Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-12-2016
mbh
 
Posts: n/a
Default Hoping for some feedback (video)

I just started swimming a few weeks ago. I've been trying to practice some TI drills on my own. I had someone take some video today:

https://youtu.be/xMQVXkbrKWw

It looks like I have my work cut out for me.

The last few times in the pool I've been trying to get more comfortable with breathing. Breathing to my right as pictured in the video currently goes a lot better than breathing to my left.

I experienced some soreness in my left shoulder after my sessions yesterday and today. Do you see any obvious flaw that might explain the soreness?

As I look at the video, I wonder if my head is too high in the water. I thought I was letting the water support my head, but maybe I'm lifting it. Or perhaps I'm just looking forward (I often catch myself doing this to see where I'm spearing).

I can also see that I'm not streamlined at all and I don't really appear to glide at all.

My kick is all over the place and inconsistent. I hope to learn the 2BK eventually, but I'm not sure where that should fit in given all of the other issues.

I think my spearing hand is also entering the water too far ahead. Do you agree?

Given the above, what would you recommend that I focus on in the next few sessions?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-13-2016
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
CoachDavidShen
Default

mbh,

thanks for posting your video. some quick comments:

1. given that i do not see any part of your hip breaching the surface, i would guess that balance drills will help you a lot. start with Superman Glide and make sure you can feel what it's like to be horizontal in the water. then move to Skate and work to keep your hips high. You may want to start with kicking in either drill. The focal points i would say for you would be:

a. keep your head aligned with the spine and look down at the bottom of the pool. with the amount of your head exposed in the video, i would say that it is being carried too high.
b. spear lower, about 12" below the surface of the water. They look to be too horizontal. this will also help with balance.

2. in some of the frames, i would guess that you have a severe arch in the back. try to keep your entire body straight the whole way. this may be something that needs to be addressed on dryland as your posture may be off.

3. try swimming with a patient lead arm. do not pull back the lead arm until the other arm has recovered to the entry position, and begun dropping into the water. you exhibit a stroke that has arms at 180 deg to each other. for your stage, we recommend that you swim with a patient lead arm.

for now, don't worry about the kick except to quiet it down and keep it more compact. once you address balance and streamline first, you can start think about 2BK.

i would encourage you to buy the new TI text with supporting videos to look at our new sequence in building up freestyle and eventually the steps to breathing.

Ultra-Efficient Freestyle Complete Self-Coaching Toolkit
http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/...l#.Vr6z3xguogU
__________________
__________________
David Shen
Total Immersion Coach
Menloswim.com
Menlo Park, CA
https://www.coachdshen.com/blog/
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-13-2016
mbh
 
Posts: n/a
Default

David,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments. I really appreciate it.

As I mentioned in another thread, I started out by booking some lessons with a non-TI instructor. I then purchased the Perpetual Motion videos and started practicing the drills on my own. I was faithful in my attempts to practice the drills up until up lesson 6 (which is not to say, of course, that I was doing them correctly). The larger context is that I'm trying to figure out if I can get my swimming to the point where I would feel comfortable entering a triathlon this summer. About a week or so ago I felt like I needed to just start swimming more to see where I'm at. Seeing the video was very revealing to me.


Regarding your points:

1. When it comes to being horizontal in SG, for how long should I be able to "feel" this? When I push off, I feel myself come up to the surface (for a moment) and then my lower half starts to sink. Should I be getting more out of this?

2. I'd be interested in seeing the position of my weightless head in SG. Perhaps I can get some more video for this. Since my head is not lower in the video, is it reasonable to conclude that I must be lifting it with my neck? Or is something else off which is causing it to ride high in the water?

3. As for spearing, I have sometimes wondered if I was spearing too deep. I guess perception and reality don't always match up. One other question about spearing: is it possible to spear too wide? When I look at the video, it seems my left arm spears wider than my right. Perhaps this is why I find it easier to breathe to my right. At the same time, I wonder what explains the soreness in my left shoulder.

4. I agree that the video shows a severe arch in my back. My posture has never been great. I've actually read with interest some of your blog posts about abdominal breathing, IAP and so on.

