The Two Beat Kick Decreased My Stroke Count!

On Friday, I learned how to do the two beat kick. Previously, I had no idea what two beat was, nor four or six or two beat crossover kick was. I still don’t. I’ve read the literature and they try to describe in words a physical action and I still can’t get it. Someday I might, but not today.
In any case, my TI coach went over the two beat kick with me. It was a tough coordination exercise as I’m supposed to kick the foot that is on the same side as my stroking arm. I discovered that I was right foot dominant, and tended to kick that foot on either side. My coach then ran me through some exercises to focus on kicking the correct leg on a particular side.
Today, I went to the pool after that session and was determined to get the coordination of the two beat kick down. I ran through some of the isolation exercises for a while and thought I got it. So then I went to swim some normal laps, trying to maintain the correct form of the two beat kick. I would actually cock the leg a bit more than normal just to emphasize which foot was kicking, and attempt to keep my other leg relaxed and extended straight back.
On my first swimming length of 25y, I counted my strokes and made it down in 14 strokes! WHOA. This is a significant result. In my first swim lesson, my coach took a look at me, my swim style, my body shape and height, and figured that 14 would be a great goal for me. In weeks previous, I’ve been working hard at decreasing my stroke count, and seemed to hit a wall at 16. Most of the time, I was at 17 strokes to touch the far wall, and I felt like I was cheating a bit since I would just stroke less to let myself glide more. But today, while stroking normally and using the two beat kick, I made it down in 14 on the first try.
Well, I didn’t believe it. I thought I counted wrong. If you swim a lot, you know what I mean. Your brain wanders, you get confused as to which stroke was which number. It’s easy to lose count.
So I pushed off the wall and swam another length. This time it was 13 strokes! Now I’m starting to believe it. I swam another 2 or 3 lengths at 14, and then I got tired and/or messy in the technique and dropped to 15 which I swam for several more lengths.
As far as I can tell, the two beat kick does a few things for me. As I kick, the leg helps my hip rotate to the other side. Apparently, as the hip gets an extra oomph to rotate, that helps to drive the lead arm forward, and lend more energy to the stroking arm which is pulling back via connection to the hip. In other literature, I’ve read that kicking correctly also stabilizes the body more during a stroke. I didn’t feel this particularly as it seemed like the hip rotation was throwing me off kilter, but perhaps not as I was propelled forward more with each stroke than before using the two beat kick.
I’m looking forward to drilling the two beat kick more and seeing if I can more consistently maintain 14-15 strokes per 25y, or perhaps even less (12 anyone?).

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