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  #81  
Old 01-30-2011
FrankJ FrankJ is offline
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I personally don't find this thread unnecessarily academic. The points you made were clear and concise. It is interesting to try and understand why some alternatives in the stroke might work better than others. Apart from the practical considerations related to improving, this is because one of the things that initially attracted me to TI as opposed to other swimming philosophies, was the theoretical discussion on streamline, propulsion etc that suggested a certain depth of analysis. No need to draw a line now, for what I am concerned.

My point above was not so much about minimizing drag and being in the most hydrodynamic position, which I think we all agree with, rather that coincidently with the propulsive phase of the stroke (pushing water backwards), a shift occurs from a relatively high drag to a high streamlined position. As the force providing acceleration is still there, this would result in a illusory feeling of added propulsion at the same time that weight shift and extension occur. Thus, while the force is provided by the arm pushing water, propulsion might be mistakenly interpreted as originating from the other elements.

As to whether entering the water steeply is better, I can't tell. Will mull over it, but you explanation sounds plausible. For me one issue, which I understand is separate from this discussion, it that a steep entry it feels easier on the shoulders. At present, I wouldn't swear that it must make so much difference toward propulsion.
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  #82  
Old 01-30-2011
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Lawerence,
Now I am as much trying to understand the physics you are describing as pass on my ideas. I agree with Terry completely that physical reality and sensation do not have to match. But I get into debates like this for the fun of adding details. I do have rebuttals to a few points from your last post.

1. I don't think you can argue that a wind up motion does not add to jumping ability. I have seen studies that show that a wind up improves jumping ability. And in the event where an athlete will not have time for a full wind up, shooting the arms straight over head does improve jump height to some degree. I did not say that this was free propulsion. I agree that the force for this comes from the down press (or in swimming the push back). I also think that the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder can redirect that force with very little muscular force being added. The force needed to redirect comes from elastic recoil of the ligaments.

In workshops, we very regularly see swimmers struggling with the motion of the spear. When they use muscle to pull their arm forward and to spear, they don't get the boost from the spear. When they allow the effort of the pull to carry the arm around to the front, they get the boost.

How about this analogy. If you roll a bowling ball with a string attached and tied to you, you are indeed creating all the momentum in that bowling ball. But when the string is at full length, you still feel it pull you because it is moving faster than you are. I know this happens (I had a weird childhood and we did things like this) and I believe the spear can do the same thing. I'll let you explain the physics of it, because that is working in details that are beyond me.

2. In the recovery, the arm never drops vertically. It may drop vertically in relation to the body, but since the body is moving forward the arm is dropping at a forward angle. You would have to use force to push the arm down faster than you are moving forward in a way that causes force backward. This is what the straight arm and meat hook sprint free stylers do. But they can only maintain this for a short time.

3. I don't believe that a silent entry can, practically at least, happen at any angle. I always describe the entry angle as the angle at which your forward speed exactly correlates to the downward speed of the arm so that your entire arm enters through one hole in the water. The angle flattens as you speed up because you are moving forward faster but the drop speed changes very little. To get a silent entry with the arm near full extension would require purposefully slowing down the drop of the arm (holding it up) so that the hole still flows up the arm in perfect timing. That effort would erase any value of the spear.
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  #83  
Old 01-30-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
...
3. I don't believe that a silent entry can, practically at least, happen at any angle. I always describe the entry angle as the angle at which your forward speed exactly correlates to the downward speed of the arm so that your entire arm enters through one hole in the water. The angle flattens as you speed up because you are moving forward faster but the drop speed changes very little. To get a silent entry with the arm near full extension would require purposefully slowing down the drop of the arm (holding it up) so that the hole still flows up the arm in perfect timing. That effort would erase any value of the spear.
Wonderful. Yes, I think the forward speed and the downward speed have to correlate, to get the best possible mail slot entry, that is very well put.
And when I swim faster I think, or better it feels as if I am flattening the spearing a little, and I was not sure if this is commonly done.

Besides, I kind of agree with what Lawrence said in his last post. Except that my feeling is that if I start spearing deeper I would over-rotate - I think it is very easy to over-rotate and I am always surprised how little of a kick it takes to initiate a good rotation. So for that reason I wouldn't go for a steeper spearing.
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  #84  
Old 01-30-2011
flppr flppr is offline
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It seems to me that, based on boken's outstanding, eye-opening video and the way the spatula shot forward at an angle, it would be more advantageous to maintain that angle as long as possible, until the end of the spear, as opposed to flattening out the spear earlier.

