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Total Immersion: Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster Paperback – 6 Jan 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (6 Jan. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068481885X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684818856
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 1.7 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,005,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Eddie Reese 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 United States Olympic Coach and Head Coach, University of Texas (six-time NCAA champions) The most valuable service a good coach provides is to sharpen your technique, not make you work harder. Terry Laughlin has done an outstanding job of simplifying that complex job, providing practical tools that will work for any coach or teacher.

David Marsh 1996, 2000, and 2004 United States Olympic Coach and Head Coach, Auburn University (2003 NCAA Men's and Women's champions) Total Immersion can help anyone learn to be a better swimmer, regardless of ability. Terry Laughlin makes an improved stroke simple for the novice, yet I've seen his methods work for elite swimmers, too. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

Master swimming as an art before training for it as a sport.
I've been swimming (in training and competition) for 32 years, since the age of 15, and coaching for 26 years. In particular, I've spent the last 10 years intensively teaching improvement-minded adult swimmers in weekend workshops. I've distilled all those experiences into the guidance included in this book. If I had one goal in mind in writing this it was to make Total Immersion the most immediately useful how-to book available for swimmers. My promise to my readers is that I'll provide real, practical, detailed, complete and -- most of all -- clear and simple how-to information. I've been delighted to hear from so many readers that this book has been their favorite road map to achieving greater satisfaction with their swimming than they had thought possible. Happy laps, Terry Laughlin

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm not a big swimmer, but I heard so much about this book that I had to check it out- and I'm glad I did. This book will save a lot of people who are trying to learn to swim better a lot of time. Here's why:

-the book concentrates on swimming technique, correct position, and how you're suppose to feel in the water
-the book gives you drills to reinforce the most efficient way to swim
-the book is very scientific and the info is based on hydrodynamics

The book covers a lot of ground, but the authors writing style makes is go by quickly (at least it did for me). The pictures were good and I thought the explanations of the techniques and the "why" behind them was very understandable. Not sure about the rotator cuff routine in Chapter 16 though- it's kinda long and I'm not sure if some of the exercises like the reverse biceps curl is really necessary (rec. Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff for swimmers who have shoulder issues).

In conclusion, I found the book very enlightening and recommend it to anyone (young OR old) who wants to learn how to swim more efficiently by learning the correct swimming techniques. The author obviously loves swimming and has brought all his years of experience and research into one handy resource.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I returned to swimming eight months ago after a long break and wanted to improve my front crawl technique, so bought Terry Laughlin's "Total Immersion". I've practiced almost daily and this book has definitely helped a lot.

There are three main techniques explained here which are key to swimming front crawl well. They are: balancing your body correctly, swimming long ie. with your arm extended, and swimming on your side. Why these techniques improve your front crawl swimming is explained very well. Indeed, the whole book is very readable and quite entertaining.

Step by step drills are given in chapter 8, to teach you how to progress to the complete stroke, which you may or may not want to follow. I personally didn't, but kept reading over the chapter to compare it to what I was doing in the pool. The book also recommends buying the accompanying DVD for the book. I didn't do this either, as I found plenty of related Total Immersion video clips on the Internet.

Overall then, I found the book enjoyable and useful for improving my stroke. My only criticism is that there is very little about correct breathing in front crawl, which is actually quite important to get your stroke right. But again, there is plenty on that aspect of swimming on the Internet, so it isn't really a problem.

The only other thing I'd like to point out is that while the Total Immersion method is very well explained, and clearly works, there is a noticeable difference between it and competitive front crawl swimming. Watch some videos online of say Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe and you'll see that their arm stroke is a bit different ie. the arm does not sink after entry. So, Total Immersion is not for speed.
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Format: Paperback
Following the advice of another Amazon reviewer, I took a look at this in my local bookshop before buying. I was intrigued enough to buy it - but have since discovered that there is a more recent book that supercedes this one. That book is called "Extraordinary Swimming for Every Body". I wish I had known before I bought this one!
There is also more than one TI DVD, likewise some more recent than others. I believe the latest is "Easy Freestyle: 21st Century Techniques"

UPDATE - since I wrote my original review I have done a TI workshop which was absolutely facntastic. I am revising some of my comments below in light of what I have learned. If possible I would also amend my rating to THREE OR FOUR STARS - but it seems I can't edit that part of the review.

Firstly, you will probably NOT be able to teach yourself the TI approach to swimming just by reading this book. What the book provides primarily is background information that is very useful as a COMPANION to the DVD. (Chapters 1-7)

The key point is that because water is so much denser than air, the secret to fast swimming is efficient swimming rather than more effort. We all know this intellectually; but only serious swimmers actually act upon it.
There are some interesting scientific facts along the way.

Chapters 9-16 are about training for races, fitness etc. Most of this was of little interest to me - I just want to learn efficient technique.

Which just leaves Chapter 8. This is a series of deceptively simple drills that are designed to teach efficient swimming starting from scratch. And this is what intrigued me enough to buy the book. I wanted to be one of those guys cruising past with no effort and no splashes.
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Format: Paperback
I've always been rubbish at front crawl, so before I went on holiday this year I got this book out of the library to take to Greece with me. Other reviewers have pointed out that the author tries to urge you to buy other products such as DVDs, coaching, Fistgloves (TM) etc, but I reckoned that if the book was any good, then I ought to be able to learn from it "the same way we do everything in the German Army ... by the book of instructions."

Anyhow no-one could be more surprised than me to find that this cheapskate strategy has actually worked, and after 2 weeks in the sea I am, officially, Domino Vitali. You don't have to battle against the waves any more, they just sort of roll you forward. By the end of the holiday I was recommending this book to just about anyone who would listen.

The only quibble I have is with the illustrations, which are meagre, and also look like they were done using an old Rotadraw. The Underswitch in particular could do with a picture to show what you're meant to do with the first arm. If it so happens that your only audience is a few fish, this is not a problem, but in the shallow end of a crowded public baths I reckon it would be a good deal harder to envisage. The author says himself at one point that "a picture is worth a thousand words" so in this digital age it would not have broken the bank to have inserted a few more pictures, instead of recommending that you buy the DVD (which shows that he himself thinks the book falls short in this department). However, to me the book was worth 5 stars. So my recommendation to other readers is that you save the money on coaching and other accessories, put it towards a beach holiday, and take this book along with you.
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