Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What a great turnout we had last Sunday!

Coach Beth Barnes, a Total Immersion (TI) Senior Coach, taught about a dozen club members how to improve their freestyle, some of whom were fairly new to swimming while others were more advanced.

The first thing everyone did was swim one lap (two pool lengths or 50 yards) so Coach Beth could observe their current swim form and take some notes. Then, regardless of swim level, she broke down the freestyle stroke into simple skills and assigned drills that everyone did to work on those skills.

The first few drills looked little like swimming as most people knew it and may have prompted some questions. Why are we doing this??? But she progressed in small steps building up the stroke and there was a new drill with each step. Light bulbs began turning on.

At the end of the clinic, everyone swam a lap again with their new freestyle stroke and, lo and behold, everyone was taking fewer strokes than before (i.e., had become more economical) and everyone was also now breathing on both sides (AKA bilateral breathing), which facilitates swimming with more ease and is particularly useful in open water (ocean, lakes, rivers, etc. - typical triathlon swim venues). And speaking of open water swimming, Coach Beth also gave some tips on sighting, swimming with 200+ friends in a race and even threw in a little backstroke too, a good way to still move forward while catching your breath if you ever need to.

Below are some sights and sounds from Sunday (TRT 00:52):

To view a larger version, CLICK HERE to view it on Vimeo.

Coach Beth emphasized the importance of doing the drills she covered during the clinic regularly to practice aspects of the stroke in isolation and to reinforce good habits. She also recommended the video below of Japanese TI swimmer and instructor Shinji Takeuchi. Not only will you get to see his ultra smooth stroke from various angles and in slow motion, you'll get to see what he's doing underwater too. Check it out!

To view a larger version, CLICK HERE to view it on YouTube.

For those who missed the clinic or would like to take it again, there is another one being offered this Saturday, February 27, 11am-1pm Date TBD (postponed due to weather). CLICK HERE to download the registration form. The cost is $15 and you may bring the completed form and payment on the day of the clinic. Don't miss it!

For more information about Total Immersion swimming, go to www.TotalImmersion.net.


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