By Cecil Colwin

''In leap forward Swimming, swimming trainer and historian Cecil Colwin describes how aggressive swimmers of the fashionable period - similar to swimming giants Ian Thorpe and supply Hackett - follow leading edge education tools and stroke strategies to set new criteria of functionality. All 4 strokes in addition to starts off and turns are provided in thorough element in Colwin's easy-to-grasp educational style.''--BOOK JACKET.

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As the right arm reached forward behind the shoulder to the entry with the palm turned outward, the other arm was allowed to drift in the water next to the hip. The right arm then pulled outward and downward in a full sweep that ended at the hip. While the right arm was pulling, the swimmer recovered the left arm overhead with a relaxed elbow and wrist. Until this stage had been reached, the legs trailed close together, straight but relaxed. Then, as the left arm started its sweep, the legs opened and performed a scissors kick that ended just as the left arm completed its sweep.

For the stroke to be perfectly timed, the closing of the legs was timed to occur as the arms attained full reach ahead so that the body shot forward on the momentum imparted by the kick. Air was inhaled through the mouth during the drive of the arms and exhaled through the nostrils while the arms were recovering. Tempo and Timing Gilbert Collins (1934) advocated that tall swimmers with long legs should reduce the width of the kick, while short swimmers should use a wider kick. He compared the actions of the two leading male swimmers in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, where Tsuruta (Japan) defeated Rademacher (Germany) by using a quicker stroke.

They immediately embraced the new stroke and formed classes to teach it. The success was marvelous. Men who had been indifferent swimmers gained in aptitude, good men improved, and soon the world was ringing with the news of the crawlers. At Rubiana, Al Wickham used the crawl to swim 50 yards in 24 seconds. Then Dick Cavill swam a phenomenal 100 yards in 58 seconds. Soon the stroke invaded Europe, eventually reaching America in 1904 (Sullivan 1928, pp. 37–38). Duke Kahanamoku (see also p. 13), the first great Hawaiian Olympic swimmer, assured questioners in 1912 that the crawl stroke “had always been natural to the Hawaiians,” while Alick Wickham, a Solomon Islander who lived in Sydney at the beginning of the 20th century, and who once held the world’s 50-yard record for a fairly long period, said that all children in these islands swam a form of crawl stroke.

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