Whether you’ve been swimming for a long time or you’re new to the sport, you probably understand the importance of a good dive. The dive and the turn should be the fastest aspects of your race. This iSport lessons video covers what you should focus on to master a good dive.
Placing your feet correctly while on the blocks is key to a good push-off. For a 2-foot start: Place both feet forward and wrap your toes around the edge of the block. For a track start: Place one foot forward on the blocks, wrapping your toes around the edge. Place the other foot back about a hands width apart. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. No matter what type of foot placement you have, keep your hips up high, and look toward your knee.
As the beep sounds, lean forward and throw your hands into a streamline. Don’t aim downward. Instead, point your fingertips toward the flags.
As you enter the water, it should feel like you’re slicing through a small hole. Your fingertips enter the water first, followed by your shoulders, torso, and legs.
After you’re in the water, hold your streamline and start kicking right before you lose momentum.
As you near the surface, take a powerful stroke to lift you up on top of the water, and begin swimming.
Here are a few tips:
For a track start, don’t put your rear foot too far back on the block. This drops your hips and can cause a slow, weak push as you leave the blocks.
While on the blocks, look behind you toward your knee. Looking forward drops your hips, while looking behind you puts your hips in the optimal position for a strong push off the blocks.
When leaving the blocks, focus on aiming your fingertips toward the flags. This will help you get further on your dive than if you aim your fingertips downward. Aiming down can also cause you to go too deep.
Dives can be one of the most intimidating – yet most important – aspects of your race. As you practice, break your dive down into steps. By spending time on perfecting it, you’ll improve your dive greatly!