The first clip gives an overall view of TI (about 7 minutes). Terry describes the body mechanics and positioning for effective streamlining and stroke propulsion. Note the position of the head (look straight down) and chest (pressing down pushes the buttock up creating less drag). Terry does a great job of showing how the core body works to create and maintain the streamline water position (breathing is turning the core as opposed to turning the head)
The next clip demonstrates different tempos (2 minutes). The thing I like about this video is the how the strength of the core is used to increase the power of the stroke. Look at how the hips rotate in a swivel manner (not side to side) to create power, especially as the tempo increases (things I don’t like are how he lifts his head to break the water surface and has his hands flapping on the extension; we won’t do this….):
The last video compares Michael Phelps to the TI format (30 seconds). Note the head position (looking down), hand entry (straight above the shoulder, not over to the side), breathing accomplished through core rotation -not turning the head, and power from hips in the core rotation. This demonstrates the value in understanding your proper streamline position:
I have another video for you to watch. It’s video of Lindsay Benko, former Olympian (2000 & 2004) and world record holder. She and Mark Schubert (College and various Olympic team coach) go through mechanics we have been working the past week. It will be good re-enforcement of finding your perfect technical swimming stroke.
Lindsay has excellent mechanics on both starts and turns. Her flip turn is a variation on what I normally teach, but as any good coach will tell you, there is no way that works for everyone. Successful people learn from the best. Look at how quickly Lindsay gets through the turn. Note how she looks down through the turn using a point on the pool bottom to tell her when to start the turn – she NEVER looks at the wall before she does a flip turn. It uses most of the mechanics that Lindsay uses with a variation that creates a ¾ turn, as opposed to a complete summersault. Either way, you’ll be faster applying these techniques.
Here’s a 3 minute video of Jono Van Hazel, an Australian Olympian. He has one of the smoothest and efficient strokes you’ll ever see – and this is a sprinter. Watching this video, you’ll see the technique coaches have been harping on over the past week:
-Body position: note the slight bend at the hips allowing the legs and upper chest to be streamlined; this is not much different than the start of most of your weight lifting positions
-Hands: watch the hands enter the water right above the shoulders and note the ‘switch’ movement where the hand shoots forward strongly into the water; The hands are straight when starting the pull – not tilted off to the side
-Core rotation: notice the easy ‘rotisserie’ back and forth motion; there’s no side to side motion of the hips; it’s movement as if he is on a skewer
-Breathing: he starts the breath motion right as his ‘breathing’ hand starts the pull; notice how the body (core) turns to create the actual breath, not the head
-Arms: watch the high elbows and how tight his arm stroke is to his core movement; there’s no swinging wide with the arms; this motion can only be attained if there is good core rotation
-Kick: there is little splash after he gets going; the propulsion comes from a loose, almost lanky downward motion
The last thing I want you take notice of is the data is the lower right corner. Note his stroke count for a 50 meter long course pool. At 32 strokes per 50/m, my guess is he’s probably at 11-12 in a 25 yard pool (0:39 pace for a 100 yard free).