sinking feeling so I think I would recognize that.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Another possibility could be arm position.
If your streamlining arm is pointing too low, that will lower your entire upper body in the water and make it harder to get to the air when you breath. While in skating position, practice turning your head from looking down at the pool bottom to breathing position - without actually taking a breath - while you try different "Y" axis hand positions to help determine where you need to have your lead arm.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2009
inca inca is offline
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inca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
Since I've sort of been throught the same thing, here's a couple of recommendations.

1. So make sure your head movement is totally horizontal.

2. Make sure that hip drive is done with the abs not with the back muscles. When you do it this way the roatation is a lot tighter and you are less likely to drive your body downward with it.

3. For now make sure you are spearing with as little force as possible. If you are driving your hand into the water there is a good chance that you might be submerging yourself. By taking something off of your entry, you should stay on top of the water.

The trick is to stay on top of the water.

My guess from what you are saying is that you aren't rotating enough. Practice swimming without breathing and remember to move those hips when just before you pull. When you pull with your right arm and rotate to your left rail, nod your head up as if you were going to breathe but don't. Keep doing this until you have a rhythmn developed and then try to breathe. You may won't to rotate hard or over rotate just to develop confidence that you are getting to air. As you become more confident, you will want to back off the rotation. Hope this helps.
1. I think my head movement is horizontal, but I may be wrong on this. I know that my daughter has this issue, but she is never aware of doing it unless I call her attention to it. So, I will have my daughter check it out next time she is at the pool with me.

2. I have no clue where my hip drive is originating. I try to imagine the ice-skating image someone advised and found that helps me get the rolling side to side (and the corresponding arm stroke) to fall into place for me, but I'm really not sure which muscles in my body are doing most of the "work action". I will try to focus on it and see what I learn. This last time I realized that streamlining my legs had a very strong impact on a tighter rotation for me and also helped my legs higher in the water. (This may sound elementary, but for me everything is "huge" since I am starting from nothing. =D )

3. Interesting about the spearing. I thought it was a good idea to kind of spear forward since that would streamline and lengthen the glide. And also, I remember reading that if I am too low in the water, having the spearing hand slightly lower would help. Am I mixing things up here?

The trick is definitely to stay on top of the water. And, I think therein lies my problem; I am afraid that I am not high enough in the water. I do not float high naturally.

Regarding amount of rotation, this was my first feeling when I kept getting water instead of air. But, when I try to rotate more, I find myself going definitely too far, because I find myself losing balance and sinking. Is this an indication of over-rotation or lack of skill?

Atreides, I find your comments very helpful because I can tell that you have experienced a lot of the frustration I have and I appreciate the help.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2009
inca inca is offline
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inca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
Hello INCA,

Why don't you upload a Video of yourself on YOUTUBE ?
We can then assess how you swim and offer advice.

In general, if you are really starting from scratch, I would really suggest to focus on balance drills first (Superman, Skating).
If you can swim a few strokes correctly without breathing that's good.
You can always work on your breathing at a later stage.

ALEX
Alex,
I am limited to the pool that I go to and at this pool there are many restrictions due to religion....taking videos is one of the restrictions.

I know that TI is meant to be learned step-by-step, each new skill being added after the earlier one has been incorporated. I think that most TI swimmers do not come into it with no swimming experience whatsoever. (In fact, I read somewhere that there used to be a 'pre-requisite' of being able to swim 25m before learning TI, because otherwise there were skills that needed to be learned before going on to TI). When you really have no previous swimming experience it is very difficult to do the drills as outlined, especially without any personal instruction/feedback/correction.

I did begin with the SG and I still do that drill alot....to the point where people wonder why I keep floating for so long in this 'dead man's float' without ever breathing. But when it came to the balance drills, I simply could not do them; I could not get my body to rotate. I tried to find a TI swimmer in my area to hook up with, but was unsuccessful. That is when I decided to try to just "swim". Interestingly enough, after doing that, when I come back to the drills, I am beginning to be able to get them. So I guess, I am trying to learn how to swim in some fashion, albeit wrong, and I am hoping that then I can go back and focus on drills I need.

A very interesting thing happens. Since my entire knowledge of how to swim comes from TI material, I do try to swim the TI way. Yesterday, several people in the people in the pool told me I swim very nicely! That is a riot!
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inca View Post
1.
3. Interesting about the spearing. I thought it was a good idea to kind of spear forward since that would streamline and lengthen the glide. And also, I remember reading that if I am too low in the water, having the spearing hand slightly lower would help. Am I mixing things up here?

The trick is definitely to stay on top of the water. And, I think therein lies my problem; I am afraid that I am not high enough in the water. I do not float high naturally.

Regarding amount of rotation, this was my first feeling when I kept getting water instead of air. But, when I try to rotate more, I find myself going definitely too far, because I find myself losing balance and sinking. Is this an indication of over-rotation or lack of skill?

Atreides, I find your comments very helpful because I can tell that you have experienced a lot of the frustration I have and I appreciate the help.
Frustration is my middle name:) The spearing thing could be big. Rhoda's comment is right on target. TI teaches to spear at an angle - not out. When you recover, steepen the angle of entry to that which would occur if you just brought your arm over your ear. Now spear down at about a 30 degree angle. Your legs should kick up. Now this may be too much. Experiment with different angles. I think I read that you could spear anywhere from 6 to 18 inches deep. Take a look at this video of Dikla Sasson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEPuF6-oxXs
Her spearing angle is a little extreme but she's a coach and she swims this way all the time.

At the pool Saturday, I had this guy offer me advice on reaching as far out as I could because "my long arms" would really give me a lot of water to pull. I smiled and told him that adhered to the TI conventions and that helped me keep my backside up. He then admitted he had the same problem. But he was still doing it the old fashion way. Hmmm.

The way that I would describe the abs driven hip drive would be how you move your hips when seated. Since you can't move your back (its against the back of the seat), the only way to your torso side to side is with your lower abs. Thats what I mean. So next time you're at the pool, remember to spear softly and at an angle (try a pretty steep angle and work backwards). Make sure that hip movement comes from the front and see how that works.
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  #10  
Old 08-17-2009
Jean Bury Jean Bury is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Jean Bury
Default Another TI beginner....

Ok, not only a rookie to TI swimming, but posting on blogs or whatever we call this (yes, a computer dinosaur). Hope I am posting this properly--anyone feel free to 'correct' me if not!

I did my first TI clinic last March, and had to completely re-learn swimming. I've always loved the water and realized after the clinic that I was a 'rambo' in the water, just beating it to death.

TI is very freeing, but frustrating to learn when you don't have a partner or a video camera!

I am going to try not spearing into the water so hard, see if that keeps things mroe relaxed. I can breathe on my chocolate side, but not my vanilla. What is really frustrating me is that while I feel so much more at ease with my strokes, I am still at 17 SR per 25 meter of pool, unless I slow way down and stop breathing as much.

Which is best? Slow way down to keep SR even lower or stay at same rate? (My rate at summer's start was 22).

Thanks--Jean
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