Swimming World Presents “Lessons With The Legends: Coach Cecil Colwin”

Swimming World March 2020 - Lessons with the Legends - Cecil Colwin coaching on pool deck

Lessons With The Legends: Coach Cecil Colwin

By Michael J. Stott

Swimming World continues a series in which top coaches share some of the secrets of their success.

Cecil Colwin was a man for all seasons and many disciplines. Born in 1927 in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Colwin labored his entire swimming life as a coach, stroke technician, administrator, educator, lecturer, researcher, author, cartoonist and illustrator. As a coach, he worked on three continents: Africa, Australia and Canada.

He became South Africa’s first full-time swimming coach, serving his home country from 1945 to 1971. In 1952, he established South Africa’s age group program and placed swimmers on every Olympic team until the nation was banned from the Quadrennial Games in 1964. Interestingly, Colwin coached all but one of the country’s Olympic swimmers comprising the 1956 South African squad.

One of his best athletes was three-time world record holder Ann Fairlie (100 meter backstroke). His swimmers won 45 Senior South African Championships, and in addition to claiming Olympic berths, they earned six spots on British Empire teams and 14 on other international squads.

Colwin departed for Australia in 1971, where he directed athletes to 19 state and three national championships. From 1973-77, Colwin assumed the role as the National Technical Director of Canada. While there, he was instrumental in setting up the nation’s TAG (Top Age Group) talent identification program. In addition, he developed a six-point plan for Canadian swimming for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, increasing the percentage of Canadian finalists over the previous three Olympic Games.

Ernie Maglischo
(sports scientist; author, including “Swimming Fast,” “Swimming Faster” and “Swimming Fastest”; 8x NCAA Coach of the Year)
“Cecil Colwin was one of the great thinkers in the sport of swimming. He was heavily influenced by Doc Counsilman—as we all were—during the decades of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Another great influence on Cecil was the late, great Canadian swim coach, Howard Firby. I have all of Cecil’s books in my library, and have read them several times. His greatest influence on me was through his writings on the importance of vortices to swimming propulsion. He was far ahead of his time on this one, having advanced this concept in the early 1990s.”

To hear more about Cecil Colwin from Bill Sweetenham and Joel Stager,
Check out the March issue of Swimming World Magazine- Available Now!

Swimming World March 2020 Cover - Louise Hansson
[ PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK ]

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FEATURES

016 CATCH CAL IF YOU CAN!
by Dan D’Addona
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020 MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU
by Dan D’Addona
That’s what Stanford’s swimmers could be saying to each other, as the Cardinal appear to have what it takes to win their fourth straight women’s NCAA championship!

023 THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
by David Rieder
Swedish swimmer Louise Hansson never envisioned herself swimming in college in the United States. But as she prepares for this month’s women’s NCAAs, the University of Southern California senior says that moving to the U.S. was the best thing she’s ever done.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: “WE WILL SMASH THEM LIKE GUITARS”
by John Lohn
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030 UPON FURTHER REVIEW…
by Andy Ross

The battle for supremacy for this year’s NCAA Division II and Division III swimming and diving titles might not be such a foregone conclusion as in previous years when Queens dominated D-II, Emory controlled women’s D-III and Denison was the talk of men’s D-III.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: CECIL COLWIN
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: TECHNIQUE SIMILARITIES ACROSS THE FOUR COMPETITIVE STROKES
by Rod Havriluk
Although there are obvious differences in technique elements across all four competitive strokes, there are many similarities. Knowing about the similarities can help swimmers better understand specific movements and, consequently, make technique improvements more quickly.

040 Q&A WITH COACH BILLY DOUGHTY
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN LUCA URLANDO
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: STROKE STRENGTH SERIES—BACKSTROKE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

045 UP & COMERS: JACE LLOYD
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT 009 BEYOND THE YARDS

019 THE OFFICIAL WORD

032 2020 SWIM CAMP DIRECTORY 044 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

046 GUTTERTALK