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Old 01-13-2009
BeijingSwimmer BeijingSwimmer is offline
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BeijingSwimmer
Default Converting Superman Balance to Dynamic Balance

I am new to distance swimming and have been training myself using the TI books and DVDs for the past couple of months. I have not been able to find any sweet spot on my back where I can keep one arm out of the water - I think I am a sinker and have tried to just move on to some of the propulsion drills (like zipper-switch) and then just rest in between all the way on my back.

The other day I saw Coach Shinji's superman glide video and couldn't believe the balance he had in the water - I tried to accomplish that type of balance myself in the pool.

While I couldn't replicate the glide (my legs just drop behind me immediately) I found that with a light flutter kick, my legs came up and I felt remarkably balanced! It felt incredible, but as soon as I move to take a breath or try to slowly stroke or rotate, I feel my whole body sinking and coming out of balance.

Is there some way to translate this front balance into balance on my back (sweet spot) or into the drills? I feel like I am close to actually feeling balanced in the water, but I'm not sure how to convert the flutter kick superman glide into a dynamic balance. Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 01-13-2009
ny1301 ny1301 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeijingSwimmer View Post
I am new to distance swimming and have been training myself using the TI books and DVDs for the past couple of months. I have not been able to find any sweet spot on my back where I can keep one arm out of the water -
Is that goal too far away for a beginner? Even the coaches on the DVD had water coming to their faces when they held their arms up too high. I rember the DVD suggested to raise one arm up to 30 degrees, then speed up to finish the recovery. Just hold an arm there might be too much.
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Old 01-13-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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Part of it may be that you are a sinker. I would still work on the back balance because I would doubt if you are being perfect at it.

The rotation part is where a lot of imperfections show up. That is a good thing -- it points out what you are doing wrong. It is easy, in a way, to have a good "static" balance. "dynamic" balance is not so easy, and is what is needed for good balance while swimming.

Chances are, there are several things that are going wrong as you roll. Pick one thing that is dropping down from the surface of the water as you roll (for example, your hips or your knees) and focus on keeping those up as you roll.

This process will go on for years.
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Old 01-13-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeijingSwimmer View Post
...Is there some way to translate this front balance into balance on my back (sweet spot) or into the drills? I feel like I am close to actually feeling balanced in the water, but I'm not sure how to convert the flutter kick superman glide into a dynamic balance. Any advice would be appreciated!
1. Pull one of your arms in towards your side shortly after starting the S.M. glide.

2. Roll your entire body slightly upwards on the side that is pulled in. You just want your shoulder to clear the water, not be completely on your side.

3. Continue gently kicking. To breath, either roll just a little further and turn your head, or just stand up and take a breath before starting again.
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Old 01-14-2009
BeijingSwimmer BeijingSwimmer is offline
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Thank you to everyone for the help - I will try more mindful practice in the pool this afternoon. Dynamic balance definitely is a challenge, but it seems well worth it in the long run if I can work it out now!

I'll let you know how it goes.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2009
BeijingSwimmer BeijingSwimmer is offline
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Just to update - I got in the water yesterday and felt a lot better. Even starting out on my back, I actually was able to concentrate on my lower body and bring my legs up. I felt a little bit like I was pulling with my lower abs and back, but squeezing everything together seemed to do the trick and then I could release a bit and feel pretty relaxed.

I must admit that it took some concentration - effortlessness is still a ways off, but feeling balanced in the water like that was a completely new feeling. Then I tried to work on gently moving through the drills as was suggested here - it wasn't perfection, but I could feel progress.

It's true that you can't simply dive into this - "playing" in the water and giving yourself the mental space to do so is critical. And pays off!
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