Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal
Thanks for starting a new thread and a fun subject to discuss, but I think you're missing the most important part, the arm that's above the surface, recovery arm. I think we make the mistake of separating movements/parts into different depts or somehow all are mutually exclusive - and that's largely due to the traditional language of one arm catches and pulls or "pulling arm" and the other recovers (until the next pull) or "recovery arm", and legs kick. This implies one is active below the surface (catch/pull) while the other is inactive or resting above the surface (recovery).
I use the language neutral, "high side" and "low side" arms (Boomer, Kredich), neither imply action or rest. And I view what happens above the surface (in free/back/fly) directly affects and *connects* all movements below the surface.
Hey Coach Stuart: Thanks for paying attention and gently correcting! Actually I do understand that ideally when the whole body integrates the various movements the effect of the whole concert is greater than the sum of the isolated parts. But I also understand that it's not necessarily happening correctly for me at present, so my dissection is just to make sure that I didn't unwittingly get my sequences grossly out of order or grossly unbalanced to the side or to the centre at the wrong moment etc., Hence my current obsession with getting timelines and checkpoints as absolutely precisely as I can estimate precisely.
But yes, the ultimate goal is to get the corrected time and path of the various part to flow smoothly and as naturally as possible once I understand or confirm that my path and trajectory and sequencing is appropriate.
I refer to "high side" and "low side" with neutral significance -- only to make sure that the other discussion participants understand which specific side I'm referring to. The whole discussion exercise has led to one very useful insight for me so far -- the realization that the rotation can lag behind or follow exactly in phase with the entering fingertips. By playing with this lag or phase shift I have discovered that a bit of a shoulder rotation lag can give rise to a bit of a subsequent rotational whipping around, like a rapid corkscrew which seems relatively effortless and seems to help the spearing arm and relaxed "vaulting" over the anchoring arm (or whatever you want to call it).
Likewise, I refer to the "recovery" arm only to identify the one that is above water on its way to re-entry (as a synonym for "high side" arm). But I take your point that it is not necessarily inactive or passive, nor is the lower one working harder or anything like that, although I remain open to your reminders not to mentally apply such loaded attributes or qualities lest those intrusive thoughts undermine any development of a restful, efficient, core driven stroke mechanism.
I'm sorry, I just re-read your comment and my response -- maybe I missed what you were trying to state -- "the arm that's above the surface"... you didn't finish, except to make the point that we sometimes get distracted into thinking each part is a separate department isolated from the other parts. Were you trying to point out here that the arm that's above the surface is not just passively on its way to get to the insertion point so that it can pull again, but rather is part of the momentum-carrying mass that most efficiently is redirected forward again ultimately to re-enter the water and spear at a slighly downward trajectory to impart forward propulsive force? If this is what you meant, yes I do see that the high side arm movement "connects" with the low side / below surface actions.