She was one of the most impressive competitors I ever coached and she followed a specific routine prior to performing a competition dive:

  • Sit in a secluded spot

  • Listen to her preferred music

  • Monitor and control her energy level & breathing

  • Talk with her coach

  • Engage in self-talk & nod her head

  • Physically rehearse the dive

  • Close her eyes & visualize the dive

  • Get on the board early

  • Set the fulcrum and place her feet

  • Remind herself of one or two key actions

  • Repeat her anchoring positive self-statement

  • Focus on the end of the board (Quiet Eye)

  • Take a shallow breath and start her approach

Notice that her routine includes the 5 pillars of mental skills: Visualization, self-talk, energy management, cognitive restructuring, and self-monitoring.

Pre-performance routines help divers get to that place where they are ready to perform at their best.  Every elite athlete in every sport has a consciously developed and well-practiced pre-performance routine.  Help your divers develop a personal pre-performance routine that fits their needs and works best for them. Have them use it regularly in practice so it becomes natural, comfortable, and automatic—especially in critical competition moments.