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Old 01-19-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499

Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Every coach will say he strives for better balance and streanline and efficiency, so can those be special TI principles?
Actually, based on what I read in "Swim Speed Secrets" by Sheila Taormina ,I don't see that she says this at all. She barely makes any reference to this at all, seeming to assume that it's trivially easy and that all the swimmer has to do is pay attention to horizontal positioning to have got this down pat. (She barely gets more specific than to acknowledge that vertical is bad; and she says that it is easy to get great position -- she makes reference to the floaters at the beach with great position and with an obvious perjorative association to no speed at all, i.e. meaning TI!!) -- So in her view, striving for "better balance" is unnecessary and counterproductive.
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
I dont see so much conflict between Taormina and TI in the basic view on good swimming.
She only is more focused on raw speed. She also promotes long effective connectied strokes.
I disagree. Maybe she does agree that good swimming requires good balance, good streamlining and good power. But she barely makes any further reference to the first two factors after a preliminary statement. She makes a big deal about how TI's emphasis on balance and streamlining is largely wasted effort which in her mind should be better directed in catch shaping and developing more powerful propulsion. This makes for a fundamental conflict, in my view.

Now I think she makes some very good points about stroke mechanics (from my limited view as a student trying to get as many points of view as possible to see what sense I can make of "the truth" about propulsion) which seem to be easily translated into specific action and accurate positioning. This aspect of swimming has much less description in the specific TI literature. And I think she has a point about people whose stated intent is to get faster, if after a long period of plateauing despite trying their best to put their training effort into improvement -- if more TI isn't working to increase speed after years of trying in vain, then one should re-group and consider adding something else to the mix. This makes sense. But I think she is totally off base in how she trivialises the effort and focus required to get rid of bad habits that sabotage balance and streamlining.

It trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, I might wonder if when one focuses on propulsion as she exhorts her proteges to do, the swimmer then pays a lot of attention to feedback, that is, how much speed is happening with each incremental change in technique; although the stated aim is to refine propulsion technique, this attention to speed will reveal inaccuracies in balance and streamlining which result in less speed, and so these balance and streamlining inexactitudes will sort themselves out in the process, especially with the help of an observant coach who may not necessarily identify as a TI proponent, but nevertheless gets the job done. But I think I'm being generous here, and there are a lot of "ifs" that I may not have a lot of justification for.
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