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  #1  
Old 09-05-2016
caronis caronis is offline
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caronis
Default RedCross Training?

Hi Swim Folks,
It's been awhile since I was an active forum member so it's good to be back. I have plenty to share in future posts, but I will keep it condensed for now to ask my question...
I have had a recent change in my life this summer. I am now more than a fitness swimmer...I am now a swim instructor!
I didn't plan it this way, however, I was looking for summer work and discovered a good opportunity that I was well-suited for...
As I said, there is plenty to share from this new perspective, however, I will share more in the future....However, I would like to give a shoutout to the TI Community because before I discovered TI, I was simply not qualified to teach swimming...
Coming from no competitive swim background, and only becoming a proficient swimmer as an adult using TI, puts me in a very...hmmmm...nuanced position...
There is so much to say about this, however, I will say this....For me to be a newbie and then to teach and approach swimming differently than other people who have been teaching and swimming competitively for years is rather....hmmmm....nuanced....
Let's put it this way....In my position, I'll choose to be humble and open-minded rather than opinionated and all-knowing....I sure as heck wouldn't go up to Michael Phelps and tell him he'd be a faster swimmer if he started using fist gloves....
I actually taught a precocious young swimmer this swimmer to enter their hand into the water earlier (mail slot) and then extend their body line before stroking their hand back...the kid's father was watching and complimented me saying that he saw an improvement in the stroke....However, I had an instructor with much more experience come up to me later in the week and respectfully told me that I should consider swimming freestyle by reaching forward more before entry and then pulling back....this was said to me very respectfully, however, it really made me feel awkward...and it made me come to this conclusion...
In my position, I should learn how to teach with a conventional approach first and then later incorporate aspects of TI into my swim instruction as I see fit...
So this is why I entitled this thread "RedCross Training"...
My understanding is that RedCross Swim Training is sort of the standard-bearer when it comes to conventional swim instruction...
When I went to their website, it seems like they have multiple choices of DVD's and Books and that they're quite expensive...
Does anyone have an opinion on the best resource for "Conventional" swim instruction...whether from the Red Cross or anywhere else...
At the RedCross site it seems like there are more than one option...

By the way...this is certainly not in any way, shape, or form a repudiation of what I've learned from TI....However, I would like to say this...
As a swim instructor for children, I have very little time with them...
When I learned TI, I spent a great deal of time practicing drills on my own and I also approached the learning with the intellectual curiosity of an adult, not as a child....I have to be realistic with the time I have and the type of student I have...
It would be better for me as an employee and representative of a company to understand the conventional approach, and then tweak it with TI in ways that work well with children....
As I've said multiple times, there is so much more to say about this, but I'll save it for future posts...

This is an awkward thread for me to start because I don't know if I'm making my point in a way that people understand where I'm coming from...
I'll try to make an analogy...
If someone was going to enter into any field, let's say it was as a Public School Teacher...you should go in with humility and understand the current system and teaching methods first rather than rush in with totally new and unorthodox approaches...I don't even think it's good politics because as a new teacher you can alienate veteran teachers who feel very strongly that they know better...or even feel threatened by different ideas...
I guess when it comes to swimming I could say this....
For me to start kids (or adults) with a Superman Glide to reinforce the concept of effortless glide is a great way of teaching an important swimming principle....
But if I was to put Swim Gloves on a 7 year old, I'm really displaying a naive ignorance....

Perhaps I should First strive to fit in.....Then seek to stand out.
I should know what is standard in the swim world....then later I could add what I like, and dispense of what I don't like....

It seems as though that as TI enthusiasts, we have a non-conventional approach compared to the swimming establishment and I was actually surprised to discover this even before becoming a Swim Instructor...
In the future, I may get certified as a TI Instructor and perhaps teach totally within that framework...but I hope folks can understand this...
At my beginner stage I would feel more comfortable giving a kid a kick board to use than a fist glove.....I'll personally use fist gloves in my own workout, and if anyone asks, I'll gladly tell them why I use them and suggest they give it a try....
But I will not go up to the middle age guy who used to be a swimming all-american and tell him that those swim paddles he's using are teaching him bad swim technique and are bad for his shoulders....

