Seeing yourself

Seeing yourself

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 18 July 2023

Todays FP is tomorrow and tomorrow’s FP today. So if you are planning for something on Wednesday, then today it is. And everything that should be happening today, will of course occur tomorrow. Thursday is still looking good at this time.

The reason for us entering this universal time shift, is because I drove yesterday for a swim coaching lesson in Kuala Lumpur. A ten hour lightning fast drive (5 hrs each way) for a one hour lesson. It was worth it, but I was also left thinking that 11 hrs of Zoom lessons might be a more effective use of my time! I like driving but that’s wasn’t really the objective yesterday.

Anyway let’s talk about the lesson, because the last time I had my swimming stroke filmed from all angles, was two months ago. And I was curious if I had made any progress.

The short answer is yes, very much so. Above water I look fast and graceful, below the water not so much, but still better. My body position is straighter, my catch has improved, I’m breathing bilaterally. But what shocked me was that the one thing that I have been seriously working, setting up the catch, is still not what I’m trying to achieve. I have dedicated literally hours to this, trying to spear slightly downwards with a limp wrist (no comments please) – and while much improved, it was still nowhere near where I imagined it to be. My hand straightens literally a foot higher than where I am aiming in my mind. The hand ultimately ends up close to where it should be but I want it to go straight there.

I can sort of understand why – because we are looking downwards and not to where we are reaching – but it says a hell of a lot about the challenges of imprinting body positions.

As just about anyone reading this page will know, I teach flycasting via Zoom (I live even further away than 5hrs for most of you, not that that stops everyone from making the trip over!) and one of the best things I find about Zoom, is that you have a compete recoding of your lesson, in other words you see yourself casting, AND simultaneously being taught. It is incredibly effective. From my perspective my coaching sessions delivered via video conferencing are more effective than in-person, and for many reasons.

As part of my Flycasting “Athletes” training, I recommend that they regularly film themselves. This is easy of course since they already have the necessary equipment - a smartphone and a stand, tripod or, as in one case, a windowsill. Regularly I hear comments along the lines of “I can see my faults now” or “That’s not what I thought I was doing” or just “I thought I was better!”

So if you are training your flycasting then you really should  regularly video yourself. Once you have identified what you would like to change in your Casting Stroke, then you need to create some drills to isolate the movement or pattern or create some exercises that directly play with the part/s you wish to work on. That’s what we do as coaches.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the lake tonight. I’ve been given three new drills from my coach and I know what I need to change in my current freestyle stroke. Two months in I can see improvements, but I nowhere near where I want to be. Now that I have embarked on this strategy I can see that I am going to have 1-1 swim coaching for years to come.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?! Ironman in 12 weeks.

Have a great tomorrow today. I’ll see you today tomorrow.

Cheers, Paul