This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about teaching swimming.
I first began teaching swimming at the age of seventeen. I had two pupils. It was not until the 1956 Olympic Games that 1 began in earnest, and then I was so taken by the likes of the Konrads and John Marshal, that I adopted their ‘new’ style of swimming – the third stroke breathing method. This is an evergreen style that is as near to breathing at a walking pace, that one can get. I shall endeavour to pass on to my readers, this little gem of information; read and put it into practice for the betterment of your stroking.
The Third Stroke breathing Method is not unlike that old favourite ‘The Australian Crawl’. With the australian crawl one takes a deep breath and holds it until one has swum an entire lap, pulling up at the end of the lap through sheer lack of breath. With the Third Stroke Breathing Method, one does just that – breathe on every third stroke! Not only can one breathe normally when swimming, there is also stability to your stroking inasmuch that the body does not rock sideways at each stroke. A steady even pull such as a sculler is also evident.
For Third Stroke swimming, one does the crawl but on the third stroke, turns the head to one side sufficiantly enough to take a breath. The breath is taken BELOW the water level for with the forward propulsion of the body, a hollow is left after the head has moved forwards. It is in this hollow that one takes their breather, blowing out gently with the head straight down for two strokes. On the third stroke (which is now upon the other side of the body), the swimmer should take the next breath. With a minimum of movement the head moves from side to side with the third stroke, only the chin moves from side to side. During two strokes, the head should be held in a straight forwards position. The feet should be kicked two, four or six times during the entailing three strokes. Depending upon the distance to be swum, marathon, two to six laps or sprint.
This method enables the swimmer to gain maximum speed with very little exertion. An easy stroke for practice laps and a purposful stroke for an average distance. More frenzied can be left for the last half a lap in a sprint race. As a rule, an easy purposeful stroke will eat up the laps and get the swimmer from A to B with little exertion. The Third Stroke Breathing Method of swimming is a proven practise drill and a world-class winner in marathons. Enjoy your swimming.