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Impact of rec.sport.swimming



 
 
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  #21  
Old July 11th 03, 08:49 AM
DrClean
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming


"Totalswimm" wrote in message
...
snip I was primarily trying to point out the distinction between those who
do this
primarily as an intellectual or theoretical (or metaphysical) undertaking

and
those who - in Scott's words - "are paid to solve practical problems on a

daily
basis."

I can pay the rent and buy food only if the work I do with "live" swimmers

in
the water is successful. I have to be oriented to workable solutions and

/snip positive outcomes.


Happy laps,
Terry Laughlin


I think this is a primary difference in even swim coaches. Although I am
taking the ASA swim coaching courses I'm coming to this as an interested
amateur and don't ever see myself as earning a living being a swim coach. To
put it in a basic way, "I'll never have my balls on the line dependent on
the resul;ts I get". I've read a huge amounts of swim and tri training books
and this might give me a basic (or even advanced) knowledge of the topic but
it doesn't necessarily mean I can put those ideas across in the best way or
have gone through years of assessing what may be "Best Practice". I may have
enthusiasm and ability but I don't believe that I'll ever be as good as a
top pro-coach who spends his life and is paid to get the best out of
swimmers.

So, all of this doesn't make me potentially a bad coach and I want to do the
best I possibly can to ensure the swimmers I coach fulfil their potential,
but I don't believe I'll match a good coach who has his life invested in
swimming.

As Terry implies, no opinion is invalid and it's interesting seeing
disagreements or differences in this discussion group. Disagreeing with
someone doesn't mean you think the poster is a moron - it's just a
disagreement and an important way for all of us to increase our knowledge,
by assessing the value of each argument.

Keep up the debating.

Wayne
--
DrClean
www.DrClean.co.uk
The Best Fabric Cleaning Resource on the Web


  #22  
Old July 11th 03, 02:36 PM
AndresMuro
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

Terry: I am not a coach but swim regularly and help other swimmers. Most of the
swimers I know including myself have read TI. A lot of begginer swimmers do
the excercises that you suggest, and I encourage them to do this. The only part
that I found obscure in your book is the pushing down the bouy. Technically, I
cannot think of any way to push down the chest, unless I bend at the waist.
Most beggining swimmers drag their legs as you suggest, and by trying to push
down the bouy, they appear to sink their upper body without being able to lift
their legs.

In this aspect, I agree with Larry. He suggests, as I have always done, to tell
swimmers to arch their back. This forces the legs up and pushes the chest
forward, and slightly down. I tell people that this is what you mean by pushing
the bouy. They seem to understand this explanation better. However, I have not
travelled and taught this technique to 1,000s of swimmers.

Still, anatomically, arching you back is proper position for good swimming. It
also prevents the legs from dropping. because the arching of the back pulls
against the hamstrings keeping them at the surface. I also agree with Larry
that doing a lot of kickboarding with hands at the head of the board, arched
back, head out and elbows straight teaches people to keep their backs arched.

Andres



Subject: Impact of rec.sport.swimming
From: "DrClean"
Date: 7/11/2003 1:49 AM Mountain Daylight Time
Message-id:


"Totalswimm" wrote in message
...
snip I was primarily trying to point out the distinction between those who
do this
primarily as an intellectual or theoretical (or metaphysical) undertaking

and
those who - in Scott's words - "are paid to solve practical problems on a

daily
basis."

I can pay the rent and buy food only if the work I do with "live" swimmers

in
the water is successful. I have to be oriented to workable solutions and

/snip positive outcomes.


Happy laps,
Terry Laughlin



  #23  
Old July 11th 03, 04:46 PM
DrClean
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Posts: n/a
Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming


"AndresMuro" wrote in message
...
Terry: I am not a coach but swim regularly and help other swimmers. Most

of the
swimers I know including myself have read TI. A lot of begginer swimmers

do
the excercises that you suggest, and I encourage them to do this. The only

part
that I found obscure in your book is the pushing down the bouy.

