When you think of diving, few people think it’s not possible in your typical swimming pool given the differences a pool has to a large water body like a lake or sports swimming pool. However, the main aspect to focus on is the depth of the pool and the diving technique.
Indeed, you can dive in a swimming pool as long as it’s at least 9 feet deep. Otherwise, you risk injuring yourself. You need to learn how to dive properly with the head first. You can do that through various exercises which focus on training your mind for the right diving techniques.
This is a guide on what pools qualify for diving and the various diving techniques you can employ once you’re comfortable with it. It goes without saying that you should only attempt diving in any water body if you know how to swim.
Can You Dive in a Swimming Pool?
The answer to this question is “yes,” you can dive in a swimming pool. That is if you know how to dive and the pool has been cleared for diving. Most pools will be labeled whether they’re safe for diving or not. Besides that, you need to be aware of other people using the swimming pool.
How Deep Should a Pool Be for Diving?
The recommended minimum depth for a pool for diving is 9 feet. For most swimming pools, this would be the deep end. Even with this depth, you still need to be careful with how you dive as the wrong diving technique can easily lead to an injury.
How to Pool Dive – Basic Movements & Tips
When you’ve decided to dive in a pool, the following aspects are what you need to consider to perform it correctly. The focus should be proper form and safety at all times.
1. Pool Depth
It’s already been stated that you need a pool that’s at least 9 feet deep for proper diving. The primary reason for this depth is that it’s enough to allow you dive into the water head-first without hitting the bottom of the pool. Hitting yourself on the bottom has a high risk of a head or spine injury.
If you can’t establish the depth of the pool, you’re better off not diving in it. Be sure that you can see the bottom of the pool to identify any obstacles that may harm you. Also, be sure that the pool has been approved for diving since even the right depth alone isn’t enough.
Beware of above-water pools since most of them aren’t deep enough to accommodate diving. You’ll notice that most of these pools don’t also allow diving. Also, keep off the shallow end.
2. Learn to Dive Headfirst
For most people diving for the first time, the idea of diving headfirst is quite dreadful and many of them would choose not do it. With practice, however, you can slowly get accustomed to it before the actual dive.
Among the ways to do this include the following:
- Start by diving upright and feet first into the water. To do this, stand on the edge of the pool and take a giant step forwards while maintaining an upright position then jump into the water. This will dissipate any fears you may have of the water hurting you.
- You can also practice the headfirst dive while in the water. This reduces the risk of injury and is slow and safe to do. You can stand up straight in the water then jump up and dive headfirst while still in the water.
- Try the routine on land by crouching down on one knee then, with your hands over your head, bend down and touch the hands on the ground followed by the arms and the rest of the body until you’re flat on the ground.
- Dive while seated on the edge of the pool. You can sit on the edge of the pool with your feet dangling in the water then push your upper body into the water followed by the rest of the body. It’s easy and less risky.
- Dive from a crouching position that’s close to the surface of the water. Stand on the edge of the pool with the toes for both feet dangling in the air towards the pool. Have your hands above your head then let your body fall forwards. Just before your back is horizontal, spring forward then glide into the water. This trick, done enough times and correctly, prepares you enough for the actual dive.
In all this, avoid diving to the side as that’s a jump and not a dive.
3. Dive from a Standing Position
Unless your pool of choice has a diving board, you’ll need to do the diving from the edge of the pool from a standing position. When you can do this, you’re ready for the more advanced types of diving.
Stand with one foot on the edge of the pool with the toes preferably over the edge to offer grip. The other foot should be slightly back but within the length of the first foot. Point your hands above your head then slightly crouch and jump into the water. The hands should be the first part of the body touching the water.
Have someone (called a spotter) on the side of the pool to tell you if you’re diving properly. While seemingly easy, proper diving can be tricky to pull off if the basics are not mastered beforehand.
4. Dive, Don’t Fall
The reason you need a spotter on the side is to avoid falling into the water; a mistake a lot of amateur divers make. The secret behind this is to have one foot in front of the other and do a jumping stance to push yourself into the air then land with the hands first.
The foot in front should be your strong foot. If you’re left-handed, the foot in front should be the left one. Right-handed people should place the right foot in front.
5. Have the Right Hand Position
Your hands ought to be straight up and not at your chest like you want to catch something. For the best hand form, ensure your upper arms are pressed against your ears and your elbows are straight up. The palms should be together and pointing upwards.
This position is the default for all types of dives. This is because it helps streamline and guide the body forwards. It also helps prevent injuries when you jump into the water and reach the bottom faster than anticipated.
6. Breathing Technique
Like with all swimming techniques, you need the proper breathing technique to dissipate any tension in the body. As you jump off the edge of the pool, inhale deeply then quickly exhale as you get into the water. You’ll hold your breath for the period you’ll be under water until you resurface.
7. Run for a Faster and Longer Dive
If you want to dive further away from the edge of the pool or just need speed when diving, you can run for a short distance then dive into the water. Just make sure that your jump assumes the correct form of the body as discussed above and you jump far enough to avoid hitting yourself on the edge of the pool.
8. Reduce the Amount of Splash on the Water
The dive should cause as little disturbance to the surface of the water as possible. For this to happen, you need to be as streamlined as possible and glide into the water rather than just falling into it. You need to use the proper form as explained above with the hands piercing the water before the rest of the body. The body needs to stay in a straight line throughout the dive to reduce drag.
9. Advanced Dives
When you’ve perfected the dive from the side of the pool, you can try the following types of dives:
- Diving from a starting block
This is almost similar to the standing dive but for the fact that you’ll start off bending forwards and with your feet together and on the edge of the starting block.
- Diving from a high board
Also called a diving board, this type of dive requires deeper water with the minimum recommended depth being 12 feet. With the board, you stand at the beginning of the board then take a step and hurdle upwards, perform a jackknife then dive headfirst into the water.
10. Avoid Diving when Intoxicated
The use of drugs or alcohol will impair your judgment making it hard to avoid injuries. This is because you’ll have poor form and will be generally careless.
11. Avoid Diving Off Roofs
Most swimming pools are placed a safe distance from roofs. As such, trying to jump off the roof into the pool for a dive will only likely lead to injuries.
12. On Slides, Go Feet First
Slides aren’t meant for headfirst diving as they pose a high risk of injury. Rather, only dive feet first from a slide.
Keeping in mind these tips and recommendations will ensure you have fun while diving. They also help keep you safe at all times.
Can You Scuba Dive in a Pool?
Besides swimming and diving into pools, you can also scuba dive in a swimming pool. Like diving, however, you can only dive in a pool that’s deep enough for that. For most pools, you can have the dive in the deep end of the pool from at least 9 feet or more. Basically, the water should be at least 2 feet taller than you to enjoy the scuba dive.
Scuba diving in pools can be good for scuba diving lessons, exercise or underwater games. When the conditions aren’t right in the open seas, pool scuba diving is a good alternative as it offers clear water, little or no current and in a highly controlled environment. These aspects make it very safe and enjoyable for both rookie and expert divers.