Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Three Step or Four Step?

When I first started coaching diving, we always taught new or beginner divers a three-step approach and hurdle. It was simple or so I thought -- less steps meant less things for "little Johnny" to remember.


I remember hosting an annual clinic for local diving coaches -- most of whom were current or former divers who had summer coaching jobs at local swim or country clubs. I remember it like it was yesterday -- I gave my little talk on how to teach the three step-approach and hurdle and one of the young coaches at the clinic asked why I did not teach a four-step approach and hurdle. I told her that as the diver got older and had developed more skills, that was indeed what I would do. She asked me again, why I did not teach NEW divers a four-step approach and hurdle. I told her that less steps meant less to remember for young divers and she said that she liked to teach new divers a FOUR-step approach and hurdle for the simple fact that the diver would start the approach and hurdle with the SAME LEG!! I paused for a moment and thought -- GENIUS -- why didn't I think of that? It IS so simple now -- young divers who were always forgetting which leg is used to take the first step and then which leg to lift in the hurdle, can certainly remember to start their approach and hurdle with the same leg. All I needed to do was ask them which hand they used to eat, write or throw a baseball and that is the same leg I told them to start their approach and then lift in their hurdle.

That became my NEW method and I have used it on NEW divers ever since!

NOTE: For many summer diving leagues, the rules are pretty vague so for very young divers, I suppose you could teach and use a TWO-step approach and hurdle (Same starting foot / hurdle leg and less things to remember!)

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