Technically, I
cannot think of any way to push down the chest, unless I bend at the

waist.
Most beggining swimmers drag their legs as you suggest, and by trying to

push
down the bouy, they appear to sink their upper body without being able to

lift
their legs.
In this aspect, I agree with Larry. He suggests, as I have always done,

to tell
swimmers to arch their back. This forces the legs up and pushes the chest
forward, and slightly down. I tell people that this is what you mean by

pushing
the bouy. They seem to understand this explanation better. However, I have

not
travelled and taught this technique to 1,000s of swimmers.


If you have a completely straight spine (from your head through your hips)
and imagine there is a pivot that makes your body into a sea-saw, slowly but
surely raise where this pivot creates a balance. Eventually, make this pivot
as high on the chest as you can without diping your head or arching your
back, then you'll find it is possible to push the buoy.

If you arch your back you are, by definition, lifting your head - and that
must be bad technique. You're almost suggesting that the swimmer try
aquaplaning, above the water line, or climbs out of the water.

I am not a TI trained coach but understand and can practice this exercise.

Wayne
--
DrClean
www.DrClean.co.uk
The Best Fabric Cleaning Resource on the Web



  #24  
Old July 11th 03, 11:20 PM
andres muro
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

Yes, but there must be a force the makes the chest go down. Take the
pivot with a doll. For the chest of the doll to go down, there must be
a force applied somewhere to push the chest down. If you take your
finger and put it between the shoulder blades, you will be able to
push the chest of the doll, and the lower body will lift. However, for
a human in the water, there is no magic finger pushing the chest down.
The action of pushing the chest down needs to be initiated
mechanically by muscles that can do this. One way to push the chest
down is to bend at the waist. But, you don't want to do this because
your legs will go down too. The other way to push your chest down is
by arching your back. There is no other way to push your chest down by
itself because you do not have muscles to cause the leverage that you
are suggesting.

Regarding your description, the normal posture of the back is with a
curvature of the lower back. If swimmers, as Larry has suggested, kept
this curvature, the legs would stay up automatically. However, many in
the water let the legs drop. since the legs carry, proportionately
more musculature than the rest of the body they drop naturally. The
only way to keep them up, aside form kicking, is using some form of
leverage. The muscles in the lower back do this if you arch your back.
You can try this by arching your back and bending at the waist. You'll
see that you cannot bend. However, if you straighten your lower back,
then you can bend at the waist. This is what happens in the water. If
you swim with your lower back straight, your legs will drop. Unless
you use some muscles to stop them from dropping, gravity will pull
them down. There is no magic way to push the chest down by itself
while keeping the rest of the body straight. So, you arch your back.
all good swimers swim with an arched lower back. There ain't no way
out of this.

Andres

"DrClean" wrote in message ...
"AndresMuro" wrote in message
...
Terry: I am not a coach but swim regularly and help other swimmers. Most

of the
swimers I know including myself have read TI. A lot of begginer swimmers

do
the excercises that you suggest, and I encourage them to do this. The only

part
that I found obscure in your book is the pushing down the bouy.

Technically, I
cannot think of any way to push down the chest, unless I bend at the

waist.
Most beggining swimmers drag their legs as you suggest, and by trying to

push
down the bouy, they appear to sink their upper body without being able to

lift
their legs.
In this aspect, I agree with Larry. He suggests, as I have always done,

to tell
swimmers to arch their back. This forces the legs up and pushes the chest
forward, and slightly down. I tell people that this is what you mean by

pushing
the bouy. They seem to understand this explanation better. However, I have

not
travelled and taught this technique to 1,000s of swimmers.


If you have a completely straight spine (from your head through your hips)
and imagine there is a pivot that makes your body into a sea-saw, slowly but
surely raise where this pivot creates a balance. Eventually, make this pivot
as high on the chest as you can without diping your head or arching your
back, then you'll find it is possible to push the buoy.

If you arch your back you are, by definition, lifting your head - and that
must be bad technique. You're almost suggesting that the swimmer try
aquaplaning, above the water line, or climbs out of the water.

I am not a TI trained coach but understand and can practice this exercise.

Wayne

  #25  
Old July 12th 03, 02:46 AM
Larry Weisenthal
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

In the context of the current discussion, I don't want to re-open the whole
shoulder injury debate again, except to say that a long forward reach in the
presence of internal rotation is a setup for a bad shoulder injury. Eric Vendt
is simply the latest of many to prove a point which is obvious from anatomy.
I've known for years, also, that Lenny Krayzelberg's shoulders would turn to
toast; and I predicted Kaitlyn Sandeno's troubles when she was 13 years old.
There is a way to swim which minimizes the risk of shoulder injury, and it
doesn't include long forward reaching with internal rotation (in freestyle,
back, and fly).

