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Old 01-26-2009
caedenspa caedenspa is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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caedenspa
Default Total beginner, and somewhat frustrated

Quick story first - I am not a swimmer. I do the "survival" stroke when in a pool. However, I enjoy being in the pool.

I am trying to learn to actually "swim" rather than "survive". I bought the Total Immersion Swimming book, and read the first 7 chapters to get to the lessons in chapter 8.

Yesterday I went to the pool armed with my lesson one drills. I spent about an hour on my back, trying to get to where it was effortless with my thighs breaking the surface. Nothing doing. Sweet spot was a little easier, but I felt like if I stopped my gentle kick, I'd drop like a rock.

When I got out of the pool, my wife asked how I'd done. "I swim like a brick" was my response.

When on my back, I felt like I was arching my back in an attempt to push my upper body down. I couldn't do this without my chin being up out of the water - at least not comfortably. I know this can't be right.... HELP!
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Old 01-26-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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daveblt
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You have to realize that in order to balance on your back or sweet spot you have to feel comfortable with WHOLE body relaxed .Any tension at all or head out of spine alignment will work against you .Try to press back in to the water and round your shoulders up a bit and roll a little towards sweet spot just enough to clear shoulder (no stacked shoulders) a little at a time .For beginners it may feel uncomfortable to try to relax back in the water for fear of water rushing in your nose which will make you tend to sit up more .When you work out a correct breathing rhythm without having to worry about it then the drills will seem much easier.

Lean back
Head in line,look up
relax, no tension anywhere
Roll to just clear shoulder
hands at sides
water undisturbed as much as possible wrapping around goggles

The book extraordinary swimming for everybody is a little more updated than the 2004 book.



Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 01-26-2009 at 09:00 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
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I'd like to add to what Dave suggests ... Try relaxing on your back with your feet resting on the lane line. This will give the support to the feet and you can learn the "feel" of floating on your back. Try to relax and not move the arms a lot. After a while just lie there and even close your eyes. Feel the floating (rising) sensation as you inhale and the sinking as you exhale. Listen to the sounds of the pool circulation pumps or other swimmers' kicks. Just absorb your surroundings --- be careful not to fall asleep! As you get used to this try making changes in your position and learn what causes bring what effects. It is a slow process for sure .... But you have begun your journey now..... little bit by little bit....

Good luck,

Mike
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Rhoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenspa View Post
...Yesterday I went to the pool armed with my lesson one drills. I spent about an hour on my back, trying to get to where it was effortless with my thighs breaking the surface. Nothing doing. Sweet spot was a little easier, but I felt like if I stopped my gentle kick, I'd drop like a rock.
Most people would sink in sweet spot if they weren't doing at least some kicking. I don't think there are too many people who can just float motionlessly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenspa View Post
When on my back, I felt like I was arching my back in an attempt to push my upper body down. I couldn't do this without my chin being up out of the water - at least not comfortably. I know this can't be right.... HELP!
You don't want to be arching your back, in fact you want to be tucking in the lower abdominal muscles into a pelvic tilt. Some people do seem to have more trouble with back balance than with sweet spot, and the usual advice seems to be to skip back balance for now and just do sweet spot, then move into skating position.
I don't know which version of freestyle book you have, but one thing to try is the Superman glide from the newest book, where you push off the wall face-down, arms straight out and relaxed from the shoulders, and see how far you can glide. That gives you an ideal of staying relaxed and balanced.
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