Again...I'm not totally confident I'm being as clear as I can be...
Perhaps, in life, before you break the rules you should first know what the rules are....and perhaps even follow them for a short time...So then if you decide to break the rules, you'll have a much clearer idea of why there are better rules to follow....

Last edited by caronis : 09-05-2016 at 09:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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If the people who hired you were telling you how to teach swimming, that would, indeed, put you in a difficult position. But it doesn't sound like that has been the case. In fact, if I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like you were hired as a swim instructor but given no instructions on how to teach swimming, or required to have any credentials. And if that's really true, I can't imagine why you'd want to teach it differently than what has worked for you.

There really is no "standard" way to teach swimming. Or perhaps I should say that there have been a number of "standard" ways of teaching it, but there is none that has had any general or lasting acceptance.

I think it would be a better use of your time and money to get TI level 1 coach training.


Bob
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Its details you are talking about.
Traditionel swim techings are not that radically different from TI..
Plenty swimmers doing very well without having ever heard of TI.
Kids float better, have better flexibility and can learn swimming like they learn a language. Incredibly fast.
I think this is a good kids coach who knows swimming as well.
Maybe you can get some swim nuggets from this traditional guys channel :-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJfzTqbbCCU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBL_YShcndc

etc

Last edited by Zenturtle : 09-06-2016 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 09-06-2016
IngeA IngeA is offline
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I also would not generally change what worked for you. In the example with the more experienced instructor you simply can explain what your goal is by that different entry: less splashing and with that less drag. And perhaps also explain why you made the girl entering earlier: the "stretching out first" method seemed not to fit her so you tried something different.
You can discuss the advantages of the different methods and afterwards both know more. You how the "traditional" method sees the movement, the other coach that there may be an other way. You will test the traditional method if you see a kid does not get along with your method and the other instructor hopefully will consider your method if he sees anyone does not get along with his.
It's like this with my colleagues in my job. I have an other view on some cases because my way of education was different than that of my colleagues. At large we all do the same, in details we differ. They explain their point of view, I explain mine. So both can learn from each other.
That only gets difficult if one side is stubborn and unwilling to accept that there are many ways to get the same result.
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Carois,

There's nothing wrong with taking Red Cross training, it's another perspective training swimmers. But Red Cross is more about water safety and rely on a coach's previous experience to teach a swimmer from scratch whether it be children or adults. As you noted, and far too often, a swim instructor reaches for the kick-board to start a swimmer in the pool. This is probably the worst thing to do since 1. hands high and head high, trigger a busy kick to remain stable, 2. as a consequence of 1., the body goes soft in the middle, no core stability, and 3. the kickboard promotes seeking stability from the corners (hands and feet) not from the middle/core - much like training a human to be a wheelbarrow.

Where I coach masters, I still see instructors start the kids and the adults on the kickboards and it makes me cringe - but I know that most will probably be future clients after experiencing frustration and probably injury. Whether you are coaching children or adults at any swim level, the same laws of physics apply, delivering that message will be the biggest challenge, and every swimmer is different - but that's what makes coaching so much fun.

Conventional instruction and TI instruction are pretty much complete opposites. And it really comes down to priorities. Conventional methods always start with moving hands and feet propulsion, kickboards, fins, moving arms faster and doing more distance -- whereas TI will start with balance, core stability and awareness as the foundation of freestyle or any other stroke; building the skill of core stability with little to no movement of the limbs. Balance is primal, not a cognitive choice - the human out of balance will seek stability with hands a feet first whether on land or in the water. Once the core is stable, both flat and on its edge in freestyle, then limbs timed with core rotation can be easily used for forward movement, propulsion.

