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  #91  
Old 06-15-2018
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I had not seen this demo from Terry at an open water camp; it seems very relevant to our discussion so far (just started watching it):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pITBtglEUGk
Tom, I listened to Terry on this link and tried to implement it when I got back in the pool. As I said previously, my SPL had increased lately as I tried to imitate Terry's timing in his TI demo, and I couldn't understand why. By paying attention to two different things he pointed out in the above thread, I got my SPL back down again. First, start the catch by using the muscles on the top of your shoulder to raise your shoulder as the hand drops, second, to concentrate on holding the ball of water you catch as your arm moves back in the stroke. When I first started doing this, my SPL dropped, but I was surprised that it seemed to require some strength and effort. Over time, I noticed that by coordinating my recovery and rotation on the other side with the motion of the ball, the effort went down considerably. So that was just one session. My times were normal for me, but my SPL dropped by 2-3. We'll see how easy it is to hold onto and improve on this change.
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  #92  
Old 06-15-2018
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Tom, I listened to Terry on this link and tried to implement it when I got back in the pool. As I said previously, my SPL had increased lately as I tried to imitate Terry's timing in his TI demo, and I couldn't understand why. By paying attention to two different things he pointed out in the above thread, I got my SPL back down again. First, start the catch by using the muscles on the top of your shoulder to raise your shoulder as the hand drops, second, to concentrate on holding the ball of water you catch as your arm moves back in the stroke. When I first started doing this, my SPL dropped, but I was surprised that it seemed to require some strength and effort. Over time, I noticed that by coordinating my recovery and rotation on the other side with the motion of the ball, the effort went down considerably. So that was just one session. My times were normal for me, but my SPL dropped by 2-3. We'll see how easy it is to hold onto and improve on this change.

I've seen this a couple of times before, and I always learn something more each time I watch it again. Terry does allude to the many moving parts -- force, speed, angle, timing, stroke rate as "trading chips" that one tries to balance in the transaction, and that does make sense in retrospect.

But if you haven't actually got it yourself, that is, exactly how with exquisite balance and timing you manage to exert minimal energy to anchor and NOT move water while you move yourself forward, and he doesn't actually tell you throughout the course of the long on-shore demonstration, because no-one can, then one is likely to think it as all BS. Until you see anyone like Terry actually do it in the water with such ease and grace, or hear a personal narrative like you just described, Danny, by using a very subtle visualization superimposed on a previously learned gross motor skill which managed to get your SPL dropped by a number of 2 or 3!!
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  #93  
Old 06-15-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Danny,

great work--I'm glad it's working for you.

sclim,

I agree with everything you posted. Terry mentions in that video that your balance and stability has to be well established before it's even possible to refine propulsion. I think I am slowly beginning to understand how to do it.

It will be interesting to test myself with a pool and pace clock again. I certainly feel like I am swimming differently than I was two months ago, and much of the difference has to do with the water feeling thicker, and my stroke becoming more propulsive (I think!).

I really have been using Terry's "ball of molecules" visualization to help prevent slippage in my stroke. Also "opening the armpit" (I have been doing a subtle move with my scapula that I think does that). And of course, really trying to develop awareness of pressing straight back at all times, never down. I think I've even discovered why some bubbles appear sometimes during my left arm pressing motion: I have been spearing a little too shallow (I think), which sometimes causes my press to have some downward force to it.

Another discovery I made is that I have started to be able to stretch out my pelvis in a gentle, relaxed manner to lengthen my body. It feels a little like my legs are being held in gentle traction--but instead of someone pulling on my ankles to stretch them out, the stretch is coming internally, from the pelvis and hips. When I do it, it makes my legs feel lighter, more relaxed (no tendency to cramp even during long open water swims), and longer. Stretching from the inside out!

How that will show up in SPL and pace, in fresh water, I have no idea. Perhaps I'm fooling myself...
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  #94  
Old 06-16-2018
Danny Danny is offline
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For full disclosure, my SPL had gotten up to 19 over distance in a 25 yd pool, which is pretty bad for someone who is a little over 5'10". So the improvement got me back down to 16 or 17, which is probably where I should be swimming. What I think I learned from this is that, regardless of how much care I had taken in a good catch up front, if I relax too much as my arm moves back I am dropping my elbow and losing that grip on the water. Keeping the elbow up and holding onto the ball of water turns out to be a lot easier to do when the rest of your body is coordinated with the arm pushing the ball back. There are a lot of moving parts here, and on those few strokes where all the timing matches up you can definitely tell the difference. If only every stroke could be like that!
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  #95  
Old 06-16-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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For that high elbow:

Nothing refines your skill at holding a high elbow/vertical forearm through the stroke like swimming over a huge field of staghorn coral flats at low tide.

If you don't have a coral reef handy to try the real thing, it could be a useful visualization just to imagine it. Water so shallow that if you don't keep your elbow at the surface, you'll be scraping bottom with your fingers.
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  #96  
Old 06-16-2018
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Tom,

Quote:
Nothing refines your skill at holding a high elbow/vertical forearm through the stroke like swimming over a huge field of staghorn coral flats at low tide.
Ha! That will help to tuck the belly in, holding an aligned spine and streamlined kick too, as preventing from overrotation also. Very good Imagination.. But the fear shouldn't let tense us up...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #97  
Old 06-17-2018
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Keeping the elbow up and holding onto the ball of water turns out to be a lot easier to do when the rest of your body is coordinated with the arm pushing the ball back. There are a lot of moving parts here, and on those few strokes where all the timing matches up you can definitely tell the difference. If only every stroke could be like that!
Exactly!

