Gary Stutsel on Breaststroke Focus

In July 2021 our Head Coach, Anne Smyth, outlined the Breastroke focus for the week’s training via our club email.  In response, our wonderful Technical Director, Gary Stutsel, provided this enlightening and entertaining response …

I had a little laugh when I read “this week’s article with the focus on breaststroke” (7/21).  I thought I focused on breaststroke for 40 years!

Learning at age 13 within 1 year and 4 months I was an NSW junior finalist (4th). It then took me 5 years to place and 8 years to get first place. This was inspite being coached by 4 of Australia’s then top coaches and having a serious road accident mid way through the 7th year. Then competing and training at a lower level of intensity it took me another 29 years with intermittent coaching and stroke correction to do my lifetime best times.

Over these years the rules and stroke have evolved or relaxed depending on your point of view. The video you have recommended we watch before training is a far cry from the “flat on the water” style of the 1950s where the head could not submerged the arms were fully extended to the sides of the body, as hinted at in the attached photo.

Gary Stutsel
Gary with very dark hair

“It is always interesting to hear about some of our member’s history and how swimming has changed”, Anne Smyth.

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