Why do I do so much dryland work?

Diving is such a precise and technical sport. Any small mistake from the diving board can mean the difference between tears or excitement. For this reason divers spend a lot of time on the dry side of the diving pool. We will always try to keep at least one step ahead in the dryland in the diver’s progression so that the transition from dryside to poolside is easier and smoother and learning new dives is also easier and smoother.
Divers, especially at a young age will spend most of their time in a diving session in the dryland area. This should weigh up to about 70% dry and only 30% water time. Hopefully, after reading the following you will understand why we spend so much time not “diving”…


The type of things you can expect to be doing in dryland area are:


1. Warm-up: In all sports a warm-up is essential prior to commencing and physical exercise. The main reason for a warm-up is to get the blood pumping around the body and to loosen up all the muscles so that there is a much lower risk of injury, such as a muscle tear. A warm-up for diving will make the diver “feel” more bouncy and confident about themselves before they commence their harder work.


2. Tumbles: Diving is very closely related to gymnastics and you will see many gymnastic skills also performed in diving. Tumbling gives a diver more body awareness to enhance their posture while performing certain skills and it also increases agility in the athlete.


3. Dive Imitations: (or drills, or dryland runthroughs, etc). Because of how precise and technical diving is we try to make things a lot more simpler for the athlete. To do this we practise going through the motions of a dive while on the safe ground level. The diver will pretend they are doing their dive in slow motion while going through each exact motion of a dive with as much attention to detail as possible. They do it so many times that the motions become automatic so that when it is time to do the dive on the diving board, hopefully, the motions will be the same. The divers are told that if they cannot do an imitation dive for a score of 10 when they are in slow motion and on the safe ground, how can they get a 10 from the diving board where the dive of over and done with in less than 3 seconds?


4. Somersaults: Divers will practise single somersaults in all directions in the dryland area in order to build up the strength and speed necessary to perform the multiple rotational dives in the diving pool. Here they can also work on their take-off technique for these particular dives.


5. Trampoline & Dryboard: We use these apparatus for take-off technique practise. Also because the divers are not getting wet they can do more repetitions in a shorter amount of time. Because the diver is doing the same thing over and over again and provided they are using the correct technique the motions for the skills become second nature. Also, landing on a nice soft mat and they have the hands on support from the coach, the divers feel safer performing these skills from the dryboard and trampoline first before they attempt them in the pool.


6. Harness: Divers can do their actual dives in the harness before they try them on their own in the pool. That way they can learn the dive safely without the fear of going splat! We try to use the harness as often as possible but it is never enough as there are many divers and so not all divers will always get a turn.

The harness isn’t a fun toy, it’s an apparatus to help divers learn new dives. If a diver isn’t ready to start learning that particular dive then they don’t need any work in the harness until they are ready. For a coach, learning how to use both the water and dry harness is an extremely difficult skill to master. It is WAY harder than it looks. It takes hundreds of hours of practise to get it right just like it takes a diver hundreds of hours to master a dive.


7. Strength & Core Stability: Divers need to be strong to perform these nearly superhuman skills off that diving board. Divers also spend many hours working on their strength, especially their core stability strength. Core stability is what makes a diver. The stronger core you have, the higher you can jump, the faster you can snap in and out of that tuck shape and spin fast, the faster you can lift those legs up into a pike, the more balanced you are on the end of a diving board, the more likely you are to control your come-out to slow down your rotation, the tighter you will be going through the water for that “rip” entry, the more body control you will have in the air, the list goes on… Strong core stability will also improve your posture and be able to maintain it in those unnatural positions a diver will get into and therefore be a huge factor in reducing the risk of injury.


Extracted from DivingTube.com

Written by Christian Brooker

~ by Singapore Diving on October 27, 2009.

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