These four positions and the skills used to develop them, should be reinforced for any diver who wants to succeed, and the sooner the better. A mastery of these skills will help create the unique qualities that make a good diver – how to spin fast, aesthetics, form, balance … the list is endless.
Practice, Practice, Practice
And I can’t stress enough that these skills should be practiced on a repeated basis, whether by specifically addressing these diving positions during a dryland workout, or by incorporating them into a stretching routine that should accompany every practice session.
But for any young or inexperienced diver, repetition of these specific skills will make them second nature and allow them to then move on to more advanced skills.
And these are the types of skills that can be practiced outside of the pool or dryland facility. Why is that important? Because this should tell you that these skills can be practiced at home!!!
Let's get one thing straight about straight position (often referred to a layout); for any first time diver, while you may call it straight position, you are not really teaching straight position in the sense of a dive such as a back dive straight.
Keys to Success
For younger divers, these four points will lead to success in straight position:
- Head and shoulders held high.
- Hips rolled forward to create a flat back.
- When lying on the back, little or no distance between the ground and the small of the back.
- The arms covering the ears in the line up or stretch position.
As I said, this position is not going to directly lead to a back dive or reverse dive straight, but rather a base from which to teach forward and back line ups, proper hurdle position, forward come outs, etc.
Standing with the arms outstretched in a “T” position, the diver should concentrate on a level head and a flat back by rotating the hips forward which will tighten the abdomen and rear. Now of course, these things (such as a flat back) do not happen overnight, but come from repetition.
From here, all the diver needs to do to stretch for the water is raise their arms over their head and grab a flat hand. The same thing applies if they are in the prone (laying down) position - body like a “T,” raise their arms and whallah, a line up.
Next - Tuck Position