So when Charlie text me asking whether I wanted to go diving tomorrow my first thought was “hold on I have plans tomorrow, I am sure I have plans!” I did, dinner with Charlie! You have to love that my friends have very interesting views on what “catching up” means ;D!
We had been invited by Spogo, a company created to help people find sports and fitness activities in their local area, to take part in a beginner diving lesson with the Tom Daley Diving Academy. It’s also worth mentioning that Spogo offer a buddy programme to help connect people with others who are also looking to get involved in various sports, that’s if you don’t have crazy friends like mine who will try anything!
So arriving at the London Aquatics Centre I have to be honest I was a little nervous…
However, luckily our coach Jodie took us straight to the gym for our “dry practice”. Jodie explained that divers spend more time in the gym than in the pool, working on form and technique. The gym contained lots of exciting looking equipment including two diving boards, a GIANT pit of foam, a sprung floor, trampolines and a harness to practice flips! We started with just jumping straight into the foam.
It’s worth mentioning here that the pit is extremely difficult to get out of and oh, if know you are going into the dry gym first take bottoms to wear over your swimming costume … it will save a bit of dignity ;D! Enough said!
Following this we started working on various jumps and the technique needed to perform them properly. For instance when performing a straight jump your hands should be together, arms above your head pressing on your ears and you should look forward jumping UP not out! Something that takes a little getting used to if you are like me and you are afraid that when you jump you are going to hit the board!!!
After this it was to the trampolines where the professionals practice flips, somersaults and well other professional things … us we just got used to bouncing and holding our core!
After this, which I should say is pretty tiring after a while, we headed to the pool ready to show off our not planned, but planned really, swim suits ;D!
Luckily we started entering the water at the pool’s edge, offering the opportunity to practice holding our form whilst entering the water.
After a number of straight jumps, tuck jumps and full dives it was time to go up to the boards, something I was still very nervous about! Throughout Jodie was extremely encouraging offering little pointers to help make the dives feel more comfortable, particularly as holding your body straight when entering the water is a lot easier said than done!
So first to the 1m …
And you know it wasn’t too bad at all, both of us came away smiling. But the 3m …
Well I feel this photo says it all! When you compare the 3m board the others it doesn’t look too high but I promise you when you get up there it’s HIGH! Or at least to a non diver it’s HIGH! However …
Owned! Charlie just went straight for it so I had to! I think I have a little work to do on my form. I thought my legs were relatively strong with all the running but it’s amazing how the slightest movement can effect how you land in the water. I found that my legs would come forward ever so slightly so I never entered the water in a straight line!
We did have a look at the 10m board but there was no way any of us where going to attempt jumping off … even looking over the edge was terrifying! It definitely gave me a new found respect for divers, “nerves of steel” come to mind! But the views are pretty awesome!
We finished our lesson with a couple of simple jumps together, a must since we had our Sweaty Betty diving team swimming costumes on ;D!
Overall the lesson was brilliant, considering I was extremely nervous entering the centre Jodie made me feel at ease and continually offered help, advice and plenty of encouragement! I would love the opportunity to do this again as I definitely feel I have a lot to learn plus the setting is pretty awesome! The Tom Daley Diving Academy offers weekly classes for a range of different abilities as well as full courses and it is definitely something I would recommend!
Thanks Spogo and thanks Tom, obviously the message at the top of the post was meant for us … right?