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The Trudgen Stroke

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THE TRUDGEN STROKE.

The

"trudgen" stroke is undoubtedly one of the fastest racing strokes of the time, and although suitable for this class of work, it is also a very useful stroke in long distance swimming. When the cycle of movements governing the actions pro pelling the body through the water are correctly carried out, it is one of the prettiest strokes the pupil or average swimmer can adopt. The trudgen is practically a double over-arm stroke combined with a scissor kick. It is the least tiring of the more advanced stroke, mainly because the body lies in a flat position in the water, obtaining the greatest buoyancy, the strength only being re quired to overcome the resistance of the body. Like all other strokes in swimming, there is only one correct trudgen, and this should not be con fused with the generally accepted form of this stroke. For learning the trudgen, the pupil should take up the correct kick first. It is exactly the same as used in the side and over-arm, but requires more practice, as the different position of the body, combined with the alternate action of the arms, is very apt to distract your attention, and if not careful at the outset the pupil falls into a slovenly kick. The trudgen, although looking apparently simple when shown by an expert, is in reality rather a difficult stroke to learn or teach, as the different movements must be executed without the slightest sign of jerking the stroke at any one point, which gives that steady forward progress, denoting a master of the stroke from the first action on entering the water. It is there fore advisable to take this stroke in stages, get ting the correct leg kick, following on with the arms. For the arm movement the body should rest on the water with the hands at full reach in a direct line from the shoulders, palms down, which is the first and last position of the alternate finish of the right and left arm action. When the right arm is making the downward pull the elbow should be quite rigid until it comes straight down alongside the right leg, when the elbow is bent and the arm brought forward well above the water the hands coming out sideways, palms outward. The semi-circle described in the arm stroke of the trudgen is similar to the over-arm stroke. When it is at its highest point from the water it is nearly at right angles. When the right

arm is in line with the legs, the left or under arm is just catching the water, beginning another stroke as the right arm lifts to go forward. Many swimmers give a slight roll, which adds to the gracefulness of the stroke, if not carried too far. It is essential to see that particular attention is paid to well-timed and regular breathing. When the head comes up in its natural incline to the right or left, as the case may be, the head should turn from the shoulder to the side the upper arm is going to be, when a long, deep breath should be taken. When the head is twisted back to its nor mal position, the breath being exhaled through the nostrils under the water, retaining the same until the stroke is nearly completed, i.e., inhaled while the upper arm is pulling, exhausting while the under arm recovers. The improved trudgen undoubtedly owes its popularity to Mr. T. Trud gen, who gave some wonderful exhibitions of speed swimming with this stroke for handicaps ranging from 100 to 160 yards. Many beginners imagine this is a modern stroke ; this is not so, as it is believed to be a revival of an old and forgot ten style used by the North American Indians. Strong support to this theory is given by the fact that the Indians of to-day are very poor swimmers, and although the canoe is part of their life, they are not fond of swimming. This more particularly applies to the Indians residing in or near the Great Lakes of Canada. It may be inter esting to note that the Zulu, natives of Zululand, are also poor swimmers. The writer once gave an exhibition to some several hundred Zulus north of Durban, South Africa, and out of the whole bunch only two or three would enter the water in a vain attempt to emulate the styles of swimming; their methods following those adopted by ladies bathing at the seaside, i.e., bobbing up and down ; but instead of the accustomed hearty laugh or shriek, they uttered deep guttural sounds of surprise when the buoyancy of the Indian Ocean upset their centre of gravity.

The trudgen has many advantages over the over-arm stroke, and from records already estab ilshed it is practically certain to become univers ally adopted for short and long distance swim ming, although the single over-arm stroke will naturally retain a certain following.