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  #1  
Old 11-15-2016
scooterhax
 
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Default total beginner ,fin problem

Dear Forum

I have just started reading the book ,and also got he dvd to watch ,
i started with the first balance exercises ,which are going ok .
know have started doing the core balance exercises .
i am 49 and kick boxed run for a lot of years , so there is not a lot of movement in my ankles .
so i invested in some small fins ,which help .but after using them once the public pool says i can't use them, health and safety
So i am trying to do the drills without ,with not a lot of success ,how good do you have to get at these drills before you go to lesson 2 on the dvd , i have spoke to all the public baths in my area no look with any .
the only way i can use them is private lessons ,then they won't to teach you there way ,and not total immersion way. cheers
regards mark
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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I started running seriously as well as started Hapkido at age 50, and got good at both, retired at 64+ tried to learn swimming properly to compete in Triathlon. Did TI videos, on my own for a few months before I found a TI coach. Felt really odd swimming, and due to high density and low float position had trouble breathing during drills, and still do, relatively speaking. Despite these troubles, managed to learn enough from the balance drills on my own to leverage into useful TI knowledge. The lack of forward motion (due to poorly developed proper swim kick mechanics) during initial Fish, Superman and Skate balance drills was initially very discouraging, but in retrospect, I shouldn't have worried. I also initially worried about the incongruity of having to quit the drill and stand up every time I had to breathe (my buoyancy was so bad I couldn't breathe in skate, even trying "sweet spot" which is no longer recommended). I got some fins to make me feel better, but once I found out that I wasn't learning balance any faster I discarded them.

4 years later, I feel like still learning slowly but looking back, I'm amazed at how much I've learned. I've done 3 1/2Ironman races and completed 1 full IM swim (although I fell during the bike portion and didn't finish). My balance is really good, especially considering how poor it was at first, and of course this is the key to TI and confidence in the water. Short story -- concentrate on learning balance in the water, even though it feels like you're not really swimming (remember, part of the problem is that you're so used to being expert and comfortable running and kick-boxing). It really works eventually.

Last edited by sclim : 11-15-2016 at 11:02 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2016
scooterhax
 
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Dear Sclim
Thank you for that .
I will keep working at my Balance drills.
It sounds like i have the same problems as you ,i must admit it is a bit disheartening when you watch them on the dvd ,then try them your self and you can't do them as good .
My aim is to try some local tri, or even a half ironman. i am happy with my running and biking
but my swimming is not far of a beginners level so it is going to take some work .
Its nice to no that even though i i am not getting the drills 100 percent it still is having a positive effect on my learning, even though you get some strange looks of the pool lifeguards .
i see you said the sweet spot is not recommended anymore , is it not any good .
regards mark
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  #4  
Old 11-16-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterhax View Post
Dear Sclim
Thank you for that .
I will keep working at my Balance drills.
It sounds like i have the same problems as you ,i must admit it is a bit disheartening when you watch them on the dvd ,then try them your self and you can't do them as good .
My aim is to try some local tri, or even a half ironman. i am happy with my running and biking
but my swimming is not far of a beginners level so it is going to take some work .
Its nice to no that even though i i am not getting the drills 100 percent it still is having a positive effect on my learning, even though you get some strange looks of the pool lifeguards .
Yeah, that's for sure, LOL! But over the years it's getting better -- maybe because more TI people are beginning to populate the pools. Or maybe I've stopped caring or noticing anymore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterhax View Post

i see you said the sweet spot is not recommended anyore , is it not any good .
regards mark
The "Sweet Spot" is the name the TI organization gave to the technique where from the skate drill position you rotated your trunk 90 degrees on the underwater quadrant towards the side opposite to your underwater lead hand, and your head on your shoulders a further 90 degrees, so that, hopefully you will still be progressing in a more or less continual axial position, but now your face is facing straight up, so you can catch a few breaths, yet still maintain the balanced position of the trunk, although partly lying on your back and facing up, until you are ready to rotate back down again to skate position for further skate practice.

You can still find You Tube videos showing this but only dating back to prior era. I learned off some old videos and books, so I had some books advising rolling to sweet spot, which was puzzling, because not all the information I had recommended this.

The original idea was to maximize the feeling of rolling in the water maintaining axial balance, (and maybe to minimize the disruption to the sessions of skate drill) and I guess that has some validity, and maybe convenience, but the downside is that the final position of comfort for breathing (lying diagonally on your back and face straight up to the sky) bears little resemblance to any position that is later used during whole stroke. So the danger was of imprinting a position of comfort and security that might later contaminate any further attempts to progress to a more sophisticated and efficient method of getting air during a free-style whole stroke.

Therefore my understanding is that the teaching of "Sweet Spot" has been abandoned, and the current method of "skate till you need to breathe, then don't panic, just stand up" has been taught, even though it may seem strange and counterproductive to the beginner learner. I think that the merit of this approach, is that it is obvious that this is only an interim measure until you get the hang of balancing, and there is no possibility that you will imprint on this method of getting air when you are actually progressing to whole stroke swimming.

The end result you are trying to achieve is to get the horizontal balance working without any overt active muscle action or struggling, merely by balancing your head and shoulders and armpit downwards so your legs tend to float parallel to the surface, and to become aware of your body achieving this position. This "body memory" is what you will call upon later on when you start adding propulsion, so that you will automatically (one hopes, more or less) know how to stay horizontal and streamlined despite the new, odd, things you are now doing to propel you forwards.

Last edited by sclim : 11-16-2016 at 08:34 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2016
scooterhax
 
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Thank you
I will try the skating drill nose down and stand up when I need to breath and see how i get on ,
Is the nose up version still used .
I can see where you are coming from with the sweet spot . Thank you for a good explanation
Regards mark
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterhax View Post
Thank you
I will try the skating drill nose down and stand up when I need to breath and see how i get on ,
Is the nose up version still used .
I can see where you are coming from with the sweet spot . Thank you for a good explanation
Regards mark
This is merely my own surmise as to why it is no longer taught or recommended. I only have read that "sweet spot" is no longer recommended, but the exact details of why not were not explained, so I filled in the blanks, but I may not be accurate in my surmise.

BTW, it is not that fins don't help with getting balance. They give you a really good kick, great forward propulsion and the kick helps to move the legs up to the surface. But all the time your legs are being artificially lifted (by the fins) you are not getting any practice in experiencing balance from intrinsic muscle and core control. If you can do this balance at the slow speed your present natural foot kick can propel you at, then you've really learned something useful. And that's the point.

Last edited by sclim : 11-18-2016 at 02:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooterhax View Post
i see you said the sweet spot is not recommended anymore , is it not any good .
It isn't really true that sweet spot is no longer used, but for freestyle swimming, we call it interrupted breathing, and we introduce it later in the drill sequence than used to be the case. While some people found sweet spot an easy position to master, others really struggled with it. And since sweet spot isn't all that relevant to whole stroke freestyle, we gave it a less prominent position in our drill sequence.

One of the problems we had with sweet spot is that when you're doing it, propulsion comes entirely from your kick, and this can present a problem for swimmers whose kick isn't all that propulsive. (I've even seen swimmers literally move backward when they try to propel themselves using nothing but a kick!) In our current drill sequence, rolling to the interrupted breathing position is done while you're already moving, which makes it easier.

If the pool where you swim has water that is over your head, you can improve your kick by going to the deep end and doing vertical kicking - a drill in which you fold your arms across your chest and keep your head above water by kicking. Focus on kicking from your hips and ankles - not your knees. You can transition to horizontal kicking by staring vertical kicking and then letting yourself "fall back" onto your back while still kicking.


Bob
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