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  #11  
Old 10-04-2010
oridoron7 oridoron7 is offline
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Hello everybody, and thanks for all the comments.

Alex-SG - I understand what you said, and I glad there are things that would help me in fast pace as well.

Grant - thanks for sharing this information with me. it makes me more confident to know, that tיrough the time the technique still gets better and better.

ewa.swimmer - I understand that every change will become more critical, as the distance will grow (I wanted the amount of the effect on small run like 50 meters).

CoachDave & CoachSuzanne - I would like to see those videos, thanks.

terry - I appreciate your honset reply.

A. I appreciate this community. I didnt accept so much of this attention, and its great to have it.

B. A small clarification: I do parctice TI myself, and at the moment I'm in lesson 5.

C. I would love to see some of this videos.

D. I seek to swim as much as I can, and as fast that I can. what do I mean? I would like to know that the limit of speed I'm swimming, is because of the physiologycal ability and not kinesiologycal one (which is maybe good for 1 KM, but not best for 50 meters).
I would like to know that everything I learnd can suited for diffrent distances, and if not, I would like to know what should I cange for each one.
I dont have technique in swimming, and thats why I am failing to keep going after 20 meters (thanks to my good shape, nothing else).

Thanks again everyone
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  #12  
Old 10-23-2010
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MatHudson MatHudson is offline
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Hey Oridoron7,


“I seek to swim as much as I can, and as fast that I can. what do I mean? I would like to know that the limit of speed I'm swimming, is because of the physiologycal ability and not kinesiologycal one (which is maybe good for 1 KM, but not best for 50 meters).”


I am venturing (after consulting my wife who is a occupational therapist to help me understand what you meant by comparing those terms) that the answer to this question is that you have to develop both, but in TI we emphasize the kinesiological, knowing that the physiological will follow. In TI we focus on the kinesiological aspects of swimming, and while we are doing so, our physiological systems will develop accordingly. But to develop the physiological with little focus on the kinesiological, will lead to a great deal of exertion with very success. (Help, Coach Suzanne!)

Physiological-oriented swimming = “Swim hard or get out of the pool!”
Kinesiological-oriented swimming = “Swim smarter, not harder.”

It will just take time and careful practice for your brain and body to adapt and be conditioned to these complex series of movements of swimming, whether through the TI technique or any other. Your cardiovascular and muscular system may be fit and well-adapted to one sport, but swimming will require a lot of it to be re-knit to suit the specifics of swimming. And your neuromuscular system will also require a big re-wiring to first learn then support the very specific and complex patterns of movement of swimming.

The core TI principles of BALANCE, STREAMLINE, PROPULSION are the foundation for any goal in swimming, because they are based on the physics of water, whether it is a human, fish or a boat moving through the water. It is easy to see these principles in application in a slow TI stroke, while they are just as present in a fast stroke, but they take on a different rhythm to deal with the higher stroke rate and the increased resistance of water.

“I would like to know that everything I learnd can suited for diffrent distances, and if not, I would like to know what should I cange for each one.”

It is up to you how you want to use the TI to pursue distance swimming or sprint swimming, and you will condition your body by specific training suited to each.

TI offers a technique for swimming and also a technique for training. You are training both your body and your mind to be a superior swimmer, whether short or long distance. TI seems to most readily make sense to the distance-oriented swimmers out there, and so that may be why we see mostly more long-graceful stroke examples. However, you'll find me and a few others cranking away (rather quietly, because we're TI swimmers after all!) our sprint work in the pool- but we still 'look' slow until you look at the watch- that smoothness plays a trick on the eyes. (I am both a 7km OW sea swimmer and a 100m pool sprinter- there are benefits to training on both ends of the spectrum.)

“I dont have technique in swimming, and thats why I am failing to keep going after 20 meters (thanks to my good shape, nothing else).”

Again, it will take time. Just be persistent, but be smart about it- no struggle, just problem solving, and ask us questions here on the forum. If we could see a video of your stroke, or have some description of your specific struggles in the water I am sure you would receive some specific advice on the forum.

But I will take a big leap here to interpret what you meant by “failing to keep going after 20 meters” and you can correct me if I am mistaken, so we can get a better idea of what you want to know...

