So what is the key to a great dive start in swimming?

Are you fed up with always coming up from your start an arm length or so behind the rest of your competition?

If so, then it’s probably your start that’s letting you down. The good news is that there’s a few small tweaks you can make to your start which will reduce this gap and might even have you break the water in front of your competition.

The key to a great start is the ability to generate horizontal velocity off the block. Horizontal Velocity you say?? Yes this requires you to learn how to Jump first with great timing from the leg drive through the hip drive into extension.

The most common thing that is forgotten with learning to dive is the JUMP, from LTS through to mini squads the dive is seen as a reward at the end of the lesson and is done with the swimmer falling into the water with their arms in a streamline position (this is good but comes later).

The key to creating great dives early and down the track the ability to become the best is to follow the progressions below:

1. Standing jump with arms to side on deck
2. Standing jump with arm swing in time – swing arms as you jump into streamline
3. Track start jump with arm swing in time
4. Block jump with arm swing into pin drop into water
5. Track start block jump with arm swing into pin drop

With these drills you are ensuring the swimmers are using good timing to generate vertical velocity (this is measured by the height they jump)

6. Arm swing into dive with glide for distance

Track start introduced once they get the timing of arm swing.
The further they go the better the horizontal velocity is and the better their streamline is.

7. Start with focus on leg drive and arms driving out into entry

Do this for distance and reinforce the need to push with the legs then arms extend.

These drills should be done repeatedly each session and you should only progress when they can do good jumps on land.
• Remember if they don’t do it correctly at the beginning they won’t later down the track.