It is referred to in many ways and terms; takeoff, hurdle, approach, back press. However you refer to it, the bottom line is: how a diver gets off the diving board or platform is the single most important aspect of diving. Period.
It really doesn’t matter how good of a toe point you have or how well you can rip, if you land out in the middle of the pool or too close to the diving board, you are destined to become at best, a mediocre diver.
That is why it is sooooo important to learn the proper techniques for a forward approach, hurdle, a backward press and platform takeoffs. And don’t forget the armstand...
You may think it is easy to just run off the board, flip to your hearts content, and then look for your impressive scores. But there are specific rules that every diver should know first. Plus, if you know the rules, then you will understand what the judges are looking for in order to give you those impressive scores!
Every element of a forward approach is vital to the success of the dive – and that means everything. From the spot that you begin your approach to the length of each step; every detail is important. If your last step is three inches too long, it can force half of your foot to hang off the end of the springboard, and that’s not good! So pay attention to the details of your forward approach.
- What is the Forward Approach in Diving?
- The Last Step of Your Forward Approach
- Use Tape to Help Your Forward Approach
- How Many Steps Should You Use in a Forward Approach?
- The Definition of a Forward Approach in Diving
- Balking is a Bad Practice
- The Classic Forward Approach and Hurdle
- What is a Fulcrum and Why is it Important?
- Riding the Board
- Where to Start Your Forward Approach?
Being part of the approach and takeoff, you would think that the hurdle should be included with the forward approach. Maybe. But the hurdle is too important not to have its own category.
The Back Takeoff and Press
A back takeoff can be as simple as an armswing and a jump. But there is something about having to move away from the springboard or platform that makes it difficult to accomplish while at the same time thinking about the 2 ½ somersaults that come next. And balance on the end of the springboard or platform is, to say the least, important.
Learning to dive off the platform is actually easier than the springboard. Why? The platform doesn’t move so you know what you get every time you execute a dive. But there is this little thing about the height that changes the dynamic. Throw in an armstand and that adds another wrench to the system.