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  #41  
Old 09-15-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Thanks Charles. I'm posting a comment right now in the freestyle forum that is intended for you. Check it out!
Thanks Danny, read it and it made me glad :)

I'd like to further clarify my explanation on slow butterfly swimming, in response to your question about perceived effort. After re-reading myself, I noticed that I made a very important omission.

I've been working on slow fly for more than a decade I'd say. And though it's true that I can achieve perpetual swimming etc, that the perceived effort is lower as I swim slower etc, the fact remains that slow Butterfly is not economical. That even when holding paces slower than 60sec per 50 (I need to be swim fit to swim a 500m fly faster than that), it's still demanding.

I may soon get back to full time coaching, with the intend of making a bit of room to teaching the Fly. I wish I have clientele of various ages as I'd like to study teaching Perpetual fly swimming to older people and see if it's viable or not.

So do not feel bad if you're still not there yet.
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  #42  
Old 09-15-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Charles,

Your comments that the vertical fly should become easy are surprising and enlightening to me. When I first tried this drill, I was expecting that my buoyancy would bring me to the surface, and that the only skill involved would be to time my stroke to my bobbing up and down. Instead I found that I simply sank, and I was required to keep myself up by force. What I did notice was that keeping my elbows up made a big difference in this process, but I was not able to make it easy. Your tip to try to stay close to the surface may help.

On Saturdays, the lap swim is 90 minutes, so I have some time to play around and try out all your suggestions. During the week, at 6 in the morning, they kick us out at 7 so that school can start. So it may take a week before I get back to this drill, but I will let you know if staying closer to the surface helps.

Danny
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  #43  
Old 09-15-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Charles,

One more comment. My fly is good enough so that I have a lot of fun doing it. That means that I am not likely to get discouraged. All that I am trying to do is increase my level of enjoyment even further than it already is, which is perhaps sinful in some circles, but I am a hedonist :). My only regret is that I don't have more time in the pool to play around and experiment, but, as I already said, this problem comes from living in a place where there is hardly any swimming infrastructure. You and this forum are helping a lot in this regard!
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  #44  
Old 09-15-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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And like I said, should you ever plan a trip here downtown Mtl, drop me a PM.

There would be no fee for sharing passion for fly. Done it already with forum friends coming from USA. Lots of fun :)

Any time.
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  #45  
Old 09-16-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Thanks, Charles. I would love to do that, if I ever get the chance!
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  #46  
Old 09-16-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kueli View Post
Dear Charles,
Thanks you very much for your post. It was a true eye-opener. I have been trying the NAD for a few weeks and I have managed to complete my first 200m fly ever. My time was conveniently slow: 4:28 in a 33m pool with no lanes and choppy water.
Hey so glad to hear this. It ain't that slow. The Fly when swam with longer distances in mind is a slow stroke, slower than breaststroke. I often train on similar pace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kueli View Post
In the same pool I can do 1:52 for 100m fly.
That though, is bloody fast :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kueli View Post
I am 52 years old and I have been doing TI for about 5 years.
then no wonder why you achieve nice streamline positions during the NAD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kueli View Post
I have uploaded a video at http://youtu.be/04XfgPAYNeE with one lap of NAD
I'm getting an emotion here. It's such a sound execution!

First, I can confirm that you understood very well what the NAD is about. A bit as if someone did teach you the drill live, or that you had worked on something similar in the past.

The biggest strength in your execution is really that both the 1st and 2nd kick are configured to really act as the 1st and 2nd kick when swimming the full stroke. Your 2nd kick is even a bit patient, which is very rare. So your first will try to get you to glide forward as much as possible, and the second occurs instant before you surface out to breathe.

Like I said, all components are there. Breathing every cycle, head led undulation, both kick, streamlining, timing is more than decent, especially given that you're being patient before issuing the 2nd kick.

The things that would be to work on and improve in my opinion pertain to how to make the NAD execution nicer, rounder, with less knee bent and less perceptible intention of rushing forward faster than the speed at which the drill could currently take you....
- - -
You're a competitor, someone that is expecting results in most of what you do I'd say. It reads through your way to swim. ;-)
- - -

You'd need to find the sweet speed you can produce whilst keeping the undulation rate on the slow side, and keeping the execution round and nice. Then when you need to generate more speed, I'd do it by increasing the Undulation rate . This is how the NAD transfers the best to your full stroke.

Elements that would help making your NAD rounder are as follow:

1. Tuning the seesaw action

There's a bit of a seesaw balance action to fly. It's obvious. On one side you have the upper body, on the other you have the lower body. Hips are central to this.

Ok. You should wait until the seesaw action takes you down before issuing the first kick. This is a subtle detail, but it can make a big difference when all you have to insure propulsion is your leg kick. Right now your 1st kick is good, but you're bending the knees quite a lot. I think you're doing that you kick harder, ie to get more propulsion. However, when this 1st kick occurs, your body upper body hasn't started going down the seesaw balance yet. So this creates drag. The perfect conditions for benefiting from your 1st kick aren't there yet...

