Actually, the title is a bit misleading, because each of these types of diving come-outs is an important fundamental to learn for success in the sport. They each refer to the action taken by the diver to move their arms and hands from the tuck, pike or stright positions, to the line-up position.
This movement is intended to help stop the diver from somersaulting and prepare them for a classic rip entry!
A mid-line come-out is simply the action of bringing the hands through the middle of the body as the diver leaves the tuck or pike position and prepares for the line-up and entry into the water. This technique is learned early by most divers, usually when taught a back or reverse dive in tuck, or a forward 1 ½ somersaults in tuck.
A lateral come-out accomplishes the same goal as a mid-line come-out, but the arms and hands move laterally down the diver’s sides to the line-up position. This type of come-out is seen most often when a diver is doing a back and reverse dive in pike position. It can be used on front and inward somersaulting dives, but is more often than not replaced by a another type of come-out: a pike-out.
As a diver progresses, a lateral come-out can be considered a new and more advanced skill, although its use rather than a mid-line come-out, may not help a diver perform a better dive.
When To Use What Come-Out
This is where it gets a bit confusing, because the two techniques can be used for the same dive, depending on the diver and their stage of development. Most often, a midline come-out is used for back or reverse dives or somersaulting head-first dives in tuck, and at beginner levels, for forward and inward spinning dives.
Lateral come-outs are generally used for back and reverse dives in pike, and many times for back and reverse somersaulting dives like a back 1 ½ somersaults in pike.
Choose What is Comfortable
Choosing between the two is as easy as picking which one is the most comfortable to the diver, and which is most effective. Many divers may choose to use a mid-line come-out on a back dive pike because it helps them keep their head in line and eliminate a whip like action and an arch on the entry into the water.
Others may choose a lateral come-out because it creates a better rhythm during the dive and helps to accentuate good body lines. Which to use should be collaborative effort between the diver and coach.
Practice Your Choice
Whatever the choice, it takes practice to make any type of come-out second nature during the dive. If you expect to only practice a mid-line come-out each time you do a back 2 ½ in tuck and not when you are out of the water in a dryland session, you will probably find that the results are not what you expected.
But if you practice that come-out repeatedly during those dryland sessions, and during a series of line-ups, you will find that these techniques will become second nature and allow you to concentrate on other more important matters like how you are going to display your gold medals!