Springboard and Platform Diving/arms swing timing in hurdle


I'm sure this is a common problem but it's also a nagging one.  I am 36YO old ex gymnast (tumbler) and basketball player so changing my jumping style to a diving type hurdle is proving very tough.  I think I have my 4 step approach measured well and my lunge step is fine but the timing of my arm swing on the return to the board is just all off.  I either put a pause halfway through so my descent can catch up with my arms or I end up losing all sense of when my arms are at the 12 o clock position.  This results in leaving the board with my arms at a midpoint and leaning badly.  As a result I travel too far forwards and fail to get any decent height.  Any advice or dry land routines to try?  many thanks.

Adrian -

Try doing your dives from the front group standing on the end of the board and working your way back. Stand on the tip, do your arm circle and follow it with jumps, front dives and easy somersaulting dives. When you have attained the right distance, add on a one step hurdle and stay with that until you have the same distance as the standing dives. Then go to a two step hurdle doing the same thing. Finally, return to your 4 step approach until you have mastered the correct distance.Another trick is to have someone spray a hose close to the water so you have a visual reference point for distance. Have them stand about 4 or 5 feet from the tip and then you try and land in between the spray and the tip at about the 3 foot mark. (sorry I am not using metric distances because I am a yank!)

On the timing of your armswing with a hurdle, remember that when you feet touch the tip, your arms should be behind you and relatively high. The key is to have your arm swing completed when the board is all the way down at its farthest depression. This means that when the board is all the way down, your arms should be all the way over your head. Also at this point, your weight should only be a little over your toes and not leaning too far forward. Also remember in the front group that your center of gravity will follow the top of your head so wherever your head is pointing, that is the direction the dive will go.

Good luck. Hope all this helps.

Springboard and Platform Diving

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Tom Trapp


I can answer any questions pertaining to all levels of springboard and platform diving including : beginner lessons, intermediate, advanced, high school, Junior Olympic, AAU, Masters (Adult), Collegiate and Senior diving. Questions about training, technique, competitions, dryland training including trampoline and dry board.I can answer questions about how to judge/referee diving events.Also questions about how run, direct and administrate all different types of diving meets from novice events through Olympic Trials.I am also available as a consultant and expert witness for legal cases involving diving. I cannot answer questions about swimming (how to dive off a starting block) or SCUBA diving.


3 time U.S. Diving National Team Coach. Coached World, International and National Junior Olympic individual and team champions. Collegiate level experience (Junior College and Division I).Chairman, U. S. Diving Region 10 and Northern California Diving Associations. Professional diving referee, judge and meet director including U.S. Diving Junior and Senior Nationals, National Qualifying events and Division I collegiate events including the 2010 Men's NCAA Division I Diving Championships. Head Referee for the Big 12 and ACC Conference Diving Championships.Competition Director for past NCAA Men's Division I Nationals and numerous Pac 10 Conference Championships.In 2010, attended the FINA Junior Olympic World Diving Championships to take the International Judging Certification Class which was successfull completed.

U.S. Diving. AAU Diving. Professional Diving Coaches Association. FINA.

B.S. in Recreation and California Teaching Credential in Physical Education/Aquatics. U.S. Diving Safety Certified Coach.

Awards and Honors
U.S. Diving National Award of Excellence. Northern California Diving Association Coach of the Year. U.S. Diving Region 10 Coach of the Year

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