Total Immersion Forums  

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-13-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default Back to Butterfly

I decided the other day to get out my Betterfly for Everybody DVD and watch it again. Having done so I decided to try starting to learn butterfly all over again from scratch as in the DVD.

Yesterday I did several lengths of the pool doing the first exercise of stretching the shoulders forward to induce an undulation, with the occasional small scull to breathe. It is not fast but it works as described.

Then I went on to sculling dolphin, which is something I do quite a lot of anyway, but I was trying to do it without an overt kick as on the DVD.

Next I tried some ride the wave, which I think is more or less the same as the older stoneskipper drill and probably very similar to the Biondi drill, which one often sees recommended.

I did try a few above the water recoveries, but that probably counts as cheating or at least not following the program properly.

Today I did more or less the same but added in some one-arm fly, because I like doing it.

If anyone else is learning butterfly it would be nice to compare notes.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-21-2010
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575
AWP
Default

Richard

As of late I've been doing a bit of fly again too.

My older daughter (10) has stepped up in levels in her swim class and finds herself doing a lot more fly swimming also, so 'naturally' dad is there to give her advice. On this occasion she decided she would actually listen and apply what tip I had to offer, "pinkies up, fall softly then flick your toes and hooold your streamline. Don't reach for the sky on recovery."

She was commended that day after practice for her success out of her class. The beam on her face could have lit the room. I asked her what was the one thing that she felt helped her and she replied "don't make big circles with my arms."

The flick to streamline set her up, pinkies up helped her focus on bringing her hands up just to the surface (no big circles) and fall softly (before kicking) also helped with swinging the arms just above the surface and set her up for the next cycle. She 'knew' the rest and once she developed a rhythm was off and moving. Much, much work to do.

Most of the kids struggle with their recovery. They need to put attention and faith in their balance and on gravity.

Why am I going on about my girl? Well, I decided I would put my 'money' where my mouth is and apply a similar focus on my practice, with some success.

I find I need a good bit of warming up with freestyle before attempting a sustained fly practice. No amount of drilling equals that I'm afraid. The one thing I've come up with however that helps is a rehearsal. Not unlike the standing rehearsal for free that Terry demonstrates, this 'requires' lots of visualization. And unlike the standing rehearsal I walk up and down the lane while going through my stroke thoughts and movements. I sink myself in the water, almost sitting, my torso parallel to the surface and begin.

Because I won't be too concerned about my legs initially I just walk through balance thoughts, streamline thoughts and positioning and on the position of my arms (high elbows) for that brief hold on water as I kick to recovery. (Incidentally, this need not be a power movement. Similar to the free catch, I find it's the positioning of the arms more than the pressure applied that allows for a firm and patient grip.

The only kick thought I apply at this point, aside from timing, is on amplitude (for streamlining; although I focus on a "whole legs" flick, from the gut) and on keeping my feet apart evenly throughout.

I've gone on so long I hope I didn't go off track or lose you, sorry. Hope something clicks. Btw, my daughter remembers your earlier attempts, from the old TI site, and wishes you success.

Best,

Alan
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-21-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Hi Alan

I really appreciate your comments and I'm glad that your daughter is having success with the focal points you suggest. Although it may not seem so, my attempts at fly have not been entirely unsuccessful and on the rare occasions when I have not been DQ'd my times have actually improved, although still extremely slow.

For the moment my attention is on the body movement, which is probably the root of my misfortunes. In addition to the Betterfly DVD, I have a number of books on swimming, and one in particular, which seems to be very much along similar lines to the TI approach, Master the Art of Swimming by Steven Shaw, has a good section on butterfly. The following passage seems to me to address the problem I have with getting the arms out of the water:

"The recovery phase is often seen as the most challenging and many people waste unnecessary mental and physical effort trying to lift their arms over the water... when the other phases are working correctly, the recovery effectively happens by itself."

So far it hasn't actually happened by itself, but I have some success with using the hips to lift the arms out of the water and have been concentrating on getting the feeling of the hips rising to the surface. The chest press is proving a bit more elusive, but no doubt it will come. The one-arm fly is also feeling better, although it seems to have slowed down a bit.

I will try your rehearsal and report back on any progress.

I do think that the Betterfly DVD is very good.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-21-2010
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575
AWP
Default

Richard

I think there is some correlation between what you've paraphrased and what I not so eloquently tried to convey. That balance (front to back) and cooperation with gravity (timing) will better enable you to achieve an easier recovery as opposed to muscling the grip to move forward while trying to swing the arms around simultaneously.

In my walking rehearsals I also 'hop' off the bottom of the pool floor as I position my catch and move (pull) myself forward, planting my feet on the bottom again, "karate chop" my hands to the surface (pinkies up), recover and repeat. In doing so I feel the 'right' amount of pressure on my pull without really pulling. I try and take that feeling to whole stroke. Cooperating with gravity, allowing myself to fall softly then rising sets me up to time a well placed flick (whole legs kick from the gut) to breathe. That timing is essential for an effortless recovery.

For those of us who cannot garner the flexability for a great body undulation, a sustainable one, this seems to me a good approach to 'getting' the rhythm of butterfly.

I fully appreciate your knowledge and inquisitiveness and always eager to read what you've found or tried. And since this conference doesn't seem to get a whole lot of traffic, I'm just wanting to share what I've got.

Cheers

Alan
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-21-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Hi Alan

It's nice to have someone else's input on the problem of getting an easy and symmetrical recovery. My problem is partly with the recovery itself and partly with the symmetry as I seem to swim tilted to one side with my left arm dragging, If I try to correct that by tilting the other way the right arm drags. What a drag, eh?

