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  #1  
Old 01-03-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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WFEGb
Default What's your most difficult drill?

Hello and happy new year to all of you!

Think years' change is time for many of us looking back and reorganizing their swimming times.

I'd like to read: What has been your most difficult drill last year? ... And how did you master it or how do plan your mastering, or did you drop the drill.

Just to start by myself: Mine is more a FP than a real drill. I always tend turning my head with my shoulders a little. If I don't focus in a stable head especially after breathing it turns/nodds too wide over desirable middle position. (Well, I'm (nearly!) sure my laser beam will not be disturbed more than usual (yes it is too much...), but I don't realize the feeling that head could be an anchor for rotation...) This year I'll further on try to combine the stable head with other skills. Sounds easy? Not for me!

Best regards,
Werner
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2014
Noonie Noonie is offline
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Not allowing my spearing arm to remain patient, particularly during a breath. I practice the drill where I bring my recovery arm forward to my goggles and hold it there...it helps, but I need to work on it more.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2014
Ron Bear Ron Bear is offline
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I recently got a drill from Coach Suzanne that I think is really going to up my game. It is the arms-only drill that most people do with a float between their thighs. The Coach Suzanne twist is to leave out the float and keep your feet up with balance. The kind of minor point about the drill is that since your legs aren’t moving, you can feel if they get out of the slipstream. The major point (for me at least) is that since I am missing the propulsion from my feet, I am making up for it with hip drive. Hip drive has been somewhat elusive for me all year, but now I have a drill that can focus on it. When I do it correctly it feels like my hips have paddles on them. So far I haven’t done a perfect 50 meters of the drill yet. My stupid feet are just dying to kick. I have been able to feel that paddles on hips feeling during whole stroke for maybe 4 or 5 strokes in a row. So I will first master the drill, and then drag what the drill is teaching me into my stroke. The only bummer is that they just closed our pool for the season so I probably won’t swim again until March.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2014
drmike drmike is offline
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Default Hip Fins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Bear View Post
Hip drive has been somewhat elusive for me all year, but now I have a drill that can focus on it. When I do it correctly it feels like my hips have paddles on them.
I get your point, but were you to actually don hip paddles the feeling would be one of extra resistance rather than extra power. Dolphins seem to 'enjoy' using their paddles, but they have an excuse.

Try wearing a pair of hip blades (Finis Hydro Hip) for a lap or three, take them off, and swim another lap or three. Dave Cameron had me do that, and the effect was remarkable. I don't know about strengthening core muscles and all that jazz, but I do know that after removing the blades the mind is focused unavoidably and ACUTELY on weight shift / hip thrust.

If only my swimming had improved permanently as a result ... apparently that takes more than pool toys.

Mike McCloskey
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Default Swing Switch

Hardest drill for me was and is the swing switch drill where only the crook of the elbow is above water. When rehearsing this drill in shallow water by only drawing circles, its a piece of cake. But once I am in the water, it seems like I am pushing a barge (too much weight in the glutes?). Balance seems to be much harder and also forward propulsion. Once I get to the wrist and then the finger tips, life is much easier. Using a snorkel, at least at first, seems to make the drill a little easier.

Sherry
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Thanks for your answers!

How to find the root causes? Did you?

Start with me again (please excuse the impolitement, but it's easier to be critical to myself): I'm not sure if my head turning too far is a balance problem or is it a problem of changing tension and relaxation in my neck? What makes it so difficult to take the wage for an anchored head?

@Noonie
Quote:
...Not allowing my spearing arm to remain patient...
Where would you see the cause? Impatience? (Think not really...) Head alignment when breathing? Balance?

@Ron
Quote:
...It is the arms-only drill ...
I try it every pool session for some laps to learn getting the legs in streamline. It's curious mostly I loose 1-2SPL but with more effort... First times I had to focus not to get into a little dophin kick from hips. Looking back it is/was a balance-when-breathing problem. (In the forum of other swimschool is a guy, Cottmiler, who swam months and months with an ankle band...)

@Mike
Sorry, I don't understand what's the hip fins' positive effect is. Seems to me just more drag for rotation...

@Sherry
When the forearm is in water this is much additional drag that effects propulsion. (Will not be a new Statement for you...) So when I try this drill I interpret it for remembering an elbow led recovery with marionette arm. May be it's a mistake, but I never tried to force my lower arm vertical to surface in this drill... At which point appears your balance problem? Positure should be more stable when upper arm is swinging outside. When I try without interruption it's necessary to get the inbreath very early (a thing I miss too often). Becoming much easier when lifting the arm up to wrist and fingertips is certainly intended (from my point of view), so you'll be right there.

(Your original postcard did arrive. Thank you!)

