|Streamline by axeb|
1) Streamline position - Before we actually start diving into the pool, let's talk about what your body should look like. Right after your dive, you are actually in the fastest part of your swimming, because your speed off the starting block is much higher than when you swim. Thus, it is very important to limit the resistance during the entry into the water. This is done by keeping your body in a streamlined position with your arms stretching up, one palm over the other and tightly squeezing just behind your ears. Go on and try it. When in the streamlined position, you can even get on your tippytoes and try to stretch your arms out of your shoulders as much as possible.
2) Feet first test - If you have passed the fear of water test you should be able to do the following exercise. Stand on the side of the pool (forget the blocks for a while), put your arms above your head in a streamline and jump into the water feet first. Note: make sure the water is deep enough, so you don't sprain your ankles :). You will look like a needle falling vertically into the water. Do this a few times to get used to jumping in and the small impact the water entry has on your body. When you are comfortable jumping into the pool feet first, you are ready to move on.
|Sitting dive by navratil|
4) Squatting dive - We have done our preparations and now we are ready to move forward to hands first entry into the water. Squat at the edge of the pool (ideally, at the edge where the water goes over the edge into the gutter, so you are quite close the water). Wrap your toes over the edge and put your arms into the streamlined position. Then as a next step, start slowly bending your arms with your head down towards the surface of the water. Important note: keep your head between your arms and DO NOT look at your finger tips. You might be tempted to look forward where you are going, so you don't loose your goggles, but believe me if I tell you that if you are in the correct streamlined position, you will not loose them. Your eyes are looking at your knees at this stage and your fingertips are or almost are touching the water surface. All is left now is just shifting your weight a bit more forward, so you can fall into the water with your fingertips entering the water first and your squatted body follows. And voila! You have done it, your first partial swimming dive is behind you. Keep practicing this exercise until you are quite comfortable with entering the water with your fingertips first and your body following.
This was it for today. Next time, we'll move on to the final stages of the dive and get ourselves onto the block to do a proper start.