>> Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I met with Andrea (the swim coach at my local Y) for 30 minutes yesterday. And she helped me dive off the blocks for the first time. I'm really bad at diving "normally," and until yesterday, I'd never dove off the blocks. Being I'm doing my first swim meet on Saturday, I figured it was time to try it out.
My first dive wasn't horrible!! It had no power behind it, but it wasn't bad! (I was sooooo timid about pushing off hard, and it wasn't until Andrea had me try jumping straight UP off the blocks and into the water feet-first that I got a sense of how much strength I could put into a dive-start.)
About 1/3 of the way though our session, she was working on getting me to push off a little "higher." I was kind of just pushing straight into the water, and I could have been shooting "out" more. So I got a little higher.... but once I forgot to throw my legs up, so I ended up on my belly.
I popped out of the water in time to see the massive wake I'd created slapping the edge of the pool, and I saw Andrea about doubled over in laughter. As soon as she found out I was OK, she literally fell to her hands and knees and laughed some more.
That was my only true "belly flop," but after 30 minutes of sub-par diving, my chest looked like this:
Notice my forehead is red from slapping the water so many times too.
With Andrea afterwards. THANKS ANDREA!
I think I did this climbing out of the pool one of the times.
I think I hit my hip on the bottom of the pool once... long story.
Red boobs 4 hours post-swim.
A bit more on the tips Andrea gave me:
• My first dives were pretty shallow. That was OK, because I was afraid of going straight to the bottom and losing tons of time at the meet in a few days. I've seen people float noodles or tie rubber tubing across the lane as a guide for where to jump, but Andrea had me do something different: she held a noodle a few feet ABOVE the water and a few feet in front of me, and she had me dive OVER that. Nearly every dive I did over the noodle was a good dive! I asked if she could come to the meet this weekend and hold a noodle for me...
• Once I was getting a little more height and "powering" off the blocks better (I say "better," not necessarily "good"), Andrea then had me work on snapping my hips up to avoid belly-flopping and to get my legs in line for a clean entry.
• One of the things I just could NOT get down over these first 30-40 dives was how to keep my legs together on entry. (No "slutty" jokes about me keeping my legs shut!) My left leg (my back leg) snapped up and back down how it should, but my right leg ended up a little farther back (too high), thus keeping my entry from being as smooth as it could. Near the end, EVERY dive ended with me thinking "CRAP! I forgot to think about my legs!" There was too much to think about to START the dive that I couldn't switch gears to think about my legs at the end of the dive.
• I told Andrea I'm thinking about doing the 50 free a few events before the 100 free mainly as a way to practice "race intensity" diving before the 100. My shallower dives are apparently better for a 50 - I'd hit the water and get up to the surface and get-a-goin' before too long. I'm still undecided if I'll try that 50 this weekend or not.
• I was able to slightly impress Andrea with some things I already knew. I knew the difference between "track starts" and "grab starts." I knew to shoot off the blocks with your arms pointing straight out across the pool and not down towards the water. I knew that throwing your arms / head up as starting was a good way to get your momentum going. I had learned all these things from YouTube videos - I think I'll post the videos that I found helpful in a few days. Check back for those.