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  #51  
Old 01-19-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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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.
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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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  #52  
Old 01-19-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
As a coach today and someone who has first experienced TI as a student back in 2003 and seeing what TI is now, i can safely say that TI has undergone a massive positive evolution during those times. Unfortunately, many today still have perceptions on the way TI was years ago and it's changed a lot. Admittedly we have not done a great job at changing our teaching materials during that time like the books and DVDs. That is also changing soon.

Your second statement makes me say that in any method/system/discipline you really have to experience it to have good, accurate perceptions and opinions about it, and you need to also have the right teacher or implementer of the system on you. There are too many people out there who have never taken a workshop or private lesson with today's coaches who are ready to give their opinion about things. This is true for a lot of other things (ie. tae kwon do sucks, yoga sucks, crossfit sucks) but yet these people have never immersed themselves in these systems with the right teacher for long enough to know what "sucks" means. And I have to say that as with these systems and also in TI, you will meet teachers/coaches who are good and those who are not. And some of those will be good but just not right for you and the way you learn.
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I also got the impression that TI is changing the last years and that a lot of people seem to have another view of TI than their own coaches have at this moment.
Its a strenght to be able to adjust ones opinion along the way, but it does make it confusing to see where TI stands for,
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  #53  
Old 01-19-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
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.

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.
.
After reading some more advertising, I guess you are right. She has a more hardcore underwater pull is all important opinion than I thought:

The thread is going rather offtopic, but I guess its my own fault ;-)

Many swimmers and triathletes neglect the underwater pull, distracted by stroke count or perfecting less critical details like body position, streamlining, and roll. Swim Speed Secrets focuses on producing power—the most crucial element of swimming—to help triathletes and swimmers overhaul their swim stroke and find the speed that’s been eluding them.

She is hitting rather hard on TI. I can see what she means, but at the same time I have a hard time imagining her teaching somebody without streamline and balance to pull right.
This effort seems mostly wasted if this foundation isnt available.
I agree thats not the best idea to attach a solid pull to a sinking noodle. Putting the cart before the horses.
But dont forget she has more than 12000swim hours under her bellt, and judged from her writing, a lot of these hours where focused hours. Not just garbage miles.. Endless hours focused on optimizing her swimming efficiency.
For me, most of what she writes about her swimming just clicks. I simply get more Yeah,, well said girl, than I get from reading TI swim descriptions.
TI has its focal points, Sheila has her obsession. Both have some to offer to swimmers. Take whatever helps your swimming at the moment.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 01-19-2015 at 09:21 PM.
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  #54  
Old 01-19-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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As CoachDavidShen says, I have never taken a TI workshop or worked personally with a coach, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about TI and getting advice on this forum. This whole discussion about what is better, TI or something else, seems to miss the point a little. We are not contemplating (at least I am not) converting to a religion; we're only trying to improve our swimming.

Many years ago, I think TI was aimed to a great extent at adults with no swimming background who wanted to pick up the skill. The methodology was developed with that in mind (I think). More recently the emphasis seems to have shifted more toward competitive swimmers, which means that the methodology and teaching have changed as well. That's all fine. I am an adherent to the smorgasbord approach to learning this stuff. I try out everything a little and dive deeper into anything that seems to hold the promise of improvement.

A while ago ZT said that, given the choice between swimming like Shelly or Shinji, he would choose Shelly. That's fine. I personally would choose Shinji. That doesn't mean either of us is right or wrong. The choice of what is best will ultimately depend on you. When you start talking about this choice as if it is universal, then you have made a profound mistake.
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  #55  
Old 01-20-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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[quote=Zenturtle;50510]

Many swimmers and triathletes neglect the underwater pull, distracted by stroke count or perfecting less critical details like body position, streamlining, and roll. Swim Speed Secrets focuses on producing power—the most crucial element of swimming—to help triathletes and swimmers overhaul their swim stroke and find the speed that’s been eluding them.
/QUOTE]
(My emphasis)
In the book she actually addresses and criticises what she views as the critical flaw in TI instruction -- supposedly the persistent emphasis on longer strokes in spite of slower (racing) pace when combined with a supposedly obligatory slower tempo. She makes a big deal of how supposedly proponents and students of the TI method don't realise that this combination of longer stroke and very slow tempo result in a slower pace and thus don't understand why they are going so slowly, or perhaps, as she suggests, don't even realise in the first place that they are going slowly.

Any more than superficial browsing of this forum will quickly demonstrate that the many experienced contributors to this TI forum advising the beginners who request help have a huge depth of experience and sophistication way beyond understanding the simple math of speed = stroke length x stroke rate, and that this initial emphasis on a smooth long stroke is only the preliminary step to getting familiar with your stroke mechanics in the context of good balance and streamlining before playing around with different stroke rates while observing the effect on stroke length and stroke mechanics, balance etc.

It's a shame because the book has its strong points, and it is unfortunate that these are diminished by misunderstandings, whether deliberate or not, about TI methodology and practice, which readers actually familiar with TI then have to ignore. OK, that's all I'm going to complain about.

Last edited by sclim : 01-20-2015 at 07:08 PM.
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  #56  
Old 01-21-2015
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Hey Charles, about the standing on one leg on books and pull the arm dryland experiment and the power of the pull with a pull buoy or with a kick.

Just reading some bullshit Sheila Taormina stuff

Where does kicking fit in?

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is true for swimming; a swimmer who doesn’t kick won’t pull as strongly under water because they aren’t anchoring their pull. A leg kicking against the water provides the leverage and stability that the core, shoulders, and arms need to pull more effectively.


I knew I was on the right track ;-)

I agrree with a lot of TI principles, but nothing rings as many regognition bells as reading Sheilas stuff.
Dont take this as critisism,
Visist a random pool and take a look at the freestyle swimmers. I guess at least 75% of them are doing themselfes a favor by taking a TI course.
I'm glad you find some answers in her works. Without being able to quantify the forces in presence, I will remain shy of pretending knowing / understanding all that's to be understood about this topic. No offense taken, no worries there.
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