on Monday, April 11, 2011

In comparison to gymnastics diving is a relatively safe sport and compared to gymnastics places much less stress on the body , though there are a few common injuries.

One of the most common injuries is what is called "smacking", when the diver doesn't have a clean entrance and belly/back flops. Even off of the 1-m board this can welts and bruising, as most divers learn several times throughout their careers. While this hurts it rarely causes any serious physical damage however creates a mental challenge. Dry land training, through the use of dry boards and trampolines with pulling rigs helps prevent these injuries as the diver is able to practice the dives before doing them into the water.

The result of a back one and a half...
or what we call back one and a splats

Spargers, or bubble machines, are also used for platform diving and occasionally under the 3m boards. These machine break the surface tension so even if the diver flops, there is no damage done. For platform diving, particularly off 10m, serious bruising and injuries can happen from smacking from such a great height. Not only in it physically less painful to land in the bubbles, it also makes attempting new dive much less scary knowing that no matter what it won't hurt too badly.

One of the other major worries in diving is hitting the board or platform, which happens occasionally even to experienced divers.  Very rarely a diver will hit their head on the board,  commonly resulting in a concussion and possibly stitches.  This is a very uncommon  occurrence, though it does happen and it quite frightening to  see happen even if no injuries occur. Usually when the diver hits the board it with the hands or feet resulting in minor scrapes or bruises, though it can result in fractures if the diver hits hard enough.  Hitting the hands on the board is most common in reverse dives due to not traveling far enough forward before going backwards into the dive. 

 Most of these injuries are a result of a poor takeoff from the board or the platform.  Without a good takeoff the diver has a bigger challenge getting the necessary height and distance required to complete the dive.   I've had my share of smacks, and a few minor run ins with the board, and while no serious injuries have occurred the biggest challenge was overcoming the fear sparked from messing up.