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  #11  
Old 10-05-2009
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicarutherford View Post
! I went from 2 laps to a mile in 2 weeks. It has amazed all of my swimming friends since I was always the non-swimmer. I have a quick question for you...what is the next step in inprovement?
Monica
If you read my reply to David, you'll recognize the first two weeks as that initial period of fast progress, which can be even more dramatic with TI. After that, the goal becomes incremental, but continuous progress -- for life. That's Kaizen.

Let's deconstruct where you are now. If your strokes are as high as 28 per length -- is that counting each hand entry over 25 yards? -- then it's clear there's still a good deal of room for improving your efficiency. If you let me know your height I can suggest a range of SPLs for 25 yards at which you can aim.

Do you know what's the most effective and easiest way to travel farther on each stroke?
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
... The eventual Masters continue to practice lovingly each day, understanding that -- so long as you practice with attentive repetition -- learning and improvement continue, albeit at a cellular level where it may be difficult to discern.
Then on a particular wonderful day it all consolidates and you have a "stormer" of a practice as you described it.
The key is to begin your practice each day with a strong and clear intention to swim better than you ever have before.
Consolidating, yes. These words of yours :-)
I am stuck at Zen switches. It feels quite well, and there are a lot more details to practice, but it gets hard not to be able to just swim. And there is no big progress. With every visit to the pool, some little thing is better than before, very little. I have no idea how I will ever be able to swim at least at a moderate speed. It gets frustrating and takes a lot of patience. But next day I go to the pool again.
I decided to give it a chance... up to the end. Whatever that is. We'll see.

The other day someone in my community pool said to me: 'When I learned freestyle, I just got into the water and did it' (referring to my endless drills, he was watching, which in his opinion, was obviously not the way to do it). I was tempted to ask: Did what ?

One day you'll get a post here: I did a whole 50 m lap of freestyle strokes ... I hope it's gonna be this year.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2009
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Hi,




One day you'll get a post here: I did a whole 50 m lap of freestyle strokes ... I hope it's gonna be this year.
haschu,

For sure you will if you continue. Don't concern yourself with what will happen but instead with what is happening. Concede to make each step comfortable, competent, and honestly become aware of each steps purpose. Each time you practice cycle through from the beginning to where you left off, mentally as much as physically. Rehearse and don't be timid to take a 'chance' or seek something new ie. feeling or movement. See that door in front of you? Open it!

Alan
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2009
terry terry is offline
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Haschu
Alan's wisdom was won through hundreds of hours of practice -- and I've seen the result in his swimming -- so you can take it to the bank.

I'll add that this about his learning principle of: Don't concern yourself with what might happen; focus entirely on what is happening.

This is true as well for whole stroke. You say you cannot yet swim whole stroke. I'll guess what you mean by this is you can't, at this moment, swim a full length of whole stroke that feels as good as your drills currently do. If that's the case, I'd suggest two things:
1) Don't feel you need to swim a full length. Swim any shorter distance on which you can transfer an important sensation from the drill to your whole skill. Even if that's just 3 strokes, that's a starting point. From there you shouldn't find it too difficult to extend to 4, 5, and more strokes. Just keep your whole-stroke practice as persistent, attentive and focused as your drill reps.
2) Occasionally swim farther -- far enough for your "level of control" to break down. A key aspect of Examined Swimming Principles (virtually identical to the Deep Practice Principles espoused in The Talent Code) is to relentlessly seek the leading edge of your skill - the place where control begins to shade into struggle. Swim the whole stroke through that place to discern what has changed. Then focus on fixing it.

I can add something further to Alan's principle of "don't look ahead." Here's an excerpt from my series of blogs about our English Channel relay:

The afternoon prior to the USMS 2-Mile Cable Swim championship in Mirror Lake (Lake Placid NY) I gave a brief clinic for participants. Most of those who attended were first-timers to the race and seemingly had little experience swimming in open water. From where we sat on the lakeshore, they could see the quarter-mile course over which they would swim 8 lengths the next morning. Many found the sight daunting, commenting “That’s a long way; I’m not sure I can swim that far.” To which I answered “Your most helpful strategy will be to never focus on how much swimming is in front of you, but to focus entirely on the stroke you’re taking this moment, to make that stroke as good as it can be. After about three thousand strokes, taken one by one, you’ll swim across the finish line almost before you know it.”

Read the entire blog here.
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Terry,

I am amazed how much care you take for each single 'swimmer' who is posting his/her questions here!
So, thank you for that!

Now, regarding your reply.
Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Haschu
Alan's wisdom was won through hundreds of hours of practice -- and I've seen the result in his swimming -- so you can take it to the bank.

