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  #31  
Old 03-31-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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To address Charles' question, isn't a newbie adult swimmer learning crawl akin to a road crash victim going through 12 months of physio to learn to walk again?

Modern society allows us to almost not use our arms for anything requiring stamina or strength so its more about learning to use our arms from a base of zero than learning to swim

When you have children its amazing how long it takes them to run smoothly, there are a lot of years of the galloping lamb stride before the legs stretch out into any type of technique. I figure its the same with adult swimming, and children are learning to run every single day for many hours, not just a few sessions a week?
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  #32  
Old 03-31-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBillG View Post
I'm more curious about the 700 to 800 push ups in 20 minutes. Are you sure you are counting correctly?
I've met (and even coached) such an animal though. Provincial level former kick boxer. Forget it.... 700-800 push/abs per day, period. So in a non stop push up contest, I bet he could do a very big bunch in a row.
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  #33  
Old 03-31-2013
DD_l_enclume DD_l_enclume is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Bottom line. Within 60min, I took here from 1:56/100m down to 1:45 per 100m (over 400m, so sustainable).
That's huge !
Do you feel that's something she would had achieved on her own, being self coached ?
If so, in what time frame ?
What did you do in that 60min time frame ? Touch her to let her feel something ? Guide her ? Yell at her ? :-)

Sure we can add "good coaching" as one of the secret of good swimming. But you talent cannot be translated in a book or instructions I'm afraid. You need to be physically there. (And any time you want a free couch&food&tour week on the French Riviera against free coaching, let me know !!! :-) )
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  #34  
Old 03-31-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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We seem to have (as usual) at least two themes going on here.

With regard to the push ups, the chap in Andy's youtube video is using very wide elbows, which some say is poor form, is not going down all the way and is not keeping a very straight body line. Nevertheless it's impressive.

I thought the lady in Charles's video was showing signs of a dropped elbow, but also quite impressive.

I doubt if I could do ten proper push ups at the moment. I worked up to a hundred using a chair a year or so ago but I think I may not have been using very correct form, if the 'experts' who say your elbows should be close to your sides are correct.
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  #35  
Old 03-31-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DD_l_enclume View Post
Do you feel that's something she would had achieved on her own, being self coached ?
Heavily loaded question here...

The context is training for triathlon. We've been building an interesting and unique program (since 2010). It distinguishes itself from any other varsity program in that we decided to use the university sport center class structure for our off season training needs. It's the 2nd varsity program I'm developing there. The first one was rather classical. You register, and the Club, the Team handles all aspect of the training program. But for this second project, athletes are cherry picking among various classes and training sessions offered (and managed) by the sports center for Oct-April. And early May, we get the control back, get out and manage the training process entirely.

What all that means, is that though I am the head coach of the Club, I still don't entirely (by choice) manage the aquatic program. I am directly involved in teaching/coaching the Run and Bike portion (as the only coach) which accounts for 4 time slots per week. The Aquatic program is made of 3 time slots per week, 90min each (plus a special class called Perfecting your Freestyle Stroke, which I handle myself).

The Perfecting your Freesyle Stroke is a special class. It's seminar like, new generation coaching. We use multimedia, we do dryland learning, etc... The 3 training sessions are delivered in a traditional format, with the coach who sometimes barks an advice etc, no video, just squad training.

Last year, we ended up with resources problems, so I had to make an extra effort and be in charge of the Aquatic program. It's a popular program. I would end up being alone handling 20-25 persons of various levels (from 2min45/100m to 1:20/100m). My answer to this challenge was to systematically split the group in 2:
1 week I'd work with group A (technique, video, learning, tight follow up) whilst group B would be training applying what they had learned the week before. Vice versa.

This year, to say the least, the resource problem is solved. The head coach of the elite swim team, a man walking with an olympic ring (euhh, I think it's 2) in his fingers, decided that he had time to handle our aquatic program.

So this lady is now part of it. She trains along with 25-30 persons. 2 coaches, that elite guy + an assistant. The assistants are your good old almost teenage currently swimmers with poor communication skills etc. Well, that comes standard with most team so it's fine...

She's anything but your usual web self coached enthusiastic. She comes from a rowing background.

----------

Though I tried, I am short in time. I tried to locate in the TI yellow book a quote from Terry Laughlin mentioning the importance of working on the right gesture, not on the wrong one.

Wrong doesn't become right automatically. And this is one of the biggest trap still today. This is one area where Terry has, for more than a decade now, very very important. And we tend to forget it.

I think this is the problem that we have now, and as I said last year my answer to this was to *make sure* that every single swimmer would receive high level systematic detailed video based feedback.

Traditional world splits the group in 2, and allocate poor resources to those who need more knowledge (the beginners). I would rather get my hand dirty (instead of playing with my stop watch yelling splits for 90 consecutive minutes) and work with lower level swimmers at least once every 2 week.

Now, with all that explained, your let me try to answer your question.

You have coaching and coaching. You have self coaching and self coaching.