Unless you have some extraordinary disability or limitations on your strength, I am guessing that your failure to keep going after 20 meters is because you are still in the process of imprinting your balance and your streamline position as demonstrated in the TI lessons. You noted here only being on Lesson #5. Once achieved a person with minimal propulsive effort can glide along for many meters in a balanced and streamlined position- of course, not very fast, but certainly not exhausting. So if you are exhausted in 20 meters, I suspect that you could use some help learning how to balance and streamline from the core of your body so that you are no longer becoming exhausted from the effort of holding your body up with the limbs. Then the more you practice it the easier it becomes.

Get the balance and streamline down before you try to start going fast. With TI we will slow way down before we speed back up- so that speed will be built on the best foundation.

In addition, maybe what would help are some examples and encouragement from TI swimmers who are focused on sprint-distances, who are swimming at speeds you would like to achieve.

I am motived to try to initiate some more discussion on this by starting another thread, so you and I can get more input on this topic. I'd like to know what others who are focused on sprint-speed are thinking.

Keep going, and keep asking the tough questions, please!
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- Mat Hudson

Certified Total Immersion Instructor
Mediterra International Swimming

Email me at: mat@mediterraswim.com
Check out my TI training blog: smoothstrokes.wordpress.com
And our company website: www.mediterraswim.com
And our TI description in Turkish: www.titurkiye.com

Last edited by MatHudson : 10-26-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2010
Grant Grant is offline
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Great post Mat:
I mentioned my history earlier in this thread. About the middle of Sept the Swim Fit (Masters)class in my home town brought in a new leader/coach. He is a very enthusiatic, uptodate (main stream), mid 30's young man. Has spent time in Australia and has Level 2 coaches training here in Canada. I am the only swimmer in the group that competes in Masters yet he can speak to my needs as well as the others. He has some reservations about some aspects of TI so we have a good conversation when these arise.
I have found I can make his suggestions work as long as I keep in mind the balance, streamline, propulsion aspects of TI. He gives what I feel is rather long kick sets (any seem long). I would'nt use a kick board. He has recently suggested I use one of those really small boards (slightly larger than two hands placed side by side) which I found does allow my body to remain balanced and I can move much better thru the water. Because I have concentrated almost wholly on 2 BK for at least 4-5 years my sprinting kick has weakened so this is useful to me.
My goal this year is to compete in the 50,100 and 200m using the rapid kick and use the 2BK in the 400,800 and 1500m races. Perhaps use the rapid kick on the last lengths of the longer races.
I swim twice a week with his group and for the third swim in the week I go back to strickly TI stuff. An interesting result has been that my times for doing 25m sprints (10 rapid kick 25's and 10 2BK 25's) have both come down. In fact I can now swim the 25m doing the 2BK a second faster than I was doing the rapid kick a month earlier. An improvement of 3 seconds. As well as the rapid kick 25's are 2 seconds faster than before which is now 2 seconds faster than the 2BK lengths. Hope I am clear here. :o)
So both are improving.
I think the point I want to stress is that TI plays a big part in my sprinting training. It has been a beneficial experience including what I think is up to date main stream thinking within the TI context. Am holding it as picking the pearls from what is available.
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2010
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatHudson View Post

Physiological-oriented swimming = “Swim hard or get out of the pool!”
Kinesiological-oriented swimming = “Swim smarter, not harder.”

The core TI principles of BALANCE, STREAMLINE, PROPULSION are the foundation for any goal in swimming, because they are based on the physics of water, whether it is a human, fish or a boat moving through the water.

Get the balance and streamline down before you try to start going fast. With TI we will slow way down before we speed back up- so that speed will be built on the best foundation.
I've taken the liberty of quoting Coach Mat selectively. His entire post provides a succinct and useful distillation of the priorities, emphasized by TI, for improving your swimming. In this post I'll try to relate the physical systems or capabilities to the hydrodynamic goals. I'll start by adding one physical system to the list above and providing the definitions I use. In each, the goal is to swim better. You do this by:

Neurologically-oriented swimming = "Train the brain."
Physiologically-oriented swimming = “Train the heart & muscles”
Kinesiological-oriented swimming = “Train the nervous system."

The first and last are inextricably related.
In neurally-oriented swimming, we focus on how the brain sends information to the muscles.
In kinesthetically-oriented swimming, we focus on how the brain receives information from the skin, torso, limbs and muscles.
Without accurate information the brain can't make the effective adjustments needed to improve ANY aspect of swimming.