See this clip here. Notice how my body is already aligned downward when the 1st kick occurs...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K5DPz_acyY

2. Try to throw yourself
Again in regards to 1st kick. Once you managed to get better body position prior kick, then try to *gently* throw yourself forward. Do it whilst remaining as gentle as possible.

3. Wait and glide a tiny bit more
First, I really love that 2nd kick. Your body is in a great position to benefit from it as you don't seem to depend on it at all to surface. That's really awesome and it may be where you've made your biggest gains thus far.

That said, I find that the upbeat preceding this 2nd kick is happening a tiny bit too early. You see, I truly think that this upbeat plays a big role in helping you to surface. It does help triggering the change in direction that the upperbody is doing, from downward to upward.

In the same time though, this upbeat kind of breaks the propulsion a bit. So it's better to wait a bit before performing it.

The implications here is that at slower rate, the leg kicks don't happen following a steady rhythm. You have the first kick, then a long wait, then the second immediately followed by the first again. As you increase the undulation rate, then these 2 kicks occur following a steady rate.

And you're already doing all that by the way. Your 1st kick occurs very shortly after the 2nd one. So if you could delay it just a tiny bit more it would help.

I would begin with this, that's for NAD. Once you make it rounder, then you will learn to accelerate this drill, which could (like it's the case for me), later become your favorite way of performing kick sets. My NAD is faster than all other ways of kicking for me. So when I need to realize hard kick sets, I do them at NAD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kueli View Post
one lap of what felt like slow fly
Your slow fly execution is easy to comment, but teaching you how to do it well will probably be harder.

Simple. Like most master level fly swimmers, you carry a significant dead spot in your pulling cycle. Don't feel bad, they all do this. At slow speed, it feels relatively good, so I understand why you do that.

The problem is that the problem can be seen through your fast fly swim too. Your hands even go up back to the surface after entering the water. So it severely restricts your ability to increase the undulation rate. I believe this is what prevents you from swimming faster at the moment.

You don't seem to have very flexible ankles. As a result of this, your kicks (1st and 2nd) aren't as efficient as if you did have flexible and floppy ankles. Therefore in order to build speed, you have to increase the rate.

It could be very hard to explain you in details how pulling should feel. It's hard. Fortunately, I don't need to do it :) (pfew...)

This is where my second home brewed drill really helps. It's called the vertical Fly pulling drill. Very simple mate.

See what you do between your slow and fast fly 33m lap. You're relaxing by going up and down somehow. Well, that's the basis for the Vertical Fly Pulling Drill. That's all you go to do. Relaxing going up and down, but without touching the floor with the feet, and without using your legs at all.

See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLyfwqJgUTw

If you think NAD is hot, wait until you master the above. It will certainly be a huge breakthrough in the way you perceive then swim the fly.

Once you master this one, then you progress to one of its variations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsG4ZehUG9M

Here, you're just trying to move forward. As you get better and better, you try the drill with a position that will become more and more horizontal.

Then, you'll have all you need to learn to reconfigure your full stroke in regard to how you pull.
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  #47  
Old 09-16-2012
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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Just getting caught up with this thread and it has been good/interesting reading. In addition to what Kevin referred to as body dolphins we used to teach the learning of the undulation with the arms at the side with no kicking at all, just forward movement created by the undulations from head to toes, keeping everything relaxed. Then we moved on to the body dolphins with arms extended out front. A lot of people do the one-arm fly to help with timing of the stroke because as you know Butterfly is all about timing and rhythm. You can tune into the kick in the appropriate place by using one-arm fly. With opposite arm extended (which is the most common way people do this drill) you get the entry kick. Try putting the opposite arm at your side. In this position you will be targeting the kick for exit and may feel the up beat of the kick more during this drill. I will see if I can the next time I do this drill as I have usually focussed on the down kick and lately have only concentrated on the entry kick with the second kick being more passive. Again enjoyed reading your thoughts and comments.
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  #48  
Old 09-16-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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I'm in total agreement with what you wrote, coach Todd (nice to meet you by the way).

The single arm drills and its variations remain the number 1 fly drill used to teach the timing. It can be done with arm outstretched breathing on the side, then breathing forward, then with arm along side the body, breathing on the side and forward.

The NAD is very close to this in fact, as you may have guessed that it was inspired from the single arm drill, to which the arm action was removed. All in all, the single arm drill remains superior though, as it teaches the timing of the arm action. The 2 main purposes of the NAD, in this context, are:

Providing a nice opening to a single-arm based progression, where you can go 50m NAD, 50m L-Arm, 50m R-Arm, 50 Full Stroke. There the NAD can be seen as a missing component allowing to split any distance in 4 equal chunks. This is what I call the NAD-to-Full stroke progression.

The second and most important use of the NAD is to literally replace kicking with a board really. This is the best advantage of this drill. It's so bloody fast (thanks to streamlining provided by both hand remaining outstretched) that when done correctly, it should reveal to be faster than fly kicking with a board. And once you reach this level, well all these endless kick sets when swimming with a Master squad can be spent doing something far more productive than breaking your lower back fly kicking with a board, ie improve both streamlining and undulation timing!