5. Thanks for the reminder about the patient lead hand. This is something I've tried to practice before. I think I probably lose track of things like this because so much of my mental energy is focused on trying to breath in a controlled and relaxed way. My breathing is still not where it needs to be, but my experience in the water seems to be getting a bit better each time (so I'll try to find some hope in that).

6. My non-TI instructor is the person who shot the video. She encouraged me to maintain a vigorous kick. However, when I see the video, I agree that a greater emphasis on balance and streamlining would give me a better bang for my buck.

7. I'm open to purchasing the Ultra-Efficient Freestyle Complete Self-Coaching Toolkit. Does it cover concepts and techniques that are not covered in the Perpetual Motion videos?

Thank again!

Brian
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-13-2016
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
David,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments. I really appreciate it.

As I mentioned in another thread, I started out by booking some lessons with a non-TI instructor. I then purchased the Perpetual Motion videos and started practicing the drills on my own. I was faithful in my attempts to practice the drills up until up lesson 6 (which is not to say, of course, that I was doing them correctly). The larger context is that I'm trying to figure out if I can get my swimming to the point where I would feel comfortable entering a triathlon this summer. About a week or so ago I felt like I needed to just start swimming more to see where I'm at. Seeing the video was very revealing to me.


Regarding your points:

1. When it comes to being horizontal in SG, for how long should I be able to "feel" this? When I push off, I feel myself come up to the surface (for a moment) and then my lower half starts to sink. Should I be getting more out of this?

2. I'd be interested in seeing the position of my weightless head in SG. Perhaps I can get some more video for this. Since my head is not lower in the video, is it reasonable to conclude that I must be lifting it with my neck? Or is something else off which is causing it to ride high in the water?

3. As for spearing, I have sometimes wondered if I was spearing too deep. I guess perception and reality don't always match up. One other question about spearing: is it possible to spear too wide? When I look at the video, it seems my left arm spears wider than my right. Perhaps this is why I find it easier to breathe to my right. At the same time, I wonder what explains the soreness in my left shoulder.

4. I agree that the video shows a severe arch in my back. My posture has never been great. I've actually read with interest some of your blog posts about abdominal breathing, IAP and so on.

5. Thanks for the reminder about the patient lead hand. This is something I've tried to practice before. I think I probably lose track of things like this because so much of my mental energy is focused on trying to breath in a controlled and relaxed way. My breathing is still not where it needs to be, but my experience in the water seems to be getting a bit better each time (so I'll try to find some hope in that).

6. My non-TI instructor is the person who shot the video. She encouraged me to maintain a vigorous kick. However, when I see the video, I agree that a greater emphasis on balance and streamlining would give me a better bang for my buck.

7. I'm open to purchasing the Ultra-Efficient Freestyle Complete Self-Coaching Toolkit. Does it cover concepts and techniques that are not covered in the Perpetual Motion videos?

Thank again!

Brian
I also have had issues of posture or axial alignment in my swimming, (and also in retrospect, in my everyday upright position). In this forum I came across a video by Richard Quick, which is a little long (15 minutes) but which for me was very helpful in transmitting reproducible hints and reference points that I could recreate during normal swimming, particularly in the 2 non-breathing strokes between the (often distorted, for me, and likely to be arched) troublesome breathing strokes, which have to be specially worked on again, but at least with a reference point of a good posture between breaths.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V5PYspkknE


My (everyday) dryland posture has improved too, with the help of this video!

Last edited by sclim : 02-14-2016 at 01:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2016
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
CoachDavidShen
Default

Replies to your questions inline:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
1. When it comes to being horizontal in SG, for how long should I be able to "feel" this? When I push off, I feel myself come up to the surface (for a moment) and then my lower half starts to sink. Should I be getting more out of this?
When you slow down, most people's lower half will start to sink. I am not sure how fast you can push yourself into SG but the more you can maintain velocity, the longer you can feel yourself horizontal. Unless of course, you are not horizontal.

SG trains the transitional position of half way between rotating fully to the left or right. You should develop a feel for what it is like to be horizontal in this position and when it is not good when your hips are dropping. It may feel like you are tipping downhill. The more time you can spend in this position (ie. be streamlined, be horizontal = drag minimal = less slow down when you execute = longer time in this position), the more your body will remember how it feels to be horizontal and drag minimal.

