Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-29-2009
Elaine19 Elaine19 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
Elaine19
Default New to TI, getting started

Hello,

I am a new swimmer in general, and have just discovered TI. I read the Easy Freestyle book and now have been to the pool. I was just wondering how much time it usually takes people to get the hang of each drill? I have only been to the pool three times so far (I know impatient!). I usually have to get my nerve up to start becasue I feel a little silly, then I plug away. So far I feel good just on my back. Trying to find my sweet spot has not been so good. For small periods of time I feel good...but mostly not. My impulse is to move on to the skating drill, but I'm trying to be good and get the most out of this. I'm in a small town, no swimming partner, good thing is I'm usually the only one in the pool so only the lifeguards are watching me. I believe in this swimming method, it totally makes sense to me, so I really want to carry on. Any begginer advice would be very welcome.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-30-2009
CoachDave's Avatar
CoachDave CoachDave is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 249
CoachDave
Default Patience is a virtue, but so is feeling good

If you are curious about the skating drill, try it out!
Sometimes a swimmer gets a little stuck in a drill. They do it for the sake of doing it but don't know why some moments feel good and others don't The skating drill is a step beyond sweet spot, but you'll still be working on sweet spot during breathing. Try some lengths where you start in sweet spot, roll to skating with a focal point, and when you are good to go, go back to sweet spot for the rest of the length. When that feels good, aim for two skating segments, then three. Write a list of some simple focal points so you can have one thing on your mind at a time instead of trying to get everything at once. And let us know how it goes! Welcome!
__________________
Dave Cameron
Total Immersion Master Coach
Head Coach- Minneapolis YWCA Otters and Masters and MN Tri Masters
www.ywcampls.org/ti
www.ywcampls.org/otters
www.distancedave.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-30-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Default

I'm so happy to hear about your interest and effort in swimming.

Do you know about the Super-man drills? If not, we can provide information about these newer TI drills.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-30-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
Default

Welcome Elaine19!

I just learned freestyle through the TI method ('learned' means I am able to swim freestyle a whole lap but doesn't mean that this is the end of learning), I had no buddy or no one to assist and I learned it from the TI material and with the help of this forum here.

I channeled my impatience into more visits to the pool, and I am always the only person who would do odd TI drills in the shallow non-swimmer pool with the kids (or without the kids when I am lucky) or in any other pool - always lots of people and life guards around. They usually do not comment but they might have developed the thought that I am a little weird. I considered that not to be my problem. I swim regularly in about half a dozen different public pools and I have never ever seen anybody doing drills, except me.

My very personal recommendations:
- The 'Easy Freestyle' DVD. I highly recommend that DVD. Books are ok but seeing it in motion is extremely helpful. You can anticipate how it feels when it's correct. Also the drills on that DVD are quite much up to date and have an order that can be followed easily and will bring you to swim easy and effective freestyle.
Alternatively Terry announced a virtual workshop, that might be an option,
details here:
Terry's VW announcement
Also you can find quite a lot of TI material on YouTube..

I went through all drills, I still do them and I will keep doing them. Particular those that I felt uncomfortable with in the beginning. Also that what CoachDave says is very true: e.g. balance, it is good to develop some in the very beginning but balance also develops while drilling with a different focus and while swimming whole stroke.
And if you have great difficulties with a certain drill I would forget it for a while, do 'more advanced' ones and come back to it later.
I do drills a lot, as they give me the possibility to set a focal point without getting too much distracted by a lot of other details.


But basically I just want to encourage you, it is possible to learn swimming in a nice, easy and effective way through TI, but it takes some time, some patience. Particularly with freestyle. In the end it is that patience that will become a crucial factor whether you learn the easy and effective style or the average beat-the-water-as-if-it-is-your-worst-enemy style. And that difference is exactly the difference between enjoying swimming and just doing painstaking workouts.
Being patient with the drills is a key factor in my opinion.

General timing probably varies a lot with different individuals, I guess, and I wouldn't regard myself as being extremely talented for swimming freestyle. If I try to put it in hours it took me appr. 30 hours in the pool from starting with drills until I started doing full strokes. Another 30 hours until I was able to cross a 25m or 50m pool without being half-dead at the other end and developing a sense of relaxation.
Some drillls I got the hang on very easily, on some it took a number of hours and constant repetition. It really varies.

