2019.08 Private Lessons Anuhya.ma

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  • #24769

    Jamee Small
    Keymaster

    2019/08/13 – Session 1 of 6

    Great job on the first session, Anuhya. You did marvelously.

    Your goal coming into session was to learn to swim for fitness. This is still very much possible. However, as we encountered during our first session today, addressing your comfort in the water will be the priority. Once you feel at ease in the pool environment and with your own body there, you will be ready to build a stroke upon that comfort.

    If you progress at the same rate we started with today, I anticipate you will be able to hold a streamline shape and move from front to back by the end of our sessions. This serves as your foundation to build upon.

    Below I have compiled notes from our session review and individual practice time. Remember to move slowly, exercising the excellent awareness of your comfort level. The challenge is not so much the skills themselves, but the level of relaxation and trust you yield in the water.

    Remember, every day you practice is another step closer to overcoming discomfort and one step closer to your ultimate goal.

     

    Routine

    For those new to the water, I highly recommend developing a person warm-up routine. You will see professional athletes on race day, prance about, jump, swing, clamp, listen to a specific playlist, etc. All to get themselves into the mindset of their race. This is a ritual they perform each time, triggering their mind, body and nervous systems for the specific activity they are about to do. To build familiarization with your time in the water, I suggest creating one for yourself. This might look something like this…

    • Sitting on the edge with feet in, excercising dyamphramatic breathing, or…
    • Putting your face under the faucet during the pre-swim shower and blowing bubbles, or …
    • Being on deck and role playing in your mind the activities you are doing for the day, etc.

    A routine is anything that helps calm your nervous center, focuses your mind, and puts you in a positive mood before your activity. It can change and grow as your skills and comfort grow.

     

    Practice Awareness

    Through a carefully designed series of incrementally more complex drills, we will awaken your awareness of the connection and gain consistent control over it. It is very easy to let it slip away, if you let your mind get ahead of the moment. And, that is the tendency we guard against when crafting a series of drill activities with incrementally increasing complexity. These are meant to train both the body and the attention. The supreme challenge is to stay present in this movement and make it the best movement you possibly can. As you gain mastery of attention and control in this simple activity, then you can graduate to the next incrementally more complex activity. In this way, your neuromuscular control and your attention get programmed deeply.

     

    Complexity of Supportive Structures (Stairs, Lane Lines, Walls)

    When practicing solo, it is important identify where the comfort line is and the level of support needed to relax for the activity or drill. During our session you experienced the physical support of the coach and the support of structures in the aquatic environment (e.g. stairs, lane lines, wall), before trying an activity or drill independently.

    Depending on the pool and general activity there, pick a supportive implement to use as you walk yourself towards solo activities. Determine the level that you feel most comfortable and achieve the drill. Once this feels comfortable, progress to the next left of support. Progressively wean yourself off the support. Descending from most support to no support.

    1. 2 hands on support structure, activity while holding breath
    2. 2 hands on support structure, activity while exhaling steadily
    3. 1 hand on support structure, activity while holding breath
    4. 1 hand on support structure, activity while exhaling steadily
    5. 1 hand with only fingertips on support structure, activity while holding breath
    6. 1 hand with only fingertips on support structure, activity while exhaling steadily
    7. 1 hand hovering over support structure, activity while holding breath
    8. 1 hand hovering over support structure, activity while exhaling steadily
    9. No supportive structure in the shallow end while holding breath
    10. No supportive structure in the shallow end while exhaling steadily

     

    Air Management

    Start with Air Management at the wall. If needed, use support structure and work towards no support. During all other drills and activities, you will interchangeably hold your breath and exhale, incorporating both sensations.

     

    Balance Basics

    Object Retrieval – Placed, weighted objects on grading stairs at staggering depths or in shallow end at a depth greater than waist height. Carefully inhale, filling the lungs with air, then exhale bubbles before lowering head into water while retrieving the object.

    As the depth increases, feel how the water pushes back to lift the body off the ground. The water and the body are finding the buoyancy point. It may feel unstable until the sensation become more familiar. When the depth is great enough the arms cannot reach the object and the feet lift, additional techniques may be required. See Submersion technique instructions below.

    “Beach Ball” Float – Use both arms to hold bent legs to chest. May lift legs one at a time, or all together. Make the movement smooth. Feel the entire body bounce, then settle into the balance point.

    Front Float or “Superman” (Supported) – Arms slightly angled down into the water and shoulder width apart. Head down. May life legs one at a time, or all together. Make the movement smooth. Feel the entire body rest straight and long, engaging the lower abdomen and straight hips to lift the legs.

