Turning Directions from the Board
Turning directions are the way you travel through the air once you have left the diving board. These directions are otherwise known as the Diving Groups. When you start from your feet and end up on your head…you turn!
The purpose of the “grouping” is mainly that large numbers of somersaulting and twisting dives (turning dives) can be practised from any of five directions mentioned below. Without the grouping system it could be headache for the recorder. Divers need to hand in dive sheets to the recorders with their dives recorded before a competition. The recorders have to be check and sign them all. Diving “whichever which way” would be quite haphazard! There would be no synchronisation in the presented dive sheets. Imagine the number of divers that would be diving and the number of dive sheets!
Separating the turning directions into groups not only makes competition organising much easier, it also helps with the setting of performance rules and regulations for the particular standard of the competition. For example – so many dives must be performed from so many groups. So divers must stick to the set rules when training for the particular competition.
Diving groups instantly point out whether a dive is turning from the board in the following directions…
Forwards – Group 1
You stand on the board facing the water and leave the board turning forwards until you enter the water.
Backwards – Group 2
You stand on the end of the board with your back facing the water, You leave the board and with your eyes, follow the wall and ceiling round.
Reverse – Group 3
You stand facing the water but on leaving the board you turn backwards!
A reverse dive is a very strange direction. Associated with the backwards direction there is a little more! Think of a car driving forwards into a garage then changing gear to drive backwards out again. The car will be reversing Don’t worry about this dive. It’s a lovely sensation.
Inwards – Group 4
You stand on the end of the board with your back facing the water but you turn forwards!
Half turns means the same as half somersaults
In all the above directions, your coach will teach you the basic half turn. That is – you leave the board with your feet and turn headfirst into the water – a half turn. As you progress your coach will help you add another half turn on top! This will make a full turn, or one somersault. Another half turn on top of that and it will make three half turns or one and a half somersaults. A number of half turns can be added, and the world class divers of today manage 8 half turns which make four somersaults! fFom now on we will refer to turns as somersaults.
Twist – Group 5
We now come to a direction that turns like a spinning top (or log roll). The twist group.
You can use this twisting action with dives performed in all the above groups. You begin to learn how to roll like a log rather than bunching up and forward gamboling.
Imagine someone rolling you in a carpet. Coach will start you with half a twist and as you become more proficient you’ll be adding more half twists into your dive. When you become very talented your coach will start asking you to twist and somersault at the same time!
Remember the lovely dry gym equipment? Would you like to be strapped into the harness and learn your somersaulting and your twisting. (Previously mentioned). At this stage you’ll be emerging as a very advanced diver during your learning curve, and certainly someone to watch.
General somersaulting progress
As you becoming more proficient at taking off from the springboard, your coach will then add more half somersaults to your dive… until your capacity, skill, and stamina in the air is exhausted!
Your coach will guide you through the gradual progressive exercises towards these more difficult dives. Step by step you’ll build your repertoire within this group of dives. Soon you’ll be showing and feeling the confidence to tackle dives with two and a half somersaults plus! remember always, that to learn well is to be patient. Your coach will not allow you to attempt any dive unless the correct foundations are SOLID
Diving groups become part of the number coding which helped develop a universal language for any Nationality to recognise in an instant which dive the diver is to perform. Essential for international officials and…security for the diver knowing which dive the judges are expecting to award their points. A valuable tool. More about this later.
It’s pretty amazing when somersaulting from all the board heights in the different body shapes. These will be discussed in another section. Whether head first, or feet first entries. Somersaulting by adding halves anything between 2 to 9, my goodness what a thrilling experience… and for your audiences!
You may wonder how these different turning directions affect the positioning of yourself in the air. For example “will any of them bring me closer to the board?” Fear not.
There is a principle to bear in mind here. Once your feet have left the board – any dive, any jump – the action of rising high from the board and back down to the water creates an imaginary path in the shape of an ARC. This is set no matter what you do in the air – forwards, backwards, reverse, somersault, twist, wiggle about, and anything else you can think of – the ARC is formed and nothing can change this. Your ARC of flight is set.
This is why it’s essential that you and your coach master a well balanced and consistent controlled take off from the diving board.
Not finished yet!
Group 6 is the Handstand or Armstand Group. Discussed in a separate chapter.
TO CHAPTER 12 – “Diving from your hands!”