What Jan learned from Total Immersion

tiTotal Immersion (TI) was devised by US swimming coach Terry Laughlin. As a result of his work with swimmers in the 1970s and 1980s he put together his book Total Immersion in 1996.  His inspiration was aquatic animals and he concluded that good body alignment was essential to minimising water resistance. Although his background was with competitive swimmers Laughlin challenged the idea that you needed some kind of innate talent to swim well. He says that anyone can work on their swimming using his method. Today TI is loved by swimmers all over the world and is particularly popular with those wishing to take part in a competitive event such as a Great Swim or a triathlon.

The main focus points for Total Immersion are:

  • Balance – the body should be level in the water. This means that the head is lower and legs higher than in traditional swimming.
  • Active streamlining – the body should be kept as long as possible to reduce drag
  • Rhythmic weight shifts – the movement of the torso generates propulsion rather just relying on the limbs
  • Friction – holding the water rather than pulling back

Jan uses short, easy-to-learn drills building the stroke from the basics. Lessons are taught in the water or from poolside.

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