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  #31  
Old 11-16-2010
Janos Janos is offline
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Is there a correct 'feeling' or an all encompassing metaphor that will unlock the door to a TI nirvana?
I think a lot of what we feel and then try to express on here about sensation is subjective. So my reply to your question Aerogramma is, if it feels good...it probably is good! so test it out with a timed stroke count, and compare it to previous efforts.
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  #32  
Old 11-16-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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TI nirvana? Individual, subjective and elusive, we all seek that ah ha moment as fleeting as it may be. I for one have learned to enjoy the journey making the TI philosophy a pleasant experience. Not too long ago Terry presented a series of stages for learning. I had never seen them in such a manner. My nirvana moments are often when I am able to recognize a conscious/incompetent moment or better yet a conscious/competent stroke. Case in point being about three days ago I was practicing streamline and a relaxed catch. All of a sudden it dawned on me that the previous six or seven strokes were effortless and I was actually gliding as one with the water. Unable to recapture but it was a wow what did I just do that worked so well. Actually there must have even been a unconscious/competent moment in there. All part of the journey and I look forward to the next time with a longer duration.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #33  
Old 11-17-2010
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
TI nirvana? Individual, subjective and elusive, we all seek that ah ha moment as fleeting as it may be.

Case in point being about three days ago I was practicing streamline and a relaxed catch. All of a sudden it dawned on me that the previous six or seven strokes were effortless and I was actually gliding as one with the water. Unable to recapture but it was a wow what did I just do that worked so well
What Westy describes is a Flow State experience. I had only one such experience during a swim in my first 40 years on earth. After I began practicing TI those moments became more frequent. Since age 55, it's rare I don't experience flow while practicing. Here are notes from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book on Flow detailing the circumstances that produce it:

1. Engaged in a meaningful and intrinsically rewarding activity
2. Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention.
3. Action and awareness become one.
4. Direct and immediate feedback, so intention or action can be adjusted as needed.
5. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
6. A sense of personal control.
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  #34  
Old 11-18-2010
Janos Janos is offline
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Do you agree that there is a difference between being 'totally immersed' in a task, and being in a 'flow state'?
Does Flow mean mastery, however fleeting?
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  #35  
Old 11-18-2010
terry terry is offline
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Being totally immersed in a task is one of the essential conditions of creating Flow. It's not a guarantee of experiencing flow, but "No Total Immersion, no Flow."
Which is kinda cool considering I picked the name Total Immersion about 10 years before I'd ever heard of Flow or Csikszentmihalyi, never realizing the powerful resonance between the name of the method and one of its most distinctive benefits until many years later.

Similarly, a requirement of Deep or Deliberate practice -- the specific kind of practice recognized as a prerequisite to Mastery or Excellence by those who have studied and written on them -- is intense, highly targeted and unblinking focus. Focus (total immersion) produces Flow, and leads to Mastery.

One more connection: Neuroscientists have described the sort of activities that create the best conditions for neurogenesis, synaptic strength and neural plasticity (the adaptations that improve brain function) are those in which the brain is focused on a well-defined and highly exacting task.

It's exciting to connect the dots between task design, focus, flow, mastery and brain function. It's why we believe Practice is always superior to Workouts.
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  #36  
Old 11-19-2010
Janos Janos is offline
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I agree. No TI..no Flow. Can a true state of Flow ever be achieved whilst thrashing the water with your hands and kicking like a demon? It seems TI and Flow were destined to merge.
In my pre TI swimming days, a Flow state was as elusive as anti-matter. Is this because of the TI method of hip drive against a patient catch? I feel that it is.
The more I forget about any sort of pulling with my catch arm ,and the more I focus on rotating past the catch hand, the more fluid my stroke becomes, and the more I am aware of any sort of drag. Swimming now is almost like a series of hip drives that keeps me in a downhill swimming position, with a constant focus on what is causing any drag, and how to eliminate it.
I have completed a virtuous circle, in that, when practising, I could never get to grips with underswitch, or understand its true meaning, in relation to wholestroke. Now I get it! I can watch my catch hand, and make sure it is exactly how I want it, and the hip drive, pushes my hand forward, as a separate 'thought' to the recovery action, but the real revelation is the drag factor of the 'recovery'. I was always a bit sloppy with bringing the spear arm forward, unaware of the drag this was creating. When you sneak it forward, close to your chest, and then extend, it suddenly became clear, that this was hindering the smoothness of my forward progress. ( I was using underswitch to practice 6b kicking). It is almost as if 'underswitch' is the 'fire' position in wholestroke, and seeing the recovery phase as separate, allows one to spend hours in the pool doing the underswitch drill and gaining insight on almost every lap. This has been a recent discovery for me, and allowed me to enjoy quite a few laps in the Flow zone when doing wholestroke. I only wish I had noticed it a few months ago!
Does Flow occur with the TI method because, as we already know, pulling is exhausting, and your hand is searching for any sort of grip as you yank it back, or because waiting with your catch hand, and then driving with your hip creates a more subtle and usable pressure, allowing (with a fair bit of practise) much easier propulsion?
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  #37  
Old 11-20-2010
terry terry is offline
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I think the main reason TI Practice leads to Flow States is illustrated in your post. TI encourages 'examined' swimming. Rather than follow the black line, you stay acutely present with, and curious about, your stroke. That's the real 'immersion." And a state of immersion is known to produce Flow.
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