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  #1  
Old 06-11-2009
naj naj is offline
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naj
Default The TI non-Believers...They're everwhere!

Hello Everyone.

While I was out doing my usual 6:30am swim in the Bay I decided to circumnavigate the cove that I swim in. Per usual I decided to concentrate on good form not speed - as I have no desire to race anyone. I made the swim in about 42 minutes. I believe it's a little over a mile but I never bothered to ask.

While back at the club a man I normally see about three or so times a week came up to me and said, "Man you need to get your stroke fixed!" I looked up at his beaming face and thought, "Here we go again!"

He repeated his comment, "You need to work on your stroke." And then he told me it looked like I was clawing the water and not extending fully.

I asked if he had ever heard of total immersion swimming and to my shock and horror he said, "No."

I explained that I have a short recovery to get more drive from my core body rotation and then fully extend while my arm is under the water. A buddy of his who also saw me swim interrupted and said, "You need to extend that hand on top of the water get the full reach from your long arms."

Then he made a motion of how my relaxed forearm, fingers slightly apart upon entry and reach just at my elbow on the opposite anchored arm was incorrect and slowing me down, (never mind the fact that I'm one of the only ones that swims into the current on many days and still make better progress than others due to TI but that's not important for now hehe)

When I said that the least resistance to the water was just below the surface he made a face and shook his head, "No its on top!"

Keep in mind these two swim with fins on every morning. It would be fun to see what happened if the fins came off

Rather than prolong the conversation I told the guys thanks for the advice but I was happy with the way things were going with my stroke. True there are things that need improving but extending with a stiff arm and tension all over is not one of them.

At one point another guy chimed in that elite swimmers swim the way his buddy said I should. I never had the heart to tell them that a lot of the elite swimmers use quite a few TI components, but that's another story.

Keep Swimming!
Naji
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Hehe, that's funny.

I'm just happy that I haven't gotten any more offers for private swim lessons. hehe Though, I still think of the advice given to me by one of the people who offered. (Good or bad, I take everything into consideration to the point that it almost haunts my thoughts.)
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Old 06-11-2009
edlevin edlevin is offline
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This raises a larger point - why is most swimming instruction so bad? You can argue about recovery styles. But why is it that the average instructor (at least, the ones I've seen at local pools over the years) doesn't teach the basics: balance, relaxation, rotation? I find this really puzzling.
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Old 06-11-2009
greg26 greg26 is offline
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why is most swimming instruction so bad?

I totally aggree , I started to swim a year ago in the master group of my region and the main focus is endurance... no matter how bad you swim.. I don't get it.. most of the swimmer there have a poor style and yet they are never corrected...

G.
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Old 06-11-2009
naj naj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg26 View Post
why is most swimming instruction so bad?

I totally aggree , I started to swim a year ago in the master group of my region and the main focus is endurance... no matter how bad you swim.. I don't get it.. most of the swimmer there have a poor style and yet they are never corrected...

G.
I suppose they feel the longer you can go the better you are. The, "No pain no gain" principle. Me, I enjoy going for a long time but with a nice relaxed style that I find TI brings me.
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Old 06-11-2009
pmuni pmuni is offline
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I swim with a Masters group under the instruction of a person who has coached several elite swimmers, including a Brazilian olympic medalist.

When I mentioned to him that I was focusing on core rotation to generate hip power which would be channeled to my spearing arm, he looked at me as if I was on some kind of drug. He told me to forget all that and focus on pulling harder, extending my stroke and improving my aerobic condition. He points at other in our group that are clearly faster than me with their diverse styles, none of which include the TI concepts.

How can I win an argument against someone like that? Clearly the empirical facts are on his side and I have to learn to live with that. I am not giving up, but hope that some day my TI work will allow me to improve my times significantly and prove me right.
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Old 06-11-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmuni View Post
He points at other in our group that are clearly faster than me with their diverse styles, none of which include the TI concepts.