I filmed some lengths today, with the stroke thought of entering the water closer to my elbow (I had been reaching forward closer to my wrist in recovery), wanting to create a sensation of minimum stress in my shoulder, and the video showed less splash above the water, and less bubbles below.

Last edited by flppr : 01-31-2011 at 12:09 AM.
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  #85  
Old 01-30-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Bit harsh to call Newton's laws an academic construct, Terry. For many they are the finest example of a truth about the natural world that humans have discovered.
But they're still essentially words in a book. The actual forces they represent, however, are experienced by us directly. How our brain interprets that experience is where things get really interesting.

I'll bet I'm not the only one on this forum who can not name the three laws, but understands - viscerally not intellectually - the influence of the natural forces they are meant to describe.
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  #86  
Old 01-31-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjconti72 View Post
I believe that the most likely explanation for the feeling of a forward squirt, is that the body assumens a most hydrodinamic position
BINGO. Few outside TI grasp this. I'll relate an eye-opening experience I had last March, in LaJolla. I was privileged to have my stroke analyzed by marathon swim expert Steve Munatones, who publishes the Daily News of Open Water Swimmng. Ann Cleveland, a prominent marathoner who has done a double English Channel crossing was also participating that day.

Steve's analysis consisted of a gauge measuring force connected to the swimmer via fishing line, coordinated with underwater video. The output was a video which displayed on a laptop monitor with a measure of force, represented both numerically and by a line superimposed on the video that rose and fell as force did.

Steve analyzed our strokes, in context of what was happening as force (speed) increased or decreased. Steve's analysis focused almost exclusively on what the pushing hand happened to be doing. That is exactly what nearly all coaches look at.

My analysis focused instead on the streamline characteristics of the body relative to the force/speed graph. Steve would point out that peak force/speed occurred as the hand reached the second half of the pull. I would point out that it occurred as the body reached its longest, sleekest position (i.e. hitting the 'target' or skate position).

That moment is also contemporaneous with the weight shift and toe-flick. So the moment of greatest power generation is precisely the same moment our body reaches its lowest-drag position. A lot of our Focal Point practice is geared to more perfectly and consistently synchronizing those. It occurs a nanosecond after the Mail Slot entry.
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Last edited by terry : 01-31-2011 at 12:11 AM.
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  #87  
Old 01-31-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
I can't keep up with the volume in this thread but a number of you would benefit from high school physics.
I barely passed it then flunked it as a freshman in college. That ended my formal academic training in physics.
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  #88  
Old 01-31-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flppr View Post
It seems to me that, based on boken's outstanding, eye-opening video and the way the spatula shot forward at an angle, it would be more advantageous to maintain that angle as long as possible, until the end of the spear, as opposed to flattening out the spear earlier.
It is indeed the optimal angle for the spatula to ski down to the bottom of the aquarium - and therefore likely a favorable angle for entry.

But the arm and hand have another job to perform after entry. Anchoring the front of the bodyline so we can move past with our weight shift. If the hand were to continue down on the same steep angle, then that point we anchor would not be nearly as far forward as if we extend at a shallower angle after entry. As we know, more stroke length is better then less.
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  #89  
Old 01-31-2011
stevenwalters stevenwalters is offline
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I just heard about TI a couple of weeks ago, watched Shinji's video, played with it a bit....and I'm blown away. In the last two days I watched more TI videos on the site and my swim (just an hour ago) was phenomenal.

I've been moving toward this technique intuitively over the years, but I've never heard of anyone crystallizing it like this.

I have been feeling relatively inspired for swimming, but this has really gotten me reignited.

I can't wait to get back to the pool.

Thank you
Steven Walters
Santa Cruz, CA
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  #90  
Old 01-31-2011
flppr flppr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
If the hand were to continue down on the same steep angle, then that point we anchor would not be nearly as far forward as if we extend at a shallower angle after entry. As we know, more stroke length is better than less.
Agreed, you don't want to spear too deep, but wouldn't you push more water backwards if you maintained an angle for as long as possible to whatever "y coordinate" (from your dvd) you choose as the end point of your spear?

Last edited by flppr : 01-31-2011 at 02:51 AM.
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