So both are neural in nature.

In physiologically-oriented swimming we mainly focus on increasing aerobic, energetic and power capacities.

To optimize both kinesthetic and neural we must first both slow movement rate and reduce physical exertion. After beginning the process, you then incrementally increase movement rate and physical exertion to create further adaption and to 'harden' a skill. These principles aren't arbitrary assertions of mine. They've been documented by researchers who study skill-acquisition. So an essential requirement of improvement is to start by training in ways that neglect or ignore physiological requirements.

As Matt noted, it's a core principle of TI that any stroke, skill or swimming capacity - endurance or speed - must be developed in this order:
1) Balance
2) Active Streamlining
3) Propulsive Power and Effectiveness

So let's connect the dots between the three swimming qualities and the three physical systems. The figures below are "informed guess-timates." While they're not derived from lab research, they are derived from 46 years of examined empirical experience in swimming and 38 in coaching.

Balance
Kinesthetic awareness 60%
Neural capacity 38%
Physiology 2%

Active Streamlining
Kinesthetic awareness 45%
Neural capacity 45%
Physiology 10%

Propulsive Power and Effectiveness
Kinesthetic awareness 35%
Neural capacity 35%
Physiology 30%

Physiology determines propulsive power. Kinesthetics and Neural determine effectiveness.

I.E. How well you 'convert power into locomotion.'

This is the first time I've ever had occasion to deconstruct and analyze these capabilities in this matter, so I'm grateful to Coach Mat for 'setting me up' to do so and to Oridon for posing the question. The formulation above is one I believe will be most helpful in providing greater clarity to many people and I will definitely repost this as a blog.

Comments welcome.
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Last edited by terry : 10-26-2010 at 08:05 AM.
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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What's the difference between Balance and Active Streamlining ?
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2010
Hienlp Hienlp is offline
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Exactly. "What Swimming Outcome Do You Seek?" and "what kind of improvement would make you feel happy and accomplished?"

If someone's purpose is to look for speed with short distance and nothing else then he should go with conventional freestyle. The world's fastest Micheal Phepls does this.

If someone would like to experience a meaningful and happy life, then try TI freestyle since TI technique is to combine thought and actions to be done simultaneously. Besides a graceful style with speed for both short and long distance, the most important thing is that TI freestyle helps improve our brain, experiencing a mindful spirit like Taichi, Yoga or like practicing meditation. This in the end helps us live happily.

The hardest part and also the most interesting part is the "Perfect" combination...

One's feeling is becoming increasingly different and satisfying together with the time he practices it.

I'm a man far away in Vietnam who is very lucky to get to know TI. Any good results: My TI one year experienced daughter at her age of 07 (TI kid) can swim continously 500 meters at ease in around 13-15 minutes.

Just one weak point of TI: addicting to it so much that if one is giving it up, one commits to an unhappy life...

Final words: Thanks in the universe that have Terry.

Hien.
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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This discussion has been very interesting and some of the points made remind me of an occasion at our local pool when two young men were having a sort of swimming lesson in the shallow end of the pool. Neither could swim very well but the one who could swim a bit better was trying to teach the other. The one who could hardly swim at all was hurling himself forward and frantically kicking while rotating his arms as fast as he could and not really getting anywhere.

At the risk of being told to push off, which is sometimes what happens when you try to offer advice, I suggested that he should just try and glide forward from his push-off and not try to kick or pull at all. His friend, the instructor, seemed to agree but the learner's instinct to struggle was too strong. I left them to it and saw them again a couple of times without noticing any progress. Perhaps by now the learner can swim a bit and then again perhaps not.

There must be something counter-intuitive about the idea of just gliding forward from a push. Even quite competent lap swimmers seem to neglect the benefit of a good push-off and glide and start swimming furiously as soon as their feet leave the wall or the bottom of the pool. Most lap-swimming breaststrokers have a perpetual motion type of stroke with a constant water stirring motion at the front end, often with head out of the water and legs at an angle of at least sixty degrees.

But I digress; we are talking of freestyle. A good push-off will take you about five meters down the pool and now you only have 20 meters until the far wall. Stand up and take another push-off and you have only 15 meters left. A few hours doing this and a 25 meter length will be child's play.
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  #18  
Old 10-30-2010
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MatHudson MatHudson is offline
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Default What is Active Streamlining?

