At summer camp, a young diver badly wanted to learn a 203B. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in good physical shape. During testing, she couldn’t do one hanging pike-up—not even close. She took home a copy of a conditioning program and incorporated it into her weekly schedule. Boy, what a difference THAT made. She returned to camp the next summer a completely different diver—both physically and mentally.
Another summer during flexibility testing, a diver couldn’t touch his knees, let alone his toes! He was the most inflexible diver I had ever seen. He took home a stretching routine and worked on his flexibility every day. His transformation the next summer was remarkable. I knew he would be more flexible—if he worked at it daily—but I was shocked at how flexible he had become compared to the previous summer. He went on to become a competent collegiate diver.
Conditioning is a necessary and critical component of diver readiness. Even at a young age, divers need to know that conditioning is part of daily diving practice. What happens OFF the board is equally important as what happens ON the board.
The human body is an amazing mechanism. You ask it to do more than it’s accustomed to doing and it responds by increasing strength, speed, flexibility—a response known as the Training Effect or Supercompensation.
Your athletes’ diving progress correlates with their physical conditioning progress. As they increase strength, speed, and flexibility, they simultaneously increase their ability to perform higher DD dives and to perform their current dives more effectively.
Physical conditioning increases your divers’ weekly workload, but the gains are well worth the increase. Make physical conditioning part of your seasonal training plan.