Pmf User Guide

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Perpetual Motion Freestyle In 10 Lessonsby Terry Laughlin

Learn at your Own Pace in your Own Pool

Be your Own Best Coach

Build a Better Stroke and a Better Brain!User Guide to the

Total Immersion Self-Coached Workshop

Self-Coached Workshop Users Manual The Self-Coached Workshop (SCW) is the most important TI learning tool to date. Many people think our most important innovation was teaching human swimmers to be fishlike. I believe teaching them to be empowered is equally valuable. The SCW is designed to help you acquire self-improvement savvy along with swimming skill; it doesnt just teach you how to move; it teaches you how to think about and feel movement via these innovations in practice methods: 1. Swim Early and Often During the 1990s, attendees at TIs Weekend Workshops swam 25 yards of whole stroke to record video and stroke count, then practiced six hours of drills before attempting another 25 of whole stroke. Our books and videos also recommended completing the entire drill sequence with relatively little whole-stroke. Because we were concerned that old habits could take over if students resumed swimming before new habits had taken hold, we hoped to create muscle amnesia eradicating inefficient patterns and replacing them with efficient ones. Over the past decade, weve steadily increased the amount of whole-stroke throughout the progression, but in ways designed to minimize the potential for practicing struggle. We do that in SCW by recommending brief pieces (3 to 7 strokes) of whole stroke at regular intervals, starting with the first drill. This is to help you: (1) Remember the purpose of a particular drill; (2) Give each new focal point undivided attention; and (3) Integrate new mini-skills into the whole. 2. Break Mini-Skills Into Micro-Skills When a skill is new, the fewer parts it has -- the fewer thoughts it requires -- the better. TI has always taught via a series of mini-skills, gradually assembled into a more complex skill. SCW breaks down mini-skills even further, presenting micro-skills called Rehearsals or Tuneups. In Rehearsals, you stand in place; in Tuneups you move a short distance. Rehearsals highlight an element that requires keen attention, prior to attempting a new drill or movement. By rehearsing first, you initiate a pattern-memory in your brain that is more likely to persist when you expand focus to two or more aspects at once. Static practice (not moving down the pool) also allows for deeper focus. Rehearse for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat rehearsals as long as you feel they help. Tuneups are moving, but very brief, practice -- usually 10 yds or less. (You may sequence several reps to cross a pool.) Why short duration? (1) To minimize the need to breathe, when its best to treat breathing as a separate skill. (2) Like rehearsals, theyre designed to target one aspect of a more complex drill or whole stroke, not to imprint the whole movement. E.G. Our first drill, Superman Glide, is a Tuneup for which you Rehearse by standing with arms extended. SG is designed, in part, to let you focus intently on neutral head position via a series of related Focal Points including: (i) Relax neck and shoulder muscles; (ii) Feel your head is weightless; (iii) Aim your Laser Beam. Each can be practiced in a set of repeats dedicated only to that thought or face first in SG, then in Whole Stroke. SG makes focus easier because its a relatively simple skill. Copyright 2010 Total Immersion, Inc. All rights reserved. Do not copy without permission.

Tuneups are most valuable: (1) when learning a new drill or skill; and (2) when your practice includes more drills than whole stroke. The more familiar you become with any skill, the less you need to Rehearse or Tuneup. Even so, dont hurry to drop them from your practice. 3. Minimized Kicking Nearly every lesson includes this warning: Dont turn this into a kicking exercise. SCW is the first TI self-coaching tool to make this an explicit improvement principle. TI drills have always relied to some extent on kicking-formomentum because: (1) It takes time to tweak and imprint key positions. (2) You need momentum to gain that time and not sink. (3) When your movements are non-continuous you must kick to maintain momentum and body position. This dependence on kicking had the potential to fatigue and frustrate new swimmers, many of whom had an inefficient kick. It also had the potential to create a kicking habit that could be difficult to unlearn. Because an economical 2-Beat Kick (2BK) is the default choice for tireless distance swimming, we want the first steps in our progression to imprint relaxed, streamlined leg action. This will prepare you for later lessons designed to teach 2BK coordination. Thus many activitiessuch as Skate--previously taught via pool-length repeats are now presented as Tuneups. (This doesnt mean never Skate for 25y/m. Rather, if you make that choice, your kick should be relaxed and your attention on the fine points of the drill, rather than getting to the end of the pool.) Thus many steps suggest that you: (1) Use SG to establish the sense of weightlessness which permits relaxed streamlined legs; (2) After a few moments transition into Skating or another drill) seeking to maintain a sense of weightless, easy travel; and (3) STOP and restart when your kick becomes labored. Focus on streamlining, not kicking, to extend glide. Stay fresh. Imprint ease. Three Learning Steps: Balance, Streamline, Propel The central learning principle that separates TI from traditional swim instruction is that we always teach via a sequence of three skills Balance, Streamline, Propel. No matter the stroke, no matter the student or her goal, we teach in that order. We do so for two reasons: This order reflects their impact on your efficiency: Balance will make the biggest difference by far. Streamlining will improve your swimming nearly as much. Propelling better is not unimportant, but will create change thats relatively harder to notice. This order also reflects how easily you can learn the component skills. Balance skills involve large body parts and simple coordination; you can sense them more easily and master them more quickly. Streamlining skills start out fairly simple, then become a bit more challenging. Propelling skills involve fine motor skills and complex coordination. They require keen attention (and attention itself is a skill that takes time to learn) and great patience.

Balance means in harmony with the water. Its also the foundation without which skilled movement is impossible -- on land and in water. Balance provides both physical control and mental calm by replacing semi-panicky reflexes with the possibility to sort thoughtfully through choices that impact every skill step that follows. Among the four strokes, balance is most delicate in crawl, but once learned, allows you to swim almost any distance. If you tire while running, you can always walk. Balance gives swimmers a walking option. Copyright 2010 Total Immersion, Inc. All rights reserved. Do not copy without permission.

Streamlining comes in two forms. In Passive Streamlining, the simpler of the two, you shape your body to be longer, sleeker, more hydrodynamic. In Active Streamlining, you stroke in ways that move your body forward, rather than moving the water around. Your greatest energy savings and therefore increases in both endurance and speed come from Streamlining. Effective Propulsion in the TI Method means to direct available forces, rather than generating muscular forces. Gravity and body mass are a free source of power, which can minimize reliance on muscular force. You then convert Force (horsepower) into Locomotion by concentrating on holding water, rather than moving water back. In every stroke, in every skill, in every question or decision that arises, if you address Balance first, then Streamlining, then Propulsion, you minimize the potential for frustration or confusion and maximize the potential for clarity and success. The SCW will teach you as much about using this framework to answer questions as it does about swimming movements. The 10 lessons of SCW are organized into the Balance group, Lessons One to Three; the Streamlining group, Lessons Four to Seven; and the Propulsion group, Lessons Eight to Ten. Weve organized it this way because each group requires distinct forms of thinking, practicing and adjusting. Youll maximize success at each step -- and ultimately in how you swim the rest of your life -- if you develop the right movement and thinking habits in the steps that precede it. Balance Lessons The first three lessons are designed to encode key body positions and practice habits. These include: A set of motor skills that improve body control and strength of perception; A set of cognitive skills that improve strength-of-focus and decision-making.

Improved self-perception and body control are both essential to mastering the movements. When teaching yourself, you replace a coachs guidance with a mental blueprint for each movement. Self-Perception allows you to compare each drill repeat with the blueprint or with another repeat, then make the right adjustments. Body Control allows you to move according to plan, rather than in response to discomfort. The cognitive skills help you plan a practice session, decide when to continue or interrupt a repeat, when to drill or swim, etc. Most Balance drills are Tuneups and seemingly quite simple. Despite that simplicity, youll gain much by devoting at least a couple of hours to them. Any swimmer who has experienced discomfort, felt as if you were sinking, or found it difficult to relax the kick will benefit immensely from too much Balance practice. Streamlining Lessons The middle four lessons teach Streamlining skills entirely specific to freestyle. The Streamlining sequences are SpearSwitch (Lessons Four and Five), SwingSwitch (Lesson Six) and