You can be a good diver without being able to perform Olympic-calibre dives. But, if you want to be excellent at diving, it’s important to do the basics well and practice regularly to avoid errors that could potentially lead to injury or loss of life under water.
The most common mistake is taking too long to get geared up before entering the water. It’s a good idea to spend a few minutes to make sure everything is working, and that your buddy is ready and knows what your hand signals mean. This simple step will save seconds underwater and eliminate potential confusion.
Another common mistake is not ensuring Adam McManus that your air tank is full and that you are carrying enough spare tanks to last the duration of the dive. It is a bad idea to dive with less than a full tank of air, as it will slow your progress and increase the amount of time spent at the surface. It is also a very bad idea to fill your tank past the point that it is close to empty, as this can lead to decompression sickness.
A third common mistake is swimming too fast over reefs. This increases your chances of hitting coral and can damage your equipment. A faster pace also makes it harder to see the marine life around you. The best way to enjoy a reef is to swim slowly, and watch for the little things – a school of sardines, a shoal of fish spooked by a predator or a solitary octopus hiding in some crevice.
It is important that divers stay relaxed, particularly when they are diving in challenging conditions or in competition. If a diver is stressed, it can negatively impact their performance and lead to mistakes. It is a good idea to spend some time at the gym building strength in the arms and shoulders, as this will help reduce stress under water. It’s also a good idea to wear wrist guards while diving to protect against injury.
Injuries associated with diving have a terrible public image, but in reality they are rare and mostly caused by non-divers who enter the water too quickly or by people who do not receive proper instruction or supervision. Many of the diving accidents that occur in public pools involve young children who are not trained as divers, and who dive into shallow water where there is little or no lifeguard cover.
Diving is a demanding sport that requires a high degree of skill and stamina. Athletes who wish to compete should ensure that they train at least 28-30 hours per week, splitting their time between the dry land facility and the pool. This helps them to develop consistency, which is the key to being good at diving.
It’s also important to remember that diving is a fun, exciting and safe sport. Divers should be encouraged to push themselves, but should not be pushed to the extent that they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If a diver is not feeling comfortable or competent at a particular dive, they should sit it out rather than attempting to force themselves to participate and potentially cause an injury or worse, lose a championship.