My statement wasn't that "TI is bad for swimmers." It was rather that "TI" (a
perhaps unfortunate whipping boy for the whole Boomerism movement which has,
unfortunately, now become the dominant paradigm) -- "is bad for swimming."

Just several examples:

1. In the current issue of Splash (the one with Larsen Jensen on the cover),
there is a section on technical advice for swim coaches. Maintaining the head
down/neutral position is emphasized, for the specific reason of preventing the
hips from sinking, which is alleged to occur when the head is raised. This is
false, as discussed earlier.

2. In the current thread, Coach Scott Lemley informs that he teaches his
swimmers to keep their heads motionless (relative to the body) or, one
supposes, at least to minimize head motion.

3. Also on the current thread, another aspiring swim coach makes the following
statement: "If you arch your back you are, by definition, lifting your head -
and that
must be bad technique."

4. And here's a wonderful quote from a swim coach/"TI" disciple who used to
poke sarcastic fun at me on this newsgroup:

From: Big Red )
Newsgroups: rec.sport.swimming
Date: 2000-08-30 21:52:52 PST

Something

else about Thorpe. His head is constantly moving up & down. He spends
alot of time looking forward, too. He should keep his head still &
looking down to maintain balance, conserve energy & extend streamline.
It brings up a point that I have made here before. IMHO,elite athletes
can do things because they are special. There is an intangible quality
that allows them to break rules & get away with STUFF. I suppose
Thorpe's coach could tell him to do that with his head, but more likely
he just lives with this idiosyncracy & succeeds in spite of it. He would
probably go faster if he fixed it.

Now, any further debate must acknowledge the fact the many if not most of the
greatest freestyle swimmers in the world have the following features to their
stroke:

1. They arch their backs prominently (which is what gives these swimmers that
"swimming high in the water" look which is so prized by coaches such as Mark
Schubert (without explaining exactly how the swimmers get this look)).

2. The back arch is most pronounced coincident with the catch and pull of the
breathing side hand, and is often accompanied by a pronounced head tilt
forward, and sometimes with an actual head lift above the water line.

3. They do not "skate on their sides," but instead are flat in the water to the
non-breathing side, while rotating with the shoulders to a greater extent than
the hips to the breathing side.

4. They swim with asymetric timing...the breathing side hand enters quite
shortly after the entry of the non-breathing side hand. There is then a pause
before the non-breathing side hand enters again, producing a
"flop-flop....flop-flop...flop-flop" rhythm. The latest to break a world
record with this technique was Michael Phelps. Among other things, this
ensures that the catch and early pull of both sides occurs during a time when
the head is furthest out of the water (climbing up on the breathing side;
falling down on the non-breathing side). This helps to counteract the leg
sinking torque of the pull on both sides.

5. Many of them accentuate their kick, coincident with the breathing side pull.
This also goes against advice given in the current issue of Splash - to
maintain an even kick throughout the stroke cycle. This accentuated kick
assists in elevating the head (and also in overtaking the bow wave, but that is
a controversial subject for a different time).

Now, one can either ignore all of the above, or one can try to understand why
the above may be advantageous. Up until now, to my knowledge, everyone has
pretty much just ignored the above. What I have been doing is to try and
understand it. I believe that I now do understand pretty much all of it. It
makes sense. It is eminently teachable. And it can improve the swimming of
almost everyone.

I agree with Mike Edey that there is no one style of swimming which is best for
everyone. For example, older adults with bad backs are probably better off
"pressing their buoys" than "arching." But this doesn't change the fact
(obvious to anyone who makes the effort to learn to "arch") that "arching"
provides a vastly more stable and efficient platform from which to swim. Let's
look again at Ian:

http://weisenthal.org/swimming/thorpe_3.htm

Rather than teaching everyone to swim with their heads down, let's recognize
that there is NOTHING inherently superior about head down/relaxed back
swimming, compared to arched back swimming with counterbalancing head motions
(to counteract the leg sinking torque of the pull...by the way, Scott Lemley's
admonition to keep your head still would only make sense if one were swimming
without moving one's arms. Because the pull tries to sink the legs, reciprocal
head movements are very helpful to keep the body horizontal in the water, which
is why they are so prevalent at the highest levels of swimming --- to answer
Big Red's unasked question: Ian Thorpe produces huge torques with his huge
and long moment-arm pulls; his pronounced head movements, in the presence of
his deeply arched back, serve to counteract these torques).

