Smooth Strokes Blog

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Total Immersion technique and mindful training advice

Addicted To Flow

We come to the final part of our discussion of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's eight "characteristic dimensions of the flow experience" outlined in his book The Evolving Self. Let's review... Why pursue flow state?  Because flow makes it feel wonderful to do difficult...

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Which Podium Are You Aiming For?

In engineering there is this rule of optimization which says you can't optimize for everything in a system. You have to choose what few functions or goals to prioritize and give greater resources to and which to strip resources from.  You can't have it all, but you...

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When To Train With Others?

My long time friend (since 5 years old!) and I were debating the merits of training with others. Our conversation was about running, but when I composed my summary of our thoughts I realized this would apply to swimming as well, in the case of training for a...

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Lose Your Self In Flow

This continues from Part 6 of our discussion of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's eight "characteristic dimensions of the flow experience" outlined in his book The Evolving Self. #6 - Loss of self-consciousness, transcendence of ego boundaries, a sense of growth and of being...

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Train To Extend Your Energy

  If you are aspiring to swim longer distance - whatever is 'long' to you - I want to recommend to you a different way to view what you need to focus on in your precious training time.  In the first half of practice, when energy is abundant and you feel strong and...

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Flow Requires Full Attention

This continues from Part 4 of our discussion of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's eight "characteristic dimensions of the flow experience" outlined in his book The Evolving Self. The first two features of flow had more to do with planning what your training will focus upon...

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Your Swimming Brain

What draws you to the practice of Total Immersion? Is it smooth swimming? Is it for health and fitness? A lifelong goal? What about as a method to train and sharpen your brain? Does it meet all those aims? The brain physically and cognitively is absolutely...

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How To Solve Any Swimming Problem

What's the biggest obstacle standing in the way of your reaching your swimming goal? Would you like me to tell you how to solve that problem? Well, I can't address every individual problem there is, but I can point out the different categories you can search through...

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Flow Requires Clear Goals

This continues from Part 2 of our discussion of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's eight "characteristic dimensions of the flow experience" outlined in his book The Evolving Self. In The Evolving Self, Csikszentmihalyi is connecting the research findings he presented in his...

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Flow Requires Preparation

This continues from Part 1 of our discussion of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's eight "characteristic dimensions of the flow experience" outlined in his book The Evolving Self. We talk about this a lot. But, what is Flow?  First of all, you may read about Flow and Mihaly...

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Get New Insights From Old Information

When have you recently taken some time to look through your 'old' information on TI - that which you read months or years ago while studying the video, reading the book, or what you collected from your live training experience? Perhaps you scanned it once and thought...

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Breathing Solutions Outside The Pool

After a swimmer has invested the time to thoroughly work through fundamental swimming skills, often the swimmer encounters some obstacles to improvement that are better addressed by training he needs to do outside the pool. Some major areas for improvement that emerge...

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The Magic Wand

When they were younger, just starting to do bigger chores around the house, I used to tease my daughters that I was giving them a 'magic wand' that could make much of what they wished in life come true.  What is the magic wand? Hard work. Needless to say, at their...

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Going Harder And Going Smarter

I have a couple swimmers in one of our weekly practice groups who are members of a local masters swim group that meets on a two different evenings each week. They came to me some months ago because their coach is great at making them work hard, and work harder, in...

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Why Do Sprint Work?

A 46 year old swimmer from Azerbaijan has been working with me for some months through the Mediterra Swim Dojo, our online training site, to prepare for 10 km swimming this summer. Within the last year or so he's gone from essentially a non-swimmer to a confident and...

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