We challenge ourselves in SG training. We see if we can SG across the length of a 25y pool in the least amount of SGs. My coach Shinji can do it in 1 and a fraction. My best was about 2.5. So you will become *really* good at holding yourself horizontal, which is the least drag position as well as pushing yourself off the ground with lots of force. (note this can only be done in a lane that has shallow depth the whole way, where you can stand up again after you slow to a stop and launch into a new SG).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
2. I'd be interested in seeing the position of my weightless head in SG. Perhaps I can get some more video for this. Since my head is not lower in the video, is it reasonable to conclude that I must be lifting it with my neck? Or is something else off which is causing it to ride high in the water?
It is hard to tell in the video exactly why. We may be able to tell better with an underwater shot.

Lifting of the head is common in swimmers. The cue we like to use is to release your head to the water and feel the water supporting your face. As you do this, do not release only the head; it should still stay in line with your spine. So more accurately, it is the top half of your body, from pelvis all the way to the top of your head which is pressing down onto the water. The moment you feel light in the front, you've lost this and it is likely your front half is starting to go up while your hips are dropping.

We used to say pretend there is a laser beam emerging from the top of your head, which is in line with your spine. aim the laser beam at the other end of the lane and swim along it. If the laser beam starts pointing somewhere else like up, then things go awry fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
3. As for spearing, I have sometimes wondered if I was spearing too deep. I guess perception and reality don't always match up. One other question about spearing: is it possible to spear too wide? When I look at the video, it seems my left arm spears wider than my right. Perhaps this is why I find it easier to breathe to my right. At the same time, I wonder what explains the soreness in my left shoulder.
I cannot tell exactly how deep you are spearing. It looks a bit shallow. We should get some underwater video and we can check.

Yes width of spear can vary from side to side. You should strive for symmetry. We also like to say, spear just outside the shoulder lines. You can be on the shoulder line, but to be safe, just be a little outside. Never spear within or else it could unbalance you and/or set you up for a poor catch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
4. I agree that the video shows a severe arch in my back. My posture has never been great. I've actually read with interest some of your blog posts about abdominal breathing, IAP and so on.
Good - work on this on dryland. It sounds funny, but it always starts with breathing CORRECTLY. Everyone can take in air, but if you want to be a performance machine, you should learn how to breathe correctly and the way we were meant to as humans and not 21st century sitting-too-much texting-too-much caricatures of humans like most of us are now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
5. Thanks for the reminder about the patient lead hand. This is something I've tried to practice before. I think I probably lose track of things like this because so much of my mental energy is focused on trying to breath in a controlled and relaxed way. My breathing is still not where it needs to be, but my experience in the water seems to be getting a bit better each time (so I'll try to find some hope in that).
There are a ton of details. This is why we have focal point training. The basic focal point training involves trying to get one thing right for the entire length of an interval, and don't think about anything else. Practice that focal point for a few lengths, or until you mentally or physically get tired of it. Then switch to another one. You can always come back to the original one later in the same workout or on another day.

Later you can try cycling focal points. If you have 2 you want to practice, then swim one length with focal point 1, second length with focal point 2, etc. Or you can take one length with focal point 1, rest. then take the next length with focal point 2, rest. then go back to focal point 1 for the next length. and so on. This can enable you to mix up and integrate more focal points better.

Coach Mat Hudson has an excellent post on the subject:

http://mediterraswim.com/2015/01/03/...tool-not-rule/

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
6. My non-TI instructor is the person who shot the video. She encouraged me to maintain a vigorous kick. However, when I see the video, I agree that a greater emphasis on balance and streamlining would give me a better bang for my buck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
7. I'm open to purchasing the Ultra-Efficient Freestyle Complete Self-Coaching Toolkit. Does it cover concepts and techniques that are not covered in the Perpetual Motion videos?
Perpetual Motion Freestyle has been around for years. TI has evolved quite a bit since that DVD was released. The latest in our thinking is in Ultra Efficient Freestyle - it provides the most current best sequence to get you to swimming freestyle.
__________________
__________________
David Shen
Total Immersion Coach
Menloswim.com
Menlo Park, CA
https://www.coachdshen.com/blog/
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
CoachSuzanne
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
David,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments. I really appreciate it.