The timing I employ to get the arms out by using the hips is obviously not the right timing, because from watching real butterfly swimming it is clear that the hips rise to the surface after the arms leave the water. Nevertheless I'm hoping that something of this movement will stick in my brain and help me to get the right timing.

Meanwhile lots of hand-led dolphin, head-led dolphin and ride the wave seems to be the way forward, along with a bit of one-arm fly (both kinds, with arm out in front and with arm at side) to keep me amused. Oddly it seems to be quite beneficial to my breaststroke, which has improved without any real conscious effort. I don't think it's doing my freestyle any harm either.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-22-2010
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575
AWP
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Meanwhile lots of hand-led dolphin, head-led dolphin and ride the wave seems to be the way forward, along with a bit of one-arm fly (both kinds, with arm out in front and with arm at side) to keep me amused. Oddly it seems to be quite beneficial to my breaststroke, which has improved without any real conscious effort. I don't think it's doing my freestyle any harm either.


Richard

I agree these all are very helpful, not only in 'warming up' to fly whole stroke but for the other disciplines as well.

A couple of quick thoughts/questions. Do you breathe on all your whole strokes even when doing just one or two? Likewise, on your one arm fly? Do you favor one side and what are you doing with your legs during? Have you tried just a push off to one whole stroke, landing and doing nothing else and seeing (noting) how your body reacts. The 'set up' and initial stroke can be telling; as you can see I've become hooked on your efforts.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-22-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Hi Alan

Mostly I breathe on every stroke, but recently I've been trying breathing less, mainly on the one-arm fly, partly to encourage myself to keep the head centered and looking forward, especially with the left arm, which is the side I breathe on in freestyle - in which I'm still working on bilateral breathing and making progress.

On one-arm fly I do a double dolphin kick, although I have also experimented with breaststroke kick.

I must try the one stroke practice today, as recommended by Terry on the DVD. I'll be going to the pool in a few hours and will report back later.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-22-2010
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

In the All-Disciplines practice I posted yesterday, I swam two kinds of fly
1) Effortful Pace - the 4 x 50 yd, which I swam interspersed with 50s of other strokes. My pace on these improved from 47 to 45. My SPL remained pretty consistent at 8 going and 9 returning.
2) Effortless Pace - the 12 x 25 I swam for my final set. I swam 7 SPL for all 12 and my pace likewise improved. I held 22s for the first 9 and improved to 21 for the last 3.

To travel farther in each stroke - 7 SPL vs 8 or 9 - I really focused on the streamlining aspects of my ButterFrog. I did that by
1) Land as softly as possible. Avoid crashing into the water. Minimize splash. This helps convert momentum from landing into forward motion, rather than throwing water into the air.
2) Hold a long, clean bodyline as I sink (with gravity) and rise again (with buoyancy) after landing.
3) Sneak my legs into breast-kick recovery. My focus is small, brief and gentle recovery and kick.
4) Streamline, rather than squeezing, my feet at the finish of each breast kick.

I could sense my neuromuscular system adapting to the laser-focused intensity of my concentration, practically repeat-by-repeat.
The adaptation I could sense was that slightly-improved streamlining on each repeat meant that my 7th stroke would bring me slightly closer to the wall. I had to glide a considerable distance to the wall on the 1st 25; the glide became gradually shorter.
That translated into slightly faster finish times. While the digits on the clock read 22 each time I touched (actually _2) there was incrementally more time before I saw the _3 digit.

Finally, on the tenth 25, the clock read _1. That's an illustration of a central principle of my training - seeking to be pulled toward, rather than push toward - faster times. That sense of being pulled always arises from neural, rather than muscular/aerobic, focus.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-22-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Well, as promised, reporting back

A rather inconclusive practice today. Started with my usual freestyle session or something similar, easy freestyle trying to incorporate some right side breathing, trying to swim straight and not veer off to the right when breathing to the right, and trying to keep a six-beat kick going. Today I did 400m, instead of the usual 500m. Yesterday I did 600m so perhaps it evens out.

Then I did some easy kicking on the back - 125 meters today, which takes me a long time to do - about as long as it would take me to swim twice the distance with full stroke. I would have done more but a regular turned up to do his splashy straight arm stuff. Why he didn't go into the so-called fast lane I have no idea. He seems to be working on his stroke length because he regularly does the 25m in about twelve or thirteen strokes and quite fast, but it doesn't ever seem to vary.

Enough of him. I changed lanes and started to do some hand and head-led dolphining, which mutated into a sort of ride the wave with occasional attempts at recovery and at getting the sensation of chest pulse. Not entirely unsuccessful but not entirely successful either. Occasionally the arms come out of the water quite easily. It seems that less effort is more successful than more, which is interesting. Just moving the arms back to the hips and then flicking them out of the water seems to work quite well sometimes.

The rhythm of these attempts at two-arm fly is not the same as the rhythm of my one-arm fly, which is probably why most attempts to follow a sequence of one-arm fly with one or two strokes of two-arm fly end in failure. Either I have to slow down my one-arm fly or speed up my two-arm fly. Probably more time spent on the basics is the real answer.

Maybe after Christmas I'll try butterfrog again.

For now, only two swimming days until Christmas so more of the same until after the enforced break.

I have a big two-day long course meet at the end of January in which I will be doing all the freestyle events except the 1500, which is not on the program, all the breaststroke events and all the backstroke events, so perhaps I should put the butterfly on the back burner, but then again, perhaps not.

It's hard to fit everything into a fifty-five minute session.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-23-2010
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575
AWP
Default

Hey Superman,

Good go and one hell of an itinerary in January!
God willing and body able I'll give my IM practice a run and hope to find something out.
Always inspiring young man, always inspiring.
I'm a patient guy and will wait for the day you write about how you played with gravity and buoyancy to achieve your recovery ; )

Cheers
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 09:06 AM.


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