I believe that Boomerization has homogenized swimming technique, to the
detriment of the sport and to the detriment of individual swimmers who would
today be more successful with other techniques. To the extent that "TI" has
contributed to this trend, it has also been harmful to the sport.

Larry Weisenthal

Certitude is poison; curiosity is life
  #26  
Old July 12th 03, 03:37 AM
Totalswimm
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

I believe that Boomerization has homogenized swimming technique, to the
detriment of the sport and to the detriment of individual swimmers who would
today be more successful with other techniques. To the extent that "TI" has
contributed to this trend, it has also been harmful to the sport.


Same old, same old. And once again, I must ask WHERE'S THE EVIDENCE of harm?
This is exactly the point I was making about "hobbyists" vs. professionals.
Larry can sit at his keyboard and type out manifestos, but never has to
actually prove his airy theorizing with live athletes.

I and other TI coaches, on the other hand, have to back up our beliefs in our
daily work. And, without exception, every coach who is using TI in an informed
way (i.e. some measure of training by us) reports SIGNIFICANT improvements by
their teams.
So where's the evidence of harm? Please show me even one team - on any level -
that has been harmed by adopting a TI approach.
Terry
  #27  
Old July 12th 03, 08:30 AM
Larry Weisenthal
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

From: (Totalswimm)

So where's the evidence of harm? Please show me even one team - on any level

-
that has been harmed by adopting a TI approach.

It depends on what your meaning of "harm" is.

Is it a good idea to teach swimmers a sense of
balance? Of course.

Is it a good idea to teach swimmers the importance of
minimizing drag? Of course.

But there is a problem with almost all "lowest common
denominator" approaches, when they rise to the level of
not just a stepping-off point, but to the level of a
paradigm. In my previous post, I gave several specific
examples of how Boomer/"TI"ism has become the dominant
paradigm in USA swimming; I believe to the detriment of
the sport.

You've got "TI"-trained swim coaches saying that Ian
Thorpe doesn't swim correctly! And you've got "TI"
instructors claiming that Janet Evans swam according to
"TI" principles, if only you look underwater!! (Thereby
obfuscating what it is that she's really doing and how
it might help a given good swimmer become great).

I don't think so:

http://weisenthal.org/swimming/evans_3.htm

http://weisenthal.org/swimming/evans_uw.mpg

Who has "TI" "harmed?"

Well, let's start with (I'm guessing) 5,000
triathletes.

What are the most important things in triathlon
swimming?

1. Threading one's way out through the mass of writhing
bodies at the mass start.

2. Getting on the feet of someone who's 10% faster than
you and staying there.

3. Sighting ahead at the marker buoys, to stay on
course.

How does one best achieve the above?

Tilt one's head forward during each stroke cycle to
glance sight briefly forward. Raise one's head a
little, frequently, to thread one's way and to stay on
course.

Bonus #1: If you do the above, and maintain a properly
arched lumbar spine, you will have better horizontal
balance as you swim than if you keep your head
"hidden," in the neutral position. A properly arched
lumbar spine must be specifically trained in the water
(standard kickboard training helps immensely, but there
are better in the water drills for this, as described
previously and to follow). An arched lumbar spine is
also useful for running fast (Michael Johnson, Haile Gebrselassie), to
avoid a hunched over posture in daily life, and to
avoid anterior compression of the vertebral bodies.

Bonus #2: If you do the above, you will be swimming in
the style of some of the fastest freestyle swimmers in
the history of the world.

I'm going to describe how to learn to swim in this
fashion step-by-step. It is not yet another lowest
common denominator approach to swimming. But it is a
method and style of swimming which is clearly advantageous
to some swimmers.

The fact that I don't make my living from this should
not automatically detract from its consideration.


