Thursday, April 10, 2008

Watch The Bubbles!

When a divers enters the water with little or no splash, the result is usually a high score from the judges. In order to get that "RIP" sound when entering the water, the diver must have grabbed their "flathand," lined up the entry correctly and remain tight through the water -- especially their shoulders, elbows and wrists. The final piece of the "RIP" puzzle is the diver needs to split their hands as soon as they touch the water -- this in effect "RIPS" open a hole in the water through which the diver enters.

A coach can tell if the diver is splitting their hands simply by watching the bubbles where the diver entered the water. There should be THREE sets of bubbles: the middle bubble is where the diver entered the water and then the two sets of bubbles to either side of the middle bubbles that are generated by the diver splitting their hands upon entry. If a coach only sees one set of bubbles, this means the diver is not splitting their hands apart on entry. If the coach sees three sets of bubbles BUT the two sets of side bubbles take a few seconds to reach the surface, then the diver is splitting too late. Sometimes, new divers will split their hands BEFORE they hit the water and this will be very easy to see as the splash will be big and the diver will probably complain of a headache when they get out of the water!

FINAL NOTE: The three sets of bubbles should be nearly in a straight line or the two "outside" sets of bubbles should be slightly in front of the middle set of bubbles. If a coach notices one or both "outside" sets of bubbles breaking the surface BEHIND the middle set of bubbles -- WARNING -- this could lead to shoulder injuries -- especially for tower divers! If you see this situation, it MUST be corrected right away!!

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