The Importance of Diving Lessons
Most of us first learn to dive when we are children. Often it's at our friend's backyard pool or perhaps our local swim club. We are generally taught to stand at the edge of the pool, bend over, put our arms over our head, and dive in the water.
This is as far as some make it in the sport of diving. But for others, a little more is desired. Perhaps they try a forward dive in different positions, a back dive, or a flip. The list goes on. Many of these divers never take lessons, yet are still able to accomplish some tricks off the board. So why pay for diving lessons if you can learn these tricks on your own?
There are several reasons diving lessons are a good idea. Not only will lessons help you excel in the sport, but more importantly, they will teach you basic safety skills that are essential to anyone who dives. Below are three key reasons why a series of diving lessons can benefit you.
1. Diving Lessons Keep You Safe
The best argument for taking diving lessons is safety. Diving is a very fun sport, but it can be quite dangerous if not performed properly. Diving lessons will provide you with a basic understanding of the sport, and likely open your eyes to some of the underlying dangers that exist.
Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international governing body of diving, requires all diving pools that have a 3-meter springboard to be at least 12 feet deep. For pools that have a 10-meter platform the water must be at least 16 feet deep. Many backyard pools are only seven to eight feet deep, and have a sharply rising slope that makes the pool deceptively shallower at points. Diving head-first into these types of pools can be extremely dangerous.
Many people recognize the danger of hitting the diving board. But a good number of people are unaware of the significant danger that comes from diving into a pool that is not deep enough. Each year hundreds of people are injured after diving into a backyard pool that is less than eight feet deep. This can lead to spinal injury and even paralysis. With lessons, you will learn the proper depth required for safe diving as well as how to enter the water to minimize the risk of hitting the pool's bottom.
Lessons also teach you fundamental skills that aid in safety. Among these are proper way to leave the board on a forward or back takeoff, and the correct way to enter the water. These primary skills are crucial in knowing how to dive safely each and every time you exit a diving board.
2. Skills to Advance
Knowing how to exit the board and perform flips and twists is one thing, but in order to advance to the next level in the sport you must know how to control your movements in the air and upon entry. The fundamentals that are taught in diving lessons are essential to this process.
Here are some key elements that diving lessons will teach you:
- Hurdle/Back Press: Knowing how to properly exit the diving board, in both the forward and backward positions, is essential in advancing in the sport. The correct takeoff will not only give you the height you need to successfully complete your dive, but it will also provide you with a safe distance from the board.
- Entry: Knowing how to properly enter the water — on both feet-first and head-first dives — will allow you to perform dives safely as well as learn how to enter the water without a splash.
- Spin/Twist: Learning how to properly initiate a spin or twist off the board is essential in growing in the sport. Learning how to do it incorrectly will often lead to bad habits that are hard to break. Proper instruction will save you time and energy in your climb up the diving ladder.
The costs involved in starting lessons vary greatly from place-to-place and from coach-to-coach. In general you can expect registration fees and monthly tuition rates. In the United States, registration fees vary from $12/year for limited benefits, to $75/year for a competitive membership. Costs for monthly lessons depend on how often you train: In general, diving a few days a week will cost somewhere in the range of $120/month.
3. Diving Lessons are Fun
Above all, diving lessons are fun. Lessons are generally done in a group setting and arranged according to skill-level. Here are some benefits that lessons can provide in this regard:
- Friendships: Lessons are a great way to build lasting friendships. There is something to be said about bonding after overcoming similar fears and learning new skills. These friendships can last the course of a lifetime.
- Connections: Connecting to coaches, parents, and others in the diving community is a great opportunity for you. If you plan to dive in high school or college, these connections will be a valuable resource to you in years to come.
- Friendly Competition: Diving also provides an arena for friendly competition. This type of competition can motivate and bring out the best in you; not only in an athletic sense, but also as a person. Competition will often force you to face success as well as disappointment. This is a useful skill for life in general.
iSport Coach Connection
Now that you know how important diving lessons are, you need to find a club and get started. The best way to start is to look on the iSport Coaches tab located on the top of the page. Here you will find coaches in your area that are interested in finding students to train. Another great way is to look on the iSport Team tab. Once you locate a team in your area, give them a call and see what type of lessons they offer.
After you connect with a coach, you can begin a series of lessons. In a short period of time you will know how much you like diving and decide if this is the right sport for you. No matter what you choose, diving lessons will provide you with a basic understanding of the sport as well as a foundation for safe fun while you are in the pool.