Larry Weisenthal

Certitude is poison; curiosity is life
  #28  
Old July 12th 03, 09:40 AM
DrClean
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming


"Larry Weisenthal" wrote in message
...

snip
Now, any further debate must acknowledge the fact the many if not most of

the
greatest freestyle swimmers in the world have the following features to

their
stroke:

1. They arch their backs prominently (which is what gives these swimmers

that
"swimming high in the water" look which is so prized by coaches such as

Mark
Schubert (without explaining exactly how the swimmers get this look)).

2. The back arch is most pronounced coincident with the catch and pull of

the
breathing side hand, and is often accompanied by a pronounced head tilt
forward, and sometimes with an actual head lift above the water line.

/snip

Sorry Larry,

I don't believe that swimmers either

1. raise their backs intentionally into an arch or
2. try to do so to get on top of the water.

The fact that a back isn't perfectly straight in no way proves that swimmers
arch their back. To arch the back you must intentionally create the arch,
whereas if the swimmer (or anyone) keeps a straight back the head will
generally fall in line with the shoulders, hips and feet, if not they would
inevitably topple over when standing up straight or walking. Furthermore, I
believe the effort to raise the head, especially on longer swims, would have
a related cost in terms of fateague.

Maglischlo, in Swimming Fastest, assesses and discounts the thoery that
swimmers try to aquaplane by raising their heads and bodies and I think with
good reason. If you actively try to adjust the bodies natural position you
have to overcompensate in another area to retain the balance that the body
(and mind) wants to achieve. This, I assume as I've done no tests, would
lead to a veritable can-of-worms in terms of overcompensation, where to
compensate, potential injury and the ease with which the swimmer performs
the stroke. Remember, most of the truly great swimmers make it look as if
it's so god-damn easy and you can't do that in an unnatural position (again
I haven't tested this theory).

Perhaps this is just a mental block or failing on my part but I can't
believe that in order to swim smothly you twist the body into an unnatural
position.

--
DrClean
www.DrClean.co.uk
The Best Fabric Cleaning Resource on the Web


  #29  
Old July 12th 03, 10:41 AM
Donal Fagan
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Posts: n/a
Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

In article ,
says...

I agree with what you say. Hiwever, being completely straight
means that your lower back will have an arch.


To set a benchmark, I ask that people look at Anita and tell me
whether, in their opinion, *her* back is arched:
http://www.donalfagan.com/html/anitanall.html

IMO, she is as straight and streamlined as one can get, but
still maintains a small arch in the back (that natural
'lordosis' that Larry always talks about).

When I try to swim with a streamlined posture, I imagine that I
still have that small bit of arch, because I do not bend at the
waist. When I look at Terry's posture, I don't see him bending
at the waist:

http://www.donalfagan.com/TL-2.jpg
http://www.donalfagan.com/TL-4.jpg

Although Terry was fairly bulky in these clips, I still see a
small arch in his back, too.

But, when I read about Yanai-san's "arched-back, busy kick"
swimmers, I envision considerably more arching than what is
shown by Anita. I think of Johnny Weismuller smiling at Maureen
O'Sullivan as he carried his torso high, for the camera,
through the croc-infested waters.

Donal Fagan

  #30  
Old July 12th 03, 12:34 PM
Totalswimm
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Default Impact of rec.sport.swimming

Who has "TI" "harmed?"

Well, let's start with (I'm guessing) 5,000
triathletes.


Larry
You've totally gone off the deep end here. Triathlon is the one discipline
where it's pretty much inarguable that TI has been a huge boon to the average
athlete.

We hardly even have to market or advertise in triathlon. They have adopted TI
as the gold standard for swim improvement and spread it virally from athlete to
athlete.

Why? Because it SOUNDS appealing? No, because it WORKS.

Last October while I was in Kona, the president of WTC - owner and operator of
the Ironman franchise - came up to me and said "You've made our job much
harder, but thanks anyway." I asked why and he said "Before TI the swim field
in Ironman races would be spread evenly between 60 minutes and 2 hours, making
it easy for the bike marshals to do their job. Now, he said, the great majority
of the field is under 90 minutes "meaning the bike marshals have a really
tough job and it's all your fault."

And, more importantly, he said "the sport is much safer because of TI."

Harming triathletes? Time for a reality check, Larry.
 




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