Hey Hascu33,

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
What's the difference between Balance and Active Streamlining ?
Here's a comment from Terry's blog post on October 26 that gives a brief description of the concept.

Master Balance. Balance means ‘in harmony with the water.’ It’s also the foundation without which skilled movement is impossible on land and in water. Balance provides the new swimmer with both physical control and mental calm. It replaces the reflex of survival stroking with the possibility of thoughtful choices about every subsequent aspect of skill. Balance is hardest to master in crawl, but once learned, allows you to swim almost any distance. If you tire while running, you can always walk. Balance gives swimmers a ‘walking option.’

Master Streamlining. There are two forms of Streamlining. In Passive Streamlining, you shape your body to be longer, sleeker, more hydrodynamic. In Active Streamlining, you stroke in ways that move your body forward, rather than moving the water around. Your greatest energy savings – and therefore increases in both endurance and speed — come from Streamlining.

Master Effective Propulsion. Traditional swim methods fall short because they start with Propulsion, progress to it too quickly or give it too much importance. They also overemphasize the role of power. The TI Method teaches two elements in Effective Propulsion: (1) Direct ‘available’ forces, rather than Generating muscular forces, another felicitous phrase from Shane. Maximize use of naturally-occuring forces, particularly the combination of gravity and body mass, to minimize reliance on muscular force. Because the available forces are ‘free’ this reduces energy cost. (2) Convert Force (horsepower) into Locomotion. This means stroking to move yourself forward, rather than to move your hand, or the water, back.
__________________
- Mat Hudson

Certified Total Immersion Instructor
Mediterra International Swimming

Email me at: mat@mediterraswim.com
Check out my TI training blog: smoothstrokes.wordpress.com
And our company website: www.mediterraswim.com
And our TI description in Turkish: www.titurkiye.com
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  #19  
Old 11-02-2010
andreasl33 andreasl33 is offline
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TI provides a commercial product that is proven and will reliably teach you swimming (not just to keep afloat). The principles that it teaches are undisputed (who in his right mind would dispute the virtue of streamlining, balance, etc.?). All the good swimmers adhere to these principles. So it is very solid foundation. If you then decide to swim at world-class level and compete against the likes of Michael Phelps, you probably need a personal coach, who will certainly transform your stroke, you will get faster, but what he provides is a completely different product.
If you want to buy a good sports car, buy a Porsche. If you want to compete in professional racing, don't use an off-the-shelf Porsche. A Porsche costs $100,000, is road-legal, quite reliable, and even comfortable over longer distances. But in professional racing to be competitive you need to spend $100m per year on team of professional mechanics assembling a car of custom made parts that will of course outperform a Porsche when all that counts is getting it a few seconds faster around the track. But it is not reliable, not comfortable, and of course not nearly in the same price-range. Interestingly though, both cars adhere to the same principles of lightness, low center of gravity, good aerodynamics, etc.
The reason, why your impression is that TI swimmers are slow (are they really? compared to what?) is that they are usually not competing in world-class events, are physically less well equipped (much older for instance), have a family, have a job other than swimming, and are not willing to spend $100,000 per year on a personal coach.
I am now about 18 months into learning TI freestyle (from zero) and in the pool where I swim I rarely encounter a freestyler that is faster than me and it is certainly not due to my superior fitness. So how slow can TI be?

Last edited by andreasl33 : 11-02-2010 at 02:41 AM.
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  #20  
Old 11-02-2010
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MatHudson MatHudson is offline
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Default Fast Swimming For the Proletariate

Hey Andreasl33,

This is a very helpful analogy with the 'off-the-shelf Porche'. I may need to borrow it from you in my next debate if you don't mind.

We all point to the elite swimmers to make our arguments for what is or isn't examplary technique, but what we don't often talk about the unsustainable investment of time and effort those few are making to claim those definitive seconds off the exponentially steepening curve of Speed vs. Water-resistance. When elite swimmers get to the steepest parts of that curve to climb higher (i.e. swim faster) than any other competitor in the world the cost (in time, money, resources, relationships) and the adaptations (to stroke and lifestyle) they have to make are simply not reasonable examples for 99% of all the rest of us serious swimmers out here. We can study their stroke all we want, but virtually none of us will be able to invest what it will take to get reasonable results from imitating their idiosyncracies. And at that point on the curve, at that level of competition, I suspect that their truly extra-ordinary physiological and mental features play a much bigger part in their performance (as the discussions of Phelps unique physical proportions highlight).