If you work with a coach who doesn't mind enough, no video feedback, make no extra effort ensuring that *everything* be done to improve, it's one thing. If you work with new generation coaches with their cameras etc, that's another thing.

Self coaching. If you go the extra mile, ie finding a way of being filmed, then go here and there to get feedback etc, that's one thing. If you don't, then the odd of wasting years are real.

I guess what I'm trying to explain is that even in a squad, there are left overs, self coached athletes who receive very little *meaningful* feedback. So there's a danger of working on bad gesture, weeks in weeks out. And that was the case with this lady.

Disclaimer. I love our program, I love our coach. He's a fantastic coach. He cares spending time with a bunch of very slow swimmers from 8pm to 9h30pm and that, after a full day of work. So to anyone who may have read this post, I am not criticizing the work that's currently being done with our group at this level (Aquatic program). Our clientele is extremely satisfied by these services, and generally speaking, people improve. That coach is developing a distance per stroke tradition, and in spite of my natural affinities with SS who happily goes in the opposite direction. I'm comfy with this tradition, as speed remains function of DPS * Rate. (sorry for the disclaimer, these issues could rapidly become politic if you know what I mean).

One fact remains. A 10sec improvement per 100m within a 60min coaching 1-2-1 session suggests that people could improve even more. I think that the role of the assistant should be re-evaluated. They should walk by the pool with a cam in their hand, all the time, and never ever sit on a starting block yelling things. That was then, this is now.
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  #36  
Old 03-31-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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OK.

During this 60min session, I had 2 goals in mind:
1. Cleaning the pulling pathway so that more water be thrown backward
2. Increasing the rate to see if we could get instant speed improvement (the key word instant is important here)

I had to take her out of the pool, and work on dryland gestures a bit to break a bad pattern that she had been working on. By the time we were working on that, almost 40min had gone already. Takes time to do video feedback. So I certainly didn't have time to finish the job. Must see here asap. I wasn't satisfied with the pulling pathway even at minute 59, but couldn't do more than what was done. Anyway, here's a little 200m which combines the 2 aforementioned elements. She's swimming with a tempo trainer for the first time of her life on that, set at 64spm:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtYl1VCvhvo

So. Far from being perfect. But you can already notice the TI catch shape, ie made of a simple spear. This isn't what I wanted her to do. It was her answer to my requests, and I was cool with it (as it immediately resulted into a much better arm alignment). That stroke was too high for her, natural SR being more in the low 50. But time speaks for itself: 3:30 for 200m.
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  #37  
Old 03-31-2013
rcrawf rcrawf is offline
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Charles, isn't it ironic that the man Marshall McLuhan who stated, "the medium IS the message" was Canadian?
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  #38  
Old 03-31-2013
Ghul Ghul is offline
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Can she do 3.30 without a pullbuoy :) ? Even if not an impressive improvement...
Her stroke pre-training didn't look that bad: occasional large kick and hands in
stop the traffic position were things that came to mind, so interesting what a little good coaching can do.

As a varsity rower she's obviously naturally athletic, so she probably has
greater potential for improvement than some of us!!
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  #39  
Old 03-31-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghul View Post
Can she do 3.30 without a pullbuoy :) ? Even if not an impressive improvement...
Good question. Pull Buoy are an important part of my arsenal as a coach, and in this case as in several other cases, I used it to take the drag resistance caused by the legs away from the equation. It allowed for more cleaner stroke. So I'd assume that trying to achieve the same pace without would have been an unbearable challenge. Would have been a 200m all out effort as opposed to the footage you see with the pull which is really a pace that can be sustained for 800m probably.

As long as the lady keeps pushing water down as she does (and she seems to be throwing a lot of effort at this counter productive behavior), the front of the stroke will fight against the back (leg kick) and she will remain slower full stroke compared to with a pull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghul View Post
As a varsity rower she's obviously naturally athletic, so she probably has
greater potential for improvement than some of us!!
Ahh this is interesting here. And this sort of questioning is what triggered the creation of this thread.
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  #40  
Old 04-01-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Coach Bill and all,

I must give you a full scoop as I've mislead you all. I had just read the last post from Coach Bill about a half hour ago and decided to put the proof to the pudding. I called my wife into the room and told her I wanted her to log the push ups that I could do in 20 min. After the first few I was told to stop as she said I was not locking my elbows; she was right. She actually had to video me to let me see. Prior to today I was busting out the 7-800 by myself as part of my P90 core and ab training three days a week. I would usually start the first set counting about 190-200 and as far as the time in push up, was about 2 / second. That should have been my tip off. I was shocked when I saw the video.
So...I had her reset the timer, gave myself a short 1 min. break and then told her to hit the start and time 20 min worth.
The first set was only 89 and then the last part of the 20 min. I could only rack up a total of 286. Those were full push ups (my wife made sure!)
Amazing the difference that I did not know.
Anyhow...I feel humbled...and also pretty pumped (just downed a bit of protein)!
Anyway, sorry to have steered in the wrong direction. You are spot on about the first 100. The other sets got progressively smaller as you can see.
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