When Luke Skywalker went looking for the great Jedi Master to learn the way of The Force he didn’t expect to find the shriveled mini-martian Yoda. But what Luke learned from this offensive little back-planet specimen was that it did not matter what kind of body The Force flowed through, but what kind of mind. The Force could be wielded with great effect by a Yoda, an Obi Wan, or a Darth Vader.
Every time a new champion emerges in swimming world the multitudes claw over video footage and reports to find out the special technique that gave them the winning edge. So often, novel features and personal idiosyncrasies are grabbed onto and imitated religiously by novices around the world. A new fad is begun. It is possible that some of those new features yield some improvement. It is more likely that while trying to imitate these tricks many are led to injury, ignorant of the unobserved but fundamental skills mastered by an elite that allows them to get away with that trick. There is so much more happening inside that performance than what can be noticed on a video clip.
What has impressed me over the years with TI is that it doesn’t look for the latest tricks and idiosyncrasies. It is concerned entirely with the objectively measurable foundation of physics and human physiology – what is happening with the forces of water, gravity, and energy transfer- and as importantly, what is happening in the neurological mind of the swimmer. TI recognizes and teaches the fundamental principles of ‘The Force’, if you will, for ALL swimmers – the natural forces at work in the water, in the body and particularly in the human brain. When a swimmer becomes sensitive to these forces and learns to cooperate with them they are placed onto a platform from which they can achieve their greatest potential in swimming.
When you look for a swim coach around the world you will find them in many different shapes and sizes. and different backgrounds. What I have found to be common is that each TI Coach is first and foremost a practitioner of TI Mastery, developing excellence in their own swimming, continually refining their own fluency with these forces. Upon this platform of mastery each pursues his or her personal swimming goals. The goals don’t matter as much as the platform does. Each is trained in the practice of fluency with water, and are trained to pass these skills on to their students. This platform is timeless and universal- it is based on fundamental forces of the universe regarding any human, any vessel in fact, moving through the water, not the latest swimming gimmick. The pathway of learning has first been experienced and proven in the TI Coachs’ personal practice (which seems to be the common reason for becoming a TI Coach) and has been proven on thousands of swimmers around the world.
Be neither impressed nor offended by the appearance of the master you seek out- younger or older, big or small, ‘fast’ or ‘slow’, man or woman, human or alien. It’s The Force you are after, and I am more confident than ever that a certified TI Coach is trained to deliver. They will show you first how to quit working against these forces, and then how to work with them. They will pass on to you the skills to build the Platform, and develop the superior mindset in which you can reach your goals.
Learning to work with The Force is the act of building your platform. What you do with it from there is up to you- however fast or far you want to swim. Yoda might agree then, from that point on, your body won’t limit you as much as your mind.