    - Coach Jamee

    #24816

    Jamee Small
    Keymaster

    2019/08/15 – Session 2 of 6

    Air Management Continued

    Warm-up the system with Breathing Exercises. If you find the discomfort rising and hindering the breathing exercises, add in a Support Structure to complete the exercises.

    • Breathing in through the mouth and out the nose.
    • Sitting up, above the surface with chin in only
    • Sitting up, lips in only, exhale out the nose to ripple across the surface
    • Sitting up, lips and nose submerged, mouth closed
    • Extended Breath Hold (Start at 3 seconds each (12 seconds), build to 10 seconds each (40 seconds)

    Balance Basics

    • Object Retrieval
    • Toe Touch Float (“Jelly Fish”) – Reaching down to touch toes, feel the feet lift off the ground. Allow the body to lift with the buoyancy of the water. Enjoy the feeling while practicing exhalation.
    • “Beach Ball” Float – Use both arms to hold bent legs to chest. May lift legs one at a time, or all together. Make the movement smooth. Feel the entire body bounce, then settle into the balance point.
    • “Dead Man’s Float” – Front float without any support, shape or tension in the entire body. (If at a practicing at a pool with a lifeguard, notify lifeguard before doing “Dead Man’s Float”)

    Submersion Technique

    We only want to sink if we intend to. In discomfort, the mind strongly resisting the feeling of pushing the body down beneath the water. But as you experienced in Balance Basics, when relaxed, the body wants to float. Whether standing, sitting, kneeling or crossing the legs, buoyancy tries to lift your body to its balance equilibrium. To sit on the ground of the pool, you may need to assist.

    Think to “Go Down, Push Up, to Go Up, Push Down”

    • Submerging – Put hands down at sides. Submerge the head, then flap the arms like wings UP towards the surface of the water. Repeat quickly if additional depths is required.
    • Rising (Front Float Recovery) – Hand above the head but below the surface of the water, flap the arms down toward sides. Repeat as the body rises until the head breaches the surface.

    Front Float Drill Focal Points

    Remember Focal Points are used guide the brain to focus on a particular body part, movement or simulation. It helps override the anxiety. Aim for one Focal Point at a time. When they become individually comfortable, then try two at a time.

    • Weightless Head (Relaxed neck and shoulders, eyes looking straight down)
    • Straight Spine (lifted pelvis, straight legs, face parallel to ground)

    These Focal Points and further explanations of them are under 101 Focal Points.

    Videos of the Superman Position and how to recover out of the Front Float Position.

    The goal – relaxation throughout the body while feeling the water lift the body.

    - Coach Jamee

    #25023

    Jamee Small
    Keymaster

    2019/08/17 – Session 3 of 6

    Continue to explore content covered in Lesson 2. Each time aim for better air management and relaxation throughout the body.

    • Air Management, Bubbles and switch between Extended Exhale/Hold
    • Sit “Bottom on Bottom”
    • “Hops”
    • “Beach Ball” Hold
    • “Touch Toes”
    • Superman Float

    Torpedo Float

    Today’s lesson we explored the ‘Torpedo Frame’ of the body, with the Torpedo and the Superman Glide drills. This frame unifies your shoulders, hips and legs into one unified torso unit.

    This frame has two main functions you need to be aware of and take advantage of :

    1. Water pressure pushing up and gravity pushing down can act uniformly upon your frame making it easier to stay parallel to the surface. This frame creates a surface that water can more easily support so you don’t have to expend effort pushing down in order to hold the body up.
    2. This firm, unified frame can more easily transfer force through it.

    Imagine a corridor just below the surface of the water which your body lays in, resting between the forces of gravity pushing down and water pressure pushing up. This is the corridor where you can swim along without having to waste energy fighting against those two natural forces.

    You worked on keeping this frame parallel to the surface by shifting weight forward through that frame. You did this by letting the weight of the head and the weight of the arms be supported by the water, rather than hold them up.

    Torpedo Focal Points

    • ‘Mountain Pose’ (yoga) or ‘Stand At Attention’ (like military stance)
    • Both hands tucked deep into pockets
    • Long spine (as if pulled up by a string)
    • Keep thighs straight behind torso

    - Coach Jamee

    #25024

    Jamee Small
    Keymaster

    2019/08/22 – Session 4 of 6

    Body Orientation

    Today we introduced a few more activities to build greater balance and proprioception in the water. Start with your other Balance Basic skills before trying the new activities. These are built on existing skills and comfort level. Then later, you can jump between stroke orientated and comfort orientated activities to mix things up and keep your attention sharp.

