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  #1  
Old 04-17-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Default Spear/underswitch

Found two videos, both by TI coaches, showing different approaches to the spear/underswitch drill.

As I prefer trying things in whole stroke this is the one that attracts me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7QeFUWI_UE
However, I'm a bit unclear what is the benefit in keeping the recovery arm underwater as opposed to the "catch up" drill where the recovery arm is above the water.

This one is much more of a drill as opposed to whole stroke and a lot more complicated so I find it hard to see the focal point there that I would carry into whole stroke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AvAxBXcPGA

Just looking for comments really as many posts here refer to the spear/underswitch drill. I practiced the catch-up drill / style for a few months so am seeking clarity on what's different.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2014
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
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Not sure if it's just me, but I can't view that first clip for copyright reasons?

I do however find the second clip useful......I guess it's no different to what is on the TI videos, but I like to see other people doing them to getter a better understanding of what to do.
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Old 04-17-2014
Janos Janos is offline
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The underswitch drill should be an essential part of any TI drill session. It allows you to focus entirely on exactly what you are getting from your hip drive without any kinetic contribution from the returning recovery arm.
It can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, as you start to appreciate that starting the stroke too early creates lift forces that increase drag, and slow us down, but if you can appreciate this fact and learn to change tracks smoothly you will see a massive difference in your swim speed and SPL.

Janos
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Old 04-17-2014
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Generally underswitch or spear switch is used to develop proper spear vs. stroke back timing without the added complexity of trying to get your arm in correct position while over the water, which is more difficult since you cannot see your arm move in front of your body to the ready position before spearing.

You can actually swim quite fast using spear switch. In Japan they have contests on how far you can swim while underwater the whole time using spear switch.
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Old 04-18-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Generally underswitch or spear switch is used to develop proper spear vs. stroke back timing without the added complexity of trying to get your arm in correct position while over the water, which is more difficult since you cannot see your arm move in front of your body to the ready position before spearing.

You can actually swim quite fast using spear switch. In Japan they have contests on how far you can swim while underwater the whole time using spear switch.
Thanks for that explanation.

I tried the drill yesterday ... and gave up. Couldn't get my head around the deliberate introduction of all that resistance and drag. It was like getting my hand stuck in the lining while trying to put on a jacket. I just wanted to get the jacket on!! :D

I do have a focus sometimes on that changeover feeling (switch) between the two arms (as one spears the other pulls). That feels helpful.

I'm hoping all these things will soon develop into a critical mass sometime soon so I can see some real improvement! :D
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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Old 04-18-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Talvi,

how about doing that drill very slowly without a thought of jacking, just focus on every tiny feelable drag in this slow motion and try to reduce it next time a little. If drag is reinforced by your try, you got the right path of variation, because this special variation should be avoided.

If I remember Maria's video right. She starts with a small compound kick, stops the kick a moment and switches with "single 2bk" timelike with the catch-push arm to focus to the switch.

Mat Hudson showed me some of these drills very slowly to only concentrate to the necessary movements and feelings nearly with v=0.

(But have in mind that are none coach hints! Suzanne or David may have completely and better fitting points of view...)

Best regards,
Werner
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Old 04-18-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
The underswitch drill should be an essential part of any TI drill session. It allows you to focus entirely on exactly what you are getting from your hip drive without any kinetic contribution from the returning recovery arm.
It can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, as you start to appreciate that starting the stroke too early creates lift forces that increase drag, and slow us down, but if you can appreciate this fact and learn to change tracks smoothly you will see a massive difference in your swim speed and SPL.

Janos
Sorry I missed this earlier.

I can't get my head around the kinetic energy idea. My recovery arm is pretty marrionette like and not moving at any great speed so the energy in it is pretty low, especially by comparison to all the other forces in play. The only contribution I can see it having to forward motion is as mass, plus the negative force of reducing drag by being out of the water. If you imagine sitting in a boat and trying to move forward by throwing a bag of potatoes from aft to prow, that's how I see it. The benefit I feel from my recovering arm is in its initiation/contribution to roll as gravity takes hold of it.

The resistance I felt in the drill didn't feel like it was coming from a weak pull as from resistance, arising from the "brake" of my underwater recovery arm pushing against the water as it moved forward.

I hear what you say about starting the pull too early and pushing down on the water. That is something I focus on quite a bit, mostly by relaxing the spearing arm downward and taking the tension out of it. The problem is clearest on my weaker breathing side and getting over it does really help.
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2014
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Thanks for that explanation.

I tried the drill yesterday ... and gave up. Couldn't get my head around the deliberate introduction of all that resistance and drag. It was like getting my hand stuck in the lining while trying to put on a jacket. I just wanted to get the jacket on!! :D

I do have a focus sometimes on that changeover feeling (switch) between the two arms (as one spears the other pulls). That feels helpful.

I'm hoping all these things will soon develop into a critical mass sometime soon so I can see some real improvement! :D
yes in the classic form of spear switch, the arm is brought forward in a manner that introduces a decent amount of drag. you usually need to be kicking in order to keep moving while you are doing this.

when i swim spear switch, i usually modify the recovery path. i recover the hand with the palm nearly touching my body, keeping my upper arm against my body, and draw it up my centerline to my chest, and then extend it forward from there. i don't bend it forward from the hip. drawing it up close to the body reduces drag by a lot.

give that a try and see if you can maintain more velocity when you stroke.
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Old 04-18-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Thats the best recovery indeed, whith the least drag.
I think you are pulling with a dropped elbow.
The forward movement is with a dropped elbow closely hugging the body, then you extend, pop your elbow up and your hand down to make a big cup with upperarm, forearm and hand that creates a lot of drag when pulled back.
You want to create the least drag with the arm that is moving forward, and the most with the arm that is moving back. Think how a jellyfisj or squid is moving Through the water.
Reach far, take your time to shape the arm that has moved forward in a dropped hand/arm elbow up shape , then corkscrew your body back while moving the other arm forward.
Practice in front of a mirror, see if your movememt makes sense and ingrain the right movement in your muscles.
Its more difficult in the water, but the basic ingrained muscle memory often does help when you are in the water.
These movements are not very natural, and you will be surprised how bad it looks on dryland trying it for the first time.
If the movement is reharsed untill its as natural as walking, then there is a change your movement in water is almost the same.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-18-2014 at 06:12 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
yes in the classic form of spear switch, the arm is brought forward in a manner that introduces a decent amount of drag. you usually need to be kicking in order to keep moving while you are doing this.

when i swim spear switch, i usually modify the recovery path. i recover the hand with the palm nearly touching my body, keeping my upper arm against my body, and draw it up my centerline to my chest, and then extend it forward from there. i don't bend it forward from the hip. drawing it up close to the body reduces drag by a lot.

give that a try and see if you can maintain more velocity when you stroke.
Thanks. I'll do that and definitely will persevere. It sounds daft but I find it reassuring to know that the resistance/drag is something to be expected. Seems and sounds obvious, but when I did it and came to a virtual stop it left me feeling confused.

And thanks Zenturtle for expanding on it further. Great stuff :)
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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