As Coach Bob noted, try to attend a TI level-1 coach training course. I can guarantee it will change your perception of swimming and coaching swimming - as well as break down and rebuild your own stroke in the process (which is key to understanding how the human vessel works best in water). You will have the tools to take a swimmer from scratch to swimming freestyle in a very short period of time, as well as take an advanced/competitive swimmer to a whole new level they never thought possible.

Stuart
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2016
caronis caronis is offline
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by the way....I did order some materials recently from the Red Cross. I haven't received them yet, and to be honest, I was surprised how expensive they were. Isn't the Red Cross supposed to be a "Non-Profit" Organization?
I believe, however, it will help me to become a better teacher. I've purchased materials from others in the past that were competitors and even critics of TI, and i found them to help me to understand and appreciate the differences of TI even more. I think that TI even altered the concept of "front-quadrant" entry to "patient" hands because of criticism....and I think that actually helped me to apply the concept more successfully....
In response to Coach Bob, I have structure for the brand new swimmers, yet more flexibility when it comes to the 4 different strokes. This is actually very good because it allows me to incorporate TI into my teaching with greater flexibility.
In response to Coach Stuart, I agree very much with your description of the differences between the traditional and the TI approach to swimming...so you can understand where potentially it can set me apart in a big way. That's not necessarily good or bad in my mind.....but as I was saying before, there are things from TI I would feel good doing....but some things I would be more hesitant to do as a beginning teacher...I would absolutely not suggest that a 7 year old count their strokes...
And not to be difficult, but I want to point out a word I disagree with....
I would rephrase the statement that a kick board would "probably" lead to injury to a kick board could "possibly" lead to injury...this is a good example of the type of controversial statements I would want to avoid...I agree with the TI concept that kickboards teach people to overemphasize the kick in freestyle...but to say it's going to injure folks is at odds with so many swimmer's experiences that it would make me sound foolish...
I do, however, agree that excessive use of hand-paddles would probably cause shoulder problems...Even so, I would still make that statement as an opinion rather than as absolute fact...
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Coronis,

Sorry - I wasn't referring to the kick-board causing the injury itself, but rather the position the kick-board trains the arms to be in, laying extended and flat of surface. This position in freestyle will lead to shoulder pain and discomfort - and overuse injury down the road. Head high, back arches, kicking - all train the neural system to seek stability with the hands and feet, and not the core.

There is a good use for kick-boards and that is to train stability from the middle. Put the kick board under the stomach, just above the hip-bone, soft flutter kick arms extended below the lung ball. This trains the middle to be tone being supported being supported by the kick-board under the stomach. The kick-board under stomach supporting the middle of the body came from Bill Boomer.

I wouldn't ask a child to count strokes either, but they sure enjoy seeing how many boards they can support under their body before they all squirt out. Same laws apply, just need to make it fun and not technical with children.

Good luck!

Stuart
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Old 09-12-2016
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Coronis,

Put the kick board under the stomach, just above the hip-bone, soft flutter kick arms extended below the lung ball. This trains the middle to be tone being supported being supported by the kick-board under the stomach. The kick-board under stomach supporting the middle of the body came from Bill Boomer.
Is there a video that demonstrates this? This sounds interesting.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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The kick-board under stomach drill is in Boomer's Freestyle Reimagined series. But you really don't need a video. Just place the board under stomach, bottom edge of board right at hip bone, top edge of board at sternum. Lay flat, face in water, head-spine aligned, light flutter kick. As skill improves, add two, three, or more boards and try to hold under body without them squirting out. It's a whole new balance challenge - and quite fun too. All swimmers of any age can't help but giggle when the board(s) squirt out when they tilt to one side or the other. I've got up as high as six boards before jettison - that takes some practice, tone, stable, and quiet core. Boomer notes Dara Torres can hold up to 12 kick-boards under her torso - that is incredible balance

Stuart
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