Diving Techniques on the way to Scoring Springboard Success
Diving techniques start by demonstrating your skills to the judges and all those people in the gallery!
Competitions and tests make diving all the more exciting. You may not be a competitive person however, and may just like to dive for the pure enjoyment and self satisfaction. I must hasten to add that even when competitive it must be for the same reasons!
Diving techniques include turning your body in all directions in the air, plus showing different shapes. It’s a marvellous sense of achievement when you begin to turn your body all the way round in the air to perform one somersault or one twist. Then gradually add another half somersault or half twist, but…more about this later.
Springboard diving is very satisfying when you accomplish these more complex movements, If you are a person that would enjoy diving in competitions, remember above all, you’ll be diving against yourself. It doesn’t matter who you are diving against. If you beat your own personal best points then you’re making tremendous progress.
Remember these diving techniques. If you put a brand new dive into a competition recently learned there may be the risking of a few points by taking the gamble, but just think…in the future when the others have to get around to taking their gamble you’ll be nailing your new dive perfectly!
When you take part in competitions, the judges are looking at your diving techniques. The way you stand, how you carry yourself to the end of the board when performing a hurdle step dive (running dive). They will take note if your feet land together on the end of the board and that you don’t hop off.
They will take into account whether you’re leaning too far backwards or too far forwards, followed by the height you achieve in the air. The shape of your body will be studied – to make sure it conforms to the dive announced. Finally they look how you enter the water. They will want a clean near vertical entry and when you are more advanced they’ll see how you “rip” your entries by sucking the water down as you pass through. The judges in an instant puts all these parts together, seeing the dive as a “whole” then immediately awards the points.
Judges indeed have to be very sharp because the dive is over in a flash. Depending upon the level of the competition will depend upon how many dives and in how many different directions you have to do.
Usually there are five judges that award 10 points for the perfect dive. Sometimes there will be seven judges. Before you reach this standard you’d be a world class diver.
Normally for every part of the dive that don’t fulfil expectations there are certain numbers of points that are rapidly subtracted. Sometimes a judge can award you zero points. This does seem a little harsh but if they consider the dive you performed was not the dive announced, then it becomes a failed dive.
An example of this is if you by this time were an advanced diver and performed a dive with a number of twists – you may spin round too quickly and not “check” out at the right time. You may go over the required twists by a quarter or half a twist by mistake. This then would not have been the dive that was announced would it? It might have been very clever but it didn’t conform! Thus it will be a failed.
Similarly if you perform half a somersault more than you should have it will be …FAILED. There are many other instances in the rules that can also offer this penalisation. It will be up to the head judge of the competition – the Referee.
Diving techniques points banding
The judges award you (please notes the colours are my creation to make the bands stand out!)
0.5 – 2 points if the dive was unsatisfactory
2.5 – 4.5 points if the dive was deficient
5 – 6 points if it was satisfactory
6.5 – 8 points if it was good
8.5 – 10 points if it was very good.
8.5 points and over would be an extremely high standard of diving, and to achieve the perfect 10 from all the judges you’d be on the way to becoming world class and an Olympic Champion.
If first you may find that you are scoring anything up to 4 points. This is normal and to be expected. As time goes by, your diving techniques with your determination will be improving, and your scores will be increasing. NB in minor and beginner competions, the referee may allow the judges to “up” their marks in order to give encouragement.
With practise not only will your dives be improving, but your competition experience will be your way of life. It’s frustrating knowing how well you normally perform your dives for them to not “go right” in the contest. It’s just one of those things. You have a bad day at the office. You grit your teeth and just carry on. Your rivals, the other competitors very likely will be having the same problems.
With time your experience grows, so will your consistency. Your coach will be aiming for you to dive throughout a competition with steadiness. Even if your scores remain around 4.5 points you could still win a competition this way. Rather than dive a fabulous one worth 7 points from the judges and then dropping your next dive down to 3.5 points it is better to maintain a certain level, rather than see-saw along your competition dives.
It’s all good fun and over a period of time your steady points will be moving higher and higher up the ladder. 6.5 points average on a set of dives throughout a contest will be the start of realising your dreams. You should soon be in contention for winning a national title one day and even representing your country. Your coach (and parents) will be beckoning you to the top!
World class divers can make blips too!
World class divers can sometimes make mistakes in very important events. Whilst sitting in the comfort of your armchair it’s not uncommon to witness a splat on television. Generally they are aiming for exactly the same steadiness as you throughout their competitions. You must remember however they will be performing very complex movements in the air comprising of multi somersaults combined with twists. But the feelings are just the same as yours when they go wrong.
Being on top of the world is sure the greatest achievement in your diving progress.
Divers of this calibre are expecting to score between 8-10 points on their dives. When diving amongst the best in the world, the motto is one you’ve probably heard many times before..
“If you don’t succeed, then try try and try again!”… It’ll happen.
TO CHAPTER 10 – “Your Stepping Stones”