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Old 09-11-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 671
Default Random Thoughts and Questions

After a whole month of not swimming due to some sort of bug, I was afraid of what to expect when I started to swim again. What a surprise. My ability to do only 1 length at a time due to breathlessness, disappeared. I guess the 30 something days of not swimming erased the bad habit or fear of not being able to swim multiple distances. Hurrah!

Questions now: I purchased a swim snorkel to help with certain drills so I didn't need to worry about breathing. Was surprised to find that spl went up while using the snorkel. Is this the norm?

Reviewed the posts in my previous video in June and am trying to incorporate the suggestions made in that thread. (How am I Doing?) Coach Stuart said that I needed get the kick timing and connecting the whole body was a priority. Need more direction on exactly how to do that. I have read the threads about experimenting with spearing depth for optimum rotation. Is that a good place to start? If not, please advise.

Question 2. Since I can now do 4 lengths or more, my time for them is very slow. 2 minutes and 20 seconds as my best and the worse was 2 min. 40 seconds. If Charles assumption about the 2 minute + time for 4 lengths is due to lack of technique, then I guess I have to go back to Coach Stuart's assessment. Any thoughts?

Question 3. The tempo trainer. Have started using it with the goal of being able to swim 2 lengths or more at tempos between 1:20 and 1:40. Trying to get some consistency and sustainability with the TT. Hate to ask, but is this something I should put on the back burner (again) or just do it!

Question 4 It seems that the 2 bk is important to rotation. But so is core control and spearing depth and catch and timing and etal. How does one work all that in?

Question 5 Coach Stuart also said that I have a hand led recovery, not elbow. Does shoulder mobility have something to do with that? If not I guess that might be correctable.

Really need some direction here and would appreciate any and all suggestions or comments. It seems that Terry's new release and book is being suggested by several coaches--would that help?

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Old 09-11-2015
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384

Hi Sherry,
The snorkel does add some drag so it is reasonable that your counts will go up. Make sure that you are not also lifting your head or otherwise changing your technique when using the snorkel.

Where to start on connecting the body and kick timing...
I like to start with making your body half-an-inch taller. When you stand up and make yourself half-an-inch taller, you will notice your core tighten just a little. In that toned state, if you move your hips, your shoulders have to move at the same time. The same holds for the lead arm. If you extend your lead arm an extra half inch, you will feel a little tension in your shoulder that ties your arm to your body. If you play with these ideas in front of a large mirror at home you will see if your body is curved at all or nicely straight.

I agree that most plateaus are due to technique errors. So, always work on the technique focus that will allow to improve stroke count or tempo.

Tempo trainer...depends on how much focus is required to stay on beat. If you have to really concentrate just to keep on beat, then put it aside. For some people, the TT helps them focus. for others it distracts from the technique focus. That is up to how you focus best.

How to work it all in?
1. Once a week, play with different focal points. You will find that some focal points will put many together for you. For example, your core being strong and straight will force your hand to spear lower if your shoulders are stiff. And which focal points work best is quite individual. so play.
2. As a general rule, work from the core outward to the limbs. So get your balance and core stability settled, then add legs, and finally arms. I do a lot of rotational kicking, both 2bk and 6bk. Use a snorkel for free or do it on your back. My other rule is to work on 2-3 focal points each season. After a few months, your improvement in those 2-3 will be locked in and will only need to be reviewed once a week for the next season. So I have learning focal points and review focal points going at all times. I use the review focal points on my longer sets and learning focal points on my short swims.
3. Hand lead is not very dependent on shoulder flexibility if done properly. Practice Zen-switch with the whole arm under water and you will see that you can elbow lead comfortably until the elbow is past your head. Shoulder flexibility is only a problem if you try to lift your elbow above and behind the shoulder while recovering.
4. The new book is quite good. It can't hurt.

I hope this helps.
Eric De Santo
Total Immersion Coach
Highpoint Sports and Wellness
Albuquerque, NM 87111
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