Clearly the empirical facts are on his side and I have to learn to live with that.
Are the "facts" in fact on his side? What do the "diverse" styles consist of? Are the people using body rotation, extending the body line, moving one arm to the rear, recovering above the water, and breathing to the side? Perhaps the difference between them is in the smaller details and what they're thinking and feeling as they swim. Clearly the coach just thinks in a different way.

Try approaching a random person and start talking about mindfulness or meditation. See what kind of reaction you get. More than likely, it will be something like you experienced with the coach. That doesn't mean that mindfulness or meditation lacks value, but it might mean that the person thinks ADHD is ideal or more normal.
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Old 06-12-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
...Keep in mind these two swim with fins on every morning. It would be fun to see what happened if the fins came off : )...
Ah yes, the famous fin addicts.
I occasionally find myself sharing a lane with a fellow who'll put a pull buoy between his knees and then continue to kick. So of course he gets into the habit of kicking from the knee even when the pull buoy isn't there. One time I asked him if he'd ever heard of T.I. and I was surprised when he said he'd taken a T.I. course. There isn't anything remotely T.I.-like about his swimming, so I can only guess that the mindful part somehow escaped him. Some people just want to be handed a workout and go through the motions and hope that it helps somehow.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2009
BobL BobL is offline
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Some swimmers might not of heard of TI but might have heard of front quadrant swimming (FQS). Which I would consider a generic term and TI is a method of FQS and uses the same basic principles.

The comment about there being less resistance with the hands moving above the water than below the water is correct from a physics stand point. Air is less resistive than water and it just makes sense to move in the air when applicable. Just like running on land would be faster than running in 3 feet of water.

However, with swimming it is not beneficial because when you extend your arms above the water the first part of your stroke will be pushing water downward and does not contribute to forward motion. Second pushing down will cause the upper part of your body to raise up, lowering the hips and legs. This takes you out of a streamlined position and would cause more water resisitance reducing your efficiency and speed.

With TI the spearing motion below the water towards the "mail slot" eliminates the downward part of the stroke you would have by extending too far above the water. It also helps keep you balanced in a streamlined position. The FQS part of it helps keep your 'length of vessel' to maximize efficiency and speed.

Unfortunately, I do think TI or FQS is different than what is routinely taught in the US and to most your technique is wrong compared to what they learned. I think Naj handled the situation well by trying to explain but when they weren't open to your techniques thank them for their advice and move on. And that is probably all we can do.

Bob
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2009
andreasl33 andreasl33 is offline
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Quote:
However, with swimming it is not beneficial because when you extend your arms above the water the first part of your stroke will be pushing water downward and does not contribute to forward motion.
Really? Of course, if you stand still in the water, and you push your extended arm down, you are pushing water down.
But suppose you are not standing still, but moving forward in water: If you just lay your arm onto the surface in a relaxed manner and then tilt your hand downwards into the water, the streaming water will push your hand and your arm downwards and not vice versa. Of course, the flip side of this is, it causes drag. But there is a fine line between pushing the arm down and letting the water push it down (weightless arm), where neither it does create drag, nor you push down water. This fine line may be hard to consistently find in practice, so my explanation may be irrelevant for the purpose of swimming, but from a physics point of view, pushing down water is not a necessary consequence of an entry point far in front.
TI aims for a mail slot entry. So first, you pierce a hole into the surface with your fingertips. Then you slide your whole arm through that hole. Suppose, your elbow enters the water 0.1 seconds after your finger tips. Further suppose, your body is moving forward through the water at a speed of 1.5 m/s. It then follows, that the entry point of your fingertips should be 15 cm in front of your elbow, in order for both to go through the same hole.

I may be wrong, but I do not necessarily think that a handy entry fairly far in front is in contradiction to TI principles, if one understands TI as a philosophy to avoid as much drag as possible.

Last edited by andreasl33 : 06-12-2009 at 10:31 AM.
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