The 5th Stroke

Hi All,

I felt compelled to share something with you all. This morning, we focused on our underwater work with our older swimmers. Having an amazing underwater kick is essential to becoming a fast swimmer. I have stressed this aspect of swimming in a major way for many, many years. Our club is getting much better at it as a whole.

I am writing this from my home office as I finish tweaking the seasonal plans for the upcoming season. We will be adding a more regimented underwater routine this year. While looking through my notes (of which, I have many), I came across something from an old friend. His name was Bob Gillett.

I say, "was", because he sadly passed away earlier this year. He had a major impact of me and many coaches across the world. While I fondly remember him for many reasons, he is best remembered for his work on what was called, “The 5th Stroke”. When I reread his work just now, I could hear myself stressing these things earlier today on the pool deck and for decades prior. Like hard work, some things just don't go out of style.

Some of the techniques presented here are not legal at this moment in time. While rules changes, concepts do not. Please take the time to read through his paper so you can get a better understanding of these concepts and why emphasising this important skill is essential for all of our swimmers; regardless of their age or current ability.

It is not a short easy read. The material was prepared for coaches so it may be a tad much for our younger swimmers to digest. No worries. We will be covering the material extensively with all the swimmers.

We are dedicated to offering our members the best exerience possible. Educating the swimmers and families on the importance of certain techniques will only help us grow and mature; both as individual swimmers and a team as a whole. To read the article, click the link below:

See you at the pool - Rich