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  #11  
Old 12-27-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimmermike View Post
[TI] has changed much in my life, providing "flow," among other experiences, which paradoxically may have been less readily accessible to me had I approached TI with the intention of gaining them.
Einsteins "Elegant Solution" principle: The best solution is usually the simplest.

Brevity is the soul of wit, perhaps also of clarity.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2011
Janos Janos is offline
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I agree. Well said Michael. Brevity seems to be the soul of mission statements too.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Default Mission statements and tag lines

Hear, hear, Michael! You and bx said it much more gracefully than I did. :)

Thanks for the elucidation, Terry, on trying to embed the holistic nature of TI into the mission statement. What you've written under the heading Something more like this could be the lead paragraph of the "About TI" page or could be the mission statement that follows the tag line of "Total Immersion: Graceful Swimming that Changes Your Life".
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Originally Posted by terry View Post
...Rather, the point I'm seeking to embed in our mission statement is that TI is the only truly holistic swimming method. We help you reach your swimming goals in a way that help you be healthier and happier as well. Live well by swimming well.

Something more like this:
We believe swimming is the healthiest and most satisfying of all physical activities. ...
I think it's good to be a little careful here. While these statements show personal conviction and enthusiasm they also lay bare a certain amount of something that could easily be called ignorance.
To say that TI is a holistic approach needs explanation and there you get into areas where you leave the physical swimming world and get into the world of mental approach, or spiritual world, or esoteric world, whatever you want to call it. There are many approaches and systems and traditions out there and they are there since years, decades, centuries or even milleniums. You will not get away by just claiming it. I am not saying that TI is not a holistic approach, but just doing some drills and being focused doesn't make it holistic. So you need a lot more to back up that statement.
I thing what can be said is that TI moves the goal from the goal to the path: clearly the path is the goal here. That is a unique feature of TI and can be claimed without getting on slippery ice.
Also there are other physical activities that are as healthy and satisfying as swimming. Tell this statement about swimming to passionate horse back riders (I don't mean Western style) and you will get a very pitiful look. It might be running for other people, even walking, anything that is physical.

This one I think is very good and save to say:
Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Our mission is to help people of all ages and abilities achieve their swimming goals--and experience greater health and happiness--through intelligent, effective, and enjoyable practice.
Also this is very good:
Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
... Live well by swimming well. ...
It's a little provocative and demanding but still not claiming too much.

But this one:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bx View Post
... Total Immersion: Graceful Swimming that Changes Your Life
Will this have any appeal to a heavy duty Tri person who wants to improve his/her swimming?

I think it is ok to say that swimming the TI way might change your life, because it might. And there could be testemonies of people for whom this is true.
But it might not. We should never forget that this does not work for everybody. People are too different. And all those people who are already involved in bringing mindfulness and awareness in their life and want to swim for health reasons might not experience a change in their life at all when using TI as they incorporated those mental aspects already.


Maybe a cooperation could be done with some of those mentally oriented systems, mainly one of those that use mindfulness as their main theme. I am thinking here of approaches like John Kabat-Zinn with his MBSR. There is a lot of knowledge about using mindfulness and that could very well complete TI. And help bringing that aspect on a more stable ground.
What about TI: Swimming-Based-Stress-reduction ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by swimmermike View Post
...
You may be trying to stake out a domain for TI that can be realized only through the individual's imagination. To say this another way: yoga or meditation can provide marvelous tools for a person, but the chances for the foundational change some people achieve through these practices are not enhanced by a teacher's promoting the practices in that way. You get the significant change just by doing the practice.
That is a very good point, I absolutely agree with this. It should not get forgotten.


Hang on in there...
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  #15  
Old 12-28-2011
terry terry is offline
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I am not saying that TI is not a holistic approach, but just doing some drills and being focused doesn't make it holistic. So you need a lot more to back up that statement.
I don't believe we're lacking in that department. It's clear that TI methods have never been 'just do some drills and be focused.'

We were the first - and after over 20 years remain the only - swimming method to:
1. Teach movement skills based on verifiable principles - balance, streamline and propel in that order.
2. Note that the skills we teach -- indeed every solution to what we call the Universal Human Swimming Problem (terrestrial mammals trying to master an aquatic skill) -- is counterintuitive/instinctual. And thus can only be learned via Mindful practice.
3. Teach the cognitive skills of Mindfulness - and the behaviors and mindsets of Flow, Mastery, Excellent Performance - in as structured and principle-based a way as we originally had taught motor skills.
4. Close the loop by linking brain function and adaptation to all of the preceding - making the point that if you hope to swim well and live well you should be curious about and at least moderately familiar with how the brain works, not just how the muscles do.
5. And finally to patiently, tirelessly remind people that the greatest benefit of all this is neither a more graceful stroke nor a faster 1500, but greater health and happiness.

If that doesn't deserve the descriptive 'holistic' what does?
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Last edited by terry : 12-28-2011 at 11:21 AM.
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  #16  
Old 12-28-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Terry,

Yes, no worries, as I said I am not saying that TI is not holistic. I just wanted to be a little provocative to illustrate my point.

BTW as you mention it, I think I am representing a minority in the TI world: those who start learning freestyle from the scratch at a later age with the help of TI. I can deliver a testimony that it is very well possible to learn a good, balanced, streamlined, hip driven and effortless stroke without coach by just following the methodical approach of the TI DVD's. Since I looked around on the market I can say that I am sure that TI is absolutely unique in this and it is something that can be stressed on the new Web presence.

I still like the idea of relating TI with one of those mindfulness based methods. What do you think ?
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  #17  
Old 12-28-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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One more thing, I think this is the point here that gets me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
...
5. And finally to patiently, tirelessly remind people that the greatest benefit of all this is neither a more graceful stroke nor a faster 1500, but greater health and happiness. ...
There is a lot of talking about better health and happiness. If this is supposed to mean not only physical health - which swimming provides anyway - than this point exactly needs more food. Either it has to be explained why you gain (mental) health and happiness, or there need to be enough testimonies that suggest such a conclusion.