I know TI is worth doing it, so go for it!

Last edited by haschu33 : 10-30-2009 at 03:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-30-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I channeled my impatience into more visits to the pool, and I am always the only person who would do odd TI drills in the shallow non-swimmer pool with the kids (or without the kids when I am lucky) or in any other pool - always lots of people and life guards around. They usually do not comment but they might have developed the thought that I am a little weird. I considered that not to be my problem. I swim regularly in about half a dozen different public pools and I have never ever seen anybody doing drills, except me.
Well, you can't really /know/ what other people think without being told. Maybe some people aren't used to seeing people drill unless they are on a swim team or have seen one practise. At least being bad at a drill means that you're working on something that needs improvement.

Last edited by shuumai : 10-30-2009 at 02:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-30-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuumai View Post
Well, you can't really /know/ what other people think without being told. Maybe some people aren't used to seeing people drill unless they are on a swim team or have seen one practise. At least being bad at a drill means that you're working on something that needs improvement.
Yes, I agree that I don't know what they think. There are some indications when people did say something to me, which was rare. The strong tendency was to tell me that what I am doing is quite strange - to say the least. Using polite words of course. Sometimes looks can tell a lot, but open quite a big space for misunderstanding, of course.

I have never seen any masters classes practicing, just schools, swim clubs and swim teams. I have literally never seen something else than pullbuoy, kickboard, paddles, fins,... the usual suspects.

I only mentioned this all to confirm to Elaine19 that being the exotic one in the pool is an experience that she (?) is not alone with and we still made it to learn and practice TI. :-))
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-30-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 402
Rhoda
Default

Keep at it Elaine! Practice at least three times a week, more if possible, to reinforce the learning. If you can do some of your practices in the afternoon or evening it might come a little faster. Learning neuro-muscular skills has been found to be more effective if practiced later in the day, according to some research.
Coach Dave is right, it's all right to try other drills on for size from time to time. The sweet spot drill isn't emphasized so much any more, except for back stroke. Just remember not to try to go all the way onto your side (90º to the pool bottom) on the skating drill, but more like 45º.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-30-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I only mentioned this all to confirm to Elaine19 that being the exotic one in the pool is an experience that she (?) is not alone with and we still made it to learn and practice TI. :-))
Right. Well, when I drill--which isn't often enough--it seems like people watch me more so. I think the only time anyone ever said anything was when I was doing something terribly wrong such as during butterfly drills. This is at a place where toys are common. I haven't gotten a response in a long time, other than some younger people being seemingly enchanted by my "merman" undulation drills.

It really is the most interesting to see someone progressing or using a method. It doesn't matter what the person's level is.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-30-2009
dwag4life dwag4life is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10
dwag4life
Default

Good luck with your practice!! I only started TI about 6 weeks ago after a running injury and know how it feels to only drill away. I had bought the book first as well, but i would recommend the Easy Freestyle DVD too because some of the drills are different and actually being able to watch them was extremely beneficial for me. After a couple of days of watching me drill, one of the regulars in the pool asked me, "What in the world was I doing?", but in a joking kind of way. Once things start to click you won't be self concious because you'll be having too much fun swimming and watching others beat themselves up while you glide along.

Like others have said, don't be afraid to try more advanced drills. Because of my long and lean build, it took me getting to the skating position before i found my balance and things started to click. If you keep at it, I try and swim four times a week, you will be amazed at the progress you make in a few weeks.

Good luck!!!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-30-2009
inca inca is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 88
inca
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine19 View Post
Hello,

I am a new swimmer in general, and have just discovered TI. I read the Easy Freestyle book and now have been to the pool. I was just wondering how much time it usually takes people to get the hang of each drill? I have only been to the pool three times so far (I know impatient!). I usually have to get my nerve up to start becasue I feel a little silly, then I plug away. So far I feel good just on my back. Trying to find my sweet spot has not been so good. For small periods of time I feel good...but mostly not. My impulse is to move on to the skating drill, but I'm trying to be good and get the most out of this. I'm in a small town, no swimming partner, good thing is I'm usually the only one in the pool so only the lifeguards are watching me. I believe in this swimming method, it totally makes sense to me, so I really want to carry on. Any begginer advice would be very welcome.

