- Today I am at Sands Beach in Lanzarote
and I'm gonna be talking to you about the dive start.
Now, it is a very tricky skill to master,
so if you have already been trying it
and you have any specific questions,
then please drop them in the comment section below.
But for now, I'm gonna be explaining and showing you
how to do the dive start into the swimming pool,
and also going into the dive start for triathlon.
Okay then, one thing you may experience when you dive in,
or you may have already experienced this,
is your goggles slipping off as you dive into the water.
Now, one way to fix this is, obviously,
to make sure your goggles are tight enough
but not so tight that they're popping your eyes out.
Another trick is to actually put your goggles on first
and then, if you're gonna be wearing a swim cap,
then to put that on second
so that the goggle straps are covered by the cap,
so when you dive in,
the water doesn't rush over the straps
and pull them town.
And now we have that sorted,
now we need to talk about working through
and building up confidence of the dive.
And it's really important,
if you are starting out with the dive,
to start from a low height.
So start from the edge of the pool
and actually build confidence, build that height up
so you're eventually diving off the blocks I'm sat on here.
So, with that in mind,
I'm gonna be breaking it down for you today
and I'm going to be working through
those first stages of the dive
and really trying to build up that confidence.
- [Man] And then we will learn how to dive.
- Being with your arms streamlined above your head
and step forward to the edge of the pool,
gripping your toes over the edge.
You want to place your feet side-by-side
underneath your hips, almost shoulder-width apart,
or, simply, enough to feel stable.
Now bend forward from the hips
with a slight bend in the knee of around a 120 degrees.
All we're gonna do now is slowly rock ourselves forward
until we feel our weight taking us.
Maintain your position as you rock forward,
finishing with an extension of the legs
to push you off the wall.
But you're now airborne
and need to start thinking about your entry into the water,
and for this it really helps to imagine a hoop
on the surface of the water,
and you've got to get your whole body
through that hoop without touching the edges.
So for this you want to really maintain
that streamlined position with your arms above your head
and keeping your head tucked between your arms.
If you maintain that and get through nice and smooth
and practise that over and over again,
you should start to build up the confidence
with that positioning and entry into the water,
and then we can start moving on to the full dive start.
Right then, there are a couple of different
dive start positions to consider.
One of them is to have your feet side-by-side,
toes gripped over the edge,
with your feet underneath your hips,
almost shoulder-width apart
so you feel nice and solid and stable in that position.
And then with your hands
you can come down and either between your feet,
normally one hand on top of the other,
or another you'll see a lot of people doing
is having their hands on either side of their feet.
Another dive start position
you might see a lot of people doing
is what we call the track start position.
So with that you'd have one foot placed further forward,
that's normally your stronger leg,
toes gripped over the edge,
and then the other foot placed a little bit further back.
However, if you are starting out with the dive start,
we'd normally suggest diving out with your feet side-by-side
just to really nail the fundamentals
and technique of the dive
before practising and trying out with the track start
to find out which one is to your preference.
Now, if you are very new to this,
you're a beginner with the dive start,
then on this next part now
we'd like you to stay on the edge of the pool,
just to practise that technique.
But for the purpose of this video,
I'm gonna be doing it off the block.
So, as suggested,
we're starting with the traditional dive start,
with our feet side-by-side,
set yourself up on the edge, toes gripped over,
hands between the feet or to either side.
Now, this time, we're gong to bring our head right down,
almost as if we're trying to tuck our head between our arms
and looking back through the legs.
To start the dive,
you should gradually rock yourself forward,
exactly as we showed before.
As you feel your weight going
begin to lift your arms and head in sync.
As we did previously,
you should then extend your legs to push off the side.
Make sure your arms are almost in line with your back,
ready to break the water in a nice streamlined position.
Now, for some people, the dive might be absolutely fine
but it's the entry and all the other stuff after
that really goes to pot.
One of those might be what we call the belly flop.
What happens is you're, more or less, diving too flat
and you literally just flop your belly into the water.
So to eliminate that you want to dive
with a little bit more of an arch into the dive.
So going up, coming down, entry with the hands first
and the rest of the body follows the hands
cleanly into the water.
Imagine that hoop that we were discussing earlier,
everything's got to go through that hoop.
Another issue might be that you're diving too deep,
so you're literally just cleaning the bottom of the pool
with your face.
This is, more or less, the polar opposite,
you're just diving too high going up
and then coming straight down into the water,
or you're not lifting your arms up enough
when you come off the block.
To eliminate that then you can also
just tilt the hands up ever so slightly
as you do enter the water
and that would just lift you back up to surface.
Well, that leads us nicely
onto the underwater phase of the dive.
And as I've mentioned already,
just these small adjustments of the hand
can really change our direction when we're under the water.
During the underwater phase
you want to make sure that you stay streamlined
and your head tucked in throughout.
Begin kicking with either a butterfly
or a front crawl leg kick.
For most, this may just be a handful of kicks.
Elite swimmers will use
close to the regulated 15 metres underwater.
But just do what's comfortable.
If you're a triathlete, however,
you don't want to be underwater hugely long
during a mass dive swim start.
Now, as you begin to surface,
you want to be starting that first stroke.
This can take a little bit of practise
to really get the timing.
Ideally, try not to breathe for a couple of strokes
so you can hold your speed off of the dive.
Okay, as promised, now for the track start.
Now, this is actually my preferred method for the dive start
as it translates quite nicely to the triathlon dive start,
which I will be discussing in a moment.
It's actually very similar
to our traditional dive start position,
we just got a slightly different foot positioning.
Place your strongest leg forward, with toes over the edge,
and the other foot at a preferred distance behind you.
Hold your hands to either side of that front foot
and then drive forward and push with both feet,
making sure you bring your feet together whilst in the air,
then the rest of the dive is the same.
Okay, so how is the track start useful for a triathlon?
Well, let me explain.
So, in a triathlon dive start,
they'll call you forward to a line
that's just a fraction behind the actual start line.
They hold you there for a second,
they'll say something along the lines of "Take your marks"
at that point you'll move forward onto the actual start line
and a fraction later, you're away.
Now, if you were to do the traditional dive start,
where you move both your feet forward onto that start line,
that obviously takes a little bit longer.
Whereas it's much quicker to just move that one foot forward
and do a track start,
which is why is often the more preferred method.
You'll also notice that a lot of triathletes,
particularly the elite triathletes,
avoid spending quite so long under the water.
And that's simply due to the fact that it's a mass start
and they want to avoid being trampled
if they stay under the water for that length of a time.
Now, that is the dive start
and I hope you've enjoyed this video today.
It is a really tricky skill to get your head around
so just practise it over and over again
and really build that confidence with it.
If you liked this video today,
please hit that thumbs up button.
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And obviously do let us know
how you get on with the dive start
in the comments section below.
If you'd like to see our Top Swimming Mistakes video
just click down here,
and if you'd like to see our GTN Diving Challenge video
just click down here.