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  #1  
Old 09-25-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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tinoletzner
Default kicking for beginners

Hi everyone!

I have a question regarding flutter kicks for beginners. I am a P.E. teacher and would like to incorporate some drills of TI into my swimming lessons. Yet I find that some kids just don't seem to get the kicking right and therefore I cannot even get them into position for any of the "sweet spot" drills, because they just simply sink. Telling them to flex their feet and drive from the hip doesn't help them. Same thing with my father, who is 68 and has never swum freestyle before. He wants to learn but I can't get him to stay afloat because he cannot manage anything closely resembling a flutter kick.

What can I do? Thanks for your help (like so many times before) :)
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2013
helixfairweather helixfairweather is offline
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Speaking from my own experience, kicking didn't help me balance in the sweet spot drills. Learning to streamline is what did it for me. I am overweight. I thought I had my body aligned along the spine until I saw myself on video. It turns out that I was "trying" to sit. My butt would pooch out!

I started doing all my TI work - SG, SG Flutter, Skate, etc - with a tucked pelvis, butt cheeks clenched a bit. And voila! I could then balance in Sweet Spot!

Having the head tilted back far enough is important too. Terry really means it when he says water up to the side of your goggles.

Now, when I do breathing in sweet spot, I might find myself thrashing about with my legs trying to kick myself into balance. As soon as I remember to straighten my whole boy - point feet too - I become immediately balanced and get the reward of seeing the ceiling slip by overhead.

Every time. :)

I would find a clever way to teach the kids to Be An Arrow. :)

Helix Fairweather
Keizer, OR
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2013
Raini Raini is offline
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A while ago someone commented on a thread that Coach Toby looked like he was painting the water with his feet when he was doing his drills.
I don't know if this would be helpful for your pupils or father but it helped me enormously along with learning to relax the legs and kick with the front of the thigh.
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2013
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Hi everyone!

I have a question regarding flutter kicks for beginners. I am a P.E. teacher and would like to incorporate some drills of TI into my swimming lessons. Yet I find that some kids just don't seem to get the kicking right
I am not sure I understand this... how were you conducting your swimming lessons before? Did your lessons not have any kicking part?
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Hi everyone!

I have a question regarding flutter kicks for beginners. I am a P.E. teacher and would like to incorporate some drills of TI into my swimming lessons. Yet I find that some kids just don't seem to get the kicking right and therefore I cannot even get them into position for any of the "sweet spot" drills, because they just simply sink. Telling them to flex their feet and drive from the hip doesn't help them. Same thing with my father, who is 68 and has never swum freestyle before. He wants to learn but I can't get him to stay afloat because he cannot manage anything closely resembling a flutter kick.

What can I do? Thanks for your help (like so many times before) :)
We have de-emphazed flutter kickign for drills in our weekend workshops for exactly the reasons you mention. hit up youtube for one of shinji's no-kick skate. Hands on positioning help here is good as well. When forward momentum stops and the body rolls flat, stand up and repeat. Feel the rotation and streamlining then stand up. Add a stroke or a spear switch or a swing switch adn more forward momentum is created.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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Thanks for your tips!
@ Rincewind: Of course my lessons did have a kicking part and I used all the common kicking exercises (dryland exercises, vertical flutter kicks in deep water, kicking while holding on to the wall of the pool, and of course I have so far always been using a kickboard). Now since TI teaches various things very differently I thought there might be some different exercises for kicking as well and of course I wanted to try getting rid of the exercises using the kickboard. I mean, in the end my students always learned kicking when they practiced with a kickboard and I feel like I need to use one on my father as well. I will try Suzanne's suggestions first though.