    • Wall Push-off and Glide
    • Dolphin Dive to Ground (Tuck head and straight hips)

    Skate Position

    Upon the Torpedo and Superman frame, this more balanced body, within that corridor, you worked on shaping the body into its most ideal streamline shape for freestyle – the shape we call ‘Skate Position.”

    The Skate Position is the base position for the freestyle stroke – the stroke starts and finishes at this stable, streamline position. It is the foundation on which all other parts of the stroke depend. Skate Position delivers force forward. The better your Skate Position, the more easily you slide forward in the water.

     

    Skate Focal Points

    • Weightless Head
    • Tippy Toes
    • Hands at Target
    • Arms “Wide on Tracks” (Shoulder width apart)
    • Keep arms soft (like a tree branch)

    You may examine other useful focal points on the 101 Focal Points page.

     

    Skate with Paddle

    Once you are comfortable with the Superman to Skate drill while maintaining a relaxed and well shaped frame, attempt a few paddles on one side of the body.

     

    Supine Position (Back Float)

    The Supine Position is usually the most vulnerable postures. It takes a great deal of faith in this new environment to trust its support as you lean back into it. Much like you experience in the Prone Position, the more you relax and create a long narrow vessel the body will lift and balance in the water better.

     

    Supine Position Drills:

     

    Supine Focal Points:

    • Relax the head to rest (as if laying it on a pillow)
    • Shoulders back and down, then relax (don’t let them slip back up to the earlobes)
    • Lower abdomen stretched and elongated
    • Pelvis up (tilt the hips towards the ceiling)
    • Hips straight
    • Legs straight and narrow behind the body

    Once you experience calm and relaxation repeatedly, take a moment to observe how your body feels while its floating. What does the water feel like as it surrounds and supports you. Just make simple observations and relax in the knowledge that both your body and the water are supporting you.

    Here is a video reference on how to move from floating in the Supine Position to standing.

    - Coach Jamee

    #25282

    Jamee Small
    Keymaster

    2019/08/24 – Session 5 of 6

    Excellent work, Anuhya.

    You progressed well through each activity, giving yourself space and time to acclimate the entire body with each activity. It can be tempting to jump right into the more complex activities, longing to re-experience the magic you did during your previous session. I encourage you to take your time and build up to those activities. The relaxation, comfort and ease is the primary goal to build sustainable skills.

    Take your time and you’ll soon be ready to build upon this foundation of comfort you’ve carefully crafted.

     

    Breathing Exercises

    Breathing exercises can be a great way to tune into your body and prepare yourself for the activities before you in the water. We covered a couple different exercises, but below I’ve included a few more for your to explore on your own. Each will stretch your comfort and control. The more aware you are of your air management, the better you can assess your comfort and apply control over it.

    Extended Breath Hold 1 – First hold the breath for X minutes, then exhale completely under water.

    Extended Breath Hold 2 – Hold the breath for X seconds, exhale for X seconds, hold the breath for X seconds all in one session. Build to 10 seconds each.

    Submerged with Mouth Open (no bubbles) – Holding the breath and blocking the air passage in the back of the throat, submerge with the mouth open.

     

    Balance Basics Continued

    Each time you practice the Balance Basics, you build a greater sense of proprioception which will apply in any of your swimming activities. Add complexity in a number of ways, i.e. Beach Ball paddle side to side with one arm, and Toe Touch start below the knees and build to touching toes or grabbing the ankles, Dolphin Dives start with diving from standing then build to pushing off the wall to dive down.

    Beach Ball with Arm Paddles – While holding the knees with one arm, use the opposite arm to rotate the Beach Ball one direction, then switch directions. Which ever way the arms moves causes the body to move in the opposite direction. Switch arms.

    Toe Touch – Start at Knee touching and eventually work down towards the toes. The exercise is to get comfortable with the feet taking off from the ground and being suspended in water.

    Dolphin Dives – Bringing hands together, arms hugging the ears enter a streamline position. Dive down to touch the ground, keeping the body long and narrow as if sliding through a tube. To resurface, either allow the water to gently lift you up naturally or push off the ground with hands and bend upwards towards surface.

    Deadman Float – To practice complete relaxation and feel the full support of the water, release all tension in the body during a front float. If a lifeguard is present, make sure to warn him/her before doing this activity. They might mistake your actions for a real emergency.

     

    Front Float (Prone Position)

    Controlled Standing from Prone Position – To stand from floating in the Prone position, tuck the knees into the chest while sweeping the arms forward as if to clap. The body with slightly rock forward, straighten the legs and put the feet down to the ground while sweeping the hands down to right the body.

