Swing Skate Drill
This week Shane had us try a drill that we’d done back at the beginning of Level 1. I remember when we did this in Level 1 that I didn’t get it at all. It is basically the “painting” movement with our arm. The purpose is to make sure that our shoulders are forward and articulating and our arm isn’t resisting the water. This drill helped something with my shoulders click today so that was really great!
The Power of a Question
I tell my kids that if they have a question about something in class to ask it. If they don’t understand, it is very likely that many others in their class are confused too and their question will help many. Last week I suddenly started to get confused about the recovery arm, when to start it and exactly what it even was. Toward the middle of class, one of my classmates asked a question about the recovery stroke. “How far does the arm go back before we start to bring it back forward?” Shane showed us, and helped us understand where we were supposed to be pushing in the water and suddenly it started to click for me. One of the things that has struck me on this swim journey is the power of the class. I have made connections with others, learned from what they are struggling with, and we all have a chance to ask questions sometimes and listen and follow along at other times. Sometimes we’re too cold, tired, or just don’t know what question we need to ask, just that we don’t understand. Other times, the question is right there at the forefront and by asking we help everyone else in the group.
Break the Rules
When we did the swing skate drill I finally started to understand the shoulder articulation. It was many weeks after I really should have gotten this, and I do hope that it isn’t one of the fleeting things where I get it for one class and then lose it as fast as it comes. Shane said that my shoulders looked the best they’ve ever looked and I felt like leaping into the air.
Shortly after the drills, we moved back into swimming and focusing on the kick. Shane asked us to observe the rhythm of our kick and how much flex we had in our knee. Later he asked us to focus on the pressure on our foot. After each 50 we shared our observations. He asked me what I observed and I said, “I am so excited about finally starting to understand the shoulders that I can’t be bothered to focus on the kick!” We all had a good laugh, and Shane said to continue to focus on the shoulders and break the rules! I felt silly that I was only just starting to understand something my classmates had been very comfortable with for weeks, but I was also exhilarated that I was getting it. Everyone has a unique timetable for learning, and we can’t always force things faster than they are meant to happen.
We went through a series of drills that some of us were really confused by. We were circle swimming and I wasn’t the one to go first, so I just hoped that the leader understood better than I did. She headed out followed by the two of us in the lane. We talked after the first 50 and she said, “I don’t think I’m getting this.” I spoke with my other classmate and she was as confused as I felt. I confided that I just hoped to make it across the pool without being called out for being too egregiously wrong. After a few times through these, we talked as a group about how we all felt rather incompetent. Shane said we were “unconsciously incompetent” and our next step was to be “consciously incompetent” followed by unconsciously competent” and so on. We all had a great laugh about our progress!
Final Thoughts, and the Video
Most of the evening, I felt like my right side “got it” and I was struggling with my left side. On the left, things felt loose and just unplanned while the right felt tighter and I felt in control. Shane’s first words in the video were just the opposite – my left side was looking more comfortable and relaxed. There it is; relaxed. He keeps telling us to stop thinking and let our body get into flow.