Learning to Dive

Today, I’m going to review the diving progression. I’ll start with sitting dives, then move to kneeling dives, and finally discuss standing dives. Then, I’ll cover the key factors in controlling the depth of your dive. I’ll discuss entry angles, chin tuck, and back arch.

WARNING! Do not dive in shallow water. Follow all the rules posted at your aquatics facility. “No Diving” means “No Diving”. You’ll notice in this video, that I move to a different facility to practice standing dives. Why? The facility that I normally work at does not allow standing dives.

The sitting dive is the swimmers first introduction to diving. You want to be head down with a good streamline. Push with those legs. You can’t be afraid to put your face in. Lean forward and push with your legs when you feel like you’re about to fall in. Once comfortable with the sitting dive, we progress to the kneeling dive.

On the kneeling dive, we have one leg forward toes curled over the edge and the other leg back. It’s not a balance beam, maintain a wide stance. Distribute your weight evenly, don’t lean backwards. Aim out away from the wall, lean forward head down, transfer your weight to the front leg, face down, and in.

Many beginners walk into the water and/or want to keep their head up. In all honesty, heads up hurts. You want your hands to break the surface of the water first and your head to follow. Find your balance, don’t lean back. When you’re ready, spring forward not up. Your aim point should be at least as far from the wall as you are tall. Hands,head, body, feet. Head down, tight streamline… Spring forward with your lead leg. Hands, head, body, feet.

As I transition to a standing dive, I lift my knee off the deck and bring my back foot forward. The rest of the dive follows the same pattern as the kneeling dive. Lift your knee, move your foot up, spring forward. Hands, head, body, feet. You don’t have to jump with all you might, but you can’t hesitate. Lean out, uncurl your body, spring forward. Once again, keep your head down. If you dive in heads up, your face and chest will feel it. Smack!

Dive angle is an important factor is determining how deep your dive will be. If you aim straight down, you’ll go straight down. By aiming farther away from the wall, your dive will be flatter and shallower. Once in the water, the more you tuck you chin the deeper you’ll go whereas arching your back will bring you to the surface quicker.

Once you can control the depth of your dives, you’re ready to transition to diving off the blocks. Everything I’ve covered still applies. If you’re confident and maintain proper form, the transition will be relatively easy.


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Written by Chris B.

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