Strategies to be a better diver


27th Myanmar Southeast Asian Games_2013_12_20_Mooken Chandran_015

Image credit: Mooken Chandran/Sport SG

The sport of diving seems deceptively simple, after all the main objective is to outscore all of the other competitors. A trap that many younger divers fall into is the belief that the more somersaults and twists you can do, the better a diver you are. Yet, such strategies may backfire, so if you’re looking to dive in a competitive setting, you must commit serious time and effort in order to refine and perfect diving skills. Here, we share some strategies that divers should consider implementing.

Boardwork and takeoffs
One of the most important skills in diving is the ability to master your takeoff from the board. A good takeoff will provide you with the height, control, and speed you need to perform your best. Focusing on this can be a great strategy for improving your diving. To perfect this skill, focus on these areas:
●    Dryland training
Practice hurdles, lunges, and jumps on dryland. This includes jumping rope, trampoline work, and dryboard hurdles. Concentrate on your posture, leg positions, foot work, and arm positioning in your jumps. A strong takeoff with proper body positioning will benefit all divers.
●    Weight room
Working out in the weight room helps to get your legs strong and powerful. Concentrate on toning your quad muscles, hamstrings, calves and ankle strength. Having strong legs will help you to exit the springboard or platform with power.
The importance of a good entry should not be overlooked. The last component of a dive that a judge usually sees is the diver’s entry into the water. An entry constitutes the largest portion of a score as compared to other elements being judged. Achieving good entries is a skill that all good divers spend countless hours practicing to perfect, so to focus on getting a great entry, work on the following dryland and water skills:
●    Dryland training
Before you get into the water, practice your entry position for each dive. Make these dryland drills a part of your daily routine.
●    Practicing lineups in water
Whether from the side of the pool or from a platform, a line-up, which is falling into the water from a stationary position, allows the diver to practice their posture and entry while simply concentrating on the task. In other words, practicing lineups mean working solely on the entry, without the fear of spinning out of control after jumping off a diving board, or hitting the diving board.
One way to stand out from the competition is knowing how to put a nice finishing touch to a dive. Having immaculate form and posture is a wonderful way to do that. It will be highly advantageous to focus on your form during training, so do keep in mind to tuck your legs in tightly when required and keep your toes pointed at all times. Having such good posture and form will certainly help you refine your dive, making you look polished both on the diving board as well as in the air.

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