Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Flip Turns and Resistance in Swimming

I blew off flip turns for most of my freestyle sets yesterday and had something happen.

I enjoyed the damn swim.

*head scratch*   See, now I do swim for exercise and I do challenge myself to do hard things, but at the end of the day, it's something that's really meant to keep me interested enough to keep working out.  

Still, I can't really stomach the idea of completely blowing off flip turns as a training strategy.  Sure, sure, there are swimmers that do open turns and when I get into the open water in a couple of weeks (brrrr!) flip turns aren't going to be a factor.

Part of the reason I do this is actually professional.  No, I'm not a swimming instructor or coach (HA!) or anything like that.  But I am a teacher and I do teach adults.

I want to break through that Learning a New Method resistance and see how and why it's happening.  I work at a medical institution, and one of the biggest things I see in my job is resistance to changing how something is done in terms of computers and workflow.  

These are smart people I'm talking about.  A large portion of them do have to have ongoing education in their fields, so it's not like Learning a New Thing is even alien to their work.   But oh my word, can changing how something looks or works on a tool get the grumbling and even resistance.

So, that's a lot of my own motivation for not giving up on the flip turns.  I mean, I can do one (Did more like 33 this morning).  But it does interrupt that flow-- the zone I get in when I am swimming and love so much.  That's a lot of the resistance for me,

I figured out one that when pushing off for my first length of breast stroke this morning.  I love the feel of that glide, so I oughta love a flip turn, right?  Nope. A flip turn when I am swimming hard takes up so much air that I am gasping when I come out of it.

Back to that first glide as I started my morning swim.

It was shallow.  I mighta been a foot under the water at most.   When I do a flip turn, I'm more like two or three feet under water (depending on whether I am flipping at the deep end or shallow end).  I go way too deep when I do my flip turn.

So, I tried something this morning and did my flips a lot more shallowly (is that actually an adverb?)  Turns out that sorted out the breath issue. So now my flips are clumsy and off center.  Still, it was interesting to realize that might have been a lot of the problem.

My goal really is to be able to just swim and get into the zone as I'm doing it, so flip turns are going to have to be a whole lot more automatic before I do that.

This does help my empathy with students who really just wanna get into their zone professionally and resent the interruption of the changes in method with a tool.
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