Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to Develop Springboard Diving Skills?

That moment when a swimmer compresses his entire body in preparation for the ideal springboard dive is known as the hurdle, and it's an integral part of proper diving power and form. When it comes to hurdles, it's all about timing and posture, which is why timing drills are so important. Without the right timing during your hurdle, your dive might not be as balanced or powerful as it could be. Spend time with hurdle timing drills as part of your training, and you'll see better dives thanks to a more professionally timed setup.
Tape Drills
One of the best ways to practice your timing for hurdles is by taping off your diving board. Start by walking to the end of the springboard and mimicking the motions you go through when preparing for and leading up to a hurdle. Tape a line directly where the takeoff from the board occurs. Then, turn and walk three or four steps back toward the back of the board to tape off where the setup begins. Now, try out your distances to see how close you are. You might need to adjust the tape after trying a real dive, but once you have the distances right, you'll have a consistent benchmark for distance and setup in place.
Hurdle Jump
Your form is everything when perfecting the hurdle jump. In fact, without the proper hurdle before a dive, you might as well skip the dive altogether. Instead of wasting time getting wet with poor posture, try hurdle jumping on land to help build muscle memory while improving your form. Start by stepping the three or four strides you use to begin your jump, then practice your hurdle on dry land. Feel the way the power moves through your legs to compress your body and then thrusts you upward even without the use of a springboard. You can also try this exercise by jumping from a gymnastics springboard onto a thick mat.
Platform Jump
Once you've perfected the timing of the entire jump, from setup to hurdle, you still might need extra help in balancing your jump. Getting to the end of the board surface and losing your balance is a mistake that's hard to recover from and it all has to do with timing. Practice timing and balance by setting up a platform or gym mat. Walk to the end of the platform and practice hurdle form while focusing on when to stop short of the edge and then bounce upward to avoid losing your balance on the springboard.
Trampoline Drill
When you're comfortable with your performance on dry land, move to a fitness trampoline to work on the timing between the double bounce. A fitness trampoline has much of the same elasticity as a springboard, simulating the give in a board for better timing practice. Since you don't have as much room to move, start in takeoff position with your knees bent and your hands straight in front of your body. Then, bounce upward, focusing on form and the amount of time between the two bounces before your dive.

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