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Old 07-30-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
Default Things I've been watching

Things I've been observing in underwater video of all strokes...

-Angle of the propulsive surface (ie palm/wrist/forearm). Where does it face on entry? How is it next positioned? What path does it take? Where is it "released" from the water?

-Flexibility of shoulders. Most elites have incredibly flexible shoulders. How does this flexibility impact the first observation and how should I modify those objectives given the limitations of myself & my students from a flexibility point of view

-The palms. I love watching the palms come out of the water, seemingly hover forward skimming the surface, entering the water usually slippping in, less often splashing in and then watching how the swimmer seems to be waiting (only a fraction of a second) until they can feel a solid surface under the palm before the next movement. I imagine what they are feeling.

-Strength. At this level of competition, strength is evident. Whwere in the stroke cycle is the strength applied? How can I swim with similar grace possessing less strength and full body coordination under that amount of power? Where is my break point where my power (small as it may be) overcomes my ability to maintain excellent form?

All fun things to observe.
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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Old 07-31-2012
swimust swimust is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 832

"strength..." - is this a TI post? I guess not

to my humble/stupid opinion strength can change a lot of things.
I.E. - I noticed from above camera in the backstroke style that most swimmers are recovering the arm on the head axis (over the head line) and not on the shoulder axis (vertical line). I tried that in the pool today and it gives a lot of power and fulcrum on entry in water. Its coming from the shoulder but I got tired after few laps doing the "over head" recovery.
I can break the world record doing that and then die happy after a one 25 meters lap

Another "test" that I did today was "Horizontal upper arm HEC".
I managed to hold full laps of HEC at about 5-10* degrees angle of upper arm from the surface of water but I needed much more upper arm strength to hold the pull for a longer swim distance. My upper arm wasnt strong enough to pull hard for more than 20-25 strokes at about 1 sec SR (stroke rate), but I was amazed to know that I can do the HEC just like the professionals. My arm held position.
I played a lot of basketball in the past and shot a lot of over head jump shoots which built my deltoids/rotator cuff. I guess that thats the reason I could do an olympic HEC on my first try. But I have no upper arm strength so my pull wasnt strong enough. The arm and shoulder felt fine with 10* angle.

Thats not TI and I am a serious TI student so I am out of this topic

P.S. - I wasnt kicking at all during the HEC swim. I hate to kick. I only know the toe flick. I wish I had no legs when I swim freestyle.
I dont need them!

Last edited by swimust : 07-31-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Discovering French Swimmers

What I enjoy about the quadrennial spectacle most is discovering wonderful swimmers I'd not been aware of previously. And sometimes finding they come from unexpected places. Like France. Or Nice.
Yannick Agnel, who thoroughly dominated the powerful group of Park, Sun and Lochte in wining the 200 Free -- and is only 20 years old -- comes from the club Olympic Nice Natation, coached by Fabrice Pellerin, called an iconoclast in this revealing NY Times article "French Savor Swimming Success."

The article didn't make clear why he's considered iconoclastic in France. Pecause he's a high-volume oriented coach? I don't know if that goes against the grain in French swimming. One thing is certain, something's working for the Nice club, because Agnel also had that stunning anchor leg on the 4 x 100 relay and another club member, Clement Lefert, was also on that relay.

And finally Camille Muffat, who already won the 400 free and looks like a strong bet to win the 200 Free, swims there as well. Watching those races I thought Camille looked as much like a TI Swimmer as any of the top women in freestyle. Her Ear Hop recovery and Mail Slot entry -- impressively maintained at high rate and full power -- stand out for their elegance in any heat she swims in. While watching the 400 Free final, when Allison Schmitt of the US challenged her at 300m, I felt fairly sure that Muffat would hold her off, because her steeper entry better converts 'inherent' power to applied power than the flatter entry of Schmitt.

As for Agnel, he's tall - 6'8" - and rangy, not powerful. So he must rely on being able to move his long limbs and body at fairly high rate, and get his forearms in a high-traction (EVF) position immediately upon entry. It's a body and stroke type even better adapted to 200m than 100m.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 07-31-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012
newbie2012 newbie2012 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 32

One interesting bit of trivia that I've heard on French TV, is that Agnel never switched to swimming with the full suits (when they started being used some years ago), but continued with "classic" style (that is used today as well after banning full suits)
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Old 07-31-2012
newbie2012 newbie2012 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 32

Originally Posted by terry View Post
Because he's a high-volume oriented coach?
Seems like the daily training means two 2.5hrs sessions, 15-16km swim per day, gym workouts every two days, trainings sessions every day of the year Sundays included with just a couple days off overall.
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Old 08-11-2012
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
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Default I couldn't see the TI ..

Besides the "deformed" muscle masses of the swimmers:

- and that isn't photoshopped - the thing that I did NOT notice was the swimmers using the two beat kick (in freestyle) ... anyone have an explanation of why not ?

Last edited by Talvi : 08-11-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 08-11-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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See Suzanne's reply to my post in the backstroke forum 'Can I have lats like that?@
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Old 08-14-2012
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 118
Ken B
Default Most useful to me

I loved the racing but the video clip most useful to me was of Lochte in the warm down pool concentrating on keeping his hips high, at first an easy swim and then some high hip thrusts. It was an aha moment for me, a must try harder. My pool swims since have totally focussed on floating and high hips. It feels great. In the process I find to my amazement that I can almost achieve a starfish in fresh water, something I'd given up on.

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Old 08-14-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
The only reason which forces d.swimmers to kick more than the ideal (which remains 2bk) is that the tremendous level of pressure put early into their pulling stroke breaks a balance that would otherwise be good enough for a 2bk.
I don't follow this logic. But anyway, not even Sun Yang - who I think we all agree has the most TI-esque stroke among elite swimmers - uses a 2-beat kick in the 1500m. He does a 4-beat with a 3/1 rhythm.

In the Olympic men's open-water 10K, the gold medalist Ous Mellouli used a 6-beat kick for the entire last 30 minutes of the race.

The great American distance swimmer of a few years ago, Larsen Jensen, switched to a strong 6-beat kick for the full 1500, at the behest of his coach, Bill Rose. He subsequently broke the American record.

At the amateur level, the winner of this year's Manhattan Island Marathon Swim used a strong 6-beat kick for the entire 7.5-hour swim.

Why would these swimmers do this - and why would their world-class coaches encourage them to do it - if there's no benefit to more than 2 kicks per cycle?

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Listen, I'm truly sorry that I shocked you with my statement.
The only thing I'm shocked by, is that the notion that there's a single "ideal" stroke for all swimmers, is one that is taken seriously by anyone.

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Maglischo does clearly state, if you re-read his quote, that this recommendation applies to all, with no single exception.
Maglischo's book is a coaching manual with generalized recommendations, not meant to be mindlessly applied to every single swimmer at all times. And in this case, the recommendations are based on data from, let's see: 1966, 1974, 1975, and 1978. For the study Maglischo describes in greatest detail (Adrian et al., 1966), the sample consists of 12 swimmers.

Sorry, but I'm not convinced.

I do agree with TI that a light 2-beat kick is best for novice swimmers, for whom balance and drag reduction are the lower-hanging fruit. Further along in their development, some of these swimmers may discover they have powerful, energy-efficient kicks, and may benefit from developing a 4- or 6-beat style.
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