Uncertain Dive Technique

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weuer
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Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby weuer » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:09 pm

I'm constantly frustrated with my dive because I'm always uncertain what the best way to do it is.

Arms:

How to position hands in preparation? Grabbing the block or just touching it? Between feet or on either side?

How to bring arms to streamline position? Around as in butterfly? Pull back and stab forward? Straight up? Jump high and bring head down to arms to 'compress' the water on entry?

In streamline, squeezing head or behind head?

Head:

Look up briefly at push-off or not?

Legs:

Keep straight, or slightly relaxed?

Preparation of dive:

Lean back or not? If so, how much?

Track start or not?

And how low to crouch down?

- - -

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

weuer
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby weuer » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:27 am

I've been enlightened: http://www.quickgetaway.com/ps03-tech.htm

Not trying to sell anything (I don't even have any interest in that company), but I like the diving tips.

s.sciame
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby s.sciame » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:48 am

Hi all,
I'm resuming this old thread which seems to be the only one about diving in this forum. Though I'm more open water oriented, I'd like to learn a proper dive from the blocks (sooner or later I might participate in some master meets): any other guides or tips to provide? Currently I can do a decent (at least perceived) dive from the pool deck but I still haven't tried once a dive from the blocks, I'm at a stage where I still find it a bit scary or uncomfortable. Moreover, unlike other pool skills (eg flip turns), dives seem to have much less opportunity to be practiced. How many dives off the blocks do you think one needs to do to master this skill? Hope not 10k :)

Cheers,
Salvo
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s.sciame
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby s.sciame » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:29 pm

Ducky wrote:
if you are not flexible in teh shoulders you really do need to take it slow and practice diving off the side o fthe pool i've seen more than a few people hurt themselves the water can create a lot of force if you don't enter at the proper angle and push the shoulders behind the head into a vulnerable position.


Thanks Ducky, that's interesting. How does it feel when you enter at the proper angle? Do you really feel the head and the rest of the body pass smoothly through the hole opened by the hands/arms (ie zero or slight resistance from the water as when diving in the sea with water at waist level)? Or is it normal to feel some resistance from the water anyway? I already feel a little force from the water when diving off the side of the pool, but from a proprioception standpoint I still can't say whether I entered too flat or not. Perhaps I should play a bit by deliberately entering too flat and too steep and compare the feedbacks.
As for practicing, perhaps it's just a matter of creating an habit: by trying just 4 to 5 dives at the end of each session would make a lot of dives in a few months.

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Mike A
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby Mike A » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:57 pm

I would be happy just to be able to dive in without getting water in my goggles! What are the top tips for preventing goggle leakage when diving in?
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s.sciame
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby s.sciame » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:48 pm

Mike A wrote:I would be happy just to be able to dive in without getting water in my goggles! What are the top tips for preventing goggle leakage when diving in?

As per my little experience, by assuming a correct streamlined position and not looking forward on entry, the water should not enter. Swedish goggles help as well, with different goggles I sometimes experienced leakage.

Salvo
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby Sprinter » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:30 am

I didn't do a dive-start for a long time, due to fear of loosing the goggles.
But in a swim camp 1 3/4 years ago I tried it --- and discovered that I did automatically streamlining, that is, immediately getting the arms behind the head, and that COMPLETELY solved that problem. I can jump into the water as I wish (so well, let's not go to extremes), and I never had any problems with the goggles since then.

The second discovery was that starting from the blocks, especially the newer blocks, which are tilted, is actually EASIER than starting from the edge: from the edge, you have to go first up and then down. But from the blocks, the key is to just go forward (as fast as you can), and you have automatically the right direction!
To learn that, having somebody (from the very first beginnings) with good experience here (best a coach) watching this seems important: since I couldn't believe that, I tried to "correct" the dive, introducing some crouching, and that's a big mistake. But after the first time I got it working, just going straight ahead, nothing else (in fact very easy), the problem was solved.

s.sciame
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby s.sciame » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:51 am

Sprinter wrote:
The second discovery was that starting from the blocks, especially the newer blocks, which are tilted, is actually EASIER than starting from the edge: from the edge, you have to go first up and then down. But from the blocks, the key is to just go forward (as fast as you can), and you have automatically the right direction!


Thanks Sprinter, that's a good news! Actually I'm jumping forward (not up) even when diving from the side of the pool, don't know whether this makes me enter too flat or not. I'll ask somedoby for a feedback the next time.

I'd like to ask you the same question I asked Ducky: how does it feel when you enter at the proper angle? Do you really feel the head and the rest of the body pass smoothly through the hole opened by the hands/arms (ie zero or slight resistance from the water as when diving in the sea with water at waist level)? Or is it normal to feel some resistance from the water anyway?

