Common Obstacles to Diving Workouts
There are a myriad of obstacles that stand between a coach, a diver and a successful workout — sometimes just the simple process of getting into the water and practicing dives can be difficult. But of all the challenges, the two most common that diving programs have to deal with are weather and pool time.
Understanding how these two specific problems wreak havoc on training will help both coaches and divers make each and every diving practice more productive — regardless of the circumstances.
Mother-nature is bound to interfere with your diving workout. Rain, sleet, snow and even super hot weather can affect the ability for you to have a successful practice. Of these issues, cold weather is by far the most difficult for divers to deal with. It makes muscles tight and rigid, which in turn, makes it difficult for divers to maneuver smoothly and gracefully.
Luckily there are ways to have a worthwhile diving workout in the midst of even the coldest weather patterns.
The best solution to bad weather is obviously an indoor pool. Many facilities have indoor pools, but there are areas, such as California and Florida, where indoor pools are scarce. If you do not have access to one, but know of a team who does, try asking that coach or pool director if you can join them for practice.
Diving does not involve a lot of cardiovascular movement; as a result, the heart rate does not rise and it becomes harder to stay warm. The best way to avoid getting cold is to invest in a hot tub which will keep muscles strong and pliable throughout practice.
Many times coaches will welcome the addition of a visiting team to their practice. It never hurts to ask and more than likely you will be pleasantly surprised with the answer.
Many diving programs have a hot tub that is placed close to the diving boards. In between dives, divers will warm up in the hot water, which makes it easier to step out into the frigid air and perform.
If your team does not have the funds to purchase a Jacuzzi, you can buy a large metal tub (or even a large plastic trashcan) and fill it with hot water. Frequent hot showers can also serve the same purpose.
With the use of dry boards, belts, spotters, and trampolines, divers can successfully practice without even entering the water.
Most pools have dryland equipment available. However, if your team does not have access to the necessary tools, ask to use another team's facility. It may cost some money to use the equipment, and you may need to alter your team schedule, but it is worth it to get in some quality training.
One obstacle that many, if not all, diving programs face, is shared pool time; some pools have their own diving well, but many do not. As a result, diving teams must share the facility with other teams, including swimming, water polo and synchronized swimming.
This can result in some serious scheduling conflicts.
In July 2000, a diver in Walnut Creek, California was rendered quadriplegic after colliding with a synchronized swimmer at Clark Memorial Swim Center. The center had rented the pool time to the diving team and synchronized swimming team at the same time without placing any type of dividers or boundaries in the water to separate the two sports.
The diver, a student at UC Davis, was practicing his dives off the 3-meter springboard when a 15 year old synchronized swimmer unexpectedly pushed off the side off the pool and swam under the 3-meter diving board. The diver's head collided with the swimmer's hip, making him an instant C4 quadriplegic.
Schedules & Flexibility
It is important to devise a workable schedule between the pool and its various teams. Unfortunately, diving often gets the short end of the scheduling stick, since it is not as financially viable a program as swimming or water polo. Flexibility however is an absolute must.
Willingness to cooperate and work around a variety of conflicts will help you deal with the frustrations this problem often creates. There are a few solutions that each team can implement into their program that will make this interference less irritating.
- Plan ahead: Swimming pools usually host a variety of swimming meets or water polo competitions throughout the year. This is bound to interrupt your practices so plan ahead and adjust accordingly; arrange to workout at a separate facility or dedicate those days to dryland training.
- Find another facility: Make arrangements at another pool. A local college, junior college, or high school might have a facility with decent diving boards.
- Dryland: Again, dryland is a great resource. It allows your team to practice on the boards, get the feel of the dive in the air and perfect those slight errors — such as arms on takeoff, leaning in a back press, or how to initiate rotation off the board or platform.
Think Outside the Box
To have a successful diving program, pool time is essential. Unfortunately, diving practice is often waylaid by bad weather or scheduling issues.
Although these interferences are annoying, there are productive ways to work around them. With a little creative thinking and a lot of flexibility, your team will get the practice it needs to succeed.