3 responses to “Coach, Is It Correct?

  1. Hello Mat,
    nearly all your blog-posts seemed be written just for me…. But THAT you would better do by eMail. So there seem to be one or another TI-student more in your mind. And may be I’m not alone with my two remarks:

    Not the tiniest argurment against yours. Just if we change anything in our movement pattern (not just in striving at a TI-stroke) any change needs a change in forces which is, or at least will appear, as additional effort. And for me it’s often difficult to decide what’s right. And when answering your questions for myself at first sight of the change the first answers might point into a not better direction looked from a long time point of view. How to find that without a coach?

    How can I, and I think there are also one or two others, close the gap from our good felt stroke when swimming to the terrible feeling when whatching a video of our so good felt strokes. (And that although if in best case with a coach who realizes many more flaws and some goodies than we ourselfs… And that with best FELT references to your questions)?

    Best regards,

    • Yes! You are not alone. Because all of my students happen to be human it is common that they have to work through the same issues. I am learning so much by seeing such common traits among us. By walking each through the steps of building this internal sensory skill, it reinforces my confidence in the process we follow.

      And yes, any old pattern that has been automated, is ‘easy’ to maintain, and requires little effort to perform. Like pulling a cart wheels out of the rut on a muddy road, the initial break-out from old (deeply ingrained) patterns actually requires a great deal of effort in several ways. Those who dabble with a new movement pattern then quickly dismiss is at ‘less efficient’ than my old stroke misunderstand how the body works. This is another important purpose of external feedback systems – they help us more properly interpret internal feedback. The ‘this is harder’ feedback we receive when we try a new pattern cannot instantly be interpreted to mean “this is harder = this is less efficient”.

      And this is why we have coaches help us – to learn how to understand how the body works, to understand the process of transformation, and to interpret the signals accordingly. When we are new to a skill, we may likely not be so good at interpreting those signals, or even recognizing that what they are.

      To help balance the large gap you feel between where you are and where you believe you can be, with the gap between where you have come from to where you are – I encourage you to take each day as a starting point and strive to finish practice a better swimmer than when you began that day. Set a challenge that fits where you are today, measure, and compare from beginning of practice to end. Keep a record of this.

      And keep this in mind – like radio waves drifting through the air all around us, we can only hear them if we turn on the radio and tune into a certain channel. Likewise, your body is constantly sending bio-feedback signals. The signals are always there, but you are learning to turn on the radio and tune into the frequency to pick up those signals. And then you are learning how to interpret those signals and how to respond to them. This is a worthy process that every human should be taught – it is the basis of life improvement. We have the privilege of learning it in the water, yet we use it everywhere in life.

      You may search for other areas of your life where you do, in fact, tune into your body and respond to it. This could be a place to find some examples for how to do it in your swimming. That search and discovery process is part of the satisfaction of our training.

  2. Pingback: Coach, Is It Correct? | Total ImmersionTotal Immersion·

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