As I mentioned in another thread, I started out by booking some lessons with a non-TI instructor. I then purchased the Perpetual Motion videos and started practicing the drills on my own. I was faithful in my attempts to practice the drills up until up lesson 6 (which is not to say, of course, that I was doing them correctly). The larger context is that I'm trying to figure out if I can get my swimming to the point where I would feel comfortable entering a triathlon this summer. About a week or so ago I felt like I needed to just start swimming more to see where I'm at. Seeing the video was very revealing to me.
...

6. My non-TI instructor is the person who shot the video. She encouraged me to maintain a vigorous kick. However, when I see the video, I agree that a greater emphasis on balance and streamlining would give me a better bang for my buck.


Thank again!

Brian
regarding the vigorous kick...it's a very non-connected way of swimming, and no disrespect to your coach, is kind of a cop out way of coaching. It's like she's saying "I don't know how you're going to balance but if you kick hard enough you'll cover up any balance issues and can keep moving forward".

I came to TI after back surgery over 12 years ago, and swam only 25 yards after reading the book before realizing there would never be any questoin about how I should pursue swimming....my pain was instantly gone.

Since then I've done a ton of swimming, coaching, open water and triathlon camps, and as recently as YESTERDAY am reminded yet once again how vital it is that kick & core & ctach & breathing be synchronized and harmonious with one another....this time due to a neck injury sustained 11 months ago.

when you're young, strong & uninjured, disconnected swimming can be made up for by sheer strength & will. But at some point the weaknesses WILL emerge if oen doesn't quit swimming prior to then.

TI provides a pathway to that best way to swim without suffering through the "trials of youth" that is the unfortunate way most coaches coach.

See my current thread in the Favorite sets & practices for some of my kick/breath/core synchronization realizations from yesterday.

(I'm 47 & have been swimming on a aswim team since I was 7 years old...over 40 years now).
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-14-2016
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
CoachDavidShen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
6. My non-TI instructor is the person who shot the video. She encouraged me to maintain a vigorous kick. However, when I see the video, I agree that a greater emphasis on balance and streamlining would give me a better bang for my buck.
First thanks to Coach Suzanne for answering 6! My rapid typing missed this one.

Totally agree with what she said. When you connect the whole body, your swimming maximizes your efficiency in producing propulsion. To add to what she said:

A lot of people kick because they have balance problems. It is probably the most inefficient way of keeping your hips high though, since you're actively using energy to do it. You also create turbulence which equates to drag.

You may also inhibit rotation to either side if your kick is timed incorrectly, ie. you kick the leg on the same side as you're rotating to. Now you're using more energy to rotate to the other side versus it being assisted by your kick.

Some people will make the observation - but pros do it! they are kicking so much! However, upon closer examination, you will notice the best pros are always syncing one kick to the spear, like we teach. The 6BK has 2 more kicks between the kick synced to the spear. And at their stroking tempo, it will look like they are kicking like mad. But if you slow down the frames, you will see that they all do this, and in their quest to optimize for speed at their high level of skill, they add in 2 more kicks to what little contribution to propulsion and to compensate for any balance deficiencies they may have, just to eke out that last little millisecond to hit the wall a little bit faster.

