View Full Version : My 7 yr son diving

December 2nd, 2008, 11:10 AM
Hi, my 7 seven old son is a very good swimmer. I am proud of his achievement at his young age and in many events (see below his times) he is among the top in the country at his age group. One of his weakness is his diving. Actually he is getting better now compare to when he was 6. When he is in “take your mark” his head is looking down and he likes to dive deep into the water and takes time for him to come up. His coach says it takes him 7 sec to come up. His coach tells him many times don’t look down when you dive out but look forward streamline then head down to the water. I see many other kids (at his age or older) dive well in the meet. Do you think diving will come natural when he grows up or is there any drill or technique I can show him. Right now I don’t want to push him too hard on diving at his age.

This is his times in SCY.
Free: 50yd 35 to 36 sec, 100 yd 1:22 sec, 200 yd 2:50
Back (his best stroke): 50yd 40 to 41 sec, 100 yd 1:23.
Fly: 50yd 41sec, 100 yd 1:33
Breast (his worst stroke): 50 yd: 52sec
IM: 100yd 1:30, 200 yd 3:08

December 2nd, 2008, 11:23 AM
I am not sure his coach is giving good advice. I think looking ahead is the wrong thing to do.

Watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKkS7LFvecM&feature=related) to watch several elite swimmers. In all the starts the head goes down between the arms almost immediately. The angle of entry is relatively steep and the body goes cleanly into the water.

But I would not worry too much with a 7 yr. old. His times are very good and he will naturally improve over time. It is possible that his depth on the start is simply related to a lack of speed off the block. He may not get much power/height so he dives directly into the water.

December 2nd, 2008, 11:52 AM
Your son's times are fast enough that they tell me that he has a good feel for the water. My 8 year old daughter is pretty quick but still does the same thing as your son: she launches herself skyward and then "deep sea dives" and finally pops up 5-7 seconds out. Truth be told, most of the faults in competitive diving starts come from hitting the water at too shalow an angle. So, I am ok with the little ones diving a bit deeper since that is what the ultimate goal is anyway. (My daughter has been taught to look straight back to her legs when she is set on the block.)

When he comes up, is he at least equal or ahead of the other swimmers? That is the test. Or does he frantically catch up and then pass them?

Eventually, your son will start figuring out a midpoint and hit that magical "hole" in the water that allows him to fire down then up into his breakout stroke. But he is so young! Just let him enjoy his deep sea diving! I love watching the young kids do all of those crazy things. It is what makes a meet so much fun.

My philisophy on the young kids (10u) is to not be too concerned with their times and let them enjoy the experience. Some are fast, some are slow. Some of the slow ones suddenly get fast. If they enjoy workouts and like their coach and teammates, that is what will keep them swimming.

There will be plenty of workouts ahead when your son is older that will be packed full of drill after drill that will hone his technique. He will figure out the proper start as he watches and is nudged towards the right technique, but allow him to find it using his own mind as well. That way, it will stick and become an accomplishment that he will truly own.

The Butterfly video by Michael Phelps and Bowman does a good job of demonstrating starts. I think you can buy it at USA Swimming's website shop.


December 2nd, 2008, 12:24 PM
Hi Rob, thanks for your suggestion. In general he is 99% came last out of the water in the meets then he catchs up. I think most of the pressure is really from me that I want him to improve and swim faster. He is still young just let him be enjoying with his teammate. I am sure one day he will fill out that magic dive. I am very proud of what he is doing at his age.

December 2nd, 2008, 01:16 PM
I experienced this same thing with my daughter and got a bit crazed by it all. The coaches will work it out. We also hired one of the high school kids to work on dives and that helped but mostly it just comes with confidence and body maturity.

December 2nd, 2008, 04:32 PM
I actually saw my daughter dive so deep once that she pushed off from the bottom of a 7 foot competition pool. She was down ther efor so long that th eother swimmers wer literally half a lap ahead of her when she surfaced. Problem was, she launched herself up so quickly that it looked like a little dolphiin breeching the water. She just popped up and out like she had been shot from a cannon and we were all laughing hysterically.

Her coach looked at me with a "what the heck?" expression and when I explained that she had pushed off from the bottom, her called her his deep sea diver from that day on.

I would not trade that memory for any of her faster swims. It is just too priceless.


December 2nd, 2008, 04:43 PM
Focus on what he should be doing - looking behind him, at his feet, trying to go out instead of down, etc. rather than what he should not be doing. Positive tends to work better with little kids rather than negative.

December 2nd, 2008, 04:47 PM
Is there any dry land exercise that can help diving? Also my son has a slow reaction to diving. He is literally hestitate for a second before he is out? Any suggestion?

December 2nd, 2008, 04:53 PM
Any suggestion?

Yes, relax, he's 7 for goodness sakes.

December 2nd, 2008, 07:10 PM
Is there any dry land exercise that can help diving? Also my son has a slow reaction to diving. He is literally hestitate for a second before he is out? Any suggestion?

My daughter looks left and right to make sure all other blocks are clear and then goes in after. Drives me nuts!:bitching:

Blackbeard's Peg
December 2nd, 2008, 08:25 PM
he's probably entering the water too close to the wall - and needs to enter further out. get a pair of noodles with the noodle-extenders, and make a ring. have him dive normally once so you both can get your bearings. place the ring so the middle is about a foot out from where he entered. then have him dive through the ring. a fun way to teach a 7y/o how to dive OUT not down.

December 2nd, 2008, 08:39 PM
My youngest had an atomic bomb sort of dive when she was 8. It couldn't have been any splashier.
She was afraid of going head first and always aborted the mission in mid flight.

The coaches had the younger kids try and clear the styrofoam life preserver. It worked well for many of them.
It took my kid a couple of years to get past the awkward stages. She starts like a pro now.

December 2nd, 2008, 08:52 PM
My six year old son is still on the developmental team and has a "race day" every two months or so. They do a 25 of each stroke. Last race day, he was more interested in doing an Elvis impersonation than actually listening to the starter while on the blocks.

Thus, the horn goes off while my studly son is gyrating his hips and crooning into a non-existent mic. He looks up and notices that "What? Everyone is in the water? How did that happen?"

He then casually slips on his goggles, pulls up his jammers, adjusts his privates, and and belly flops into the water on his way to a modern dance type interpretation of the 25 free.

I have no doubt that Martha Graham and Elvis were up in the clouds roaring with approval.


Typhoons Coach
December 2nd, 2008, 09:38 PM
Is there any dry land exercise that can help diving? Also my son has a slow reaction to diving. He is literally hestitate for a second before he is out? Any suggestion?

Dry-land exercises at his age are more so meant to have fun. I work more on plyometrics at that age than anything else; stuff that focuses on fast twitch muscles, etc. So, lots of jumping out, up, sideways, etc. They can actually do this from the blocks as well which makes it a little more fun for them (having the "farthest jump", "highest jump", etc competitions with the rest of the team).

As my assistant coach says (and she was in the same boat at your son at the division I college level....lacked on starts), "I didn't have the explosiveness to my start but I could catch up and beat everyone to the finish". Starts should be a smooth explosion of energy throughout the body; use plyometrics and other activities that promote the development of those fast-twitch muscles. I hope this helps!

December 5th, 2008, 12:23 AM
My son's coach holds out a noodle and has them dive over it. He's only seven so I would not sweat it. He'll eventually get it probably because his body matures not because of any coaching.