Best regards,
Werner
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Thanks for your answers!
(In the forum of other swimschool is a guy... who swam months and months with an ankle band...)
I remember reading about how many 100k meters he did with an ankle band. Sure seems like he could have shortened his learnign curve. yes it's a good drill, but if you can do it without the band, even better as you learn what muscles to turn on and turn off to keep the legs in streamline. Better transition directly to the swim. I don't disagree it's harder for some, but I think the band reduces feedback in some ways, while forcing the issue in other ways.

My opinion is once you feel waht the band is doing, take it away and use internal hip adductors to keeep the legs there at all costs...make the adjustments needed elsewhere without external restriction where abductors can still activate and most likely are.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
(In the forum of other swimschool is a guy, Cottmiler, who swam months and months with an ankle band...)
8 Months I believe, without removing it. His version of mindful swimming. I followed his works with great interest. To me the interesting thing isn't the drill he picked, as much as the total denial of the "little bit of this, little bit of that" sort of approach. Given his age and everything (62 at the time he did the experiment), given his goals etc, I believe that he picked an excellent path to fast progress.

I mention mindful without any form of sarcasm. One example. At some point, after at least 4 months, his "pilgrimage" took him to a unmatched level of introspection. He started being aware that his lowerbody was fishtailing left and right. 62, late starter. These things aren't easy to "feel". Well he fixed it by better engaging his hips to the rotation. To test this actually really happened, I introduced him to my Isolated Rotation drill, really hard to do if you don't rotate perfectly from the hips. He managed it easily, and felt it was natural and easy to do. Must have been one of the rare occasions where he traded his band for a pull.

My swimschool (to reuse your term) tend to go quite far in regard to recommending exaggerating the volume of the "right things", as long as it's well ordered (priority wise). Drills just work better when you "abuse" them. I believe in life changing workouts. These though, rarely occurs as a consequence of doing 100m of each drill + 300m of full stroke.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 01-05-2014 at 02:01 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2014
drmike drmike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
@Mike
Sorry, I don't understand what's the hip fins' positive effect is. Seems to me just more drag for rotation...
Werner
Werner

For me, the point is an enhanced kinesthetic perception—AFTER REMOVING the hip blades. Because this effect occurs after just a couple laps of swimming with blades on, increases in muscle strength caused by working against the blade resistance are not necessary. I am not sure the exact mechanism, but it is a freaking amazing experience.

Perhaps you can feel every hip nudge, at just the right moment, in which case you might find the blades of little or no value. But people differ in how acutely attuned they are to body position and motion, with obvious impact on learning curves. I have had far more trouble with precisely-timed hip rotation than with FQS, balance or streamline. Just a few laps with hip blades showed that it is in fact possible despite +/- constant low-grade spasm. That’s motivational if nothing else.

Finis’ promo video --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVQM1t--GEg. Their model swimmer doesn’t do justice to the device, and their discussion seems hyperbolic, but I think the tool is for real.

In a usual set of 75 ON – 75 OFF, the blades would increase my 25 y stroke count by 1 or 2 strokes. The task was to lose these strokes with the blades ON, which I usually could do after several repeats. And after taking the blades OFF I’d knocked a stroke off my normal range. So don’t ask and I won’t tell: If they’re so wonderful why do you rarely use them anymore?

Mike
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Thanks for your answers!




@Sherry
When the forearm is in water this is much additional drag that effects propulsion. (Will not be a new Statement for you...) So when I try this drill I interpret it for remembering an elbow led recovery with marionette arm. May be it's a mistake, but I never tried to force my lower arm vertical to surface in this drill... At which point appears your balance problem? Positure should be more stable when upper arm is swinging outside. When I try without interruption it's necessary to get the inbreath very early (a thing I miss too often). Becoming much easier when lifting the arm up to wrist and fingertips is certainly intended (from my point of view), so you'll be right there.

(Your original postcard did arrive. Thank you!)

Best regards,
Werner
When I first started this drill, I used a snorkel. Once I stopped using it, that is when I noticed the balance problem--so I guess it is the old nemesis of incorrect breathing. Also, because I noticed this sinking, I tried to push the arm forward--just to get done with it! Not very mindful practice! I need to learn patience. I think one of the problems with this drill is that it needs to be done slowly, but not so slow as to impede forward motion. I should mention that Coach Suzanne posted somewhere a video where one of her students was doing a drill where one arm was in skate postion and the other in the pocket. He then proceeded to bring the arm out to the forehead and then sweep back to the pocket position. sort of a prelim to the swing skate drill. I tried this and it was fairly easy. I could also feel the water not only on the front of my arm, but behind it also. Need to do more of this.
And as for the postcard--you are welcome

Sherry
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