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Six Tips to Consider When Training a Diver


John Wingfield

John Wingfield

Photo: Woody Franklin
During a presentation on Dryland Conditioning and Training and Skill Progressions for Junior Divers at the 2009 USAS Convention, 2008 Olympic Coach John Wingfield put forth several interesting training tips that can help even the most experienced coaches be more effective during practice.
  1. What a Diver Really Hears

    According to published reports, 17 percent of the information an athlete receives from a coach registers, or actually sinks in. So what happens when there are distractions such as talking and socializing, or music playing in the background, that percentage drops to eight. This gives a new take on the Charlie Brown cartoon when you hear the teacher in the background …. blah, blah, blah blah!

  2. What Does it Take to Get to The Elite Level

    The average number of hours of training required before an athlete reaches a world class level in 10,000! An example: Olympian David Boudia earned his first international medal after 7,500 hours of practice and instruction, but qualified for his first Olympic team after reaching the magic number of 10,000.

  3. Flexibility and Puberty

    Stretching and flexibility, and the increase in an athlete's range of motion, helps to reduce the loss of coordination and improve athletic success during puberty and growth spurts in younger athletes. Make flexibility training a part of everyday practice and help reduce the effects of this awkward age.

  4. It Doesn’t Always Happen in the Pool

    Perpetual water training in not necessary for success in diving. Dryland training in diving is a classic example of this adage. Confidence built from the learned repetition of skills, and skill progressions in a dryland situation can lead to success in the pool. One Cuban diver trained exclusively in a dryland environment and competed on an elite international level after only one session in water prior to competition!

  5. Time on Task

    An important determinant of an athlete’s success will be determined by “time on task.” In other words, keep your athletes focused on what they are doing! How to make this effective; reduce the distractions that occur during a practice or workout, and always prepare and implement a lesson plan for each workout. Wasted time kills success!

  6. Strength Before Skills

    Always develop strength and conditioning for a diver before implementing skills and diving progressions. How many times have you seen a diver practicing a dive that they are physically unprepared to practice, much less attempt. Physical conditioning and strength is a vital ingredient and important prerequisite to success on any type of skill or dive.

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