As you can see from the post below I have ‘learnt’ how to dive – well I have achieved what I wanted to do, which was to dive off the 3m board. In truth, diving isn’t one of the sports that I thought I would enjoy. I’ve never been a big swimmer and before this course I could probably count on my hand the number of times that I’ve attempted to dive off the side of the pool.
I was really struggling to find somewhere that I could learn how to dive in an environment suitable for beginners. It’s surprising how few dive facilities there are in and around London and those that do exist are very much focussed on getting kids into the sport. This isn’t unique to diving and personally I think this is a bit of an oversight for a number of sports. Whilst it makes sense to focus on youngsters, who still have the potential to achieve something in sport, getting more adults involved surely helps to raise the overall profile of a sport and generate income that can then be filtered into other areas.
I eventually found a course at the Guildford Spectrum in Surrey, near to where I grew up. It was on Monday nights from 9.15 – 10.15 and ran for 15 weeks. Not an ideal location from West London but I had very few alternatives. The course wasn’t strictly a beginner’s course. In total there were 6 of us, 4 of which had been through the course at least twice before. This wasn’t a problem as the low numbers meant that the coach was able to spend a decent amount of time with each of us and I was able to learn at my own pace. Most of the time there was only 4 of us during a given week and I think I was only able to attend 6 or 7 of the lessons.
Our coach was Andy Budd, a former England International Team member. He was really good, very patient but also great fun and able to have a laugh with us during times of misfortune, which for me became an all too often experience.
The sessions were varied and we switched between learning the technique from the side of the pool and attempting the full dives off the 1m and 3m springboards. The others went through a whole range of dives, whilst I mainly focused on falling dives, back dives, hurdle dives with the occasional tuck or pike. The video below shows the start of an inward dive from the side of the pool. I found this extremely difficult and could never bring myself to attempt this off the board.
I progressed a lot more than I would have thought I could, despite my intermittent attendance and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It was painful at times but a good challenge and ultimately that’s the key to the whole thing. If there was an option to dive a bit closer to home it’s definitely something that I would been keen to continue but with marathon training starting in a weeks’ time unfortunately I don’t have the time.
To see me attempting to dive, please see the video below or click on the diving tab. I even managed a dive off the 5m platform.