When we started our sequence of drills for learning how to do a forward dive off the blocks, we THOUGHT it would take just four steps. But we found that getting from this which is Step #3
… to this… which is the ultimate, would take more than 4 steps, and would call for some troubleshooting along the way.
In Step #4 you’ll use a pull buoy to help you control your legs during the forward dive. It’s a troubleshooting drill, but it’s fun to try even if you DON’T have this particular problem.
Why Do It:
When swimmers are learning to dive off the blocks, one of the most common problems is that they lose control of their legs. This young swimmer allows his legs to flip up just as he enters the water.
Here’s a Masters swimmer who does the same thing. When the legs flip up like this, it’s like opening a huge parachute just as you enter the water.
What you’re aiming for is a clean entry, one in which the hands, head, hips, legs, and feet all slip through one hole in the water.
How to Do It:
If your legs are still flipping up, even after practicing your forward dives in the shallow end and from the side of the pool, it’s time to try the PULL BUOY.
Stand on the blocks (or on the side of the pool) with your toes curled over the edge. Place a pull buoy between your knees.
Your goal is to dive into the water and NOT LET GO of the pull buoy.
Keep your hands and arms in streamline, but your real focus should be on your legs and toes and NOT LETTING GO of the pull buoy.
By holding onto the pull buoy, you will automatically keep your legs together and you will be encouraged to keep your knees from bending.
Try several dives and have someone watch you to see if your legs are bent or straight as you enter the water.
Have fun experimenting, and stay tuned for Step #5.