Thanks!
I feel I should chime in here since I was a total beginner to swimming when I found out about TI (All I could do was what I was told is called the "dead man's float") and, like you, I had no access to TI coaches or swimmers. I tend to get long-winded so I'll give the short answer first (which probably won't be so short).

Here's the shorter version of my reply to your post:
  • How long does it take to get the hang of each drill? At this point (5 months in), I still cannot say that I can do all the drills perfectly. There is always room for perfection even in those drills that I have gotten the 'hang of'. I *can* do them all much better now than I could at the beginning. Then I could not do most of them at all.
  • Regarding your impatience and feeling silly: I felt exactly the same way. This is all the result of your mindset. You are not really totally "sure" that this is going to work for you and that it is the right thing to do, therefore when you do not see 'fish-like' smoothness right away you think others will think you are really strange. Rest assured about two things: (1) Others don't spend much time thinking about you. And if they do so at all, it is a fleeting thought that will end up in shock when they realize how well you have done for yourself. and (2) TI *is* the way to go...no doubt about it! Don't just 'think' it makes sense: "Know" it with all your mind and body, totally. That self-doubting (and the resulting worry about what others are thinking) is splitting your mind and not allowing you to totally be in the moment when you are drilling and swimming. It takes away from your focus and relaxation which is VITAL.
  • Keep going. Persevere. Relax. Enjoy! Succeed!

Longer version:

I had a very hard time with the drills. The only one I ever felt any good at all was the Superman Glide. So I did an awful lot of that...(anyway, it was recommended to me to to start every session with that). The other drills eluded me. I tried but somehow couldn't really 'get' them....definitely not consistently.

After a short while, I began to get very frustrated. I would come into these forums and ask a gazillion questions (whine?) and everyone was very encouraging and helpful. But sometimes coming into the forums made me feel that somehow everyone else 'gets' it and I somehow can't.

I also, like you, had the book only. At that time buying the DVD was not an option for me unless I would be confident that it would definitely result in my learning to swim, so I needed to see some results BEFORE buying. (Money is REALLY tight here).

I guess at that point I finally 'gave up'. But giving up on swimming totally just wasn't an option since I had to swim as per my PT's instruction. I considered taking swimming lessons at the pool. But after seeing TI swimming and then seeing the instructor giving others lessons (and knowing what she charged!) made me feel that I really didn't want to learn to swim from her. So, I tried to learn like a kid would (even though I am 56). I searched online for all videos of TI swimming that I could find. Everytime before I went to the pool, I would read up in my book and go online and watch carefully TI swimming. This made a tremendous difference. I still wasn't too great at the drills. Maybe slightly better...but hard to judge without an observer. I began every session at the pool with the Superman Glide, Laser Beam Flutter. I tried the skating drill. And THEN, I just tried to swim (remember I had never swum before in my life) by copying what was imprinted in my mind from watching all the TI swimmers online and thinking of all I had read here and in the book and each time I would particularly focus on one particular aspect.

I was WOWed! Did I suddenly become an accomplished TI swimmer? By no means. But I did begin to 'get' it. Once in a while, I would do something right and would actually feel the things I had read being described. After that, going back and doing the drills, I realized I could do them better. I believe it was because I now "knew" what it was I was aiming for and I also "knew" that it works and I now "knew" that I could do it.

To let you know where I am now at the end of October (5 months):
I was at the pool last night and the same people who were lamely trying to help the nutcase by giving all kinds of advice that she ignored("You have to kick harder", etc), suddenly asked me "Why do you start every session here floating with your head underwater like that? What does it do for you?". And making comments like, "I'm amazed at how you pick things up on your own so quickly and well."

That's their analysis. Here's mine:
  • I can go back and forth swimming a legitimate freestyle...and definitely better than a lot of those swimmers that were giving me advice in the beginning.
  • I am not zonked even though I stay in the pool for almost an hour and swim with only a few breaks.
  • I am still not confident enough to go into the 'big' pool (deep water) because my breathing is still not good (although I did learn to roll onto my back smoothly via TI so I really can do that if I get desperate).
  • I feel like a swimmer!
  • I am now ready to get the DVD's. (I know I do things backwards). I feel that now I can work on improving and getting it as perfected as I can. My problem is that I am not sure now whether to get the Easy Freestyle or the O2 in H2O.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.