Video of my stroke (50-55 SPL)
Without the camera, I felt quite streamlined and fast.
With the camera, I can see I move my hips quite a bit and i'm not as streamlined, tall and straight as I thought. Actually I wasn't such a inefficient looking stroke at all.
Vid 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scXxr29v3DM
Vid 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZkCWHZ2dwM
There's no glide in your stroke, no patient lead arm/catch, no two-beat kick. No wonder you get tired. Your stroke looks to me like a typical non-TI stroke. Its not a bad stroke, it just doesn't look like a TI stroke.
it FELT like a good stroke, video has helped me realise there is a lot of room for improvement
Don't be too hard on yourself. Take this one step at a time. You learned what you know from a book. For some of us that's like learning to paint by reading the Benjamin Moore brochure.
Try holding the anchor position for two seconds while your recovering arm slowly comes forward to spear the water and take over as the anchored hand.
If you're not balanced you'll start to sink and it'll be hard to breathe. Don't worry. Let your body find the balance it needs by relaxing and enjoying the moment of this stroke. It also might seem like forever when you hold that anchor position for two seconds. It's not.
Focus on a rock solid, two-second anchor, not trying to get to the other end of the pool. Enjoy that two seconds of anchor as your recovering hand smoothly and slowly moves forward. Go slow enough to be aware of what's happening.
Enjoy this stage of your swimming. It will become your warm-up and cool-down stroke. Remember these feelings on your way to fast swimming.
They provide the security you need to keep moving faster with less energy.
if I ever get another video...i love Lou Tharps input
too many insights may get to be overwhelming
especially if you have a TI coach giving you advice
I'd take it and work on it!
a little insightful bit of information
from another member
we all mean well but One coach knows
his stuff and how to deliver it and bring out the best in your journey, and is seasoned by working with many; can be worth it (my thinking or thoughts on asking for help!
or get some flippers and a snorkel
they can be great swimmer tools to learn from too!
To add to the previous advice ,on breathing strokes your head lifts and your body turns too much at the same time and your lead hand pulls down instead of staying patient until your recovery arm is about to enter the water. The advice already mentioned about working on balance will help .
I think visualization is a great tool for mastering TI freestyle technique.
The best example of patient hand is this Shinji Takeuchi video, especially its slow motion part.
Try to imprint it and repeat in the pool.
Engage the Hips
Matt: your hips and feet are fairly high but you don't get much out of each stroke if your strokes per length are 50-55. You use mostly your arms for propulsion instead of your hips.
It's like paddling a kayak just using your arms. It's possible and you will move forward but not very far on each stroke. But, if you engage your core, twist your torso, power is generated from the hips and transmits through the back, shoulders, arms, and hands to the paddle.
Emmet Hines in his book, Fitness Swimming, explains how rotational forces provide linear motion using the analogy of a screwdriver driving a screw into wood:
"The threads on a screw lock into and hold a spot in the wood, allowing the rotational force that you apply to the screwdriver to be transmitted into linear motion through the great resistance of the wood. Likewise, the stroking arm and hand hold onto a spot in the water, allowing the rotational force applied at the hips to be transmitted into linear motion through the great resistance of the water... Attempting to pull too hard or "move water" is analogous to stripping the threads on the screw...We want to use the rotation of the hips and torso as the predominant source of propulsive forces and allow our shoulders, arm, and hands to act more as transmissions than engines."
If you swim mostly flat on the water, as you do, no rotational forces are generated at the hip. If I were you, I would focus on Lou Tharp's advice about holding the anchor. If you look on his blog you will also see a drill where the swimmer pushes off on his side with one arm extended, holds the position, swims 5 strokes, holds, etc. It works on balance and efficient propulsion.
I would say you are rotating to about the right extent. But your arms slap down on the water and windmill, rather than entering, after an elbow-led recovery, at a point nearer the head and reaching forwards.
If you fix that I think you will immediately see significant improvement. A lot of the rest of your stroke looks good to me, including head position, wide tracks, high hips and legs not churning at 100mph.
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