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  #1  
Old 02-01-2010
trinewbie trinewbie is offline
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Question First TI lesson-HELP!!

Help!! I just went into the pool for my first TI lesson. Superman glide-no problem- Superman flutter- no problem- Laser lead flutter- not too bad found that flutter kicking with wtih my arms tucked in and hands on thights made me more aware and was probably flutter kicking better. Then I started working through core balance position a little tough at first but I think I was starting to get the hang of it-then I tried the core balance breathing-and thought I was going to drown!!! Could not figure it out. I will start on lesson one again- until it feels comfortable- but any tips on how to make the core balance breathing easier.

Thanks for any tips you can give!!
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Old 02-01-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by trinewbie View Post
Help!! I just went into the pool for my first TI lesson. Superman glide-no problem- Superman flutter- no problem- Laser lead flutter- not too bad found that flutter kicking with wtih my arms tucked in and hands on thights made me more aware and was probably flutter kicking better. Then I started working through core balance position a little tough at first but I think I was starting to get the hang of it-then I tried the core balance breathing-and thought I was going to drown!!! Could not figure it out. I will start on lesson one again- until it feels comfortable- but any tips on how to make the core balance breathing easier.

Thanks for any tips you can give!!
Do you mean breathing in sweetspot? You can practise the other drills, but you don't exactly need to start over. Turning for a breath is it's own challenge.

Don't wait too long before you go for air so you won't be in a rush. Continue to slowly bubble out air as your roll to breathe. Be patient and wait for you mouth to clear the surface. If there is a problem you could just stop and stand.

It can be difficult. When I had my first lesson, it was hard for me just to submerge and blow bubbles while standing. In addition, being face up underwater is unnerving. So was flipping over for the first or fifth time. You just need to work through it. It will get to the point at which less thought and effort produces the better results.

Note: When I first started flipping, which I don't even do routinely even now, I used a nose clip. (I'm glad I lost it.)
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Old 02-01-2010
oklibrarian oklibrarian is offline
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I'm going to be slightly heretical here and suggest a training snorkel, preferably the finis freestyle as it will do a great job at teaching head position (head too deep, you take in water, you learn fast!). For me at least, as a raw newbie figuring out how to breathe in RJE right out of the gate was just one thing too many. I could flip over for sweetspot, but inevitably I would lose my line and my buoyancy, and start "struggling". I had to do a lot of laps with my body in core balance before I had enough muscle memory to roll to sweet spot and back without losing form. For my first few months I actually did all the drills with a snorkel, and even the couple hundred yards of whole stroke I did to cap off each session. At the first of the year I started weaning off the snorkel, first with the core balance drills, then working up to whole stroke, and as of last week my snorkel is now gathering dust in my closet. I can do advanced breathing in all drills, though I have taken to using fins on a few of the slower drills to give myself enough of a bow wave to breathe with less struggle. I'm working on losing the fins as well as I improve my strength.

That's just one noob's opinion, and I've only been at this about 3 months. there are a lot of very experienced people here who will give you great advice. However, I've learned more in those 3 months than in any of my previous attempts at learning how to swim, so...
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Old 02-01-2010
ames ames is offline
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Ah, the first big challenge... It can be very frustrating. Did you try kicking on your back by starting out on your back (not rolling over)? Do that and get used to having the water at your chin and at the corners of your goggles. Then you could try going from Superman Flutter to stroking with one arm, leave the other arm outstretched and as you stroke, roll to your stroking side and onto your back in one smooth movement. You may find it easier to get your face to the air this way because you'll have a little momentum. But eventually, you WILL have to learn to roll like a log and be upside down underwater at times (like shuumai says this is very unnerving at first) and blow out through your nose so you don't get water up it. You will get water up your nose once in a while as you are learning but it is not the end of the world. Just keep working at it and you will get it. I could barely swim at all 4 months ago and now can roll with total ease, swim on my side or even upside down. It's just a matter of working through it and getting more and more comfortable in the water. Please let us know how it goes.
ames
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Old 02-01-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by oklibrarian View Post
I'm going to be slightly heretical here....
Did you order the STEAK?! WELL done?!

Fins and snorkel, why not? It makes perfect sense to simplify the task of learning a complex skill by eliminating the most difficult part for a beginner: The breathing technique. Other than the cost factor I don't see a problem. In fact, I wouldn't mind having a snorkel to play with. (I'm already keeping my Antipaddle purchase on the down-low. I sold my other paddles to compensate. hehe)

Last edited by shuumai : 02-02-2010 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 02-02-2010
oklibrarian oklibrarian is offline
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As someone who teaches timid newbie freshman how to learn complex tasks in my day job (see username), that's precisely what my thought process was. and as for price...

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/3029.htm

Still not "cheap", depending on one's budget, but I'm a slow study on motor skills, and it was an investment I was willing to make to get over the 'breathe in crawl stroke' hump that eluded me through several childhood summers of red cross swimming lessons. I expect to return to the snorkel now and again as I run into new stroke focuses that need extra attention at first.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2010
shuumai shuumai is offline
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How about the fins?
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2010
trinewbie trinewbie is offline
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Smile thanks for the tips

Thanks for the encouragement!! I might try the snorkel. I just want to make sure I am doing this right. Do I stay at lesson one until I can do [i][b][Everything] in the lesson "perfectly" or do I go on to lesson 2, ect. and just keep working at the beginning stuff as I continue on thru the lessons???
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2010
JoePetto JoePetto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinewbie View Post
Thanks for the encouragement!! I might try the snorkel. I just want to make sure I am doing this right. Do I stay at lesson one until I can do [i][b][Everything] in the lesson "perfectly" or do I go on to lesson 2, ect. and just keep working at the beginning stuff as I continue on thru the lessons???
I was in the exact same place four months ago as TI newbie with tri aspirations. I may have even started in a worse place in that everything was difficult - especially being a very lean sinker without a propulsive kick. However, for me learning to breath in sweet spot proved to be key in practising TI. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was lucky enough to participate in a 2 day clinic this past fall and the coaches definitely helped me with the mechanics. But, the amount of mental and physical effort it took on my part to "get it" was extraordinary (as I had practised by myself to no avail for 7 weeks before the clinic). I came home after the first day of the clinic mentally defeated and the thought of another 5-6 hrs in the pool the next day was daunting. Somehow the next day I got in the pool and it just "clicked" and I had one of those eureka moments you will hear time and time again on these boards, but it only came after some hard work on my part.

For me (and many others), the sweet spot is a place of complete relaxation and it is a position in which you almost feel that you can close your eyes and be centered. It proves to be especially useful for composing yourself when you have breakdown in your drills and you don't want to stop moving. I find that in sweet spot I have time to analyze what just went wrong and ponder what I have to do to correct the mistake.

Like the others, I would recommend getting the sweet spot position nailed down by starting on your back and knowing what it feels like to be in the "spot". I still start my drills by kicking 100M in sweet spot because it gets me into the mental place I need to be in for the rest of my practise. As for turning from skate to sweet spot, it will get easier once you work on your body positioning. Ultimately, when you start your roll you should be relatively close to the plane of the surface. I know the panic of looking up and feeling like there's no way I can make it to the surface before I run out of air.

Good luck and keep the faith. It will get easier.

Last edited by JoePetto : 02-20-2010 at 01:29 PM.
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