The Total Immersion Approach

If you're new to swimming you probably won't be aware quite how different the Total Immersion [TI] approach is to more traditional methods of swimming instruction. Here are some key differences


Posted: 18 November 2009

1. The TI method of instruction engages the whole body, rather than offering a more conventional focus on kicking and pulling above everything else.

2. It requires you to first master foundation skills before anything else: posture and alignment, balance, core rotation, aquatic breathing skills and core kicking. It doesn't matter where you are in your swimming career, everyone has to first master these skills.

3. Since TI believes swimming is a technical rather than an endurance sport, drills always come before distance or speed sessions, although conditioning develops while you are practising skills.

4. One of the most significant elements of TI is the engagement of the core as the engine of a good freestyle stroke. You can tap into effortless power when your rhythms and movement originate in your core, not in your arms and legs.

5. The whole focus of Total Immersion is on swimming effortlessly rather than swimming faster, although if you can manage the first then the latter is likely to follow by default.

6. The teaching method is very hands-on, with the instructor in the water physically helping you to master positions and movements. Even with group workshops there are multiple teachers and high teacher-to-pupil ratios.

7. Self-awareness speeds up the learning process, which is why all TI sessions use a level of video analysis to help you see exactly what you're doing in the water.

8. It's easy to learn. It starts with simple movements and positions and progresses in small steps. You can master the basics in a weekend and learn all you will need for ongoing self-improvement.


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