@Suzanne: I understand that TI tries to limit kicking as much as possible, but with all the exercises from Terry's book where you lie on your back in your sweet spot and take this as a starting point for all the other exercises, I feel that this is hard to do if you can't manage at least an acceptable kick to propel your forward a little.
Maybe TI is not the best approach for younger children (11-13) in general? It does require a lot of thinking and children obviously prefer a playful approach when learning sports. So far I have always taught freestyle by using a climber's rope which I fixed to both ends of the pool. In the middle I weighed it down with diving rings at first and the students have to "climb" from one side to the other, diving down and up. Later the line is straight at the surface and the kids have to get from one end to the other with as few pulls as possible. Then comes head position, later recovery still on the rope. They really like this, because its a lot of fun and in the end manage a rough form of freestyle even if they have never swum it before. But certainly a key is always, that as soon as there is no rope, their position in the water starts to get worse because they have not really learned active streamlining yet. From that point onward I always felt I needed to improve their kicking, but maybe I can do this differently now.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2013
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinoletzner View Post
Thanks for your tips!
@ Rincewind: Of course my lessons did have a kicking part and I used all the common kicking exercises (dryland exercises, vertical flutter kicks in deep water, kicking while holding on to the wall of the pool, and of course I have so far always been using a kickboard). Now since TI teaches various things very differently I thought there might be some different exercises for kicking as well and of course I wanted to try getting rid of the exercises using the kickboard. I mean, in the end my students always learned kicking when they practiced with a kickboard and I feel like I need to use one on my father as well. I will try Suzanne's suggestions first though.
I get the idea that TI is mostly aimed at older generation (poor flexibility, limited range of motion, etc) with focus on long distance rather than sprint swimming, thus kicking is de-emphasized.

My observation is that kids are great kickers, my 6 year old daughter can easily outkick me for example! Also kids compete over sprint distances where kicking does help.

For your dad its a totally different story however. he fits the TI mould much better.

When my daughter was starting her swimming lessons I did actually post a question on this forum asking about TI for kids and only one coach responded, unfortunately they were too far from where I am to arrange lessons.
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
I get the idea that TI is mostly aimed at older generation (poor flexibility, limited range of motion, etc) with focus on long distance rather than sprint swimming, thus kicking is de-emphasized.

My observation is that kids are great kickers, my 6 year old daughter can easily outkick me for example! Also kids compete over sprint distances where kicking does help.

For your dad its a totally different story however. he fits the TI mould much better.

When my daughter was starting her swimming lessons I did actually post a question on this forum asking about TI for kids and only one coach responded, unfortunately they were too far from where I am to arrange lessons.
It is my belief that kids have different requirements, some of which are mentioned in these posts. I do not think we can teach them in exactly the same way we teach adults and with the same expectations - not unlike any kind of skill or subject we would teach a kid versus an adult.

Although we do de-emphasize kicking in TI, which arguably is focused on adult swimmers in its most current forms, that doesn't necessarily mean that kicking is a skill that shouldn't be learned or mastered. And as someone mentioned (and I've personally observed), many drills get that much harder when you cannot generate some kind of velocity, like with kicking. So for a person who is finding that learning kicking is difficult, we have to do something different to obtain the desired effects from drills. But when someone can learn kicking, either adult or child, then why not teach them how to kick?

I believe Coach Mandy is working on a teaching kids book or ebook which hopefully will be published soon.
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  #9  
Old 09-27-2013
terry terry is offline
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There are quite a few TI coaches teaching kids -- and some coaching youthful competitors too.

My wife and daughters teach beginning and intermediate swim skills to kids, using TI methods.
These lessons start with lots of gliding--during some of which kicking is included. The point of the exercise is to teach comfort, a feeling of support, bodyline extension, alignment, etc. The kicking is incidental.
We want them to progress naturally and effortlessly to a kick similar to the 2BK we teach to adults. Relaxed, calm, quiet--blending seamlessly with their body movements.

The sequence in the original TI book is out of date. I've tried to get the publishers to update -- I did include an updated method in French version that debuted last month--but they're not so motivated to make changes, and I can't force them.

They're satisfied bcz it's selling well.
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2013
tinoletzner tinoletzner is offline
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Terry, what do you mean the sequence in the original book is outdated? I followed all the instructions and feel that it worked quite well for me? What exercises exactly do you mean? And why did you change them? Do you mean that the sequence on the "Perpetual Motion Freestyle" DVD is the one that you think leads to the best results?
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