Salvo
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Sprinter
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby Sprinter » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:14 am

s.sciame wrote:Thanks Sprinter, that's a good news! Actually I'm jumping forward (not up) even when diving from the side of the pool, don't know whether this makes me enter too flat or not. I'll ask somedoby for a feedback the next time.

I'd like to ask you the same question I asked Ducky: how does it feel when you enter at the proper angle? Do you really feel the head and the rest of the body pass smoothly through the hole opened by the hands/arms (ie zero or slight resistance from the water as when diving in the sea with water at waist level)? Or is it normal to feel some resistance from the water anyway?
Salvo


You feel when it's wrong: too flat -- pain. Too deep -- hard to get back to the surface. The rest is practice and experimentation.
I go relatively flat (at least currently), since I am too slow with the dolphin kick.
And a dive from the block has some speed, so you definitely feel something; I believe you feel the more the flatter you go. As I said, I go (currently) rather flat, but it still feels alright.

I think asking for "zero resistance" and the like is similar to "effortless swimming" -- reality is different. First it shouldn't feel wrong :roll:

s.sciame
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby s.sciame » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:30 pm

Having fun with more dives: I took the habit of ending each session with a 4x50m nice and smooth diving off the side. With the dive I usually shave 3 strokes in the first length and about 3s on the 50m time, comparing to a 50 from a pushoff at the same (non sprint) effort. The challenge at the moment is to tuck my chin enough to enter "clean" and prevent goggles from leaking while trying not to go too deep, since I just flutter kick to the surface (no uw dolphin). After the first "tuning" dive, it seems I can do this in a quite repeatable way. The funny thing is that when I surface the stroke feels very smooth, rhythmical and fast. I feel like a better swimmer, then the turn comes too soon and breaks this magic feeling and everything returns to normal. It would be funny to do this mini set in a 50m pool.

One more question: how many seconds do you usually gain when starting from the blocks comparing to starting from a pushoff? If I look at the splits of elite swimmers in 800 or 1500 races (ie where the pace is steady enough to make a reasonable comparison), guess they usually gain 2 to 3s in that first length thanks to the dive.

Regards,
Salvo
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Sprinter
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby Sprinter » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:18 pm

I actually find it quite hard to gain something from the dive: I have only comparisons for 25m sprinting, and the times used to be "the same", which seemed to mean I gained around 0.5 sec from the dive, since I time myself with the push-off by using the beeper and counting the beeps, while from the blocks I did it with a start signal, so you have the additional reaction time.

It seems with more practice recently I might now have gained another 0.5 sec from the dive (I find it not so easy to get into the rhythm after the dive (for sprinting)), but there were no times taken recently (with the push-off my fastest over 25m currently should approach the 14 sec).

Unfortunately in the UK, without a club it seems basically impossible to practice the dive from the blocks, since apparently you need a *qualified* coach for that. In German public swimming pools often the blocks are just free to use, which is the complete opposite --- now all the young guys permanently jump into the pool (often without lane markers), and you feel quite unsafe. But 2 weeks ago I was in a German pool (25m, no lanes), and then I actually took advantage of that, which also had the additional benefit that it cleared the "lane" ;)

I think the faster times for the first 50m in longer-distance races also come from them actually swimming faster.

s.sciame
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Re: Uncertain Dive Technique

Postby s.sciame » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:41 pm

Mike A wrote:I would be happy just to be able to dive in without getting water in my goggles! What are the top tips for preventing goggle leakage when diving in?


Hey Mike, I'm always having fun with some diving practice at the end of my sessions and recently I often got water in my goggles as well, which is really annoying! I asked the lifeguard (which is also a coach) to watch me and he says that I still don't tuck my chin enough. So the tip is always the same and I believe it applies to most diving beginners: tuck the chin more and early and resist the (natural) temptation to look where you're going. And keep the chin tucked after the entry too.

So today I did the classic drill of assuming the right streamlined position before diving (off the side). From this position, firstly I just leaned forward and let myself fall in the water, concentrating only on keeping the chin tucked and still until I surfaced and feeling a clean entry (and enjoying the dry goggles). Then I progressed adding 2 to 3 dolphin kicks and 2 breakout strokes. Here I found that keeping the chin tucked helped my dolphin kicks and the breakout overall. Lastly I replaced the "let fall in the water" with a little jump. Goggles remained dry and I also improved the breakout. Guess I'll repeat this drill progression until tucking the chin and NOT looking forward become second nature, like with flip turns. At the moment for me the more I tuck the better I enter, never went too deep.

Aside from learning this skill for racing purpose, mastering a good dive is always cool: I always envy elite swimmers when they enter the pool with a smooth dive instead of jumping in the water feet first! :)

Hope that helps,
Salvo
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