In competitive swimming, a good dive off the starting block is fundamental in helping you to win races and improve your timings. If you watch any swim stars, such as Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe, you will notice that they start off with a dive that can get them as far out as possible. This should be the goal of your dive too!
1. First, practice plunging into the pool without the starting block. If you’re unable to do so, then you shouldn’t proceed further just yet.
2. Only once you have mastered plunging without the starting block, then proceed to the starting block. Start by placing one feet in front so that the toes of that foot are over the edge. Place your other foot about shoulder-width behind you and face toward the pool.
3. Once you hear “take your mark”, crouch down with your feet and grab the front of the starting block with one hand at a time. Bend further down until your chest touches the top of your thighs. Once you become better, you should lean as far forward as possible till the point where you feel close to falling any time. Remember to remain still until you hear the signal to go.
4. Once you hear the signal to go, jump off the block by pushing forward off from it with your arms and legs simultaneously. When you are in the air, place your arms into a streamline position above your head. Upon hitting the water, tuck your head in and straighten your body out to avoid sinking in too deep before you begin your dolphin kicks.
- Get a professional instructor to assist you with your dive so that they can highlight your mistakes.
- When you are about to dive in, tuck your head into your chest to prevent your goggles from falling off.
- A swim cap can prevent your goggles from falling off.
- Remember to dive out and not down. You wouldn’t need to dive deeper than two feet to get a head start.
- Never plunge without proper knowledge and supervision.
- Never plunge from the starting block with fins on as there are chances of slipping and injuring yourself.
- Swimming pool with starting blocks
- Swim Cap
- Swimming attire
- Lifeguard and/or Coach