Now to practice and concentrate until we can do it 100% of all strokes, all the time. The task of a lifetime.
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  #98  
Old 06-17-2018
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
For that high elbow:

Nothing refines your skill at holding a high elbow/vertical forearm through the stroke like swimming over a huge field of staghorn coral flats at low tide.

If you don't have a coral reef handy to try the real thing, it could be a useful visualization just to imagine it. Water so shallow that if you don't keep your elbow at the surface, you'll be scraping bottom with your fingers.
Nice trick, Tom. Strong visual and emotional imagery to base the mental focus on!
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  #99  
Old 06-19-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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All right, I managed a 30-minute pool session in my usual 25m pool. My goal was to test my normal open water stroke for SPL and time.

Results? Inconclusive.

I managed 14-15 SPL. I'd guess 15 SPL is right about my normal open water stroke, 14 was a slower SR. So I'm right where I predicted by feel, which was nice to see. Intuition and feel, for a trained swimmer (or any athlete, really) can be quite precise. I remember when I was running, I could guess my pace with a few seconds per mile consistently.

Speed was the inconclusive part. The pool was crowded, and I didn't have enough time to really test myself. But I think my default speed at 15 SPL is around :44/50m. I was able to swim :39-40/50m at 16-17 SPL.

I'd like more time to test the "downward drift of lead arm" against the patient lead arm style. Maybe that will happen later this summer.

Final conclusion: however different my stroke feels to me, it hasn't measurably changed much in the past two months. I plan to start adding pool sessions to my open water swimming in August when I am back in the Marshall Islands. Without pool sessions, I don't swim fast. And without swimming fast, I'm not going to get any faster.
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  #100  
Old 06-24-2018
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Its fun to read mushroomfloats comments. He is swimming from feeling en I can really identify with his feelings during this swimming journey.
Playing with the weight of the recovering arm , the speed at hwich its thrown forward, what part of the body is the foundation of that morion and how the differnt speeds and styles all influence balance in a differnt way are very good to learn new tricks.

Its fun to go from long to the more shoulder driven variaty and back. Its different , but also so much the same at the basic level where it teaches the very essence what swimming is about in my opinion.

Mushroomfloat, do you also pay attantion to what the leg at the low side elbow sinking side is doing?
This leg should be lifted from the center of the body at the same time, that the high side arm weight is pushing the the other side into the catch, like you have described earlier.
That way the whole body is set up for the next uncoiling, slightly undulating power move. Talking 2Bk here.

For me its better to feel the weight of the recovering arm first in a less catchup timing way and then slowly go to a more catchup timing way while diving pretty deep with the low side front side of the body, and corkscrew/dolphin with long extensions forward.
Somewhere in that process you start to loose the weight of the high side arm pressing in the catch and thats where you have to back off and go a bit shorter again, or explore that style on the edge and see if you can extend with a higher elbow.
With a higher elbow you can swim a more catchup timing style and still have the weight of the recovering arm convert to traction at the low side.
Thats how the Thorpes and Phelps guys swim.
For normal guys this flex and strenght in the shoulder region has to be buitl up gradually.

In the end a very important thing is to get rid of the dryland kicking reflex and move the legs like whips from the core , fairly rigidly connected to the upperbody and the shouldr and arm movements.
You really have to become a a sort of hybrid human-fish sswimming machine, thats fishlike form the rigcage down and connect with the human back shoulder arm paddle mechanism.
You can see this conversion to human fish swimming machine in all the good swimmers. Its a pretty total body rewiring of the whole nervous system that takes years to complete, especiially for older people.

The perfect technique Thorpe video is one of my favorites,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHszSCgMkpU
but Looking at the Shelly Taylor video after a long time is also a joy.
She is sheer hydrodynamic perfection. A perfect example of the human-fish hybrid swimming machine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt6_bqj_808

Its the what Thorpe and Shelly Taylor both do whats important.

Comparing Thorpes 3stage 2Bk with Shelleys kick, you can see Shelley also has tiny bit of 3Stage kick in her stroke, it just blends more to one kick because of the higher rate and lighter arms probably. Especcialy the very last finishing downkick accent can be seen in Shellys stroke.
This kickdetail also has to do with the timing of the arm at the front. Differnt arm timing, differnt kicktiming usually.
The extra downkick is when the same side arm is lifted out the water, the extra upkick when the same side low side shoulder/arm extends.
Interesting to try to exegerate these details.

You all worship Terrys swim style, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC8ZZZhabp4
but i think I now understand why he uses more kicking motion then strictly needed.
He rotates his hips too much relative to his shoulders and thats unbalancing his body in a rotational sense. His hips have a rotational overshoot that he has to overcompensate every stroke. Thats where these extra kicks come from. He needs a tighter hip control amd more upperbody flex. Hip rotation has to be transfered to shoulder rotation in a corkscrewlike manner. Hip rotation should not stay isolated and disconnected.
Nothing personal against Terry, he did a great job education a lot of people, but i personally dont see him as a perfect swimming example. (still a good example though)

Last edited by Zenturtle : 06-24-2018 at 11:22 AM.
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