Academic journal article New Zealand Physical Educator

Ideas for Teaching Safe Diving

Academic journal article New Zealand Physical Educator

Ideas for Teaching Safe Diving

Article excerpt

The primary source of expertise for the article below has been reproduced with the kind permission of Jenny Blitvich1, University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

Inclusion of safe diving in learn-to-swim and water safety programmes can provide a diving spinal cord injury prevention strategy2.

A teaching sequence for diving should include:

* When teaching gliding as a preparation for all dives hands should be locked and arms extended beyond the head (Blansksby et al, 1996). Arms should squeeze into the side of the head, assisting to hold the head still. This will aid in protecting the head and neck from impact. Use the cue "lock hands, lock head", see photograph 1.

* Gliding and steering skills in shallow water. Hyperextension of the hands at the wrists, raising the upper trunk and arching the back, and slight hyperextension of the neck along with raising the arms are used to aid steering up, see photograph 2.

* The use of hoops and "noodles" in shallow water can help in the mastery of gliding and steering skills, see photograph 3. Dolphin dives can be part of this skill development. This should be included in water familiarisation and body orientation activities in all learn-to-swim programmes.

* After demonstrating proficiency in gliding and steering skills with appropriate hand and arm positions in shallow water, learners can advance to the "traditional" diving sequence learning in deep water, see Figure 1. The 'Sit-dive' is especially important as, through pushing against the wall with the feet, the learner can develop good horizontal velocity, which is an essential component of low risk diving. …

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