Another clear benefit is that it teaches how to breathe forward, with very minimal impact on balance. The single arm drill breathing forward is far more challenging as the recovering arm tends to add a lot of weight outside the water, which kills the balance a bit.
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  #49  
Old 09-16-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Charles

My butterfly swimming is somewhat in abeyance at the moment because I have an open water (sea) swim coming up soon and after that a meet where I will be trying to get close to or beat my best times for 200, 400 and 800m freestyle, but all the same I like to do a bit of fly-related drilling at most practices.

I have been under the impression that the NAD was done with arms at the sides but now, having watched your video, I realise that it is the same as or very similar to hand lead body dolphin. I still find it almost impossible to breathe without a little scull in front but will work on it. The vertical arm action is also a challenge, but I like challenges.

I am very glad that there is some interest in fly on the forum.
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  #50  
Old 09-16-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Hi Charles

My butterfly swimming is somewhat in abeyance at the moment because I have an open water (sea) swim coming up soon and after that a meet where I will be trying to get close to or beat my best times for 200, 400 and 800m freestyle, but all the same I like to do a bit of fly-related drilling at most practices.
I understand this very well... one has to go with the *flow* ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
I have been under the impression that the NAD was done with arms at the sides but now, having watched your video, I realise that it is the same as or very similar to hand lead body dolphin. I still find it almost impossible to breathe without a little scull in front but will work on it.
Quite honestly, in an attempt to look for those who had created the same drill (with so many human on earth), I once found an occurrence, a swimmer based in Croatia I believe, who has nothing to do with coaching found the same solution and worked on it, enough to book a very sound execution. But aside from that, most drills that could be confused with the NAD are missing very important timing component.

For instance, in respect with timing, the NAD really use the benefits brought by the 2nd kick (as long as it's patient enough) along with the upbeat that comes instant before. Like I mentioned in this thread, I believe that this upbeat can really help the upper body to change direction from downward to upward. And so, in order to be able to breathe effortless, and very easily, that element needs to be done correctly timing wise, and sensation wise.

If you'd like to feel this contribution for yourself, you may first get to master the NAD. Then take the second kick away, hold it. This second kick is supposed (based on existing literature) to help you surfacing right? Well the NAD works very well even without it. And it's kind of normal. By holding it, your feet remains very close to the surface, which creates the necessary counter balance to support breathing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
The vertical arm action is also a challenge, but I like challenges.
I am very glad that there is some interest in fly on the forum.
Can't wait to hear about your feedback once you performed this drill. Listen to the clip all the way to the end. The lady is not lying at all. People doing this drill correctly are very sincere in reporting being able to continue perpetually, only limited by the fact that after say 3min, it becomes a bit boring... LOL

So really, this drill is effortless when done correctly. But the longer you wait after the hands entered to get support, the harder the drill becomes, as then you have to compensate with much harder pulls to re-surface.


I am glad too about all these talks on Fly. My new semester begins this Wednesday, and whilst the few first semester (10week in duration) were mostly about NAD/Vertical fly, I think I will now include this hand led body undulation, prior learning NAD, as well as more Single-Arm drill.

The next clip looks horrible I know but I'm very proud of it. The lady that's featured in this clip could barely swim the freestyle. She's young, but unfit. Doesn't train in the pool, other than taking the class. Really had difficulties swimming the front crawl, doesn't know a thing about Breaststroke, and hate ending up on her back in the water. Yet, she registers to the Fly class.

Long story short, we managed to swim some Fly, which is sound (according to my standards), except for a major balance issue that sees her lowerbody constantly too low, hence this impression that she's constantly swimming uphill. There's too much weight at the lower body level, not enough in the front. The seesaw balance is out of balance.

But though the stroke looks terrible, she's actually very close from a decent execution. No effort at all was put to this stroke, and she reported having had a lot of fun discovering this new stroke, that turned out to be much easier to swim than expected!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVRuf6_e_J0

I often get bad criticisms when posting this clip. But here's the list of things she does right:

- 2 kicks per undulation cycle
- 1st one occurs well after the head got back in the water, shortly after hand entry
- 2nd one occurs just prior surfacing to breathe
- Head is leading the undulation
- Arms are recovering outside water
- Arms are not working hard underwater, the subject could have gone a full 100m, in fact she did several times
(all that in 10 weeks with no suppl training, no passion for swimming, and no swimming background)

Her 2n kick is not patient enough (clearly), but I can understand as she literally feels dragged downward because of the faulty balance. Her arms are very deep, even whilst recovering. But again, all that is because of her faulty balance.

So really, that's my approach. Show me how you look like when swimming slow. In this case, the subject has to improve her balance obviously. The reason why there's that much knee bend is that she's swimming uphill. Her feet can not achieve a good angle for evacuating water backward.

But the solution is not to go harder, even if more energy thrown to the stroke would correct this balance issue. The solution is to first fix balance, then increase the undulation rate.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 09-16-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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