Springboard and Platform Diving/Reverse Monster
QUESTION: I've been a gymnast for pretty much my whole life. 3 months ago, I picked up diving and I love it. I can do double backs, 2 1/2 front's, triple twisters, and inwards. All thats missing for me to be on varsity my Freshman year is reverses. I've been working on them for 4 days now, and I want to do them really bad. My heart says yes, but my mind says no. My coach says I'm right there and it would be so easy for me, and is getting frustrated now. I really want to go, but I just can't. I know the longer I wait, the worse it gets, so I want to get over it asap. I do them the entire time every practice.
I know I can do it, but I just won't go. I could be me being scared to hit the board or flopping. Maybe both?
My coach has tried "throwing" me through the dive, but I freak out in the middle and flopped, making my fear a thousand times worse. Any advice?
ANSWER: Megan -
The problems you are going through with this group are common in diving so you are not the first person to experience this frustration. I think I can help you get this dive if you give me a little bit more information. Please ask a follow up question answering these questions:
1. Does the team you are with have dry land equipment such as a trampoline or dry board with an overhead spotting rig? If so, please tell me how you use it to get the reverse group. If you do not have access to this equipment, please tell me the city you live in in MN and I'll find the closest pool that has dry land equipment. Using dry land equipment the right way is a key to getting this group down. Also, have you considered going to a summer camp?
2. You say you can do back doubles which is good but do you work on simpler dives such as back dive tuck and back somersault tuck? These dives are very important to master to get the reverse group.
3. Which reverse group dives are you trying to get? Please list the dive number(s# and
letter#s) when responding.
Let me know and I'll answer your question right away.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: The pool my team is at does not have dry landing equiptment. I live in Rosemount, and have not thought about summer camp, but I'm open to anything right now.
I can do back dive tucks as well as back somersaults.
The dives I want to get is my reverse dive (301C) and my reverse somersault (302C).
Now that I have this additional information here is what I suggest. I'll divide my answer into 3 parts, the first will be the mental side, the second will be the physical side and the third part will be where to go to get the reverse group using dry land equipment if parts one and two don't work.
1. On the mental side the first thing to do is drop the 'Monster' from your description of the dive. You have to have only a positive outlook on getting the dive and this term is not helping you. We'll just say instead "I am going to get the reverse group". You also need to be able to do the dive in your head. If you do not have a clear mental picture of how to do the dive with a successful ending you will not be able to do it physically. Work on your positive mental imagery of being able to do it. Once you have this positive imagery, you have to be able to turn off that little voice in your head that is telling you not to go or do it. You have to turn your brain off and let your body do the dive. You say you do them the entire time every practice. If you keep doing that and not getting the dive, you have to change your strategy. Instead, warm up with the back group #201C and 202C#, pursue the reverse group and if you get the dive, do a lot of them. If you do not get the dive, move on to the rest of your list and finish on a positive note. If you keep finishing a practice on a negative note it will only make the next practice harder to get the group.
2. On the physical side, here is how I teach gymnasts to do the reverse group. I teach them to do a reverse flip first. It is easier because a gymnast is used to doing feet to feet skills. The other method I use is to have them do it standing on the end of the board - no front approach or hurdle. Less to think about and the diver has better balance. Once the diver gets a reverse flip, I ask them "If you can go the way around, can you go half way?" The answer of course is yes because they already know back dive tuck. This method has always worked but it involves doing them on a dry board first.
3. If you still do not get the reverse group after another week of trying them then take a trip to Minneapolis which is the closest city with dry land equipment. On a map it looks like you are only about 25 miles away from the University of Minnesota that has a program you can join for the summer. They have the equipment and experienced coaches who can help you attain your goals for your freshman year. Go to www.usadiving.org, click on Join USA Diving and then Find A Club. Enter MN and a list of teams will come up. Look for Minnesota Dive Academy and also BOUNCE. Contact them and tell them about your need to get the reverse group. Maybe you can take private or semi-private lessons and not have to travel there for the rest of the summer. One of these teams will be able to help you out I am sure.
The best thing to do is to discontinue trying to get the reverse if my methods do not work for you and do the dive#s# on a tramp or dry board with an overhead spotting rig. You cannot get hurt using them and I am sure it will work for you. Good luck.