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The Crawls Main Action

stroke, arm, leg, particular and crawl


The downward thrash of the left leg synchro nises with the stroke of the right arm, which is bent from the elbow, the hands being slightly in advance of the face, palms outward, catching the water with a decided sharp thrust until they reach the hip, lifting them clear of the water in the ward movement, with the elbow well up in the air, the under arm starting just as the upper arm finishes. For the leg thrust, move the legs up and down, keeping them stiff at the hip, holding the knees closely together. The downward travel should be between fifteen to twenty inches from heel to toe, varying this to the travel which suits best and which can be sustained the longest with out undue strain. The breath should be inhaled through the mouth only every two or three strokes by a quick twist of the head as the upper 'arm is being brought down, exhaling through the nostrils as the under arm goes forward.

The action of the right leg and left arm are synchronous, coming into play just before the right arm and left leg complete their part of the stroke. It is this quick taking up of the latter movement that propels the body continuously for ward, there being no dead point or check during the complete cycle of movements governing the stroke.

Many swimmers who have adopted the Austral ian crawl make a perceptible check, which is due to incorrect leg thrust. This is very noticeable when the stroke is taken slowly, and should be rectified at once, as it is an action that is difficult to get out of. Indeed, it requires an expert coach to impart the correct timing and action of this stroke, requiring more direct supervision than any of the foregoing strokes. The crawl stroke

will undoubtedly be the classic stroke of all lead ing exponents of the art, although many will pre fer the "trudgen" for its simple actions. It is not improbable the Australian crawl will undergo some slight modifications, while retaining its name and popularity. There are many varieties of the crawl stroke, each swimmer experimenting or making the action suit his particular build, which all leads to progress, as it will be found that through discarding some detail of the stroke it is not true in its style. This will eventually lead to recognized clubs insisting on its correct action being adhered to in all competitive and inter national competitions when competing with this particular stroke, on the principle that it is quite imperative to have correct form and conditions in swimming races of a particular class or style, as it is to keep trotting ponies from galloping when running in a trotting race. It is very appar ent from observations taken during the last five years that very few swimmers are following the lead taken by C. M. Daniels in this particular stroke, his world's record for the 100 yards being 55 2/5 seconds, which conclusively proves that it is well adapted for speed swimming by those who take the trouble and practice to overcome the initial difficulties.