    Front Float (with Support) – Build up to solo front float by using the ladder, the wall or lane line.

    Superman Position – Eyes looking straight down, arms suspended shoulder width apart and at about a 45 degree angle from their axis. Keep the body long and straight. The Torso from the armpit to the hip is one unit.

    Torpedo – Like superman, but hands are tucked deep into your “pocket” and elbows are tight into your side. Remain long and straight.

    Skate Position – Transition from Superman to Skate by slipping one hand into “pocket.” The body is no longer equally distributed across the surface area and requires a slight rotation. Keep the torso from the armpit to hip locked as one unit. Avoid twisting the shoulders and hips out of alignment.

    Focal Points:

    • Weightless Head
    • Shishkabob Spine
    • Tippy Toes Stretch
    • Arms Wide on the Tracks
    • Arms at Target Depth

    Front Float – Playing with Propulsion

    Push Offs from Wall – Two feet on the wall and one hand grasping the edge, point the free hand out in the direction you want to travel. Release hand on the wall to swing up from with the free hand and push off with the feet into a glide. Enjoy the lift and rush of water.

    One Arm Paddle – From Skate Position, use one arm to paddle forward. The key is to pretend you are driving the Skate Arm forward. Remember to wait until the Skate Position is stable before beginning to paddle. Check Focal Points if this position feel instable.

    Breaststroke Arms and Flutter Kick – Remaining parallel with the ground, sweep the arms. “’I’ to ‘Y’ then wrap around to ‘I’.” When this feels comfortable, controlled and calm, then add a slight flutter kick. In the flutter kick the hip and knees bend minimally, remaining long and connected. The legs soften as it moves farther from hip to your feet. The feet should remain soft.

     

    Back Float (Supine Position)

    Controlled Standing from Supine Position – This motion is very similar to Controlled Standing from Prone Position. The primary difference is it requires a greater contraction of the abs and arching tuck to rock forward. In Supine, break the position by bending the hips and knees up and in while tucking the head in. The body will rock forward quickly putting you in the same position as the Standing from Supine Position. Apply the same movement.

    Back Float (Supine Position) – Lower to shoulder height in the water. Gently tip the head back, lean the chest back into the water and straighten the pelvis and lift towards the surface. Keep the forehead tilted backwards, resting the head on the water like a pillow.

    Supports:

    Use supports to slowly warmup and wean yourself into floating on your back calmly and comfortably. Supports can be used to simulate the sensation you are aiming for. Memorize that feeling.

    • Lane Line Beneath the Neck
    • Pool Noodles
    1. Noodle under knees and under neck
    2. Noodle under neck alone
    3. No Noodle
    4. “Head Back, Chest Back, Belly Button Up” (Start from shoulders deep in the water, keep the hips relatively straight and gently lean backwards, quickly bringing the pelvis up and letting the head rest backwards”

    Next Steps:

    Remaining Lesson – As we discussed you could save your final lesson for another time when you able to come back for a visit. There is no expiration. You could gift it to a friend. Or if down the road you decide to release the lesson, we would refund you the cost of the single lesson.

    You will have access to the dojo site for about 3 more months. The knowledge library, videos, dojo blog posts and podcasts are available to you through there. But even beyond those 3 months, I am here as a resource for you.

    - Coach Jamee

    #25283

    Jamee Small
    Keymaster

    2019/08/24 – Session 5 of 6

    Excellent work, Anuhya.

    You progressed well through each activity, giving yourself space and time to acclimate the entire body with each activity. It can be tempting to jump right into the more complex activities, longing to re-experience the magic you did during your previous session. I encourage you to take your time and build up to those activities. The relaxation, comfort and ease is the primary goal to build sustainable skills.

    Take your time and you’ll soon be ready to build upon this foundation of comfort you’ve carefully crafted.

     

    Breathing Exercises

    Breathing exercises can be a great way to tune into your body and prepare yourself for the activities before you in the water. We covered a couple different exercises, but below I’ve included a few more for your to explore on your own. Each will stretch your comfort and control. The more aware you are of your air management, the better you can assess your comfort and apply control over it.

    Extended Breath Hold 1 – First hold the breath for X minutes, then exhale completely under water.

    Extended Breath Hold 2 – Hold the breath for X seconds, exhale for X seconds, hold the breath for X seconds all in one session. Build to 10 seconds each.

    Submerged with Mouth Open (no bubbles) – Holding the breath and blocking the air passage in the back of the throat, submerge with the mouth open.

