Learning Proper Body Position in Beginner Diving

It Starts With Correct Body Posture

Children (6-9) standing on diving board, low angle view
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Body posture is an important fundamental element in springboard and platform diving. The sooner a beginner diver can master proper diving posture, the easier it is to maintain correct body position during both voluntary dives, and the more difficult optional dives. The earlier this important diving fundamental is learned, the better!

Correct Posture is Not the Norm

The majority of individuals stand with a slight arch in their lower back, and this position does not lend itself to the proper execution of a dive or entry into the water.

So for most beginner divers, body posture for competitive diving must be learned. How is this accomplished? It starts with proper instruction and is refined through repeated practice.

Posture Can Be Learned

For most beginning divers, their first experience with proper diving technique may feel awkward and unnatural. Because of this, many divers will really have to focus on repeating any diving technique that feels uncomfortable. With enough practice and dedication, springboard and platform diving techniques such as posture and body position can become instinctive. Just like a basketball player jumping off the correct leg during a lay-up or a football player who switches arms while carrying a football, with enough repetition any technique can become second nature.

Posture is Also a Safety Aspect

Aside from the fact that proper body posture and body position lead to success in diving competitions, an even more important aspect is diving safety and avoiding injury.

When a diver enters the water at speeds close to 35 mph, as is the case when diving off of a ten-meter platform, proper posture and body position can mean the difference between a rip entry, a smack on the water, a strained back muscle, or worse. While not every competitive diver will advance to platform diving, injuries and diving safety are as much a concern on the one-meter springboard as they are on the 10-meter platform.

Developing Proper Body Position

Correct body position during a dive begins when a diver learns proper posture before going near the water. This may sound obvious, but instruction from a qualified diving coach in a dryland setting is the first step to learning this fundamental building block of diving. Once a diver learns the correct body positions for competitive diving and understands why proper posture is important, many exercises and drills can help a diver fine tune this diving technique.

Learn Proper Posture Early

A springboard or platform dive takes approximately two seconds to complete. In that time, many things go through a divers head. The best divers in the world have practiced diving techniques and specific dives so many times that their reaction on the diving board comes without conscious thought. This is what separates good divers from great ones. By learning correct diving posture and proper body position for diving early in a diving career, it is one less thing to think about when you are standing 33 feet in the air preparing for your final dive in the Olympic Games.