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 06-02-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804
Lawrence
Default Freestyle isn't that complicated

But I'm constantly impressed at how complicated the discussions here make it sound. Am I alone in this? In any event, I draw the conclusion that TI freestyle is best learned by reducing the various mnemonics, heuristics, stroke thoughts and other rules to which people think they should be adhering to a bare minimum and focusing only on these while swimming. I'll provide my list of core principles if people are interested.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-02-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default

Lawrence,

I have followed your post on this forum and find much of what you say to be very valid. "Freestyle isn't that complicated" makes the point that learning the TI stroke is best done by reducing those many small swim thoughts and nuances this forum discusses. I often relate to others who ask about my being so anal with technique swimming to golf. Nothing to it go out tee it up and hit the ball. We all can do that take 8-10 or more strokes to get from tee to green. Now a good friend of mine is pretty damn good and spends countless hours of practice improving. He will repeat countless reps of just wrist and backswing.
Show me a sport where the good not even professional athlete does not focus on the detail. Those of us who use this forum have the choice to pick what works and put the rest in the draw. I have done it many times, but I appreciate the many different thoughts put forth no matter how basic or nuanced.

I do agree those just starting to learn TI may have a tendency to get caught up in what could be considered more advance technique. I would appreciate seeing your core principles as I am always looking for ways to improve.

Thanks for the thoughts

Westy
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-02-2010
CoachJohnB's Avatar
CoachJohnB CoachJohnB is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 162
CoachJohnB
Default

I find that teaching freestyle is that complicated. Swimming it is a pain. Then again, I am a backstroker, so I am basis toward that stroke.

I think for most people, the initial stages of learning freestyle are very complicated. The main reason....breathing. When to breath, how much to exhale, timing of the breath. Once people are comfortable with breathing, then the rest of the stroke isn't that complicated.

Granted, I say this as someone who finds freestyle frustrating right now.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-02-2010
Janos Janos is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Liverpool, England
Posts: 389
Janos
Default the complete swimmer

Hi all,

I am trying to keep my glass half empty, so am receptive to all advice, in whatever form it comes.

Janos
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-02-2010
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384
CoachEricDeSanto
Default

Coming from the view of a high school teacher, I think everything can be easy and everything can be hard. THe difficulty in learning Free Style, or anything else for that matter, is that every student is different. Some people only function on a very touchy feely kind of approach. Others require extreme detail. Some people take all instruction completely literally. Others make natural adjustments automatically.

From a personal philosophical stand point, i think one of the reason I take on challenges like a sport is to learn more about myself. Freestyle can get much easier to learn if we can look at the suggestions we see anywhere and say:
1. I have a tendency to take instruction literally. Does it make sense that this instruction should be literal or not?
2. I have a tendency to over analyze. Is this level of detail helping me or hurting me?

I have a 33 year martial arts history. And I often wonder why so many people go to martial arts as a means of self discovery. I now believe that the reason is martial arts has a very immediate evidence of false judgements about yourself. If I think my skills are better than they are, I end up hurting a lot. If I choose the wrong approach, I end up flat on the floor with pretty lights drifting around my head.

I also believe that any endeavor can lead to the same self awareness, but things like swimming have far more subtle consequences for getting it wrong, so many people don't see the value in this light.

My two cents.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-02-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804
Lawrence
Default

Thanks for all the responses. It seems to me that the main principles are these:

1. Swim on wide tracks. This means: the leading hand extends forwards in line with the shoulder.

2. Reach to full extension. The shoulder of the reaching arm should move forwards relative to the other shoulder. If it doesn't, you're not reaching.

3. Keep the recovering arm relaxed. The forearm should dangle during recovery. Staying relaxed will help with 1 and 2 above.

4. Re-enter the water opposite the elbow of the other arm. The hand should re-enter the water opposite the elbow of the leading arm (which will be extended forwards, patiently waiting for the recovering hand to re-enter). This results in spearing downwards slightly. Reaching downwards this way while also reaching to full extension as in 2 above results in the required body roll.