     

    Balance Basics Continued

    Each time you practice the Balance Basics, you build a greater sense of proprioception which will apply in any of your swimming activities. Add complexity in a number of ways, i.e. Beach Ball paddle side to side with one arm, and Toe Touch start below the knees and build to touching toes or grabbing the ankles, Dolphin Dives start with diving from standing then build to pushing off the wall to dive down.

    Beach Ball with Arm Paddles – While holding the knees with one arm, use the opposite arm to rotate the Beach Ball one direction, then switch directions. Which ever way the arms moves causes the body to move in the opposite direction. Switch arms.

    Toe Touch – Start at Knee touching and eventually work down towards the toes. The exercise is to get comfortable with the feet taking off from the ground and being suspended in water.

    Dolphin Dives – Bringing hands together, arms hugging the ears enter a streamline position. Dive down to touch the ground, keeping the body long and narrow as if sliding through a tube. To resurface, either allow the water to gently lift you up naturally or push off the ground with hands and bend upwards towards surface.

    Deadman Float – To practice complete relaxation and feel the full support of the water, release all tension in the body during a front float. If a lifeguard is present, make sure to warn him/her before doing this activity. They might mistake your actions for a real emergency.

     

    Front Float (Prone Position)

    Controlled Standing from Prone Position – To stand from floating in the Prone position, tuck the knees into the chest while sweeping the arms forward as if to clap. The body with slightly rock forward, straighten the legs and put the feet down to the ground while sweeping the hands down to right the body.

    Front Float (with Support) – Build up to solo front float by using the ladder, the wall or lane line.

    Superman Position – Eyes looking straight down, arms suspended shoulder width apart and at about a 45 degree angle from their axis. Keep the body long and straight. The Torso from the armpit to the hip is one unit.

    Torpedo – Like superman, but hands are tucked deep into your “pocket” and elbows are tight into your side. Remain long and straight.

    Skate Position – Transition from Superman to Skate by slipping one hand into “pocket.” The body is no longer equally distributed across the surface area and requires a slight rotation. Keep the torso from the armpit to hip locked as one unit. Avoid twisting the shoulders and hips out of alignment.

    Focal Points:

    • Weightless Head
    • Shishkabob Spine
    • Tippy Toes Stretch
    • Arms Wide on the Tracks
    • Arms at Target Depth

    Front Float – Playing with Propulsion

    Push Offs from Wall – Two feet on the wall and one hand grasping the edge, point the free hand out in the direction you want to travel. Release hand on the wall to swing up from with the free hand and push off with the feet into a glide. Enjoy the lift and rush of water.

    One Arm Paddle – From Skate Position, use one arm to paddle forward. The key is to pretend you are driving the Skate Arm forward. Remember to wait until the Skate Position is stable before beginning to paddle. Check Focal Points if this position feel instable.

    Breaststroke Arms and Flutter Kick – Remaining parallel with the ground, sweep the arms. “’I’ to ‘Y’ then wrap around to ‘I’.” When this feels comfortable, controlled and calm, then add a slight flutter kick. In the flutter kick the hip and knees bend minimally, remaining long and connected. The legs soften as it moves farther from hip to your feet. The feet should remain soft.

     

    Back Float (Supine Position)

    Controlled Standing from Supine Position – This motion is very similar to Controlled Standing from Prone Position. The primary difference is it requires a greater contraction of the abs and arching tuck to rock forward. In Supine, break the position by bending the hips and knees up and in while tucking the head in. The body will rock forward quickly putting you in the same position as the Standing from Supine Position. Apply the same movement.

    Back Float (Supine Position) – Lower to shoulder height in the water. Gently tip the head back, lean the chest back into the water and straighten the pelvis and lift towards the surface. Keep the forehead tilted backwards, resting the head on the water like a pillow.

    Supports:

    Use supports to slowly warmup and wean yourself into floating on your back calmly and comfortably. Supports can be used to simulate the sensation you are aiming for. Memorize that feeling.

    • Lane Line Beneath the Neck
    • Pool Noodles
    1. Noodle under knees and under neck
    2. Noodle under neck alone
    3. No Noodle
    4. “Head Back, Chest Back, Belly Button Up” (Start from shoulders deep in the water, keep the hips relatively straight and gently lean backwards, quickly bringing the pelvis up and letting the head rest backwards”

    Next Steps:

    Remaining Lesson – As we discussed you could save your final lesson for another time when you able to come back for a visit. There is no expiration. You could gift it to a friend. Or if down the road you decide to release the lesson, we would refund you the cost of the single lesson.

    You will have access to the dojo site for about 3 more months. The knowledge library, videos, dojo blog posts and podcasts are available to you through there. But even beyond those 3 months, I am here as a resource for you.

    - Coach Jamee

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