View Full Version : the crawl stroke simplified

March 17th, 2002, 02:45 AM
Now that the Ides of March are far enough behind us I feel safe in reducing to one sentence the secret of the crawl stroke. But first, I gotta make some introductory remarks.

Doc Counsilman stated it in its simplist alliteration: ALLWAYS ACCENT ACCELLERATION.

I have given this a lot of thought and practice through the recent years, along with video study of the current world class men freestylers. Also chance thoughts from many coaches in recent publications, whose names I won't mention for fear of leaving out the most important ones, who are several. But I will mention the names of the participants in an archived discussion of what has been recently called the New Australian Crawl. They started with an Edward, a Gil, Jean Stirling, Dick Pitman, Nate Leach, Peter Cruise, Matt Shirely, and Paul Windrath.

Obviously my sentence will not be including all that needs to be known and done, but to me it seems to be helpful. After all it took me years to understand that what Doc meant when he spoke of the "bent arm stroke" was the act of bending the elbow. It was not, as I had assumed, akin to "chokeing up" on a baseball bat.

So, my sentence will merely expand upon Doc's three words for now, with the understanding that there is much more to the subject which will not now mention the swimmers breathing, legs, torso, or anything else, positive or negative. It will be a given that the arms act independently, that is, one at a time, but similarly to the nth degree. So here goes, awkward as it is, complicated by the fact that ya gotta start somewhere.

"The hand in the forward extension, when ready, is made to move through the stroke and recovery phases as fast as possible with all of the consequent glide of the (same) hand extended forward, gliding downward from the surface until it is its turn to stroke again." Always accent accelleration.

To accomplish this many things are involved such as hand pitch, elbow bend, depth, body roll, head position, high elbow (and its double meaning), etc., etc., etc., but enuf for now.