This is the crucial point for claiming a 'holistic' approach and for my taste it deserves more logic and argumentation.

I am sure you got some more... ;-)
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default Health and Happiness

I find it difficult to articulate my thoughts on this piece of TI. Keeping it simple my thoughts follow with those Haschu is putting forth. If I read it correctly he is not saying the holistic results of TI are false, rather these benefits need to be somehow more clearly defined when and is used.

I came for technique, not seeking or evening knowing what the holistic approach benefits could be. In retrospect I say with confidence that no way would the holistic aspect of TI sold me on the journey. In short it is something which evolves as time passes while one practices TI with a sense of conviction and patience. Try selling that to someone wanting to improve their swimming.

The coaches and literature can profess the holistic benefits till the lakes freeze over, I for one would have said ya da da da, my purpose is to swim better.

In closing not once in all the reasearch I pursued on TI did I see the holistc message .



Swim Silent and Be Well
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2011
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
I came for technique, not seeking or evening knowing what the holistic approach benefits could be. In retrospect I say with confidence that no way would the holistic aspect of TI sold me on the journey. In short it is something which evolves as time passes while one practices TI with a sense of conviction and patience. Try selling that to someone wanting to improve their swimming.

The coaches and literature can profess the holistic benefits till the lakes freeze over, I for one would have said ya da da da, my purpose is to swim better.
unfortunately i agree with westywoods's statement here. i think that for the majority of people out there, they pursue quick, more obvious gains, as in swimming speed and winning a race. they are not introspective enough to figure out that there are other benefits they could gain from training....yet.

it seems that most people need to graduate through the path of obvious/quick /visible gains first before they get to the mental/emotional/holistic gains. i think this is even more present in younger people - ever try telling your kid to run because it's healthy for them? ha! they still have that invulnerability aspect to their personalities and tend to pursue it more for winning races or to rise socially amongst their peers.

i think this is prevalent even through adulthood until you get to about 30 and then things start to change a lot as people realize they aren't invulnerable and that other pursuing the more obvious/visible/quick gains may not bring as much satisfaction and meaning as they thought.

once we get older, we get more mature in our attitudes, our introspection, and our thinking and we can now more effectively process and pursue holistic benefits to training.

that's not to say we can't find younger people who exhibit these qualities - i'm just saying it's much rarer in younger people than for older people.

this may be worth thinking about in crafting one of the messages about TI that is adjusted and targeted appropriately to people who do not pursue holistic goals but if we can get them on the TI bandwagon than surely they will gain and understand the holistic benefits later.
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2011
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
We believe everyone – not just the talented few -- should be able to experience the joy of swimming well. Our mission is to bring that gift to as many people as possible through self-help tools and expert instruction and by supporting swimmers in making healthy choices and living well.'
The part in italics is new.
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Terry,

Wanting to comment, I had to go back and review some articles on mission statements since it has been a while since I have done that in my prior military life. I remembered, after reading, that most if not all organizations have a "vision statement." I was looking at the current web site and didn’t see one. Have you stated a vision for TI? I think that some of what you want to state could be put in the vision statement as it "could communicate an ideal, end result, a vision. It reflects values and beliefs, and should inspire and challenge."

I just got the feeling from reading this and everyone's comments that there was too much being tried to put into the mission statement.

Example Vision I crafted using your words:

"Total Immersion believes everyone of all ages and abilities should experience the joy of swimming, and swimming well, through the use of self-help education, expert class instruction, and by introducing swimmers to a life of health and happiness."

In the mission statement you can then clarify TI's purpose. This idea is a taken somewhat from Coca Cola's mission statement but adapted for TI. Some you'll see I've taken from your earlier posts on this thread.

"The TI promise: TI exists to make swimming beneficial and a renewing experience to everyone it touches. Teach movement skills based on verifiable principles - balance, streamline and propel in that order. Teach the cognitive skills of Mindfulness - and the behaviors and mindsets of Flow, Mastery, Excellent Performance - in as structured and principle-based way as we originally had taught/learned motor skills. Instill a thought process that links brain function and adaptation to all of the preceding. And finally to patiently, tirelessly remind everyone that the greatest benefit of all this is neither a more graceful stroke nor a faster 1500, but greater health and happiness."

Then possibly take your tag line and change: I took the one originally Posted by bx and added/modified.

"otal Immersion - Turning Struggles into Graceful Swimming that Results in Changing Your Life"

I have to agree with dshen, haschu33, westywoods and the rest (please excuse the omission of names) that I too at first was not attracted to the whole TI picture and only the swimming with ease, more efficient, etc. It was only after really practicing and reading the TI material, forums did I start to get the whole picture. Then after Instructor Training and the first Coaches Summitt it really was cemented in place. The original tag line on the instructor shirt of "Turning Struggles into Skills" really resonated with me but I felt it wasn't the whole picture and I added "Turning Struggles into Life Skills" because it was doing much more than changing my swimming. I have gotten the same feeling from my clients who have corresponded with me since clinics or lessons. TI truly does build life skills for everyone regardless of gender, age, socio-economic status, or political persuasion through the critical thinking process that we make the swimmers go through as they progress. I can't count the number of students at the end of Day 1 of the weekend workshop that are complaining about how much their head hurts from all the "stuff" they need to keep thinking about that they never began, thought about or wanted to think about before. So even before we start adding stroke counting, strokes per length, using the tempo trainer and structuring practices to improve their swimming we have already indoctrinated them to "mindful swimming."

Just some additional food for thought.

Todd
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