If you’re new to swimming, learning to dive can be intimidating and understandably so. It’s not every day we throw ourselves head first into the water.
However, the correlation between faster start times and race times has long been recognised, meaning if you want to win that race you need the perfect start.
Here are our top strategies to help build up the confidence to getting up on those diving blocks.
Begin with a Sitting Dive
By starting with a sitting dive, you’re allowing yourself to get comfortable with entering the water headfirst from a close distance to the surface, making it feel less threatening.
- Sit at the edge of the pool with your feet in the water and against the wall.
- Put your arms up straight with your hands together. It’s important to, make sure your elbows touch your ears!
- Bend your upper body forward and downwards, so your arms are close to the water.
- Lean forward, fingers stretched out to the water and pushes off the wall with your feet, making sure your fingers enter before the rest of your upper body.
- Do this step a few times to make sure your entry is smooth and to ensure you’re confident.
Move onto a Kneeling Dive
- Once you’re comfortable with a sitting dive, it’s time to transition to a kneeling dive.
- This involves positioning yourself as close to the edge of the pool as possible.
- Crouch on one knee, resting it on the deck while placing the toes of your other foot at the pool’s edge.
- Keep your arms straight ahead, and your head down remember to stretch out your hands!
- Lean forward slowly, pushing with your feet against the pool’s edge, entering the water, again fingers first.
Stand and Dive From your Feet
If you’re comfortable with a kneeling dive, it’s time to add more height and to get you closer to the sensation of a real dive.
- Stand with your feet together; toes curled over the edge of the pool.
- Place your arms straight above your head, making sure that your arms are touching your ears with your arms.
- Bend your knees slightly, and stay relaxed so they don’t slap the water.
- Tuck your chin, bend at the waist, and push off with your feet into the water fingers first.
- You can also try this diving method off the diving board.
Dive From the Starting Block!
Now, it’s time to move up to the block. It’s important to ensure the dive area is deep enough to allow a safe dive.
- Place one foot with your toes just over the edge, and the other foot next to it, a step behind.
- Crouch over and grip the edge of starting block with both hands.
- Before jumping, make sure your head is tucked in with your chin down.
- Push off the block with both hands and feet, stretching your arms up over your head as you jump.
- Make sure your arms are straight, and your body is extended into a streamlined position.
- Straighten your body out once you hit the water, so you don’t go too deep.
However, this is all easier said than done! When diving from a starting block we recommend to come into Prince Alfred Park Pool and to work with a swim instructor to get it right. Practice makes perfect, no matter how many times you belly flop it’s important to keep trying and you’ll have that dive down pat in no time! Click here to sign up for a membership to Prince Alfred Park Pool.