If you’ve always wanted to learn how to do a racing dive off the blocks, or if you’ve ever tried to teach someone how to dive off the blocks, here’s a fun drill that is step #1 in the learning process.
Why Do It:
When swimmers, especially young swimmers, are learning to dive, they often have trouble controlling their legs. This young swimmer enters the water with his arms in streamline, but his legs flip up just as they enter the water.
When the legs flip up like this, it’s like opening a huge parachute, just at the point when you are going your fastest.
Your racing dives will be faster, cleaner, and a lot more comfortable if you can learn to control your legs and feet. The idea is to hold the legs in streamline and let everything slip through one hole in the water.
This drill, which is Step #1 in a 4-part series, will help you learn to control your legs and feet. It will help you develop a nice CLEAN entry, with your hands, torso, and feet all in STREAMLINE
How to Do It:
Get a noodle. Many pools have these on deck for water-aerobics classes but, if not, you can find one at your local discount store for a couple of dollars.
Stand in the shallow end and place the noodle out in front of you. Make sure the water is at least up to your waist when you try this. Take a big breath and dive OVER the noodle.
Try to send your hands over and DOWN toward the bottom.
If you send your hands OUT toward the other end, you may end up landing ON the noodle with your stomach.
You want to get your stomach up and OVER the noodle.
Next, focus on getting your legs and feet to slide OVER the noodle. Notice how this swimmer keeps her legs together and her toes pointed, and how her feet and legs seem to FLOW right over the noodle.
This swimmer is now doing a better job of getting OVER the noodle and his feet are together. But he’ll get a cleaner entry if he can point his toes as they slip across the noodle.
Here’s a good image that you can take to the pool with you when you practice. Remember to dive up and over and DOWN into the water. You’ll get a cleaner entry if your toes are pointed and if you let them just SLIDE over the noodle.
Hey! Just TRY IT! Have some fun, and come back next week for Step #2.