Diving is a thrilling and exciting sport to watch, but it is even more stimulating for the divers who are actually participating in the sport! Many athletes get into diving at a pretty young age, but it is important to be a talented swimmer who is comfortable in the water before getting started. Due to the risk of injury in diving, it is important to have an instructor or trainers who teach you the proper form needed for each dive. Many swim schools or pools with platforms or springboards will offer diving lessons, so make sure to check your local facilities for any courses or personal training.
Learning how to properly dive will take courage, patience, and dedication. You cannot learn how to be an Olympic-level diver in a day! The best way to get better is to find proper instructors and to continue practicing as often as possible.
As you just read, you will need proper instruction if you want to get into diving. Diving teams and instructors can be found at swim and diving facilities, local YMCA's, or USA Diving facilities. Finding one of these facilities and joining a beginner-level team or getting lessons from an instructor are the best and safest ways to be properly introduced to the sport of diving. Make sure you are a strong swimmer and are not too afraid of heights beforehand, since these things can hinder you from getting into the sport. A lot of beginner training does take place on dryland, but swimming is still a necessity from the get-go.
If you already have a pretty firm grasp on the basic diving skills from private lessons or classes and you wish to find a team, do some research online about AAU or USA Diving teams near you. You may need to try out for the team, so make sure you meet their qualifications and skill level.
Like we've stressed throughout this lesson, diving can be a dangerous sport that should not be participated in without proper training or supervision. Even the best divers in the world make mistakes that can lead to serious injuries. While there are vast amounts of lessons available on the internet, it is best to have an instructor teach you proper form and techniques. Use those lessons to enhance your abilities, not to teach you everything you know.
Finding a qualified instructor in your area should not be too difficult, especially if you live in a highly populated area. Instructors have licenses to teach and are trained to deal with any accidents or injuries, so it is always best to leave the teaching to the professionals.
If you already have a strong grasp on swimming, the time it takes to learn how to dive is significantly shortened, since learning how to properly swim can take some time. However, learning every skill in diving can take a long time to do; some instructors do not even allow divers to move to the pool without having trained on dryland and trampolines for a year. Instructors want to ensure complete safety and proper form and technique before a diver goes to 16 feet above the pool.
Some skills may be too advanced for divers who begin at very young ages, so they will have to wait for years of experience and aging to be able to attempt them. A diver may not completely learn every skill in diving until they reach their prime!
Just like any other sport, no one is excellent at diving from the start. As you just learned, diving takes time and patience to excel at it. It may be more difficult for some individuals, especially those who are afraid of heights or are not very flexible. The sport requires fearlessness and confidence to be able to jump from so high, spin in the air, and land in the water properly. The difficulty level relies on your own personal abilities! Just know, it will rarely be easy for anyone who is just beginning.
Months and years of hard work and training can make diving less difficult. Finding the right instructor to show you proper exercises and techniques can make a huge difference! Remember to stay patient, especially if you hit a roadblock in training. Some Olympians haven't even mastered all of the skills to get every dive right!
One of the major upsides for diving is that it does not require much equipment at all! The most important piece of equipment to have is a swimsuit, which can typically be purchased for a reasonable amount of money. Things like trampolines, harnesses, pools, and diving platforms/springboards will all be provided for you by whatever training or aquatic facility you are using, though you will typically have to pay for lessons to use these. We will get into those costs in the next session of this lesson!
Things like swim caps, towels, and water bottles are also good additions to a diver's bag, and can all be purchased at pretty cheap prices. Caps are not necessary, but they may help control hair and keep it dry. Towels will help you dry off, but they may be provided by your facility. A water bottle will keep you hydrated through your long workouts.
Diving lessons, instructors, and camps vary greatly in cost. Some camps with college-level instructors may charge upwards of $700 for a week of camp! Doing your research and finding out which camps or instructors are best suited to your skill level or intensity can save you a lot of time and money. Private instructors may cost you more money throughout a longer period of time, but they may ultimately provide better and more personalized instruction that would be more effective in the long run.
Diving can be an expensive sport to learn, since it requires so much technical instruction. Assessing how far you want to go with diving is important before you put too much money into the wrong place. Talk to other divers and figure out what would be best for you to advance your skills!