5. Let your head go. Don't lift it or push it down. Just let the water support it.

6. Let the kick happen by itself. It will automatically synchronise with spearing.

7. Roll to air. While the lead hand is reaching to full extension, the body will automatically roll to one side. Let this happen, and turn the head slightly so that the left ear rests on the left shoulder when breathing to the right, and vice-versa.

8. Exhale whenever your face is underwater. I think most people forget to exhale fully rather than struggling to inhale.

9. Don't hurry. Let the glide happen. The air will be there when you need it so there's no need to rush back to it.

10. Stay as relaxed as you can. This doesn't mean you won't achieve propulsion. Instead it means you won't be stiff or tense, and swimming will feel easier. Odd as it may sound, you swim more efficiently when your whole body is relaxed.

I can't think of anything else. I don't claim that getting all of these things to happen is easy but I do think that there's no need for further detail and, in particular, no need to articulate more fully the principles stated.

In discussions on here I've seen all manner of references to pressing buoys, rotating the arm slightly before the catch, reaching over a barrel for the same purpose, keeping toes pointed...the list continues. I just don't think any of that stuff is necessary.

Interested in everyone's views.

Last edited by Lawrence : 06-02-2010 at 04:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-02-2010
atreides atreides is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 293
atreides
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
But I'm constantly impressed at how complicated the discussions here make it sound. Am I alone in this? In any event, I draw the conclusion that TI freestyle is best learned by reducing the various mnemonics, heuristics, stroke thoughts and other rules to which people think they should be adhering to a bare minimum and focusing only on these while swimming. I'll provide my list of core principles if people are interested.
As I watch swimmers, particularly women, I wonder why I can't swim like that. Rather why can't I swim lap after lap like that. There's something about the energy applied/result obtained quotient that is different in freestyle swimming when compared to land endeavors. The other day I timed myself doing a 25 meter semi sprint. I wasn't swimming for my life but I wasn't trying to maximize stroke length either. It took me about 28 seconds. Then I put on fins and swam the same 25 meters only I didn't kick (or barely kicked). It took me 24 seconds. What was difference? Well I know that I am better balanced when I have the fins on. I have a different more streamlined feeling when I swim with fins. I feel like the energy applied is more effectively applied when I have fins on than when I don't.

So what's the solution? How do I get the "fin" feeling or at least as much of it as I can get without the fins. That's the hard part. That's what these discussions are about. Whether it is proper breathing, correct balance, rotating just enough, high elbow catch or a combination of all of those factors there is something missing, something that is not done quite right.

One day I was working on stroke length. I would stroke and skate as long as I could before intitiating another stroke. It still took me 17 or 18 strokes to make 25 meters. I have a long body and long arms so I should be have no trouble making it in 12-14 strokes. But I don't and thats why I read various posts and ask for advice. You are fortunate that you were able to translate TI principles to practice. But it's not the same for all of us. When and if I start swimming 1500 meters when I want to, I'll probably wonder what the big deal was. But until then I keep trying to get ideas from those that seem to have the same problems as I but somehow overcame them.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-02-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default

Lawrence,

Thanks for the basic principles and I totally concur with all of them. They may sound simple but what techniques and practices do we need for instilling the neuro pathways to be successful in accomplishing them. I can not just go to the pool and do 1 thru 9 for me it is not that simplistic.

Thanks for the Principles.
Westy
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-02-2010
Janos Janos is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Liverpool, England
Posts: 389
Janos
Default spread the word

Hi all,

Over half the worlds population cannot swim at all. Those nine points will be invaluable. Thankyou.

Janos :-)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-02-2010
FrankJ FrankJ is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: london
Posts: 56
FrankJ
Default

I agree with you Lawrence. I find the points listed encompass most of what one needs to know to swim effectively. I do believe though that a more complex analysis of fine movements can be made, but for most swimmers it is well beyond the point and their skill level. If one does not already swim efficiently, I see little value in obsessing about fine technical points. For most, me included, improvement will come from focusing on rhythm, relaxation and the gross motor skills you pointed out.
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 06:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.