Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 126 scoop SPRING 2010
Stroke of genius
“In the past, we were taught to kick, pull and breathe
as separate skills. The talented few amongst us
co-ordinate these actions effectively and become
‘good swimmers’. The rest of us did our best every
length but wasted a lot of energy. We became fitter
and stronger but our speed reached a plateau.”
For Peter Hendricks, however, that all changed
when he discovered Total Immersion swimming.
The Total Immersion philosophy is about helping
“swimmers who struggle in the water and who want
to swim with ease and grace”. The stroke is broken
down into individual components – relationship
with the water, streamline/glide, hip power, flow and
breath – each skill building upon the previous one.
At 40 and with arthritic knees from old Aussie
Rules injuries, Peter’s days of high-impact sport were
over. Looking for new challenges, he decided on
swimming – a new, low-impact option – after seeing
a swimming squad at his fitness centre.
After barely completing two laps (in the slow
lane of the 20m pool) and trying to sneak away, he
was talked into staying by the coach. He gradually
improved. After a year he made it into the medium
lane, but there was no more improvement.
“Lo and behold I came across Total Immersion...
there was a lot of information and helpful hints that I
started to introduce into my stroke during my squad
sessions... and I started to improve.”
Peter immersed himself in the technique.
His stroke rate went down from 21-22 strokes
per 20m lap to 13-14 and he was enjoying his swim-
ming more – so much so that he entered his first
open water swim, the 1.2km Portsea Classic. He has
since participated in nearly 80 races, cut his stroke
rate down to 10-11 strokes per 20m and joined the
Now a Total Immersion coach, Peter is a strong
advocate of the practice. “Total Immersion has given
me the drills and knowledge to implant the skills
necessary to reduce drag in the water. That, in turn,
has allowed me to swim further and faster than I
could possibly have imagined seven years ago.”
For more infor mation, visit tiswim.com .au .
Take the plunge
Open-water events are held between October
and January each year at a variety of beach
and still-water locations around Perth, set up
through Swimming WA, Masters Swimming
WA and surf lifesaving clubs. Swims are up to
10km, with swimmers aged 13 to 75.
SWIMMING WA OPEN WATER SWIM SERIES
Round 1 – Sunday October 31 2010,
Rockingham Foreshore, 1 .25km, 2.5km, 5km.
Round 2 – Saturday November 13 2010,
Mullaloo Beach, 1.25km, 2 .5km, 5km.
Round 3 – Saturday November 20 2010,
part of City of Perth’s Festival of Sport,
Swan River, 1.25km.
Round 4 – Sunday December 12 2010,
Champion Lakes, 1.25km, 2.5km, 5km, 10km.
Round 5 – Sunday January 2 2011, Leighton
Beach, 1 .25km, 2.5km, 5km.
Round 6 – Sunday January 30 2011, Rottnest
Channel Rehearsal Swim and Celebrity Charity
Swim, Sorrento Beach, 2.5km, 5km, 10km.
At the time of print, dates were unconfirmed
for Masters Swimming WA and for surf
lifesaving club events but a full calendar can
now be found at mswa.asn.au .
The openwaterswimming.com.au website
is dedicated to open-water swimming and
contains heaps of information as well as online
Peter Hendricks found his swimming so improved
by Total Immersion that he started teaching the
technique to others.
“The feeling of accomplishment of
making the swim is awesome... ”
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