Total Immersion: A Session with Dave Cameron 10-24-11

This weekend, I took the last two days of Total Immersion coach certification – I’m almost there, needing only to do one last homework assignment and I’ll be an official TI coach!
At the end of the coach certification classes, I asked Dave Cameron (aka Distance Dave) if he would do a short private coaching session with me. As always, the comments were fascinating. I will talk about them as focal points during the swimming laps he had me swim:
1. Swim with fists, then point the index finger, then point the index finger and pinky (the “longhorn”), and then open up the hands and swim with fully open hands
As I went through this progression of swimming with each hand position for 10 strokes (on a 50m pool), I was told to focus on the hip drive into spear to drive the body forward, and not rely on the hand stroking back because my ability to catch was hampered by the closed hands. As a second observation, I could see the effect of catching on the forearm and not only the hand.
2. Open up the axilla on the recovering arm and use the hip drive to open it up and catch more water. The axilla is a fancy name for the underarm/armpit. We talk about opening up the axilla on the spearing arm, in order to get extra body length on the stretch forward, as well as a longer stroke back since it begins further forward. However, this was the first time someone talked about opening up the axilla on the recovering arm! If I do it right, this makes the EVF even more effective by catching a big volume of water underneath the curve of my arm because I am extending my axilla of the recovering arm as I spear with my forward arm. Definitely an exercise in coordination here! Then, Dave told me to use my hip drive to create the opening in the axilla which was another interesting but effective notion.
3. Keep the hands facing back at all times during stroke and recovery, as it lifts out of the water and comes forward. I was turning my hand at the end of the stroke, which can cause a chicken wing elbow as it lifts out of the water. This inhibits proper elbow led recovery.
4. Move the shoulder blade as far forward to enhance elbow led recovery. I was not moving the shoulder blade forward enough, which sometimes encouraged a hand led recovery which is very bad. Moving the shoulder blade helped keep my elbow leading the recovery and also put my hand in the right place to drop into the water.
5. Practice hip drive on all of the above. We would run through each of the focal points, and then Dave would ask me to insert a stronger hip drive while maintaining the previous focal point. Yes, lots of practice maintaining not only one focal point but two, sometimes three!
It’s always invaluable to continue my private coaching with Shinji and Dave!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *