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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this morning I drag my tired butt to the pool. I slip into the water and push off fully knowing that my heart was not in doing a set workout; rather, I'd just slow increase pace until I reached 40 laps. After hitting 40 laps, I popped my head out of the water and started taking my goggles off when I saw the lifeguard, now an "old friend," wave me over at the far end of my lane. I swim over and hang on the edge as he tells me...<br><br>
"I'm no expert, but if you'd like, I saw something in your form."<br><br>
Eager me, of course I told him: Out with it!<br><br>
"Your body looks good, but your legs seem to be like this." He put his hands together, as if to pray, and motioned them back and forth in a swirling manner as if a fishtail of the rear end of a car that was, well, fishtailing.<br><br>
He continued: "Most of the fast swimmers, their legs go up and down when they kick (like a flutter)... but yours go side to side. I don't know if maybe you're rolling too far or what, but I thought you'd want to know."<br><br>
I've heard this before from another person. I'm guessing that my legs sway side to side as I stroke. It must be because of perhaps rotating too far, or maybe twisting instead of rotating, or... Regardless, it must be dragging me down, as the legs probably drift outside the "chute."<br><br>
Another point is that I only kick very lightly and only what is natural.<br><br>
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated...
 

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Found these on a swimming user group. I usually list to the left when I swim and I've been working on a more streamlined position lately.<br><br>
--------------------------------------------------------------------<br><br>
Usual causes are:<br>
1) Crossing over the center-line of your body with your stroke (ie: right<br>
arm reaching to the left of your head at entry or pulling left underneith<br>
the water)... as you reach across, you are actually forcing your body to<br>
change directions and follow.<br>
2) Failure to rotate the shoulders and hips with each pull. A flat body<br>
position will cause any pull that is not directly down your center-line to<br>
torque the body left or right -- the same way paddling on one side of a<br>
canoe causes the canoe to turn.<br><br>
re:causes of fishtailing, more often than not a<br>
swimmer's arms will cross over that imaginary center line when s/he is<br>
swinging the arms on the recovery. Try to keep a high elbow on the<br>
recovery and keep your hand pretty close to your body. Swinging your<br>
arm out to the side on the recovery gets the momentum going such that<br>
when your hand enters it crosses the imaginary center line. Try some<br>
high elbow drills such as fingertip drap (regular freestyle but skim<br>
fingertips across the water on the recovery) and thumb slide (slide your<br>
thumb along your body on recovery up to the armpit, then have a regular<br>
entry).<br><br>
The root cause of "fishtailing" is swimming/practicing flat or prone<br>
during freestyle. Without rotating the body, the arms swing around to<br>
the side instead of recovering straight forward from exit to entry. This<br>
sometimes resembles a one-arm butterfly drill. Often, these swimmers<br>
"bounce" as well. A steady diet of drills focusing on side-lying<br>
positions & accentuating rotation/weight shifting helps immensely.<br><br>
Incorrect head position can cause fail tailing, make sure you look at the<br>
bottom of the pool, NOT straight ahead.
 

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Huh. Hobey beat me to it, but at least it validates my thoughts, which were:<br><br>
1. Probably crossing the center line with your hands<br><br>
2. Probably rotating with your shoulders but not your hips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm pretty sure I do not cross center line on recovery or entry. Sometimes, but only when I'm very, very, very tired, will I cross center line at the end of the middle part of my pull. But again, only when I've very tired and pulling hard. So I don't think 1 is it.<br><br>
But it might be 2. I have no idea if I'm rotating properly, as I have never, ever had instruction or even someone look at my stroke. (But not because I don't want it, rather because it's not convenient nor cost effective.)<br><br>
So maybe I should focus more on rotation. I have been told by some that I rotate too far, but that honestly might just be an illusion given off from my legs fishtailing all over the place.<br><br>
And by the way, thanks for your input all. Keep it coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yo Fishdog, did I ever tell you what your Avatar really reminds me of? No, well take a seat. Remember the show Planet of the Apes? Of course you do. You're older than dirt. It was probably your favorite show at some point. Anyway, you know how they show a picture of the beach with the Statue of Liberty half sticking out of the sand? Now fast forward a bunch of years... you know Scooby Doo, right? Of course you do, we joke about him and talk in his voice all the time on our runs. Well, your Avatar looks like the show the Planet of the Apes took on the cartoon Scooby Doo and won, where Scooby is only an ancient relic of a skeleton sticking out of the sand right next to Oh Ms. Liberty.
 

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Head-up drills (I believe Sheldon calls these Tarzan drills) can resolve the first question. Basically, you swim with your head as far out of the water as possible, facing forward. That way you see exactly where your hands enter the water. It also is a great drill for learning good catch, as you have to catch like a mo-fo to keep yourself from drowning.<br><br>
For rotation, I would try 6-kick drills. Kick 6 times on one side (no kickboard), then rotate and kick on the other side. One hand out front, the other by your side. So you actually take a stroke or two as you rotate, which keeps you moving forward. With this drill, if you don't rotate all the way over, you'll again drown yourself.<br><br>
Prepare to cleanse your sinuses with pool water the first couple times you do both these drills. They're awkward, but effective once you get the hang of them.
 

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Another thing you can do to find out whether your body is in two pieces (bad) or one piece (good) for the long axis strokes (front crawl and backstroke) is to try the rotation movement from your back first. Lie in the water as if you're doing backstroke. Rotate to one side. Do your shoulders initiate? Do your hips? Do you roll as a unit? The nice thing about this is that you get to breathe. It's also great to work on balance on your back. You'll find out if you have it or not this way.
 

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Don't you know people who swim at your pool now? Master_of_None? Maybe even the Oven Roaster? You could at least have them grab some video with a basic digital camera (still camera in video mode). Post it to YouTube. (Give it to John, if that's too much trouble.) Wait, I know, I know. You've got a big date in a couple weeks... but AFTER the honeymoon. It could be done for free with minimal inconvenience. OR, if you really want to get bang for your video buck, you could have the wedding at the pool and have the wedding videographer do double-duty. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You so smart. Great idea on the digital camera. I got one of those. Perhaps me and Lord John will arrange something to do some recording.<br><br>
Now as for the wedding videographer, the Ironmate didn't want video. She's a graphic person and says it's a waste of money, and plus, all her friends who had video done, although they all like it, most say they could have done without. Perhaps I should have insisted we do video, but alas, it's too late. But to be honest, I'd love to have video of Lord John conducting the ceremony!
 

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Probably just look <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbqv3MwwVd8" target="_blank">a lot like this</a> anyway. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
We didn't have a videographer either. A couple relatives shot video and sent us copies. We still have it someplace. Of course, it's on VHS and we don't have a player anymore but...
 

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A hint: <i>"Mawidge... "</i> Of course with Humperdink and Buttercup, it wasn't twoo wuv like with Heather and the Ironboy. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Tick, tick, tick... two weeks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Knock it off... the ticking has become so loud that I'm not sure if it's the wedding clock or the Ironmate's internal one striking midnight. But my suspicions are that it's both clocks gonging in sync, where the Ironmate is the one pull the weight chains, swinging side to side with all her might...
 

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so since that's how I learned to swim (had to take lessons to learn how to swim with my face in the water) I probably have a good catch, right?<br><br>
someone could make some damn good money by reviewing posted videos of people swimming and recommending drills.
 
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