There is a great deal of benefit from studying elites, but we also have to distinguish between what is imitatable and what is not because many of them may have uniqueness that allows them to get away with things that the rest of us can't. What would be of equal value is to study high-performing, non-elite swimmers who absolutely MUST perfect the basic fundamentals in order to achieve their results. Studying Phelps will have limited value for me because I can't train the way he does, nor do I have his proportions. But studying the 50 and 60 year old family-men who still kick my speedo in the pool has a lot of value for me!

I strongly agree that TI provides solid, measurable value for us very serious, very down-to-earth swimmers. It's going to take some time though for the TI approach to gain respect in many communities.

I once read someone's heated argument on a forum (here in Turkey) that TI was nice for learning how to swim but not suitable for 'fast swimming'. He tried to point out that there were no Olympic swimmers who claimed to use TI, and implied that TI principles were not present in their strokes. Of course, BALANCE, STREAMLINE, and efficient PROPULSION are present, but this is not what he and many people tend to think of as “The TI Principles”. Graceful motion and the above-water observation of peculiar drills seem to be what critics point out and discredit as speed-worthy. They confuse the principles of efficient swimming with the principles for training the body and brain. It is such an entrenched mindset that our TI mindset is working against.

When I read this argument, what I thought about was that TI, as a SOCIAL MOVEMENT to influence the way people learn to swim, will take a generation or so to sink in and start getting due credit. Right now, it seems TI is predominantly reaching individual adults, (with many exceptions I am sure- I teach a lot of children, but they are not so concerned with theory). But eventually it will come around in the various ways that social movement do to create a critical mass of influence in a new generation of swim-parents, coaches, program directors, etc, who will consciously or unconsciously bring a TI way-of-thinking into their childrens and youth programs. And then whole cohorts of swimmers will grow up with this TI foundation and mindset and produce a lot of mainstream, competitive credit for TI. My imagination likes to think that in 20 years we will actually see world-class athletes on the podium thanking "Mom and Dad, God, and my TI Zen Master Coach for helping me get here!"

In my mind there are 2 distinct aspects to the phrase "The TI Technique" that we refer to:

1) TI as a technique for how to swim well (the actual motion of swimming)

2) TI as a technique for how to train the swimmer to swim well (the process of teaching/learning this skill)

I see these 2 aspects as powerful fronts on which to make great swimming more accessible to more people. We offer not just a better way to swim, but a better way to train to get there, both in strategy and mindset, that allows swimmers to pursue excellence in swimming their entire life.

#1 is what we offer that is naturally suitable to the multitude of swimmers. TI is more practical and more enjoyable to the multitude of swimmers who otherwise, under traditional approaches, would not find swimming so easy or enjoyable.

#2 is what we offer that is, to me, truly revolutionary and has potential to take many of those in the multitude of swimmers to elite levels, who otherwise would not be able to reach their truest potential under the traditional strategy and mindset.

Someday there will be some elites who acknowledge their TI roots, but right now we are all helping those roots sink in to the swim communities around the world. One day we'll start bearing a lot of fruit that no one will be able to ignore.

It will take time, and history supports that a social movement will not often spread quickly among the current power-holders in the institution- TI likely will gain it's momentum mostly from grass-roots swimmers and programs in the next 10 to 20 years. There are patterns to social movements, and TI will find it's path like water and prove itself in due time. Those of us who already KNOW the superiority of TI know it because we've been convinced by experience, not merely by discussion. That's why I became a TI instructor- I KNOW that if only I can help someone experience it they will become as convinced, satisfied as I am.

So let's continue swimming further and faster and more enjoyably than ever, and let our example in the water answer the critics and further the revolution.

And let's continue to talk about our TI strategy for developing speed, of course...
__________________
- Mat Hudson

Certified Total Immersion Instructor
Mediterra International Swimming

Email me at: mat@mediterraswim.com
Check out my TI training blog: smoothstrokes.wordpress.com
And our company website: www.mediterraswim.com
And our TI description in Turkish: www.titurkiye.com
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