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Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier Paperback – August 2, 1996

260 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Masters swimmer and acclaimed coach Terry Laughlin has taught thousands to swim more efficiently in the workshops he has given across the United States. In his book Laughlin details simple, step-by-step drills emphasizing the importance of technique and an innovative workout regimen.

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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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside (August 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068481885X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684818856
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 88 people found the following review helpful By B. Smith on August 4, 2013
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. Bulletproof Your Shoulder 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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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
SHORT VERSION
-This method is incredible and works.
-Don't buy this book. Instead buy the updated version "Swimming made easy." It contains significantly improved drills.
-To really make it easy to learn this method, the DVD is gold. A moving image is worth more than a thousand words in this instance. The DVD contains the same drills as the book "swimming made easy."
LONG VERSION
First I have to point out that while this method is incredible, this particular book is not the one to get. Terry's book "Swimming made easy" contains almost identical material in the first several chapters but the drill portion has been improved dramatically. I originally bought this book and mastered the balancing drills but when I started working on the later drills I didn't understand how all the pieces fit together. With Terry's new drill sequence the drills naturally work you into a complete swimming stroke. In addition, "Swimming made easy" also includes drills for the backstroke, butterfly, and breast stroke."
If you want to improve your stroke even faster, I highly recommend the DVD "Freestyle made easy." Being able to see the stroke in action and the resulting propulsion from body rotation makes it much easier to grasp the overall concept. A picture is worth a thousand words in this instance. I purchased the book and dvd at the same time and don't think I would have progressed as fast as I did without the dvd. If you can only buy one thing I would recommned the dvd. You can get a large portion of the conceptual information from the Total Immerssion web site which has segments of the book free for download.
Now for my story. I'm an aspiring triathlete with my first one scheduled in about 3 months. The open water swim had me a bit concerned.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a masters swimmwer back competing after a 30 year hiatus and I'm finally learning how to swim. By employing the methods presented in this book plus some excellent supplementary coaching I have been able to take off a full 2 seconds on my 50 yd repeats in workout and expend what seems like less effort. That is a two body length improvement through technique improvement alone. I have read may books about swimming technique and this book seems to be the best to date. I am fortunate in having an Olympic Gold Medalist as a masters coach and this book illustrates many of the techniques used in his stroke which he passes on to his swimmers. I use it as a personal clinic before practice to remind me of proper technique and some of the all important drills which I use during warmup
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Benjamin on August 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Maybe the book deserves five stars, but I shall be stingy. I am a 16-year old age group swimmer. I specialize in long-distance freestyle and am close to my first AA times in a few events. This book is one of the most important advances in my swimming career. By religiously following every drill in Laughlin's program (including one resembling dead-man's float which was hard on my pride to do in public), I have been able to convert my flat, brute-force freestyle into a more graceful and efficient stroke.
I began to see results after about two weeks, but so far my sprints have been fairly resistant to change, although I am confident that I can slowly increase the speed where I can use my new stroke. Since I bought this book during the summer, I have had no meets to get new times, but I have noticed that in practice I have swum faster with dramatically less effort. My biceps, triceps, and shoulders are no longer bearing all the burden of swimming and I have learned how to make freestyle swimming's power and rhythm come from the core of the body.
I can't say how helpful the book would be for more advanced swimmers, but I will recommend it to swimmers with A and AA times who hope to get AA and AAA times, especially to those who have poor rotation in freestyle. Backstrokers may also benefit somewhat if they need to cure poor rotation.
Finally, I am an assistant coach for my neighborhood's swim team during the summer and I have successfully used the principles of the book to quickly correct many stroke flaws of younger swimmers.
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