Rather than reach a certain level of skill and then turn off the brain to swim, in TI practice we increase the challenge on the brain to increase the resilience of our skills.
The brain has only so much capacity to concentrate on new skills. It takes time to imprint a skill so that it becomes automatic (controlled smoothly by a subsconscious part of the brain). Once we feel a certain skill becoming easier, almost automatic, we can increase the challenge gradually to strengthen that skill further.
In the first stage of TI training we use just Focal Points – starting with just one FP, and then holding two at a time and then three or more (refer to Focal Point Blending).
In the next stage, we add Stroke Counting with Focal Points. This activates and integrates both sides of the brain in more powerful ways.
In the next stage, we add Tempo with Focal Points.
And, in the ultimate stage, we practice holding all three at the same time.