The dive start is one of the most important parts of the triathlon, and you can master it by following this detailed guide. It can tell you what to do and what to avoid, and it also breaks the process down into steps to help you practice it.
Prevent Goggle Straps from Slipping Off
Many triathletes face this issue as soon as they dive. Trying to fix your goggles as tightly as possible is obviously the first solution that everyone thinks of. However, you should take care to not pull them too tight over your eyes.
Another thing that you can do to ensure that you fit your cap tightly over the goggle straps to prevent them from slipping off. To make sure that you can benefit from that advantage, you should take care to put your goggles on before you fit your cap over it.
Build your Confidence
Confidence can be a very important issue when you are trying to dive from a certain height. Try to start by diving from a low height and gradually increasing the height until you can comfortably dive from the ideal height.
Diving Step-by-Step Guide
Let us explain the right way to dive step-by-step:
1. Start with your arms streamlined above your head
2. Step forward to the edge of the pool, maintaining a grip over it with the help of your toes.
3. Place your feet side by side, underneath your hips, almost shoulder width apart, or simply enough to feel solid and stable.
4. Now bend forward from the hips with a slight bend in the knee of around 120 degrees.
5. Slowly rock yourself forward until you feel your weight taking over your balance, maintain your position.
6. As you rock forward, finishing with an extension of the legs to push you off the wall
7. While you are airborne, you need to start thinking about your entry into the water. Your imagination can be your best tool here.
8. Get your whole body through the surface of the water without touching the edges.
9. Maintain that streamlined position with your arms above your head and keeping your head between your arms.
If you maintain that and get through nice and smooth and practice that over and over again, you should start to build up the confidence with that positioning and entry into the water.
How to Approach the Full Dive Star
There are a few different positions that you can consider for the full dive star.
1. Have your feet side by side, toes gripped over the edge with your feet underneath your hips, almost shoulder width apart where you feel nice and solid and stable in that position.
2. Then with your hands, you can come down between your feet.
3. Normally people have one hand on top of the other.
4. You’ll see a lot of people doing it with their hands on either side of their feet. That is another dive stock position.
5. You might see a lot of people doing what we call the track. That is when you have one foot placed further forward, so that your stronger leg has its toes gripping over the edge, and then the other foot placed a little bit further back.
However, if you are just starting out, we’d normally suggest starting out with your feet side by side. That is to help you nail the fundamentals and the technique of the dive before practicing and trying out the track. It will help you understand your personal preferences.
Dive Start for Beginners
If you are very new to this, you should begin with a dive start and then move on to the next part. Stay on the edge of the pool, just to practice.
1. Start with a traditional dive start with your feet side by side.
2. Set yourself up on the edge with the toes gripped over it.
3. Position your hands between the feet or to either side.
4. Bring your head right down almost as if you’re trying to tuck your head between your arms and looking back through to start the dive.
5. Gradually rock yourself forward. As you feel your weight going forward, begin to lift your arms and head in sync.
6. Then extend your legs to push off the side.
Make sure your arms are almost in line with your back ready to break the water in a nice streamlined position.
Making the Right Entry into the Water
For some people, the entry can be more challenging than the dive.
The belly flop entry
One of the different types of entries that you can make into the water is what we call the belly flop. It happens when you’re just diving too flat, and you literally just flop your belly into the water.
To avoid a belly flop, you should try to keep your body a bit arched as you make your entry into the water. Enter the hands first and the rest of the body should follow the hands cleanly into the water. Imagine that everything has to go through a single hoop.
Diving too deep
Another thing to avoid is diving too deep. Diving too deep means cleaning the bottom of the pool with your face. It usually occurs when you’re just diving too high, going up and then coming straight down into the water, or you’re not lifting your arms up enough.
When you come off the block to eliminate that, then you can also just tilt the hands up ever so slightly as you move into the water. That would just lift you back up to the surface.
The Underwater Phase of the Dive
Some very small adjustments can make a big difference underwater. During the underwater phase, you want to make sure that you stay streamlined and that your head remains tucked in throughout. You can start kicking with either a butterfly or a front core lake kick.
If you’re a triathlete, you need to get swimming as soon as you are in the water. One thing that you can do to help you kick off with the right speed is to not breathe for the first couple of strokes. It can take a bit of practice to get the hang of this technique.
The track start is something that might be preferable for a triathlete.
1. To do a track start, move your strongest leg forward with toes over the edge, and keep your other foot at a preferred distance behind you.
2. Hold your hands to either side of that front foot, drive forward, and push with both feet.
3. Make sure you bring your feet together whilst in the air and then the rest of the dive is much the same.
Let’s discuss how a track start can be useful for a triathlete. In a triathlon dive star, they’ll call you forward to a line that’s just a fraction behind the actual start line. They hold you there for a second. They’ll give you a call to move forward onto the actual start line and a fraction of a second later, you’ll be going.
During that short period of time, it is much easier to move one foot forward instead of aligning both. That is why the track start is often the more preferred method. You will need to practice it to make sure that you are confident in doing it.