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TIJoe 05-17-2011 05:50 AM

Improve balance -- drill or whole stroke
After practicing front crawl through TI principle for 10 months, I feel I am at at a level that further improvement will depend on improvement on basics and that starts with balance. I didn't spend much time doing drills so far but no doubt my balance has improved by leaps and bounds compared with 10 months. This leads to my question: is it possible to improve balance through thoughtful whole stroke as quickly as doing balance drills?

Even though I am better at it than before, I still find skating drill unpleasant to do. I don't have a strong kick yet and to move forwardly slowly in a crowded public pool is not something one wants to do often.

JC_Yang 05-21-2011 04:58 PM

Personally I strongly recommend skating.
Because when you do whole stroke, your brain stand little chance to take over control from your muscle. More stroke simply means burning the not so good stroke more deeply into your muscle.
If you really want to improve your balance via whole stroke, try super slow motion stroke. This can offer you a better chance to imprint good habits.

MarcusNZ 05-21-2011 11:52 PM

worth skating
I started TI drills a little over a month ago now, and I've mainly focused on balance drills, particularly skating, since then. I've made very noticeable improvements in my full stroke in that time, which is in stark contrast to the slow improvements I had made in the year prior to this.

I don't really understand how the skating drill impacts on my full stroke; it's not something I'm consciously aware of, but I can't think of anything else to attribute my development to.

I recommend persevering with it. My advice is to get in the slowest lane, and don't worry about the kick too much -- if you can maintain a good position at a slow speed, then you're mastering the balance. For me, learning to turn my head for a breath while maintaining a skating position was a breakthrough.

Hope that helps.

TIJoe 05-23-2011 03:20 PM

Thanks guys for the response. I normally do a couple of skating drills every swimming session. Problem is I will come to an almost complete stop very quickly unless I kick rigorously which tires me out. Here they don't allow me to wear fins. Regardless, I will do skate drills more often from now on.

While skating drill clearly improves balance, it seems to relate to 6 beat whole stroke more than 2 beat whole stroke.

steve0732 05-23-2011 07:08 PM


I was having the same problem and a coach said that it is more balance than propulsion. I watched a youtube of Shinji doing Superman glide and he keeps balanced even when he is only moving centimeters at a time.

Mat Hudson said try and keep your body long and stiff like a board. This is turning on some balance muscles. Once you stay more in balance you will train those muscles.

My own personal cheat on this was to make sure and take a full breathe. It keeps me on top better and more balanced.

Once you get the hang of it try and be more relaxed because tense muscles are not good in the long run.

TIJoe 05-24-2011 02:07 PM

Thanks Steve! I agree this is itself a balance issue. When I am in a prone position, I have no problem kicking gently and still move forward.

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