August Cinjun Tate

6 min read Jun 28, 2024
August Cinjun Tate

August Cinjun Tate: The Visionary Behind the "Tate Method" of Swimming

August Cinjun Tate, known affectionately as "Gus" Tate, was a pioneering figure in the world of swimming instruction. He wasn't just a coach; he was an innovator who revolutionized the way people learn to swim, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations of swimmers and coaches.

The Early Years and the "Tate Method"

Born in 1900, Gus Tate's passion for swimming began at a young age. He started coaching in the 1920s and quickly gained a reputation for his unconventional, yet highly effective, approach to teaching. He believed in breaking down the complex movements of swimming into simple, manageable steps, allowing learners to build confidence and master each skill before moving on to the next. This revolutionary approach became known as the "Tate Method" and was widely embraced for its simplicity and success rate.

Key Components of the Tate Method

The Tate Method emphasizes natural movement and proper body mechanics. It focuses on:

  • Floating: Teaching students to relax and float in the water before introducing any swimming strokes. This builds comfort and confidence, essential for overcoming fear.
  • Breathing: Tate recognized the importance of comfortable breathing techniques for efficient swimming. He emphasized relaxed breathing and proper head position, vital for maintaining rhythm and preventing fatigue.
  • Streamlined Body Position: Tate emphasized a streamlined body position, minimizing resistance and maximizing speed. He taught swimmers to use the power of their legs and core, while maintaining a balanced and efficient posture.
  • Progressive Skill Development: Tate's approach was highly progressive. He broke down each swimming stroke into smaller, more manageable steps. Learners mastered each step before moving on to the next, ensuring a solid foundation for success.

Success Stories and Lasting Impact

The Tate Method has a long and successful track record. Numerous swimmers, from beginners to Olympians, have benefited from his approach. His legacy extends beyond individual successes, shaping the field of swimming instruction through its emphasis on safety, efficiency, and enjoyment.

Here are some key takeaways from Gus Tate's philosophy:

  • Focus on fundamentals: Building a solid foundation in floating, breathing, and body position is essential.
  • Break down skills: Complex movements should be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • Embrace natural movement: Encourage students to use their natural body mechanics to move efficiently in the water.
  • Create a fun and supportive learning environment: Learning to swim should be a positive experience that builds confidence and joy.

Gus Tate: The Man Behind the Method

Gus Tate was more than just a swimming coach. He was a dedicated teacher, a passionate advocate for the sport, and a respected figure in the swimming community. His commitment to helping people overcome fear and achieve their full potential in the water inspired countless individuals.

He published numerous books and articles on swimming instruction, sharing his knowledge with a wider audience. His work continues to influence swimming coaches and instructors around the world, ensuring that his legacy of safe and effective swimming instruction lives on.


August Cinjun Tate was a true pioneer in the field of swimming instruction. His unique approach, known as the "Tate Method," revolutionized the way people learn to swim. His legacy lives on through the countless swimmers who have benefited from his teachings and through the ongoing impact his philosophy has on the sport. Gus Tate's commitment to safe, efficient, and enjoyable swimming continues to inspire generations of swimmers and coaches.