home
call us on: 01239 613 789
< Return to all posts

Following the Flow

When leading is misleading

TAGGED IN
    Alexander Technique, Learning to Swim, Swimming Advice, Swimming Technique, Teaching Swimming
24-Sep-2017 /  written by Cheryl Cross
(0) Comments
Following the Flow
“ Anticipation of the next movement and a preconception of what it should look and feel like makes you rush ahead. Ahead of the rhythm of the stroke and the help of the water."

When I’m teaching swimming I often hear myself saying  “It’s about letting it happen, not making it happen”.

At Salsa class this week, the teacher gently reprimanded me for ‘trying to lead’ in other words for trying to make it happen.

When learning to swim strokes, as when learning to dance Salsa, it’s hard not to rush to the next movement, losing rhythm and flow.

As I’m not very good at remembering the dance steps, I was happy to hear that, “ If you’re following, you don’t need to learn the steps, you need to learn the technique.” Another echo of my regular refrain: “You don’t have to worry about your arms and legs, if you’re comfortable in the glide everything will fall in to place.”

The technique of Salsa dancing (I think!) is very similar to the technique of swimming strokes.  Look at the similarities:

Learning to dance Salsa:

Use your eyes - Look at your partner and particularly back towards them when you’ve been turned away.

Connection. With the floor - use it to support your weight. With the rhythm of the music. And with your partner - letting them initiate each movement.

Poise  – Don’t let your movements (steps) get too large and upset your balance. Keep your frame (elbows in front of body - relaxed but directed so the whole body can  move when led and the legs move to stay under the weight of your body).

Don’t try to lead - Anticipation of the next movement and a preconception of what it should look and feel like makes you rush ahead. Ahead of the music and your partner’s lead.


Learning to swim:

Use your eyes - Look down at the ‘fish’ and particularly back towards them when you’ve rolled out to breathe.

Connection. With the water - use it to support your weight. And with the rhythm of the stroke - letting it initiate each movement.

Poise – Don’t let your movements (of arms and legs) get too large and upset your balance. Keep your frame (relaxed but directed so as the weight of the whole body moves, the arms and legs can fall in to line).

Don’t try to lead - Anticipation of the next movement and a preconception of what it should look and feel like makes you rush ahead. Ahead of the rhythm of the stroke and the help of the water.

So next time at Salsa class, I’ve just got to make sure I don’t fall into the usual trap of trying to get the technique ‘right’. The blank stare of concentration and the stiffness of trying to make sure everything’s  in the right place – the one we often observe when we’re teaching the strokes.

Also See: Freedom from Form / Old Man River / Zen and Now / Meet Me at the Symmetry Gates / Diving into Breaststroke / Easy Adaptation / Waste of Space /  Three Strokes and You're Out / A Man Made Pool's What You Make It / Control Freak? Can't Swim? / I Believe I Can Fly

Your comments