We all know the fantastic health benefits which swimming has for you both mentally and physically. But are you aware of the other number of activities you can take part in while at your local swimming pool? Diving is most certainly something you should look into to spruce up your workout routine. There are a number of ways in which you can reap positive health benefits from using the diving board. This is why we have put together this article in order to tell you all you need to know about this easily accessible sport.
Health Benefits of Diving
With diving there are a number of reasons why you should get involved with the sport. It has a great deal of benefits to your health and fitness as well as your emotional well-being. And as this activity can be carried out conveniently at the local pool, more and more people begin to give it a go. So listed below are the main ways in which you can benefit from joining in.
- Enhanced upper body strength
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Greater flexibility and agility
- Fantastic stress relief
- Tones muscles
- Better posture
- Social interaction
- Progression routes I.e. competitive diving
Importance of Diving Lessons
Although you are diving in a lifeguarded monitored public pool, the activity still poses a number of risks. These risks come into play when inexperienced divers attempt to jump off boards too high for them or second guess their dismount and end up straining muscles. When you are diving from a relatively high point, the impact on your body when you hit the water is more intense than that of a dive off the side. And this is what catches most newbies out as they aren’t prepared for the shock felt when entering the water at speed. During this period you may find it hard to breathe and inhale water which could prove to be rather serious if you are unable to come back up and recover from the ‘fall’.
Drowning from the force experienced when entering the water from a great height is one of the main risks which occurs when diving. This is why it is vital that you follow instructions from a qualified trainer to prevent any injury to yourself when diving off the board. The trainer will be able to gradually progress you through the various heights of the boards and talk you through new techniques to try in a controlled manner. So before you step out onto a board, you must seek a professional’s assistance as you never know what to expect on your first dive and how to conduct yourself to get the outcome you want. Therefore by learning the correct technique from a coach, you will be able to successfully progress the way you want to.
No matter how old you are, you will need to have proper training and supervision when using the diving boards. This is because the water at that specific end of the pool is specially designed for the sport, and by this it means that it is much deeper than your average swimming pool. Usually to start off with your coach may get you to try using flotation devices to get used to the depth of the water and the feeling of the impact on the surface. This is to ensure that you are fully prepared and well equipped with the diving knowledge you need before you try it without any safety aids.
Progression in the Sport
To be eligible to compete in solo diving competitions you would need to be at a high level of competence with the sport. And this will take a long time to acquire, but by enlisting expert help from a trained professional; your goals may be a lot more achievable than you thought.While you are training and getting to grips with the diving board, you may discover that you want to pursue the activity more than just recreationally. This is where your coach will be able to assist you with the route and tools to get you where you want to be, whether it is for competitive diving or synchronised diving.
For competitive diving there are 4 levels in which you can compete in:
- Skills Competitions
- The Talent Games
- Regional and Club Competitions
- National Competitions
The first entry level of diving competitions is skills. This tests your basic diving skills from the side and both the 1m and 3m springboards. Within this competition you will be graded on your performance and control over your take off.
Just above this is the Talent Games where children from high ranking diving schools compete against one another. And from this tournament, the England Programmes Zone Squad is able to select the top divers to join them. The training regime for this type of competition includes gymnastics, technical dry diving, physical preparation and general dive training.
Regional and Club competitions are where Swim England regions and clubs put forward their best divers to compete against each other. At this level it is not a must to be able to master intricate diving elements, but you would need to be competent in your basic skills. And to prepare for this type of tournament you will find yourself splitting your time between water based and dry based training.
And finally, National Diving Competitions are for the best of the best when it comes to the level of divers you will find yourself up against. Some of the tournaments within this bracket are the National Cup, British Elite Junior Diving Championships, Swim England Diving Nation Age Group Championships and the European Junior Championships.
Have you Tried Diving at the Swimming Baths?
Find us over on our social media pages and let us know if you have ever used the diving board at your local pool. Whether you have taken lessons or have pursued a competitive career in diving, we would love to know your story.
You can even find a selection of swimming accessories to assist you on your journey with trying this fantastic sport. From stocking up on your essentials to getting all you need to start you on your path to greatness, you are sure to find it here at Sports Fitness.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury