Swimming on the back, using the legs only, and towing a helpless or drowning person to shore
The same remark applies also to the legs. It should be remembered that the legs are more important factors in swimming than the arms; the chief power of propulsion through the water should come from the former and not from the latter. Many swimmers, in their early efforts, make the mistake of putting too great a strain upon the arms, thereby tiring themselves more rapidly than they otherwise would do, and materially hampering their speedy acquirement of the art of swimming. With good swimmers (more especially is this the case in the breast stroke) the arms actually do little more than sustain the head and upper part of the body, and steer, the chief propulsive force being gained from the legs.
To learn the arm movements the swimmer should stand in water about breast-deep, keeping the right arm close to the side, bending at the elbow until the forearm is in front of the upper-arm. The palm of the hand should then be turned to the front, the fingers stretched out and touching one another. The next movement is to shoot the arm upwards, keeping the hand slightly hollowed as though scooping the water, and then return the arm to the side of the body. As regards the other arm, it should be swung upwards and sideways so as to bring the hand above the head, with the arm slightly curved. The forearm must be drawn down slightly in front of the face so that the fingers reach just beneath the chin. To finish the stroke the arm must then be brought smartly to the side, the palm turned away from the body.
When these movements have been repeated a sufficient number of times to ensure absolute certainty in their performance, they should be combined, the action of the arms being alternate. This means that whilst one arm is pulling the water, the other is being stretched out and forward for the next stroke.
So much, then, for the arm movements when swimming on the side.
The leg kick for the side stroke method of swimming of course differs very materially from that used in the breast stroke. The correct position is to have the right arm underneath and the left hand on top, with the right forearm resting against the side of the bath. The body must now be extended full length just beneath the surface of the water, lying on the right side; and then the legs should be separated by bending at the knees. They must next be thrust outward at full stretch and brought together with as much force as possible. This set of movements should be practised until the learner is proficient.
Ready for a dive into deep water
The combination of these arm and leg movements should then be attempted. Although, as we have said, there is no rule as to which side on which one should swim, one person favouring the left and another the right, it is wise to learn to swim on both. To be able to do so will often prove an inestimable advantage when racing or swimming in rough water, and permits of a restful change.
The stroke may, properly speaking, be divided into three parts : First, the upper or left arm stroke (this is when swimming on one's right side); second, the under or right arm draw; and, third, the leg stroke. The ' feathering," or turning of the hands, is a matter of great importance, as by doing this correctly one is able to push them forward with the least possible resistance to the water, and thereby avoid checking one's progress. The correct position for the body is not quite on its side, but just a trifle inclined on the chest, so that the upper arm, whether right or left, may be able to work clear of the trunk. The face should be immersed, so that the upper nostril is just clear of the water. The proper time for breathing is when the upper arm is drawn back, and the time for the breath to be expelled, when the arms are shot forward.
To combine the arm and leg strokes in side stroke swimming, the learner must begin swimming a stroke or two of the breast stroke. As the arms are swept back, she must turn over on the side chosen. The legs must then be drawn up, the upper one crossing over the lower, both knees being well bent, the upper in a similar position to that assumed in the breast stroke, whilst the other is pressed back, with the foot pointing in the same direction as the upper knee. To be continued.
By Florence Bohun
When winter comes, and the masses of flowers which grew and blossomed so luxuriantly during the summer are only a memory, many of us feel very sorry we have not a tangible reminder of them.
We have thought of collecting the flowers and pressing them, as we were taught at school, putting them between two sheets of blotting-paper and placing them beneath a pile of books for a night or so. But we have remembered that this attempt generally resulted in failure, and the pressed flowers only saddened us, because we had not left them to live out their full term of life in the fields. Besides, when they were pressed, what use had we for them ? Generally, their end was the dustbin.
As a matter of fact, however, many delightful uses may be found for flowers, when pressed.
A good many points must be remembered in the collection of the blossoms. Yellow, pink, and purple flowers keep their colours best; red and blue are not so satisfactory - nearly all the blue flowers, in spite of the greatest care, lose their delicate hue. The more simple the formation of a bloom, the easier, naturally, it is to press, and the more successfully it can be arranged afterwards.