5 Secrets to Springboard Success
Looking to become a springboard diver? Here are five things to get you on the road to success:
Become a student of fundamentals
What makes a hurdle good? Where are the arms supposed to be when you land on the tip of the board? Where should the board be when you start your push? Where should your arms be when you finish your push? What direction should your hips be driving in any given dive? What does a neutral head look like throughout a dive? How do you rip? All these questions can be answered. Find the answers and watch videos of different athletes to see them in action. Lastly, apply them to your own diving.
Always strive for more strength and flexibility
In springboard diving the importance of leg explosive power is often overlooked. Your vertical DOES matter. We seldom overlook core strength, but are you focusing on the right drills? Hanging pike-ups and speed drills are essential. Consistent shoulder and triceps work is essential to stay healthy and prevent injury. As for flexibility, it is easy to see it's importance. Shoulders, hips and hamstrings are usually the biggest problem areas. Yoga plus general and consistent dive related stretching are musts!
Understand what makes you tick
Are you a nervous or relaxed diver? Do you get tight or try to muscle dives when you think a dive is difficult, or do you get loose and hippy? Do you thrive under pressure or do you tend to get stuck in your head? Are you continuously held back by poor board work or fundamentals but feel overwhelmed when thinking of overcoming old habits? If you can understand yourself as an athlete physically, mentally and emotionally, you can tackle your performance from all sides. Bring your weaknesses into the light of practice, and they can become your biggest strengths.
Find the love of the sport and keep it
If you begin to burn out, step back and ask yourself what changed. Did your goals get out of reach? Did you suffer an injury? Are you stuck on a skill that you just can't master? Did you have a bad season? Are you just not fitting in with your team? Whatever the case, be honest with yourself about what's working and what's not. Talk about any frustrations and be willing to take a step back in order to find the passion again and move forward once more.
Never underestimate yourself
You can only be as good as you believe you can be. If you know you can do more, be your own advocate, speak up and go for it.