I'll add that this about his learning principle of: Don't concern yourself with what might happen; focus entirely on what is happening.
I am at appr. 30-40 hours of practice since I received the 'Easy Freestyle' DVD - practice is just a matter of time.
I am not really concerned about what might happen, but I do have a goal: I want to be able to swim as easy, effortlessly and elegantly as you and your co-TIs do. Although that may not be a focus but more the motivation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
This is true as well for whole stroke. You say you cannot yet swim whole stroke. I'll guess what you mean by this is you can't, at this moment, swim a full length of whole stroke that feels as good as your drills currently do.
It means: I usually start with spear switches, after a while I change to Zen-switches. Slow motion switches with at least the finger tips in the water.
It is slow motion. I can do a length of 20 or 25 meters like that (takes minutes!), breath in between, no problem. No rhythm. Just very slow movements with pauses. But I cannot speed up. When I speed up the motion I start to loose control, so I don't do it. It slowly gets better. When I say 'whole stroke' I mean something that is done continously with a rhythm. So there is no question of a full length of full strokes, not even 5 or ten of them.
In fact I dropped wanting to be able to swim a lap, I dropped wanting to be fast, I dropped all that what it should be like and just drill.
Maybe this is your point and you are perfectly right with that, I think: frustration only comes up when I look at the possible goal and compare where I am now. It is actually a stupid thing to do, because it just gives frustration and has no real benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
2) Occasionally swim farther -- far enough for your "level of control" to break down. A key aspect of Examined Swimming Principles (virtually identical to the Deep Practice Principles espoused in The Talent Code) is to relentlessly seek the leading edge of your skill - the place where control begins to shade into struggle. Swim the whole stroke through that place to discern what has changed. Then focus on fixing it.
I think I might be too careful, I don't really want to touch that area where my level of control breaks down, I very much like to stay in that area where I have full control. I'll try that. I think, this is very good advice.

I need some re-assurance from time to time, that it is really possible to learn freestyle like this. And don't forget, I am in an environment where literally everybody I meet in the pool and around looks at me like I came from another star - no support, just strange looks. Which is quite funny at times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
... I answered “...focus entirely on the stroke you’re taking this moment, to make that stroke as good as it can be... ”
Good thing is, it takes me so much focus to do the stroke, that I can't focus anywhere else anyway.


And the backstroke and breaststroke DVDs came with the mail today - the party goes on!

Thanks, Terry.

Last edited by haschu33 : 10-06-2009 at 07:11 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2009
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Focusing entirely on my "stroke-in-the-now", my placement and overall movement and balance helped me acheive/ maintain a smooth rhythm with no discomfort, in fact therapeutic, and made this swim seem well... not long enough!

Precisely the "flow state" experience that makes certain swims most memorable and rewarding.

Last edited by terry : 10-07-2009 at 05:19 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Hi,

Went to the pool this morning - early swimming. It was crowded, actually too crowded, my usual frustration came up, my knee started to hurt - didn't look like a great swimming day.
Then, when I was about to leave, I did one more lap. I had Terry's advice in my ear, this one: "...relentlessly seek the leading edge of your skill..." (which means in my case I don't have to go too far...), didn't really know what to with it, though.
So, without really thinking about it, I started the last lap, with 'regular' switches, not Zen Switches, I never did that before, recovery through the air without touching the water, at a slow but regular speed - just swimming. I banged in another guy in the middle of the pool, who was swimming on his back, apologized and kept going for the rest of the lap. So this was real swimming, not drilling! Yes, it did bear some resemblance to freestyle swimming, and I was even moving forward, faster than I believed was possible. There was lots of room for improvement in every detail, so to speak, but I didn't loose my streamlining and took a breath every third stroke - thanks to the drills.

Ok, it was just a 25 m pool, but hehe, this was the first freestyle lap I did in my live. At the age of 55. Quite amazing, isn't it?

Terry, I think I owe you a beer. Maybe two, even.
Whenever I get in the US again...

Last edited by haschu33 : 10-07-2009 at 02:16 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Hi,
Ok, it was just a 25 m pool, but hehe, this was the first freestyle lap I did in my live. At the age of 55. Quite amazing, isn't it?
Congratulations ! I know your feeling with this accomplishment ... you just want to call someone with the news. It is an amazing feeling when we finally reach a goal that has been so elusive. I'm 56 and I had the same experience only a couple of weeks ago. It came after way too many hours of frustration (which disappears once the goal is reached). When I take my time and concentrate on each stroke things work out much better.... still a long way to go; but now we know it is possible!! Try stopping us now !!
Mike
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  #19  
Old 10-07-2009
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Haschu33,

Congratulations and welcome to the swimming world!
What may be hard to imagine is that quite soon you too will be helping and congratulating someone on this Forum.

Alan
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  #20  
Old 10-07-2009
terry terry is offline
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Oops
I edited Alan's Post #16 when I meant to quote from it. So sorry Alan, but the key part of his original - the 1st graf in the edited version - is still there. The 2nd graf is my comment on it.
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