Everyone else has other issues to correct before this type of optimization. Nearly everyone else is better off correcting balance problems without kicking first, and taking a more gradual progression to syncing their kick to their stroke and learning how to use the whole body for propulsion.
__________________
__________________
David Shen
Total Immersion Coach
Menloswim.com
Menlo Park, CA
https://www.coachdshen.com/blog/
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-14-2016
mbh
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Replies to your questions inline:
We challenge ourselves in SG training. We see if we can SG across the length of a 25y pool in the least amount of SGs. My coach Shinji can do it in 1 and a fraction. My best was about 2.5. So you will become *really* good at holding yourself horizontal, which is the least drag position as well as pushing yourself off the ground with lots of force.
OK, it sounds like I'll need to go back and practice more SG. How many pushes should a "normal" person reasonably expect to achieve in a 25m pool?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
The cue we like to use is to release your head to the water and feel the water supporting your face. As you do this, do not release only the head; it should still stay in line with your spine. So more accurately, it is the top half of your body, from pelvis all the way to the top of your head which is pressing down onto the water.
OK, I'll try to be more conscious of the upper half of my body when I try SG. I think I was focusing on a weightless head only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Good - work on this on dryland. It sounds funny, but it always starts with breathing CORRECTLY. Everyone can take in air, but if you want to be a performance machine, you should learn how to breathe correctly and the way we were meant to as humans and not 21st century sitting-too-much texting-too-much caricatures of humans like most of us are now
In addition to abdominal breathing and IAP, I have a question about pelvic leveling as discussed in the following blog article:

http://mediterraswim.com/2013/11/08/hip-leg-alignment/

Mat Hudson paraphrases a "Chi Running" exercise as follows: "Stand tall and straight. Take one hand and place the palm on your lower belly, with thumb touching the navel, and pinky down toward the crotch. Take the other hand and place it exactly opposite, behind your body, on the back, with the fingers covering your tail bone area. Now, press both hands gently as if you are getting a grip on your own pelvis. Gently pull the front of the hip upward and push back hand downward causing the hips to tilt back, until you feel the curve in your lower back flatten out. Now notice how you need to use the abdominal muscles under the front hand to hold that level pelvis position. And notice how the muscles in the lower back, just above the tail bone, are able to relax a little (but not completely – it’s more like the two sides are coming into a balanced level of tension, working together)."

So here's the question: is this leveling only for swimming (and running) or does it apply to everyday activities like standing and walking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Coach Mat Hudson has an excellent post on the subject:

http://mediterraswim.com/2015/01/03/...tool-not-rule/
Thanks for the link. He also brings up another interesting point that I've been thinking about already in my short journey: "Mindless repetition of a Focal Point will not produce better swimming. Mindful use, but with inaccurate understanding, or misapplication will also not produce improvement as expected. Your understanding of the Focal Point, how to use it, and when not to use it, must closely match what the coach (or the book or the video voice) intended when assigning that certain Focal Point to a particular stroke-adjustment need." It makes me wish that I had access to local TI coaching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Perpetual Motion Freestyle has been around for years. TI has evolved quite a bit since that DVD was released. The latest in our thinking is in Ultra Efficient Freestyle - it provides the most current best sequence to get you to swimming freestyle.
Sold! :). I'll get the newest package.

What's the logical next step if I'd like some more hands-on instruction at some point? Unfortunately, there don't appear to be any TI instructors in my area. Would a workshop be most appropriate? Or a series of private lessons over a weekend? Or a weekend at the TI HQ studio?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-14-2016
mbh
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
I also have had issues of posture or axial alignment in my swimming, (and also in retrospect, in my everyday upright position). In this forum I came across a video by Richard Quick, which is a little long (15 minutes) but which for me was very helpful in transmitting reproducible hints and reference points that I could recreate during normal swimming, particularly in the 2 non-breathing strokes between the (often distorted, for me, and likely to be arched) troublesome breathing strokes, which have to be specially worked on again, but at least with a reference point of a good posture between breaths.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V5PYspkknE


My (everyday) dryland posture has improved too, with the help of this video!
Thanks sclim. I'll check it out. Do you know if the approaches espoused in the video align with the TI philosophy?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-14-2016
mbh
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
TI provides a pathway to that best way to swim without suffering through the "trials of youth" that is the unfortunate way most coaches coach.

See my current thread in the Favorite sets & practices for some of my kick/breath/core synchronization realizations from yesterday.

(I'm 47 & have been swimming on a aswim team since I was 7 years old...over 40 years now).
I guess we're about the same age. Although my journey is starting at a much later age, I think it would be great if, health permitting, I could be doing this 40 years for now when I'm 87.

I'll definitely check out your thread on kick/breath/core synchronization. I've enjoyed reading many of your forum posts and blog articles. Thanks for your contributions!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.