Amount of body roll and balance
I had my first TI lesson this weekend and it was a really humble exprience. I started practicing front crawl after discovering TI last summer. Before that, I was a recreational breaststroke swimmer for many years. So I was comfortable with water and thought I had reasonable balance. Make no mistake, I knew my techniche was no good, since my front crawl is just about as fast as my breaststroke. Still when I saw the video of my swimming, I was startled to find how bad my balance is.
It occured to me that breaststroke as a short axis swimming style has very different balance requirement. There is no need for side to side balance in breaststroke like a long axis swimming such as front crawl. After the lesson, I did more swimming and now I can sense imbalance when my body rolls. So back to drawing board with skating drills etc.
I know TI is now preaching just enough rotation. But exactly how much is just enough. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the desirable amount of rotation depends on body type and perhaps more importantly, stroke rate. Higher stroke rate will not allow enough time and hence leads to less body roll.
However, does it also depend on one's ability to balance? In other words, if one's balance on the side is not good, then perhaps it is better to roll less than desirable amount but keep the balance rather than roll more but into an unbalanced situation. In that sense, less roll may also lead to higher stroke rate and/or shorter stroke length.
Of course, one should practice to acquire the skill of balance. But before that, less may be more? Also given a fixed stroke rate, is it better to roll more while still keeping the balance (of course within the time dictated by the stroke rate). I suspect it is probably the case to a degree, which means you should roll your body faster to a larger angle if you can keep your balance.