Success in diving requires that a diver be able to repeat physical actions in the same manner, and with the same results, over and over.
In order to develop good dives and to improve on those dives over time a diver must develop, just like any other sport or skill, consistency in many areas - a consistent forward approach and hurdle (or back press and takeoff) for each dive; the same reach, grab and flathand for each dive; or the same kick out for each dive.
While many factors come into play that cause variations in these skills - stress, fear, physical changes, desire, etc., one that shouldn’t change or be affected by outside influences is what a diver does leading up to the execution of a dive.
And this is one element that seems to be missing from a great many divers, an element that is easy to control and one that could dramatically help improve their level of success.
Develop A Routine
Developing a routine that will take place before each dive is not very difficult process, but it requires discipline. It requires making that routine a priority, instead of an afterthought.
No more snapping sammys or joking on the board. Once it is your turn to practice or compete, snap into the routine!
Now of course one does not want to become so neurotic that the routine over-shadows the completion of the dive – “I can’t go, I haven’t touched each guardrail five times yet!”
That is why it is important to create a routine that is simple, able to be used at any pool or dryland facility and is used for all dives, including the new ones; and the simpler the better.
What Should the Routine Be?
A routine can be as simple as waiting your turn in the same spot before every dive, to dropping your sammy in the same spot each time and counting to the same number before the first step. The variations are limitless.
If you want to be consistent in your dives, doesn’t it seem logical that that consistency should begin before the dive and end when you come to the surface and take a breath?
The key is to use this routine all the time and not whenever it is convenient. In fact, the greatest benefit of a routine will come when outside distractions are the greatest.
Stick To Your Routine
Once you develop a routine, stick with it. That does not mean some of the time, it means all the time.
Whether you are doing an easy voluntary, a double bouncing forward 1 ½ in tuck, or a full twisting 1 ½ in the biggest meet of your life, prepare for, and execute everything about that dive the same way.