DIVING ACTIVITY CARD
Parts of the Body Worked
Heart & Lungs
Upper & Lower Legs
Just what does it take to become a diver?
It’s simple — all you need is a swimsuit and a pool with a diving board. Check out your neighborhood or a community center in your area for a pool you can use.
Play it Safe
Here’s the deal: Know how to swim well before stepping on the board. Always dive with someone else. And… Protect your noggin! You’ve gotta know the water depth before you dive, and never ever dive into shallow water. Check around for signs or ask a lifeguard. Diving areas are usually marked. In case you haven’t figured this out yet, above-ground pools are not designed for diving. They’re way too shallow! (Lots of in-ground pools aren’t deep enough either, so check out the water before you dive.)
When you are on the board, enter the water straight on and make sure there’s nothing in your way before you leap. If people come into the diving area from other parts of the pool, wait until they’re gone, or just ask the lifeguard to clear the area for you. If you jump when there is someone else in the diving area, or even just mess around while diving, you could land on top of someone and get hurt!
Don’t run up to a dive. Always stand at the edge of the board or pool and then dive. And dive straight ahead — not off to the side.
It’s also important to warm-up and stretch before diving, and then cool down after your plunge session.
Most of all, only try dives that are in your comfort zone. Leave those fancy or stunt leaps to experienced divers. An adult can help you decide which dives are safe to try.
How to Play
Diving is about precision, flexibility, and strength — all in one! Experienced divers leap 5-10 meters (about 16-33 feet) into the air from a springboard or platform, do stunts like somersaults or twists, and then plunge into the water below.
Be water wise. Check the depth before you dive.
A certified diving instructor can help you master the diving board, but for now, try this beginners’ dive… Point your arms straight over your head, with your shoulders by your ears. Keep your head between your arms and tuck your chin to your chest. Bend at the waist, but don’t bend the knees. Keep your legs straight. Fall towards the water, making sure not to lift your head or shoulders. Follow through with your fingers into the water. That’s it — you’ve made the plunge!
How can a diver flip and twist so fast in the air before hitting the water? To find out, try this experiment: Sit in a chair that spins and have a friend turn you. When your friend moves away from the chair, tuck your arms and legs in close to your chest. Notice that you will start to spin much faster. This shows how divers can spin faster when they suddenly draw their arms inward (tuck position). If your arms were stretched out, you wouldn’t move as fast because the resistance of the air would slow you down. But if your arms are tucked beside you, there is less resistance and your body spins faster.
Platform diving became an Olympic event in 1904. Springboard diving made it in 1908.
In January 1991, Fu Mingxia from China became the world’s youngest platform champion. She was only 12!
Divers hit the water at speeds of up to 34 miles per hour!
- Page last reviewed: May 9, 2015
- Page last updated: May 9, 2015
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